Tuesday, April 1, 2014

A STAARy tale

There once was a little star, shining as stars do in the inky sky that is unobscured by orange streetlights or neon signs.  It sat there, doing its star-ish thing:  twinkling, catching eyes, inciting dreams.

A group of star watchers, studied men and women who were astute at the spatial arts and deemed by some (and mostly themselves) experts at things like this, looked at this star through their telescope.  It seemed to be the right size.  It seemed to be the right distance away.  It seemed to be twinkly enough and eye-catchy enough and dreamy enough to suit their tastes.

In a collective decision and backed by people who don't actually know much about stars but are good talkers and steady influencers, the star watchers decided that this star would be the star for everyone - a sort of star benchmark, it was decided.

News broke.  Other star watchers weighed in.  Some agreed (mostly, it seems, because of the good talkers and steady influencers).  Some disagreed.  Some were so confused by the situation that they figured it might be too hard to understand and therefore not worth trying.

People who watched the stars carefully, though, had some concerns.  There were other stars.  This was just one star - a good star, a fine star, a star worthy of emulation...but not the star to end all stars, not the true measure of stars everywhere.

But the decision was made by the star watchers and the good talkers and those who reported about such things.  So let it be written.  So let it be done.  And it was.

People no longer looked at the whole sky.  They looked at The Star.  If one did try to look at the larger display of twinkles and blinks, that person was reminded of the importance of The Star and how all sorts of money was spent on researching and supporting studying The Star and how looking around was a waste of time and resources.  Pep rallies were held for study of The Star.  There were tales of even t-shirts being printed.  Eventually, it came to the point where the learn-ed and the learning were measured was by their ability to understand The Star.  Those who told about The Star and those who were told about The Star were forced into a kind of star-gazing myopia.

And yet nothing changed for the rest of the sky.  It was still full of shining stars in an inky sky doing their star-ish thing:  twinkling, catching eyes, inciting dreams.  And rumor has it that they're all still there for those who will open their eyes to see.

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