A Cow Died In Queens
|Ayesha A. Siddiqi||Jan 6|
February 2017 NASA recently discovered seven Earth-size planets orbiting a single star like we do. And even more earth-like, three of these planets may have liquid water. I believe we just dreamed them into existence. You know, wishful thinking on our part. We've been looking up for out for a while now - hence astrology's welcome return to the zeitgeist. It's stunning to consider that our entire history and future as a species hinges on just one element, just water. California is currently drowning under atmospheric rivers, those high altitude bands of moisture whose flow determines weather patterns at our level. How can anyone make up stories when the proportions of our reality are so mythic? Sky rivers and alternative planets. I've been thinking of the cow that was shot and killed after escaping a slaughterhouse in Queens. White people held a vigil for the poor animal. Many people face fates no better than that cow did. And maybe some of us find it easier to shrug off cruelties against people as just bad fate in a tough world. When an animal faces the same maybe it's harder to deny our hand. The cow broke decorum and had to be publicly put down for it. It was going to be killed anyway. But it's last gasp attached itself to a story not a pattern, you can let your eyes glaze over the latter - especially patterns of violence. A glitch inherently draws attention - an unwelcome and unexpected shift in the texture under our eyes and fingertips. As much promise as we want to draw from potential new earths, we're only the stewards of this one. The great lie of all our human stories is that apocalypse is an event and not a condition. A condition we insist upon every day through racism and capitalism, premising so much life and death on both and pretending the losses are arbitrary. We're waiting for the meteor that will beatifically end us all when flood and famine wipe out just as quickly. People guess at what great world war will end in nuclear disaster when, since the US invaded Iraq, Fallujah alone has had more than 14x the birth defects seen in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. We're told to anticipate apocalypse like a glitch when it's really the weather. And the only one we make.