Friday, June 11, 2010

We Are (not) the Centre of the Universe

(From the Herschel Space Observatory)

The image shows most of the cloud associated with the Rosette nebula, located about 5,000 light-years from Earth in the constellation Monoceros, the Unicorn. The region contains a family of growing stars, with the oldest and most massive members in the center of the nebula, and younger and less massive generations located farther out in the associated cloud. There's enough dust and gas in the entire Rosette cloud to make about 10,000 suns.


The animal behaviour of humans in electronic media makes for a very interesting study. One which involves us all and which is in its infancy, barely 15 years old and in real terms, only ten.

A unifying prinicple one notices, having blabbed in a lot of e-holes and chat-rackets, is how in all the groups I've playfully joined with the intention of learning, there's a strong tendency to coalesce into insular, closed communities, who then rank themselves by various rituals, into pecking orders, like apes - these social groups who advertize themselves as go-to gals and guys in po-biz, as living examples of how to successfully practice the activity of verse and ditty making - yet whose fantasies often crumble in the face of what is pejoratively called 'the foreigner', on whatever list it might be.

Very much a game of jaw-jaw we often confuse for some existential 'war' between ourselves and 'them' pesky foreigners with wrong-headed ideas that contravene every poetic principle held dear; be it in lyric or non-lyric form.

However, having participated in most of the insular groupings; it is clear that we are all basically the same. Whatever our purported beliefs on poetry per se; few have Amergin's 7C bardic prose-poem first translated in 1979 and defining exactly what poetry is, as their word of god.


The activity in, what e-poet Carol Rumens terms, our 'zoo-smelling little cage-screens', amounts to a basic human desire, and the animal behaviour, of leaving some imprint and record of our presence in the environment of Letters; with the enterprise itself driven by a fundamental competitive spirit - imprinted into our genetic code - that is the hallmark of evolutionary creation. At least, it seems that way to me as someone who has sought and sustained myself on the spats, scraps, wars, flaming and in the act noted across the board, a need for ritual demonization of scapegoats on social network sites.

This behaviour seems eloquent testimony to what's merely a less destructive, benign manifestation of our animal urge to go collectively off our heads now and again, driven by what Stephen King ventriliquizes through his character of Harold Lauder, an earnest and unhinged teenage wannabe novelist in his novel The Stand - 'the urge to stretch out our hand and draw a rational pattern from the cosmos'.

The archaelogical record abounds with incontrovertible proof of a fundamental desire in human beings, to rationlize what's beyond our intellectual capacity to understand and know, by phsycially killing and making sacrifices of ourselves to, what used to be called, gods.

Our entire material history and literary universe was founded on the principle of fictionally contextualizing trillions of second-by-second human events, into mythical systems that - prior to the current scientific age - constituted what was held to be true and real about the human relationship with, what we have now discovered, is an effectively infinite amount of space whose centre (we've also discovered), is not as our tiny cellular, self-centred and hubristic brains chose to believe for the last ten thousand years of recorded human history we know of; but the wholly opposite.

Far from being the most important centre-piece of God's Universal project, collectively we are but a very insignificant seven billion whole; a micro-organism and single cell entity on the surface of an infinitesimal speck of, in relative terms, electron orbiting its solar nucleus 25,000 light years from the centre of our barred-spiral galaxy; at the inner rim of the Orion Arm, part of the Local Fluff inside the Local Bubble of the Gould Belt; our puny solar cuisle croi, just one of half a trillion suns that make up what is the tiny blip of Milky Way; itself one of billions of galaxies in the observable universe.

Humanity, until now, has been based on fiction, lies and misunderstanding, equally tragic and comedic, the entire human species, a tiny brief flash and what is almost effectively of zero consequence; an invisible, micro-second history of a million or two years, we're a pathetic film of life clinging, in perfect 50/50 balance, between joy and sorrow, man and woman, ourself reflection and physical testament to the simple binary principle explicated by the most authentic, earliest aboriginal minds concerning themselves with the business of knowing such things as; what poetry is.

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