April 24th, 2006


A Modest Proposal

Perhaps even we atheistic pagans are subject to divine revelation. I'm more than willing to entertain the possibility. For example, it has occurred to me that, perhaps, mankind has a higher purpose after all. Perhaps all this seemingly senseless destruction and slaughter and torture so often referred to as "human history" truly is progressive in nature. Maybe the goddess occasionally grows weary of the way things are going down here on Earth. Heck. It happens to me with SimEarth all the frelling time. Out of nowhere, some species or another rises suddenly to dominance, develops technology, and inevitably ages of dullness follow. So. Maybe sometime back in the Miocene, the Cosmos grew finally weary of all the damned silly mammals. All the nipples and placenta and fur and endothermic metabolisms, surely it has to get tiresome sooner or later. And so forces beyond our comprehension set in motion a grand solution. An eloquent solution. A reliable solution — mass extinction. The evolution of a species so virulent it would, in only a few million year's time, wipe the board clean again, and the Cosmos could begin anew with Earth. Maybe cephalopods or crustaceans deserve an era or two of global domination. So along comes the australopithicines and the various species of Homo and, finally, H. sapiens sapiens.


Patience yields bountiful harvest, indeed. The perfect killing machine. Man. Indiscriminate, thoughtless, short-sighted, selfish, and more or less immune to reason. In no time at all (in a geological sense), the world has been raped and pillaged and a choice of poisons has been offered up by the clever apes: nuclear, biological, chemical, global warming, and etc. Take you pick. Mix and match. Just sit back and wait for the dying to begin.

But, alas, the fickle, impatient Cosmos grows tired of waiting. Humanity, it realizes somewhat belatedly, was too inefficient a solution to the problem at hand. In the past, asteroids and comets have proven a perfectly effective reset button, especially when combined with widespread vulcanism. It worked at the end of the Permian. It worked on the non-avian dinosaurs. If you want results, stick with the tried and true. Sure, the human race was an interesting new twist, destroy the biosphere with the biosphere! But it's taking too damn long. The end of the world is centuries overdue. Instead of performing the task it was placed here to perform, incapable of just getting it the hell over with, humanity struggles on, destroying far too slowly, failing, ultimately, to satisfy the cosmic desire for carnage and cleansing fire and the new and less monotonous beginning.

Moral: The simplest solutions are usually the best.

Anyway...here's where the revelation part comes in. Maybe my destiny was never meant to be palaeontology or writing. Maybe, all along, I was only meant to found a new quasi-religious sect — the Immaculate Order of the Falling Sky (IOFS). Maybe it's time to be done with this gradualist travesty and start looking for that great space rock with our name on it. Maybe it's been time for decades. The Cosmos (call her what ever you please) has a fine sense of irony, possibly, and having decided to end the slow scourge of the human race with a quick and fiery impact, she desires that her failed executioners ask for it. Sure, by my own admission I'm not exactly human, but I'll do. The message is simple, simple enough it can be trusted even to a lowly freak like me.

Yo! Mankind! The jig is up. The show's over. You're taking too damn long. Sure, you'll get there sooner or later, but the Cosmos, she grows weary of the game. She's ready for the sentient octopods. Enough with war and genocide, pollution and overpopulation. Forget greenhouse gases and holes in the ozone layer. They were good ideas in their turn, true. They merely failed to take things far enough. Time's a'wasting. You guys have to keep in mind, this damn star's set to go nova in only a few billion more years. You were created to murder a world and then finish the job by murdering yourselves, and you've had your moments, I'm not denying that, some delicious moments of waste and cruelty and massacre, but there's also no denying that you're taking too goddamn long to get the job done. Your minds wander. You get distracted. You get greedy. You fool yourselves with irrelevent ideas and half-hearted endeavors like goodwill and salvation and peace. Enough is enough. You had your chance. It's pink-slip time.

Here's where the Immaculate Order of the Falling Sky comes in. There should be a bit a theatre here at the conclusion. And, to that singular end, it's time to aim the collective wills of 6.5 billion hairless apes heavenward. Oh, I know you've never been very good at the whole telekinesis thing, but trust me, this will work. It's only show, anyway. The Cosmos is perfectly capable of hurling an asteroid where ever she chooses. But she wants a cheering section, see, or so I've been led to believe. Nothing too fancy, mind you. Let's say something in the ten-kilometre range. Iron and nickel composition should do nicely. It worked just fine 65 million years ago. And it's best if we place it in the ocean somewhere, for maximum effect. The Pacific Basin should do nicely. It won't be hard to find what we're looking for. There are thousands of giant space rocks out there in the solar system from which to choose. It will be the primary duty of the IOFS to choose the earth-crossing asteroid best suited for the task, then focus our collective thought-waves in such a way as to give the Cenozoic Era the desired coup de grâce.

There's work to be done.

Of course, there will be a Cafe Press shop. No doomsday religion is ever complete without T-shirts, mugs, and bumper-stickers to help get the word out, and, since this will be the last doomsday religion, we need to do it up right.