|"I knew nothing, and I persisted in the faith that the time of cruel miracles was not past."
— Stanislaw Lem, Solaris
My first failure to get an entry in on the due date, for which my
apologies. It's 12:30 AM on the 27th as I write this. I'm
recording the date in the filename as yesterday for consistency's sake.
It was a day of missed potentials in many respects, not just for PaaT.
I promised a friend a sonnet via email, and didn't complete it. I had
an opportunity to meet a dear friend who was passing through my general
area, but it would have meant a four and a half hour drive and I didn't
feel up to it. (Granted it was a last-minute opportunity for which I
was not well prepared, I still regret missing it.) The list is long,
but I will end it here for several reasons - it's embarrassing, mostly
not relevant, and all of it's my fault in one way or another. I don't
care to read about people whining and I suspect that you don't either.
By way of rededication to the purpose of this site and making up for a
lack of solid material today, I'm assigning myself an extra article
this weekend which will include at least five new drawings. I will post
it under the present entry.
See you all then.
I took a story that I wrote a while back and illustrated it for this
entry. So behold below...
A Fable For Our Times...
Once upon a
continuum, an Exploration Ship of an
Advanced Race came upon a Young Civilization, fresh and
And the Exploration Ship remained in orbit a while unseen, to consider
the best method of Touching.
"A budding Technological society," reported the Scientists to the
Expedition Leader. "Recently emerged from Theocracy. Many
fissionables. Armed to the teeth."
"Thus force is out of the question,"
said the Expedition Leader, "for
it would be wasteful of our warriors and their
Expedition Leader caressed her brains. "Study
the parameters of
their recent Theocracy," she said, "and place a Construct
accordingly." And the Scientists went to
And it came
to pass that on the surface of that planet there appeared a
Construct, 900 feet tall and robed in white, with a tremendous beard
stern aspect. And it spoke in a deep, resonant voice, "I am the
Lord thy God. Bring unto me at once all the uranium and plutonium
thou canst dig from thy planet's crust."
And the people nearby were amazed
and slow to respond, whereupon the
Construct smote the ground about with thunderstorms, and parted the
waters and slew the kine of the land, so that the survivors seized
shovels and dug most earnestly, even in areas where no fissionables of
any kind were likely to be present.
And reports were made to the
central government, and an emergency
meeting was held, and various members of the assembly rose to argue
whether the Construct should be obeyed.
The Rational Party stood and said, "Were this an actual god, its
for our fissionables would be remote indeed, for as it made the
universe, it could make as many fissionables as it liked. As for
the miracles it creates, it seems to us far more likely that some
Advanced Race may be seeking to cheat us and leave us defenseless than
that a god would approach us in such a manner."
The Rational Party then advised that almost all of the fissionables be
reserved, with a small portion delivered to the entity via a salvo of
missiles. And the Rational Party sat down.
The Religious Party stood and
pointed out that the entity glowed with a Brilliant
Light, that it had a Deep Voice and spoke in an Archaic and Poetical
Cadence, and that it had a White Robe and Beard and could kill people
with lightning bolts, all of which were characteristic of their god as
written in the ancient and holy manuscripts. They stated that
their god, who was known to move in mysterious and not always sensible
ways, must certainly be testing their faith and devotion. And the
Religious Party sat, advocating loving submission and every hand at a
The New Youth Party stood and stated that, whether the entity was Alien
Divine, it made no difference, since it was obviously benevolent in its
mission to deprive the people of dangerous, environment polluting
fissionables. Surely a new, less coldly scientific and more
fuzzily intuitive age was about to dawn, and this Entity was its
herald. And the New Youth Party sat, advocating that a peace
be built and decorated with multi-cultural
symbols to deliver the
fissionables in a rapid and vibrationally harmonious manner.
And so, the ayes having it, the weapons of war were
their fissionables removed, and all the land was sundered and laid
waste in a vast
search for More. And the land was leveled even by the digging, so
that the hills were one with the plains.
And it came to pass that the last usable gram of fissionables was
delivered unto the Construct, and thence transported aboard the
Exploration Ship. And the Scientists thereon approached the
Expedition Leader once again.
"A struggling Theocratic society, recently abandoning Technology, with
no fissionables and no weapons of note."
"Very good," said the Expedition Leader. "Land troops at
to seize their governments, construct slave farms, and convert the
benighted heathens to the truth of Zogianity. On second
thought..." The Leader preened at her brains. "Withhold the
troops. Let the Construct issue these commands."
And so it went.
Moral: Reason moves few people, but faith moves mountains.