Top illustration by Jeff Worman
I was waiting for more to happen.
It was just about a week ago last Saturday I went out on the deck looking for stars. Star gazing. Pretty tame activity when I could be watching that one woman beating people up in GTA5 that FB has decided I must view. The night was clear and quiet. The fresh scent of spring and calm. The first thing I saw was a satellite moving west to east. Then another. And another.
After I saw about a dozen I came back in and said something to Shauna crashed on the couch. Firefly E1 put her to sleep. I had seen it before; that’s why I thought I’d walk out on the deck to look at the stars. Real stars. For real.
“Quick, there’s satellites overhead!”
That’s not enough to wake someone up.
Satellites aren’t that interesting until there are a lot of them.
And “Quick! Unidentified Aerial Phenomena is overhead” – way too long.
Does anyone even know what a UAP is? Of course not, they’re unidentified.
They used to call them UFOs but when the government admitted they exist, been following them, they didn’t want to really admit they believed in UFOs, so they broadened the field — introducing UAPs.
“Quick! UFOs! Lots of them!”
That got her attention.
Of course — by the time she rambled to the deck they were gone.
I threw the question out to see if anyone else saw them.
Across the country.
Not UFOs and no longer an unexplained aerial phenomenon either.
Elon Musk is deploying thousands of low earth orbit satellites, Starlink, he’s calling it and some governments such as Papua New Guinea and Australia are interested in using them. The rest are probably just quiet.
Make it easier for your fridge to order a 30 pack and some chewing wax, have a driverless car deliver it and a replicant bring it to your door.
Traffic jam. A train of some 50 that night. A train of satellites. It certainly sounds like we’re living in a sci-fi dystopian epic, every day. May 29th, 2021 — I was hoping I would see more over the course — and I’m kind of glad I didn’t. There’s enough crap up there already. Robotic arm of the International Space Station was hit by some debris just noticed earlier that week. That’s not going to be easy to fix. Chinese booster rocket falling last month.
Today there’s just an asteroid coming. Again.
I kind of like looking up at the sky and seeing — nothing.
Except stars. Some clouds. Some planets. An occasional comet or UFO.
But I can envision a time, in the near future, (maybe next month) when you look up and see a grid of satellites instead of the Big Dipper or Orion. Like the seams of a bird cage. Canaries in a coal mine or sitting ducks.
Of course most people are watching that woman in GTA5 beating people up or beating people up for themselves.
So, they won’t notice anyway.
In a side note: the 14 year old girl that escaped from a group home today with a 12 year old boy, broke into a house and armed themselves with weapons they found, opening fire on sheriff’s deputies was heard to say… “I’m gonna roll this down like GTA.”
Yes, we’re going down.
But, look up, the trap is being set.
Jeff Worman lives in Walworth County, Wisconsin where there is water and a crisp, cool night sky conducive to the creative process. He has been drawing and writing since he was able to hold a pencil in his hand. Worman started out as a high school intern at the Bugle-American, an alternative newspaper in Milwaukee, and was a founder and long standing contributor to the Crazy Shepherd which emerged from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and is published currently as the Shepherd Express. Worman’s column The Hourly Why was conceived in 1982, published broadly in underground newspapers over the decades and can be found online today at www.thehourlywhy.com. He has a great love of the outdoors and champions charities by riding those long distance centuries on his road bike to raise funds. Contact the author.