BOOM!

>> Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Here is a silly personal mission of mine: to make June 30th an internet holiday, just like "Talk Like A Pirate Day" or "Blog Like It's The End Of The World Day." This mission, I suspect, is doomed to failure--I'm one tiny blogger with a handful of loyal readers and no real sway--but I'll make my quixotic stand and all that. Happy Tunguska Day. (Again.)

On June 30th, 1908, at 7:14 a.m. local time (it was also June 17th local time, because the Julian calendar was still in use in Eastern Russia, but never mind that), something knocked the shit out of Eastern Asia. Probably a comet, maybe a meteor, could have been a UFO, probably wasn't a black hole or piece of string, but, you know, it's fun to talk about. Could have been Azathoth manifesting in the local space-time because some Siberian witch-man got his nuts in a tangle and decided to pull his old copy of the Pnakotic Manuscripts out of the hole in the floor, and anyone who tells you Azathoth was just made up by some cranky racist pulp-writing New Englander getting paid by the word is obviously just believing what The Man (or maybe the Mi-Go wearing The Man's skin and clothes) wants him to believe.

But there's a serious point to Tunnguska Day, aside from the fanciful "What went kerblooey?" conversations, which are just as much fun when you confine yourself to realistic discussions of stony-versus-metallic space rocks and the butterfly-shapes made on the ground by airbursts at what-altitude-and-angle. Tunguska Day, as I'd envision it, is a day for a collective sigh of relief that we're all still here, a humbling realization that we're ants on a spinning bit of rock that could be taken out at any moment without us even knowing we were all dead or why, combined with the joyous reveling in our still-hereness, the fact that as conditional as our existence is, the universe has still failed to destroy us.

This year, for me, there's a personal note to that: the universe, in the guise of an inexperienced sixteen-year-old with crappy reflexes, could have taken me out, personally, and/or three of my best and dearest friends in the world, and I am (and we are) still here, damaged and broken like the Siberian treescape in 1908 (okay, not so bad as that, though my wrist is bothering the fucking hell out of me today; I'm typing this without the splint on and the exercise is helping a little, though) but still around. I can't help thinking--because, yes, I'm that big a nerd, I admit freely it--of Kirk taunting Khan in Star Trek II; I feel like saying to the universe, "Still, old friend! You've managed to kill everyone else, but like a poor marksman, you keep missing the target!" Naturally, I realize that may be a poor response: the universe has more ways to kill me (and all of you--I'm writing of the personal, but keep in mind that Tunguska Day is a collective event) than it does ways to not-kill us. (Seriously. I mean, get a few miles off the ground and it's cart-your-own-air-or-die-in-seconds for billions of miles in every direction except down, and you go that way, the fall will kill ya'.) So, you know, tempting Fate and Hubris and Shakespeare and Sophocles and all that. But I'm still here, ha! And so are you, reader. So are you.

Happy Tunguska Day.


5 comments:

Jeri Tuesday, June 30, 2009 at 2:20:00 PM EDT  

Happy Tunguska Day to you too! I was just saying on Twitter that we needed to make today an unofficial holiday, and you have just given it credibility!

And - personally, I'm awfully glad you're still here. :) And that we're all still here.

Carol Elaine Tuesday, June 30, 2009 at 2:59:00 PM EDT  

Happy Tunguska Day to you too! I, too, am very glad that you're still here, Eric. And the rest of the UCF.

*hugs*

Nathan Tuesday, June 30, 2009 at 5:30:00 PM EDT  

I could swear I just read somewhere that some scientists had just "proved"(?) that Tuguska happened because of an ice meteor(ite)(I always forget what gets the "ite" attached). That would explain why there's no rock or metal evidence of the strike.

Anyway...Happy Tuguska Day to you. Please fill us in on how to observe the festivities.

My ideas:

-Walk up behind random people and yell "BOOM" at the top of your lungs.

-Fart toward anything or anybody with the intention of knocking them (it) down with the force of your mighty flatus.

-throw ice rocks at people (on really hot days) and challenge them to find evidence of the weapon.

Eric Tuesday, June 30, 2009 at 5:40:00 PM EDT  

It's a new holiday, Nathan, with evolving customs: one might try any of those things and see if they stick as Tunguska Day traditions.

To me, for what it's worth, it's a day for marveling that we're still here in a sort of serious tongue-in-cheek way. That doesn't preclude walking up behind people and popping an empty paper bag right behind them, then saying (after they leap three feet in the air), "Nope... that wasn't the big one, either...."

Carol Elaine Wednesday, July 1, 2009 at 4:43:00 AM EDT  

Eric, unless your bag popping can produce a tremblor 6.7 or greater, those in California or Alaska will merely look at you askance.

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