Well, it looks like I’m in the hot seat again.
Listen folks, let me just put this out here: last time I checked, we lived in a little country I like to call America. (Except for foreign people, who obviously do not matter.) And in this little place I like to call America, you’re allowed to believe whatever you want, even if you have no basis or even identifiable motive for doing so. And if anyone – particularly anyone in the minority – has any problem with what you believe, it’s my inalienable right to scream at the top of my lungs until my teeth bleed.
Haha, man, it seems like it was only a few years ago that we fired that sucker out. I still remember those days: me, trudging out of my mud shack in the desert, my nostrils lined with cocaine rime, and I saw ol’ Sungenis sitting on the ground, wearing nothing but his chinos and staring up at the cloudless sky.
I asked him if we’d found forgiveness yet – we did a lot of that out in the desert – and he said, “Forget that! Have you ever noticed that fuckin’ thing?”
He pointed up. It took me a while to realize he was pointing at the sun.
“What, the sun?” I said.
“You have a name for it?” he said. “When did that happen?”
“The sun, or me naming the sun?”
I scratched my head, causing some hair to fall out. Come to think of it, I couldn’t remember exactly when the sun showed up, or when I started calling it that. Sungenis quizzed me pretty hard on it, so much so that I threw up in my mouth a little.
“You know what I think?” said Sungenis as I lay on the ground, gasping for air.
“Something about the Jews being bad?”
“No. Well, yeah, I’m always thinking that,” he said. “What I’m thinking is, everything we know about that fucked up puppy up there is totally wrong.”
“I feel like people know a lot about the sun.”
“But have they ever seen it?”
“Yeah, probably every day.”
“No, I mean – seen it up close.”
I furrowed my brow. “Maybe someone has…”
“But have you ever met someone who has?”
“I… guess not?”
“Exactly!” he said.
And so we got to work, pounding away on typewriters on our book. For about a year or two, we made no progress. Then I had the smart idea to try and put some paper in the typewriters, and whammo, things just blew up. You can basically put anything on paper, if you try, and I guess that goes for the world, too – you’re free to say whatever the hell you like about it, and if someone disagrees with you then that’s the only thing worse than murder, I guess.
Those were the good old days: me and Sungenis, typing away, ranting into tape recorders, living with about forty-seven stray dogs who would just show up whenever they wanted. (Later when we parted it turned out the dogs were the legal owners of the shack.) It wasn’t exactly the healthiest living conditions – me and Sungenis both contracted the P.H.D., a disease so virulent we are now legally required to list it after our names – but I still look back on it fondly.
Since then, it’s been a long, hard road, trying to disprove a bunch of shit people have seen with their own goddamn two eyes. Sure, some fancy lad with long pants and all his teeth might claim that astronauts have been to space and actually, physically, seen the earth and the sun and whatnot – but have you ever met an astronaut? And if you have, did you ever see him go to space? And if you did, did you get to go to space with him, and see how all that crazy crap up there works?
No. You haven’t. And if you did, then I will scream at the top of my lungs every time you try to make a reasonable argument. That’s democracy, asshole.
So sure, I kept my side-living as a crazier-than-a-rat-in-a-tin-shithouse theological physicist on the DL while trying to make this whole SFF thing happen, but does that mean I’m ashamed of it? Am I ashamed that we duped the Start Wars lady into lending her pretty pipes to our antiquated rantings? Am I ashamed that me and ol’ Sungenis took a page from the Swift Boat dudes and basically raided the internet for public domain video of physicists reading excerpts that tangentially supported whatever the hell we wanted?
Hell no! Check out that Amazon page – three stars, motherfucker! 26 reviews! If 26 people agree on something, it’s got to be absolutely right (no I haven’t read the reviews and I refuse to do so).
(Hat tip to Felix Gilman for sending me the book link. His book is probably better.)