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Sept. 2003

NOTE DURING A RAINY SEASON 

by Alexander Swartwout

“The Sun is trying to come out.” In a miserable, rainy month, this piece of nonsense has been uttered by a million compulsive optimists.  I do not know how the Sun ever became these peoples’ darling, that they root for it like a child in a potato-sack race.  Reason suggests this is a futile exercise: the Sun is an immense orb of burning plasma, indifferent to space, a gargantua of gravity.  It churns with fusion on a scale inconceivable to a three-pound brain.  The Sun does not try to do anything – it is not even aware that at any given moment it isn’t ‘out.’  If the Sun were ever introduced to any of these puny, terrestrial sympathizers, it would thoughtlessly incinerate them with such haste that our standards of timekeeping could not account for it.

     It might please some to explain away the torments of the climate as the frivolity of a few immense, jovial characters, roly-poly in the sky like a gigantic family picnic, the uncles out on the flag-football field.  But it does not alter the fact that this is a delusion which saps at the imagination and focuses stress onto a subject which does not respond to concern: the weather.  It is not this paper’s desire to quash the giddy dreams of stargazers, but it becomes necessary when the American small-talk has suffered such a long drought of novelty as it has this unremarkably rainy summer, threatening the public intellect entirely.

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