we invented the remix 6

puppies by ephemera: the in space mix by beth666ann

New Archaeological Finds Shed Light on Ancient Earth

Special Report to the Intergalactic Journal

By Diogena Teufelsdroch

We have always understood ancient Earth culture as largely barbaric and therefore considered it mostly beneath our notice. The great divide of time ensures that the full story of events on Earth will necessarily remain sketchy, and because the culture so short-sightedly and prematurely annihilated itself, the amount of evidence we can find about Earth has been severely limited, but owing to a few crucial archaeological discoveries[1], the basic outlines of Earth society have been established as follows: Until their self-inflicted demise in the wake of the Primera-G virus[2], Earthers remained bound in a series of repressive systems they not only created but delighted in; as a result, their culture never attained the complexity or intelligence we know to be crucial for an enlightened society. Because of their limited intelligence, Earthers severely curtailed their own freedom and potential by organizing themselves into a number of groups (of these, income tax brackets, football teams, and mutual funds are the best known) among which power was distributed unequally. Initially, movement between these categories seems to have been somewhat fluid, but as time went on, those in the less-valued categories became stuck in them (as did their offspring), and a cycle of economic and social oppression severely limited mobility and options for the majority of Earth citizens. Obsessed primarily with war, economic gain, and violent contests known as football games during which both spectators and participants were sometimes paralyzed or even killed, [3] this culture was believed to be degraded and corrupt.

A stunning recent discovery by archaeologists at the College of Namqhah may irrevocably challenge this long-established view of ancient Earth, however. "This is truly an impressive array of artifacts," says Transcendent Professor Shaima Shimla from the Department of Ancient Cultures and Galaxies at Namquah. "These pieces will entirely change the way we view ancient Earth, which was formerly thought to be an irrelevant culture."

The find consists of several partial documents and images. A preliminary list of the items includes a page from a heretofore entirely unknown publication, Teen People, from the year 2003; a large image of a young man probably known as "JC" staring at himself in a mirror that reads "get schizophrenic--january 27, 2004," and the tattered fragment of what appears to be a book cover with a picture of a young man on the front--it reads Lance Bass Out of Sync A Memoir. Unfortunately, the text of that book is missing. Also included in the find is a fragment of what seems to be a literary/religious text of sorts.

Interestingly enough, the documents seem to be connected to each other. As noted above, "JC" is alone in the image of himself looking into the mirror, and "Lance Bass" appears on both the front and the back of the cover of Lance Bass Out of Sync A Memoir. However, the two young men appear together in an image on one side of the page from Teen People: also with them are three other unidentified males. All five appear to be ritualistically posed and dressed in an unusual and ornate fashion heretofore never seen in the pages of our existing Earth culture documents from the Wall Street Journal or Sports Illustrated. "Perhaps," speculates the professor, "they are in costume for a religious rite or ceremony." The final link between the documents: Both men, "JC" and "Lance Bass," appear as characters in the literary fragment.

The consensus of scholars up to this point has been that Earth culture was too violent and unimaginative to create either fiction or a religion worthy of study. "Earth studies have always been so boring up to this point! We thought they worshipped nothing but money, weapons, and football, and, to a lesser extent, basketball or baseball," laughs Shaima Shimla. "This new find fundamentally challenges all of that. Through these texts and this literary fragment, we are awakened to an entirely new face of Earth culture."

Two faces, actually.

""'Lance Bass' and 'JC' were clearly deities or mythic figures in this culture," the professor continues, "so much so that Earthers collected images of them and wrote didactic tales about them. This kind of cautionary storytelling is very common of primitive societies."

It will obviously take many years to digest these artifacts and texts fully,[4] but as a part of our ongoing commitment to our readers, the Intergalactic Journal presents a few exclusive excerpts of the most important document--the religious story--accompanied by the expert analysis of Professor Shaimla Shimla.

