Friday, October 10, 2014

Selling the Heavens

One of the great things about having a blog is that you are able to get things off your chest in a public forum. Sometimes it involves grand political issues, but other times, it’s just the little irritants of life. When a life irritant happens to collide with human vanity, well, then that’s just a bonus.

The other day I heard a radio advertisement that I have heard a thousand times before. It has always bothered me, but especially so this time. You all have heard it too. Maybe some of you have actually fallen for it. If so, try not to take this personally…but you’re an idiot.

The International Star Registry is a monument to the unbridled hubris of man, exhibit A in the case against man as an intelligent being. Human beings have been laying on their backs in fields at night staring up at the great canopy of heavenly lights for millennia, but it took 20th century hucksters to come up with the idea of selling them to us. “Name a star after someone,” the announcer shrieks. “Give the gift that will last a lifetime!!”

A visit to their website is even more repulsive than this 30 second pitch. There we discover that there are three levels of stupidity associated with this scam, Custom, Deluxe, and Ultimate. I mean, if you’re going to name a star after someone, screw Custom and Deluxe, right? Go big or go home. What does this Ultimate package get you? A personalized star chart, for one thing, along with a handy wallet sized card with your stars’ coordinates. Yeah, you wouldn’t want to be caught away from home without proof of your intergalactic property rights. The big prize, of course, is your 20X16 framed certificate of authenticity done up in only the finest calligraphy in the Galaxy.

Here’s the money paragraph:

    Flowers, cards, and candy are nice; when you name a star after someone, it will stand the test of time. When you buy a star from us, you will be buying a gift that you can share forever.”

…..when you buy a star from us????

When did the scumbags at the International Star Registry come into possession of the cosmos? Better yet, who were the previous owners? How much did they pay for the heavenly hosts?

Can you imagine what it would be like to hear the CEO of this abomination of a company trying to explain to his kids what he does for a living?   “Well, Daddy pretends that he actually owns the stars so he can presume to have the authority to sell their naming rights to all the idiots in the world.”

When George Bailey promised Mary that he would lasso the moon and give it to her in It’s a Wonderful Life, I’m pretty sure it was a figure of speech. When the ancient Greeks came up with the names of the Zodiac, they did so out of a desire to extract meaning from the heavens, born from the awe that the stars of the universe stirred within them. 5,000 years later, a bunch of slimy hucksters gaze into the firmament and see nothing but an opportunity to make a buck trading on the pride of mankind.
…twinkle, twinkle little star, how I wonder what you are?

Maybe that's it...we've lost the wonder.