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REALITY CHECK

THE SKY IS FALLING, BY THE WAY
James Campion

"The sun was fine when Bill Clinton was president."

I don’t know if anyone’s noticed, but the sun is falling apart.
I figure it’s a subject worthy of my attention for this week’s blather, but I’m only getting dribs and drabs from scientists, and they don’t speak much. This is unheard of in journalistic circles, wherein a meteorologist will explode into orgasmic apoplectic fits over a snowstorm.
But despite the alarming lack of hyperbole from the science community, chunks of the sun are dropping to earth.
I see this as big news.

Yet the other night I viewed something on the local NBC feed about a hippo eating a birthday cake or another riveting note concerning Jennifer Aniston calling George Bush a "dumb ass" on CNN.
I’m thinking we could have bumped those juicy morsels for a few seconds on the possible end of planet earth as we know it.

For pretty much a week large pieces of our main source for life on this planet have become unhinged. What I believe the geeks call Solar Flares, or CMEs (Coronal Mass Ejections) have been plummeting toward earth daily. And these CMEs are apparently in a hurry. Scientists who will go on record say these things normally make the 93 million mile trek in a few days, but these latest chunks of burning gases arrived in our magnetic field in a record 19 hours. To use layman’s terms, that is some serious shit.
However, these professionals begin to lose me with their gibberish about magnetospheres generating geomagnetic storms which boost the northern and southern lights and make pretty pictures and colors in the sky and...
Jesus Christ, there are pieces of the sun dropping off and diving into the planet’s atmosphere!
This doesn’t alarm anyone?

Oh, I see, when the millennium ends people run to Mecca and Jerusalem to prepare for the apocalypse, but when the sun starts to malfunction, its business as usual.
Well, not exactly business as usual. We’re also told our cell phones and tracking systems might burp, power grids are undulating, and it will be harder to land planes in a magnetic field being pummeled with supercharged flaming clouds of concentrated energy.
Where is that Verizon asshole these days?
"Can you hear me now?"
"Sorry, dipshit, I’m being incinerated."

Someone asked me the other day if I was bummed that the Yankees lost the World Series.
"Yes, it was a disappointing end to a fine season and HUGE PIECES OF THE FUCKING SUN ARE FALLING TOWARD THE EARTH!" It’s always tough to give meaningful sports commentary when faced with the cruelty of nature and the implosion of your solar system.

This has been a tough tenure for George Bush, what with the mainland being attacked and waging fourteen wars and Allen Greenspan having been holed up in a Georgetown bar tanked to the tits on pure absinthe and jabbering loudly about betting the national deficit on a three-team teaser, but what kind of press conference do you hold when the sun starts shedding?

"We’ve got the best people working on this." You think Dick Gephardt could blame a faulty orb of gas on Captain Shoe-In?
"The sun was fine when Bill Clinton was president."


Aurora activity
Sure, these astrological mishaps happen all the time, but I think it deserves at least a 60 Minutes piece or an hourly update on the FOX News channel over, let’s see, the Kobe Bryant case! Well, I’ve done my part. I have nothing left to impart. What else needs to be broached? I’m no scientist or doomsayer, per se, but I know potential trouble or a scintillating news story when I see it. The sky is falling.

For my money, that is the headline of all headlines. I should retire this meaningless existence now and go out with a bang, but I am nothing if not a trooper and I shall go down with the proverbial ship. We will trudge on and write about the final days with grit and aplomb.
Or not.

© James Campion November 1ist 2003
realitycheck@jamescampion.com
James Campion.com

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