"The story begins with JC attempting to recover from what seems to have been a painful religious ceremony," says the professor. The exact text reads:

The celebrations for finally wrapping up the video for the first single had run till dawn, and the only reason he wasn't hurting more was because Lance was a god and had not only forced water and painkillers on him before he left, but had left a jug of ice and more pills on the bedside table.

Lance? Was a god. Totally and completely. He'd even put lemon juice in the ice so it melted into something that tasted good.

"JC's joyous acknowledgment of Lance's powers is wonderful to behold," says Professor Shaimla Shimla. "JC has clearly gone through a painful ritual--'wrapping up the video for the first single'--and Lance is taking care of him. Although this care seems to involve a certain amount of force, JC nonetheless still gratefully gives thanks to Lance for minimizing his pain, probably because he knows that Lance has only done what is best for him. Indeed, the god Lance has wrought a miracle on JC's behalf--he has transformed the ice with the "lemon juice" so that it tastes good. Such transformative acts and acknowledgments of them are key elements of any advanced religion.

"But the 'video' and 'single' are not the only tests JC will have to undergo. There is a sense of forboding only a short while later in the story, which reads: 'everyone kept telling him[JC] he deserved a few days off before the promo kicked in.' As he must rest and gather his strength in preparation for this 'promo,' it is clearly an even more painful and arduous obstacle awaiting him."

"And indeed," the professor continues, "the moral of this story seems to be that without Lance, JC is nothing. He was unable to survive the rigors of 'video' and 'single' without Lance's help, and things will become even more urgent in the future, once the 'promo' comes.

"But JC does not yet know that. He does not yet trust in Lance to know and take care of everything. He does not yet understand that without the god Lance, he is doddering, ineffective, and confused. The closing events of this story represent JC's journey toward understanding that fact, toward understanding that if he would just place his faith and trust in Lance, everything will be just fine.

"Of course, the path to understanding is never simple. In the very next section of the story, JC, without Lance, begins to doubt himself because he cannot make the 'puppies' appear:"

Something was nagging at the back of his mind as out of place. It wasn't until he [was] opening the fridge for cream and a couple of mouthfuls of fruit salad that it clicked. No dogs. Normally humans in the kitchen meant enthusiastic puppies wriggling and yapping and demanding attention, and opening the fridge meant whining and begging and paws scrabbling at your waist and . . .

He called the puppies, and listened to the resulting silence. He checked the small downstairs room Lance had designated their kennel, milk carton still in hand, but the door was open and there were definitely no dogs there. Standing on the shaded patio and calling them produced similar results, as did a return trip to the pantry to fill their bowls with dry food, which rattled satisfactorily. JC was starting to worry.

"And indeed, JC's worry about the puppies seems well-founded. Unlike Lance, who transforms ice water with lemon and who has 'designated' a special room for the puppies, hence indicating his complete control over them, JC cannot make them puppies appear, not even when he tries to summon them with ritualistic calls and offerings of food. This distresses him greatly, and his distress only increases as the story goes on. And indeed, after the ineffective series of attempts mentioned above to conjure the puppies, JC begins to despair:

He was desperately fending off the mental image of Lance's face crumbling into hurt and loss by furiously making plans of where the pups could be hiding and where to look first.

"The mere thought of Lance's disappointment at the fact that he cannot make the puppies appear mortifies JC. He truly seems to believe that Lance will denigrate him or be angry with him. But what JC needs to learn is that on his own, he cannot conjure the puppies. In fact, he will never be able to conjure the puppies--and that is okay. There is no cause for shame or fear in that regard. Only the god Lance can manage such feats, and the sooner JC accepts this, the happier he will be.

"Every great religious fable has a climax, and this one certainly delivers in this regard. JC ultimately becomes so distressed at his inability to find the puppies that he sets out on a quest to go find them. But the instant he gets into his "car"[5] to begin, Lance miraculously appears behind him. In his time of greatest need, JC's god comes to him, in other words. The two of them talk, with the god Lance clearly trying to calm JC, to figure out what is going on with him. In response, JC is hesitating, anxious, still mortally afraid to mention his puppy failure to Lance.

