I’ll put this here. I seem to be the only one who uses this thread anyway, and this is a sort of a musing that I’m incorporating in my “Great American Novel” I’m “working on.”
So last night I went out into the dark air, I had several loose threads swirling in the beachfront winds. One is illustrated.
Credit: J Secord and Yankee Magazine
In the comments section someone opined that the photos looked photo shopped and the Milky Way always looks the same in them.
It’s a fairly fair cop, except that The Milky Way being a constant is at least half the deal. Right then I was within miles of where the picture was taken. I have seen some good MWs but not as good as Jon gets them (I’ve met and talked with the guy, I own some of his work) The thing that occurred to me was that, even if they were Photo Shopped, (they’re edited, for certain, it’s art) but the point is that the foreground clarity is remarkable.
So I wondered, is this what night predators see? Do their eyes let in this much light such that they can see you “Clear as day” by nothing more than starlight? No wonder they sleep all day. The light must be blinding! I guess the best weapon for defense against these critters is a powerful flashlight.
So that was fun. And then I went out (braving the jaguar population) to look up at the sky. Bright dark clear skies above the Atlantic. The half Moon is the dominant feature. And there with it is the line of travelers Jupiter, Mars and Saturn. My phone tells me I can see Saturn, and I’m willing to believe it. It’s not twinkling and it’s on that same arc that Jupiter and Mars is on. And it’s named right. (Which I’ll get back to.)
I can’t forget to mention the guy from Georgia (I think) that I met in Philly and when I pointed out Jupiter to him, he let loose with scorn and derision towards me. As if I was challenging his belief system. “I believe in facts, including that you can’t see planets with your eyes!” And “You are the only person I’ve ever met that is interested in the sky.”
I asked him if he knew why we Northerners looked down on Southerners, and said it was because we’re above them on a map, which only went to reinforce the boom I was lowering on him, “No, because you’re fucking STUPID! And fucking proud of being fucking stupid!”
When I’m home and I’m standing in line at the ice cream stand getting a hot fudge sundae as a thank you to my wife for abiding my DDD with the brothers. I’ll turn to the person behind me and I’ll point up and say, “See that? That’s Jupiter.” Sometimes it’s school girls and their father, sometimes it’s a hot chick and her 6’5″ “football in college,” date. You know what they say? They say “What? Huh? Really? Jupiter? No kiddin! Look That’s Jupiter!” We may be stupid in the North, but we’re not “damn proud” to be it!
Fast forward to the discussion with the guy in the office building. He’s running for State Assembly as a Republican. He’s a preacher man and feels no restraint in trying to ascertain one’s position on the subject of religion (I think religion is very subjective).
We got into it the other day. Friendly, and I realized during it that, not only was I fighting him on his turf, he was well practiced in his belief system. It’s wrong, but it’s his. I have mine, and part of mine is that his is a bunch of nonsense. However, I can’t deny that there are plenty of things “we” (anti supernaturalists) can not and therefore just do not explain. To deny them is nonsense as well, in my book. ( Literally, in my book, which may be literal but not literature, denying them is nonsense, so I attempt to make sense of them.)
When I’m up here in the clear dark night I get a sense of what they looked at before there were rectangles to look at. Not even books. And when it was dark, it was “capital D ark!” But, you know what? I’ll betcha they could see almost as much by starlight as we see in the dusk and dawn. They had a fighting chance against the cats with their giant black eyes.
When did they first notice the difference between the planets and the stars? At least they didn’t have to put up with idjits saying “That’s just an airplane!” all the time.
What did they call Jupiter before Jupiter was “born?” Was it also a God? I know I’m not the first to go here, but the thing is that we still call Jupiter, Jupiter long after Jupe was killed off by Jebus. And why are there no planets named after the “modern” gods?
Well that’s enough for now. I got to get back to work, and you, well you stopped reading paragraphs ago and swore to yourself you weren’t going to click on anything that says #1 again. But you know you probably will, because you’re a lurker, and that’s what lurkers do. It’s ok.