THE UNIVERSE APPREHENDED
Thanks to the combined, dedicated, heroic and unswerving forensic efforts of cosmologists and ATF Special Agents, the world's most, mercurial and fugitive fugitive, the Universe, has been apprehended after almost fourteen billion years at large, evading even the most sophisticated efforts to bring it into custody.
Fast forward: The Trial - The Planet Earth vs. The Universe
The Universe didn't look so big and bad being hauled manacled and in leg irons and chains into Federal Court earlier today accompanied by California State Police. Federal Justice Gary Joseph Easton was perceptibly astounded when he saw the charges leveled against the Universe.
The indictment drawn up against the Universe lists crimes so myriad and heinous as to defy the imagination. The Universe is known to have performed equally myriad acts of loving-kindness, but it has been amply demonstrated by the Prosecution that these were either meant to throw authorities off the track; fronts intended to conceal illegal and nefarious activities or money-laundering operations. The more minor charges against the Universe include paedophilia, zoophilia, piracy, use of computer software without license, tax evasion, marketing tainted toothpaste internationally, tapping bears for their bile, counterfeiting, pandering, extortion and one charge of loitering. The Universe was charged with innumerable capital offenses the world over as well. A mere sampling of these include: murder during hostage-taking, murder for hire, treason, adultery and apostasy. Among the military capital offenses allegedly committed by the Universe are participating in the Paris Commune, desertion during the American Civil War and not rendering unto Caesar what is Caesar's. But the crime of all time that the Universe is being charged with is the notorious Big Bang. The explosion to end all explosions was originally believed by the Pinkertons to be the result of the detonation of an "infernal machine" by Anarchists for the sake of striking terror in the Multiverse, starting with downtown Chicago. But more in-depth investigation has proven the Big Bang to have been long-planned by the Family of the Universe to establish its youngest son as the undisputed kingpin in a network of organized crime that was intended to, and eventually would have, spanned the entire Multiverse had it not been nipped in the bud.
Not in the least bit apprehensive in the courtroom, the Universe swaggeringly pleaded guilty to all the counts in the indictment and was so brazen as to tell the Judge that its only regret is that they know so little of the Universe's "adventures". However, when the death sentence was handed down by Judge Easton, the Universe began to tremble. Escorted out of the courtroom by State Police, the Universe realized that it would be spending the next few billion years on Death Row.
Twenty Billion Years Later: The Execution
In time, the Universe mellowed, matured and waxed introspective. It took up tai chi chuan and began to read such treatises as The Tibetan Book of the Dead. It became genuinely repentant and a model prisoner. It wrote numerous books, some of which it illustrated, aimed at youth at risk warning them of the hazards of a life of crime. Yet, its every request for a stay of execution was rejected. Having exhausted every legal channel, and near exhaustion itself, the wizened Universe was led to the cell in which it would expire. Understanding that all resistance was futile, the resigned Universe contracted itself into the 6 X 9 X 9.5 feet cell. The metal door of the cell clanged ominously behind the Universe and the bolt was thrown. Immediately, super-heated gas began to flow into the cell. Five minutes later a tiny, barely audible whimper was heard…and then absolute, eternal silence.
Doreen Ellen Bell-Dotan, Tzfat, Israel
It was a tough contest, but the judges finally arrived at a decision. Here's the moment we've all been waiting for. We have a winna! And now, without further ado, allow me to introduce Xcolodjenenrhneymenejtmoethe 9838585, this year's Ms. Multiverse!
Step right up and speak loud and clear into the voice synthesizer, dear. My, you look and sound so excited. You're emitting photons and phonons all over the place. Not like the girls on earth who just tremble and giggle nervously. Is she?
I can't believe I won! I never expected this! There were soooo many beautiful contestants, from soooo many universes. I thought I might get Ms. Congeniality, because everyone's always told me the yellow light I transpire makes them feel so happy, but I never expected to be Ms. Multiverse. I feel soooo honored to have been chosen to represent my galaxy, Ademordna, and my universe.
No need to be modest, Xcolodjenenrhneymenejtmoethe 9838585. You were a sure win. You wowed us all in both the swimsuit and formal wear competition.
Step up to the electron microscope and let us get a better look at you. Oh, yes. You are a lovely creature. Lovely indeed. May I call you Xcolodjenenrhneymenejtmo for short?
Of course you may! That's what they called me when I was a blastocyst.
Is it too presumptuous to inquire as to your vital stats? You are enviably statuesque and svelte, you know.
It's not presumptuous at all. I am 47.013 meters tall and weigh exactly 7.279495 femtograms. I'm very careful about my diet and never let my weight fluctuate. And I exercise a lot too. But I'm careful not to let myself get too thin. I was really traumatized when the top model in Ademordna died of anorexia. She had been soooo beautiful. When she died she weighed something like 6.734592 attograms. She looked awful toward the end. She was so young, too. It was a tragedy, a terrible tragedy.
What are your favorite forms of exercise?
Sports. I love to play demrmentatsisiygs.
I've never heard of it. How is it played?
