An apt title I suppose since some of you have no doubt been wondering: Where is Brain Skarpowsky? Did Yeiser take him out? Is he being vetted by the Obama cabinet selection team? Has he indeed fallen off the edge of the universe…an update then….
Post election, I suffered something akin to burnout/withdrawal; media deprivation based delirium tremens. Ty has fared much better, but his tolerance has no doubt been built up by dealing with the lingering “Gulf War Syndrome” that will some day haunt his dreams. This coincided in a very rough way with Mrs. Skarpowsky asexually budding for a second time, bringing total chaos to the Skarpowsky “household.” My brain has simply not been able to function in a manner consistent with logging into a computer, opening a browser, and taking in information. Let alone, spitting information back. In between fits of sleep, I rock gently in the corner, hoping that the magical TV box will light up with Sarah Palin’s cackling image (where has the MILF media coverage gone to? Back to Angelina supposedly).
By the dim light of my iPhone, I have been able to keep up with some transmissions of news of the outside. But as great as the screen is, the most I can muster is an arched eyebrow or two before I squint, cry a little, and eventually fall back asleep. Thoughts are like familiar faces passed in haste on a crowded subway–they look familiar, but for the life of me, I could not possibly put a name to a face or even make sure the subject went before the verb.
But then tonight, what comes on the TV: Journey to the Edge of the Universe. An HD show, displaying all sorts of nooks and crannies of the outer reaches of our universe (is it really ours?). Awe inspiring, navel-gaze-inducing scenes of this thing, this universe. The pictures are cool, but the narration is only something that could be swallowed whole by a mouth breather. First off, the narrator, if it isn’t actually him, certainly sounds like Alec Baldwin. Worse he sounds like the guy who did Alex Baldwin’s voice in Team America: World Police. This is an indictment in and of itself. The Democrats/Obama has/have won. Alec (or his sound-alike), go fall off the edge of the universe — your voice is not needed.
In between talking about how gases combine and stars are born or collapse, Alec goes on to tell us that, not only is the universe scientific, but it is actually an artist. I almost elbowed Mrs. Skarpowsky in the ribs, but she was asleep and doesn’t get enough chances for that these days. I decided to spit my coffee out and run to the computer instead. The universe is an artist???? Sentimentally this is an attractive thought and it makes you want to go pull the bong out of the garage and see if you can synch up Pink Floyd’s “The Wall” to the show. But it is an utter fucking crap thought (Megan, your comments of late have inspired this one). Well if the universe is an artist… who is the artist? Is it a he/she? Does he know the watchmaker? Did it design intelligently? Maybe it is just artistic design, instead of intelligent design. (A slightly more appealing thought, but no more intellectually rigorous). If only Douglas Adams had been around to proof the script. The universe? What can you say about it? It simply is. Scientists can tell us where the hydrogen and dairy creamer is, how deep it could appear to be, which way it’s shrinking or growing, make educated guesses about where the matter is. But in no way can you in good conscience try to pass off the overlaying of poetry and science as fact in a show that purports to be scientific. It is a bad and dare I say dangerous thinking. Because once you’ve seen another little Skarpowsky come squiggling wet, screaming, and naked out of the womb, you really can’t claim to have any answers as to the artistic structure of the universe.
Is this terribly important? Well, No. But you get back on the horse one step at a time.