the wax paper

Joseph Pravda

WE ARE HERE, OR, TRIBAL WARFARE CIRCULAR #1/WTF69-2001

NOTE: DISTRIBUTE TO ALL CHIEFTAINS* FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (THIS CIRCULAR, NOT THE CHIEFTAINS, YOU TWITS)

‘We’ are here; ‘here’ is called Earth; sometimes we capitalize it, like I just did. Other times we don’t, say when we just want to identify dirt, which is very strange and often confusing since books we call holy devote quite a lot of proverbial verses to basically reducing everything to dirt, which is sometimes--especially in those books--called ‘dust’, a thing we, they say, come from and go back to, also known as ‘ashes’, something we hope we won’t be reduced to before our time at the hands of…’others’.

We, all of us, would probably agree that it would be useful to carefully define some terms...here goes, this is the best ‘we’ve’ come up with: It makes us (a number of ‘I’s that agree on things) nervous and somehow uneasy to not be able to use all the categorical words we’ve invented, after much thinking by some really smart-sounding people about the whole business, to describe others, a.k.a., ‘them’, made up of various worlds inhabited by entities which are at odds with us…‘I’ worlders.

All these worlds, strangely enough, agree on one thing: we, sometimes known as us, have many, many names for ‘us’, and even ‘us’ or ‘we’ isn’t one of them unless it’s a world, sometimes with just two members, which is supposed to be different from another small or large world. This is confusing and sometimes exhausting for any world because it makes it spend a lot of time and energy thinking up things that only it has or does. By the way, the thing called ‘they’ or ‘them’ is never ‘us’ or ‘we’.

Back to Earth, with a capital ‘e’; it is inhabited by separate mini-worlds of entities (let’s call them ‘people’ for user-friendliness) whose ancestors decided, for one reason…(Note: this word can include things that are not at all reasonable, and often really means ‘excuse’, also a verb describing something we should not do when it’s a noun) or another, to call certain areas of earth (here, we use the lower case) countries or nations, where lots of those people get as far away from that earth as possible, ending up in what are called cities where, out of some kind of longing, these same people will do almost anything to have a small patch of it to grow things in, mostly flowers, to remind them of how beautiful and giving the big ‘e’ Earth is. Some of these people often feel sorry for ‘others’---those who live in a world named ‘second’ or ‘third’--- who have no choice and are forced to live close to the earth/dirt, eating whatever it, the dirt, will allow them to grow in it. Still, many people who live in the cities like their food grown only in dirt, without poisoning it with chemicals and things, calling it ‘organic’. Many people of big ‘e’ Earth like to use words like ‘organic’, which is used to both make them feel closer to the earth, little ‘e’--- although, they’d, still, rather not be around too much and let it get their hands ‘dirty’ (one of those few names that really gets to the point without beating around any kind of bush, also rooted in...well, dirt)---unless it’s close by, with flowers and in a world known as ‘first’--- and to also make them feel smart and well-informed.

This feeling is what people from the world known as ‘first’ literately call irony which often makes them feel both clever and sad; this sadness is, ironically, mostly caused by these names themselves, things we call things so that we won’t get them mixed up with other things, even though, at the risk of being redundant and, well, preachy, our holy books say that in the end this is pretty pointless as they start out and end up the exact same thing (see your local holy man/woman for further details; see, also, any good physics textbook).

And, so, we consider ourselves (though, not necessarily ‘others’, especially ones without really high-tech machines) intelligent beings and pretty much expect other intelligent beings from other worlds…when they encounter us in one of several possible ways, including close ones of the third kind, to call us Earthlings.

But, for some reason we can’t explain, except with words like ‘sovereign’ and ‘ancestors’, we never call ourselves that, even in science fiction stories---only the scary, hostile-intentioned aliens would use that word. Curiously enough, when a world or worlds on Earth can’t seem to get along with others, we call this ‘alienation’.

Nevertheless, we, on behalf of the inhabitants of Earth---okay, at least the ones with really advanced machines, wish to be very clear: we would be so very glad to meet other beings from other...worlds; then we could get to know them and they………..‘us.’

Then, finally, at long last, we would no longer be alone.

Joseph Pravda's work has been paged, screened, framed & staged. A produced playwright/flaneur/polymath, any other career accomplishments worries him that it reads like an obituary. That said, he lives in his native New York and Florida. jbpravda.com