Oh. It's something like a cross between your badminton and foosball. Just instead of being played with a shuttlecock or a ball, we use subatomic particles that exist in our universe called pasteyons. Their lively -8/7 spin really makes for a great work-out.
Ah. I see. Well, I must say, the results are stunning. And your complexion is positively radiant, absolutely flawless. How do you keep it festering and oozing like that? Can you let us in on your secrets?
Sure. Back home I use an exfoliating scrub with a pH of 0.2 that I concoct myself from things I find in my Mom's kitchen. Here on Earth a wad of fiberglass imbibed with Diet Coca Cola with Vitamins and Minerals is a pretty good substitute, but I do find the Coke a bit harsh sometimes.
And your hair! It's so luxuriant. May we ask how you care for it?
Xcolodjenenrhneymenejtmoethe 9838585 tosses her magnificent mane, laughs and says. Oh, that! The most important element in having beautiful hair is choosing one's ancestors wisely. I only let it grow really long on my palms. The rest I keep neatly trimmed. She winks cheekily and smiles mischievously at the audience.
Is that your natural color?
The midnight blue is mine, yes, but the violet highlights are from a rinse.
And hobbies. Do you enjoy any hobbies?
Oh, yes! I love watching galaxies collide and painting my toenails.
That must take up a good deal of your free time. How many toenails do you have, Xcolodjenenrhneymenejtmo?
Four score and seven, last I counted.
What color is your toenail polish? Earthlings can't see in that range.
Oh, I'm sorry. How stupid of me. I keep forgetting the culture gap. It's frosted Kozmique Ray Blue. It makes me feel very feminine and goes soooo well with my hair. It's such a nice change from the Gamma Ray Grey I am expected to wear at work as an implanted 'bot too.
Your English is excellent, Xcolodjenenrhneymenejtmo. Where did you pick it up?
Why, thank you! At a store for second-hand designer clothes in the East Village. Just kidding. No, actually, when I was selected Ms. Ademordna I began to read Beowulf. Then I simply extrapolated what the development of the language would be by computer-simulating your culture and history and by the time I got here for the Ms. Multiverse contest I spoke what you call modern English with a few anachronisms.
Smart girl. Good thinking.
What do you like most in creatures, Xcolodjenenrhneymenejtmo? What are your turn-ons? What really gets your juices flowing?
Well, I get bored quickly. So, I really like creatures with a quick wit and short half life. A short half life is soooo hot.
And what turns you off?
Intolerance, impatience and lack of BO. Definitely. Also the red button on my back.
What are your plans for the future, Xcolodjenenrhneymenejtmo?
My long-term goal is to evolve into a Drormentejthemiszimentjltl. In the intervening light years, I'll use the prize money for travel. There are soooo many universes that I want to see! I've received soooo many invitations to stay with the many friends I've made among the contestants. I'm really excited about the prospect of visiting them and seeing their home star systems. Oops, there I go exuding the photons and phonons again.
There you have her, Ladies, Gentlemen and Life Forms of All Stripes, Xcolodjenenrhneymenejtmoethe 9838585, this year's Ms. Multiverse! Those of you that have hands, or reasonable analogues thereof, give her a warm round of applause.
Be careful descending the ramp, dear. Don't trip on those stiletto heels.
Doreen Ellen Bell-Dotan, Tzfat, Israel
THE CREATION OF A STATE This is what is involved in the creation of a state:http://tinyurl.com/2kyw6l
We Israelis too were brutalized and reduced to the ignominy of committing acts that would have been unthinkable before we had a state to defend. It really does not matter if we are more than, less than or equally brutal to the Palestinian Arabs. We have both become far more brutal and violent than we were - all for the sake of achieving and defending a state with "secure borders".
And that is why when people ask me if I believe in a two-state solution, I tell them that I believe in a zero-state solution.
No state is a solution to violence, to intrigue, to nefarious undertakings, systematic povertization of target populations in order to keep the drug, prostitution and weapons markets humming. No state will not send its young to war for the sake of maintaining the power of the elite.
And although I do not see Israel as an imperialist state because none of the land that we seized was as a result of our initiative, but rather as a result of wars that we did not begin, but were victorious in - still I do not doubt that we would be imperialists and colonialists if we could, because that is the way of the realpolitik of statecraft. And the Palestinians, given the chance, would do exactly the same thing.
From what I understand from scions of families that have inhabited this area for many generations, Arab and Jewish alike; these problems did not exist before the British arrived and fomented discord to their own purposes. Historians say the same. There was also no concept of state in this area until it was imported.
I don't see any solution to the conflicts in this area until states and borders are abolished. Only when there are no borders can disarmament, particularly nuclear disarmament, occur. Only then can prosperity based on truly free trade agreements take place. Only then can there be free educational and cultural exchange. Only then can there be religious speculation that is not the concept by which we measure our pain, as John Lennon so aptly observed, but rather the measure of our joy. Doreen Ellen Bell-Dotan, Tzfat, IsraelDoreenDotan@gmail.com