Last Changed: 04-09-20
Circa 1947: “Mommy, can I dig a hole out back?”
“Because I want to see what’s down there.”
An early memory, digging that hole. My life and Mother Earth –
what’s within, upon, above, around, beyond Her – became a well-woven web of rock ‘n star.
In short, I’ve spent my life between a rock and a star-ed place.
My favorite book, Edward Abbey’s, Desert Solitaire (1968), says it all. It’s survived and thrived, surthrived. As Ol’ Cactus Ed said, the book “…flourished…burrowing along like a seditious mole a few feet underground, hidden but alive…”
But Iowa’s fields ‘n forests, prairies ‘n quarries, creeks ‘n rivers and light-ly polluted sky weren’t enough in those halcyon years of yore. Cartoon: Jerry B.
I craved more – to live wild in the wild.
So, me and my Spotty [Dalmatian] ambled down the avenue and played living wild whenever loosed from the cramped quarters of home.
I’m trapped in two worlds: One wild and free. One tame and domesticated.
Alas, civilization (syphilization?) intruded, as it usually does.
My fallback: I shared my Big Three – geology, astronomy, meteorology – with others, teaching high school earth science.
Wonderful students, wonderful times, wonderful memories.
But the wonder of living free in the wild still stalks my days and nights.
So, until I dig ‘n fill my final hole, I’ll fight for starry nights,
to free the stars from our blight of blazing nighttime lights.
And to erase the stain of industrial syphilization and the pain of domestication, I’ll strive to enlighten others about the wonders and wonderments of wildness and wilderness.
Henry David Thoreau said: “…in wildness is the preservation of the world.”
I say: “To be free is to be wild. To be wild is to be free.”
I am thankful for Mother Earth, and for all who live within, upon, above, around, and beyond Her, including the rocks, the stars, the galaxies… ALL!
And here’s the flag I proudly fly, the only flag for which I’ll fight ‘n die.
It’s the EARTH FLAG, all tattered and torn. Much like Earth, as people continue to EAT EARTH for a few more $$$ and possessions. Image by G.V.
Recently, I replaced it with a new one. We can’t replace Earth with a new one! Think about it!
So many -ists and -isms. None reflect my beliefs, so I created my own:
I am a Terraist, and I believe in Terraism! Say those two words aloud in a crowd. Watch people react and recoil. Everyone hears terrorist / terrorism. Sad. Terra, Latin for Earth.
I’m proud to be an Earth / Sky Hugger, Jack Hammering light pollution stealing starlight. You?
Kurt Vonnegut: “We could have saved the Earth but we were too damned cheap.” I’ll add: And too stupid!
Wait, there’s more. Some funny stuff. Please continue…
Alright, light blight fighters, lighten up! Fighting light pollution is Herculean. ‘Twould challenge Hercules himself.
The issue is not light-hearted, light-headed, or light-minded. It’s not light-footed, light-fingered, or light-handed. Cartoon by Chris P. one of my former students.
And it’s not a light year away. Oh, no! It’s the eyesore out your door. And no place seems light-free or light-proof. BIG LIGHT wants to fill every nook and cranny with lots of LIGHT!
It hovers over every city, county, country, continent! And its obnoxious glare and glow lingers like a LIGHT BOMB blasted from a LIGHT CANNON over your town, too.
And worse, dark-adapted eyes instantly become light-adapted eyes, making it impossible to see stars!
It’s not easy making light of light pollution, especially amongst astronomers; but I’ll try to focus a few photons of farce and funniness on it for ya.
But, know this: I only have eyes for starry skies, and I am dead serious about fighting and annihilating light pollution.
I Fight to Eliminate Lights That Desecrate Nights and Starlight!
Nothing I write here is personal. I don’t name names – yet. I don’t hate astronomers, don’t dislike 99.9% of them, BUT…
I refuse to be polite, appeasing apologist astronomers, who cling to their clock drives ‘n comput-rrrs, unwilling to fight for dark skies while the sky dies! Whatever it takes.
Yes, Al Literation is my constant companion. Ol’ Cousin Al is always lurking and loitering, lollygaging about inside my brain, making me mess about with words.
I love words, which is why my website is littered with them, not a mere 140 characters. WTF!?
And I love to play with them, so my prose becomes rhymes at times. I don’t know what comes over me. I seem darkly powerless, unable to refrain from falling into the quagmire, the quicksand, of wordplay.
It’s a terrible affliction, malediction, malady… All I can say is, groan and move on.
And I’ve been told: “Jack, you spray your writing with rapid-fire, hair-triggered, machine-gunned adjectives, adverbs, etc!” Yep, sure enough, I do. And yes, I know it’s not correct form, but…no apologies.
And, yes, I know I suffer from sesquipedalianism, a horrible disease. All my life I’ve been told, “never use a long word when a short one will do.” Blah! Blah!, Blah!
But how else are we to learn new words if they aren’t shined in our eyes. Look it up!
Yes, I know my website’s lo-o-o-ong. Too long for fanatic fans of gadgets and gizmos, twits ‘n tweets with attention spans shorter’n the time it takes an electron to do its dirty work inside your comput-rrr. No apologies for length or content.
ABRASIVE? You bet! Hey, Trumpsterboy is beyond abrasive, and he’s the Prey-zee-dunce of aMErica now!
So, yes, my words’ll likely scrape ‘n scratch your finely ground mirror or lens, and maybe, just maybe, make you mad enough to eliminate lights that desecrate nights!
‘Jever take ‘n try to grind glass – concavify or convexify glass — without abrasives? Well, I should say. Abrasives are the essence of our passion, glass, ground to perfection. So, yes, I am abrasive. Deal with it!
People comment: “Stargeezer, you’re too caustic, too sarcastic!” NO! I’m not! I’m both.
Then they argue, “Stargeezer, you’re too ANGRY!”
My response: Hell, yes! I’m angry. Why? Because I care! I love the night sky! I love the stars, galaxies, nebulas, comets, planets… ALL who compose the cosmos.
Earth and Sky are like Friends and Family. And I’ll fight to protect and defend this grand realm from the SOBs, the EVIL Satans Of Brightness!
I’ve tried all the soft and cuddly, passive aggressive BS, and none of it worked / works!
Yes, I’d rather be a kind, polite, gentle, soft-hearted, Grampa Geezer, but I’m not when it comes to light pollution and dark skies, so…
If you crave civility, amiability, affability, cordiality, tranquillity…, please read the rest of this blustery ol’ cock-a-doodle-doo, and then go elsewhere and turn your lights on.
Here’s how I see it astronomers / nonastronomers:
I can’t think of anything more dangerous or destructive to our astronomical passion ‘n obsession than light pollution!
And if you are too unfocused about the dark sky issue, too unwilling to read from top to bottom, side to side, upside down, inside out, sideways, blindfolded… Well-l-l-l, you’re not likely to do anything, anyhow, anytime, anywhere, anyway, for anyone about the issue!
I’m not telling you to run crazed and crazy into the streets with pitchforks and torches, at least not yet, BUT, if you truly want dark skies, you must ACT far beyond what’s being done to…
SAVE THE MILKY WAY OVER THE USA!
Now, if you’ve read this far, you’ve surely (but don’t call me Shirley!) noticed I have a sense of humor, or as I call it, a keen humor gene!
Yep, sure enough I do, and thank goodness for it. It’s about the only thing that keeps me from GOING SUPERNOVA! Few things in life make me happier than seeing / hearing people laugh!