Monthly Archives: October 2013

Macro-level yarn-spinning

Sometimes, depending on what I’m writing, I search out a website or two that lists major events for whatever year or years I need. I read over all the events and try to just let them sink in. This helps me feel more a part of whatever character or scene I’m writing. Every time I do this, though, other sensations arise—sensations connected to concepts like timelessness, angst, awe, and The Great Human Narrative. I read along for 2008: “On April 14, the Human Genome Project is completed with 99% of the human genome sequenced to an accuracy of 99.99%. . . . On May 10, the May 10 tornado outbreak sequence takes place. . . . On May 26, only three days after a previous record, Sherpa Lakpa Gelu climbs Mount Everest in 10 hours, 56 minutes. . . . And on June 1, The People’s Republic of China begins filling the reservoir behind the Three Gorges Dam.”

And, if all that isn’t enough, on June 27, “The United States National Do Not Call Registry, formed to combat unwanted telemarketing calls and administered by the Federal Trade Commission, enrolls almost three-quarters of a million phone numbers on its first day.”

Then I start mentally putting in exclamation points after all the entries:

“July 2: Silvio Berlusconi, Prime Minister of Italy, insults German MP Martin Schulz by calling him a “kapo” during a session of the European Parliament!”

“July 22: Members of the 101st Airborne of the United States, aided by Special Forces, attack a compound in Iraq, killing Saddam Hussein’s sons Uday and Qusay, along with Mustapha Hussein, Qusay’s 14-year-old son, and a bodyguard!”

“July 30: In Mexico, the last “old style” Volkswagen Beetle rolls off the assembly line!”

“August 10: Yuri Ivanovich Malenchenko becomes the first person to marry in space!”

“August 27: Mars makes its closest approach to Earth in nearly 60,000 years, passing 34,646,418 miles (55,758,005 kilometers) distant!”

I mean, all of this is so incredible(!) And after reading pages and pages of entries, I see how even recent events seem historical, even ancient, as if a story is being told to me about some other civilization, not ours.

Which brings us to the aliens. Clearly, we are their experiment(!)

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