"But Lance, as the greatest gods always do, understands what JC needs even if JC does not. I will let the words of the story speak for itself:"

"Fuck--hang on a minute." And then he was gone. The road behind him was empty, and JC had a single brief moment of total panic when he thought he was going to have to explain that he'd accidentally slaughtered Lance's dogs with some pissy impatient contact looking on, before Lance yanked his car door open, and a blur of bad mannered puppies spilled out, haring up the driveway towards the house. The rush of relief was almost physical.

"Lance not only appears and disappears--he brings forth the puppies as well. What a benevolent, all-knowing god! How wonderful he has been to the troubled, incoherent JC. Surely, we expect, JC will be full of gratitude and supplication--and to an extent, he is. But interestingly, he still holds back--he is still not ready to trust Lance entirely:"

He ought to help corral the monsters, and then he really really needed to wrap his arms around that man, and make sure Lance was too distracted to ever ask what JC'd been doing all afternoon.

"Instead of confessing the story of his folly and faithlessness to Lance, JC chooses to keep it a secret. Instead of acknowledging the great powers of Lance and honoring him for the great feat of making the puppies appear, JC chooses instead to try to 'distract' him, to deceive him. So too do we all at times refuse to see the wisdom of the gods--but how tragic it is! Earthers realized as surely as do we all that unless we face the presence of the divine in our lives, we will be stuck forever in our own doubts, secrets, and insecurities, locked in a never-ending gaze with ourselves, unable to communicate effectively with others around us. The story ends here on this somber note, and it is in this unsettling moment that it gains such great power. We may all tremble at the thought of this uprepared, still-doubtful JC trying to approach the dangerous 'promo' ritual without an adequate faith in Lance."

Wise words indeed from our professor, and from an unexpected source as well: Ancient Earth culture. We at the Intergalactic Journal promise to keep you updated on future developments in this fascinating archaeological investigation.


[1] Henceforth, our primary research texts for Earth culture have been the book Iacocca by Lee Iacocca (Earth year 1986), and several issues of Earth's two most important media outlets, The Wall Street Journal and the magazine Sports Illustrated.

[2] Primera-G seems to have been originally intended as a weapon prepared by the United States government for use in what they were calling Operation Clean-Up, a plan to demolish the Middle East Conglomerate. As best as we can tell, an error in security at the facility where Primara-G was being prepared resulted in the release of the agent into the general public and in the death of 70 percent of the Earth's population six months later. Ten years after that, the remaining populace destroyed itself in a series of nuclear blasts.

[3] Unfortunately, space prevents an adequate discussion of the strange and apparently even more pointless (but often deadly) NASCAR phenomenon. We simply know too little about it at this point. Why did Earthers drive around in circles in strange vehicles, and what would possess thousands of people to pay money to watch it happen? Furthermore, what were the many-colored patches on their clothing and vehicles? Additional discoveries regarding this death cult are desperately needed.

[4] "I am particularly interested in the images of 'Lance Bass' and 'JC' alone," says the professor, who plans to write a book on this topic as soon as she has had adequate time with the artifacts. "The iconography of these images will tell us much about their standing in Earth society. JC is presented to us in a questioning, literally reflective pose: uninterested in the gaze of the viewer, he looks deeply into his own eyes, perhaps telling us that he is far more interested in his own problems and appearance than in anything in the outside world. He is beautiful but remote, trapped, almost, in his own image. Lance Bass, on the other hand, meets the viewer with a steady, confident gaze on the cover of Out of Sync Lance Bass A Memoir. Unlike JC, he knows that we are looking at him --this knowledge is embedded in the photograph itself in the reflection of the many viewers gazing adoringly at Lance in the ornate piece of jewelry hanging from the neckline of his shirt. In sum, Lance is telling us that he knows he is being watched, and he lets us know that he is prepared for it by meeting our gaze unflinchingly. His steady, confident gaze is almost godlike."

[5] Note: this is not a NASCAR.

your name:
your email address:
your feedback

main page stories faq participants questions