Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Is The Earth Flat, Too?

Last week the N.Y. Times published a story about 'Flat Daddies'. A life-size picture from the waist up is made of a soldier in Iraq or Afganistan and sent to his/her family here, so that the children can pretend the parent is still present with them. Although it may bring comfort to some young ones, the idea is bizarre. Of course this country is willing to accept almost anything as truth these days, so why not 'flat daddies' as replacements for the real thing.

So, what's next? Could we replace the President and other public servants with life-size cut-outs and have others make the decisions, faceless behind the flat pictures? The entire congress could look all smiles, and be present 100% of the time. The actual voting could happen via the internet; trained actors could deliver 'speeches' on C-SPAN. What about doing this in something like the arts? Concerts and opera productions could use music from the best recordings available via a sound system. Pictures of singers could be moved with strings: Pavarotti could be in every production, from the Met to Des Moines. Imagine an orchestra where every musician would look happy, young and skinny, and Toscanini and Bernstein could be awakened from the dead easily. A couple of strings attached (no pun intended) would make the conductor move about in tempo, and to an audience's delight he could also now be facing the audience: no more staring at the backside of a local maestro. Every performance would be perfection, a music lover's dream. Like the soldier's child, listeners, too, would be pleased with the visual image. Like the Flat Daddy who doesn't suffer from nightmares and want to take his frustrations out on his family, the musicians would be the perfect orchestra, and a cost effective one, too.

It took a long time for the world to accept the fact that our Earth was round. The church and most sovereigns were opposed to the idea and people didn't know better. Our society is kind of going back towards those times. Evolution is no longer accepted by a majority of Americans. We want to believe in a divine design in which we were created after G-d's image. Never mind that our gene pool is almost identical to that of the great apes; what do scientists know after all.

If we had only one eye, we wouldn't percieve anything as three-dimentional, and couldn't really tell the difference between a flat image and the one in 3-D. A blind earthworm can only go forwards or backwards. It is happy in this one-dimensional world which is all it knows. Perhaps one of the true fundamentalists could tell us if our Creator is also a 'Flat Daddy', although an almighty one?

Photo: Katie Zezima, NY Times