exoarcheology

by uzwi

It’s hardly a new story. The priests convinced people that the world wouldn’t work without their intervention. They constructed myths about which anything we can say is only another layer of intervention, a wad of the same cultural chewing gum which sticks to everyone’s shoe. So usually I would bypass “history” & write about the site as it is now, the ruins I see in front of me & the people I see working among them. But today no-one’s working, so that’s out too. In the end there’s the landscape, the footprint planed off the top of the hill thousands of years ago for reasons I can’t hope to understand, the white tower of cloud building up in the blue sky above the mountains to the south; the black smoke on an adjacent hilltop. Oh, & I can say I like the shade trees, which are a shock and a comfort in this high, dry heat. Down in the town, which is named after a local plant with seedheads like accretions of oily dust at a street corner, people drive around in pick-up trucks trying to sell one another liquid propane; all the computer keyboards are configured so that to produce some quite common symbols you have to make no less than four keystrokes; there are oompah bands & parades of children in identical tracksuit bottoms. After two or three days it’s the most boring place you’ve ever been. The gods don’t come forth. The priests are long dead. The approaching thundercloud stays on top of the hill & after a few grand but silent flashes of light, nothing happens. & that’s a good thing, because they were all quite clearly mad anyway.