[Exene Says . . .] What Happens On the Day Old Faithful Doesn't Erupt?

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Exene Cervenka
[Editor's Note: Exene Cervenka is a writer, visual artist and punk rock pioneer. The OC transplant is the lead singer for X, the Knitters and Original Sinners. Her new column, Exene Says..., is her space to basically just write what's on her mind, everything from crazy life stories to political theories and observations about what's going on in this fucked up world of ours. To contact her, send all messages to askexene@ocweekly.com.]


An argument could be made that anything that happens is "natural." Humans evolved and eventually invented automobiles. Cars, therefore, are not man-made, but rather part of nature's wonders. The recent earthquake swarm here in SoCal could be happening for a few reasons. It could be tectonic-plate movement, fracking, or underground tunnels being drilled by mole-men. Well, probably not that.

Speaking of mole-men, I always wonder why those in the highest positions of power seem so hell-bent on destroying the planet. Does greed have no bounds? Do they know something we don't know? What about their own selfish self-existence? Aren't they getting poisoned, too? What about their own children and grandchildren? What about the whole of life on Earth? It just doesn't seem natural. One thing's for sure: These days, anything can happen. . . .

Let's say that in the summer of 2013, a group of 100 tourists is gathered together at Yellowstone Park in Wyoming to see the famous, exciting, yet most routine of all geological experiences, the eruption of Old Faithful. After 130 minutes, 140 minutes, 160 . . . Old Faithful does nothing; 5,000 gallons of boiling salt water should have exploded into a plume of steam by now, 120 feet high, but it hasn't. The tourists are confused. The Park Rangers are concerned. The Yellowstone caldera nearby has been rising dramatically and has not erupted in 640,000 years.

Meanwhile, about 250 miles away at Devil's Tower (originally called Bad God's Tower, a bad translation from Lakota, Arapaho, Cheyenne and Shoshone myths involving bears), something is happening. It's not the false-flag Close Encounters alien invasion. According to some geologists, Devil's Tower is what remains of a large volcano. Others think it's like a cork in a champagne bottle, vintage magma champagne.

Fifty miles east, just across the state line of South Dakota, are the once-sacred Black Hills, known now for cheap tricolored-gold rings and, of course, Mount Rushmore. Rocks slide down the nose of George Washington, as though they're falling tears. What could he be seeing that would cause him to cry? And Lincoln, he begins to tremble! Jefferson, in a bold move, disintegrates like the U. S. Constitution. Teddy Roosevelt, who slaughtered yet preserved so much of North America, tries to tough it out, but finally goes down like WTC 7.

Someday, the thin skin of Wyoming will tear open, and the blood of the Earth will gush out, as though a geyser. It may never heal, but if it does, it will leave quite a scar.

Volcanoes and tectonic plates and magma and methane hydrate beneath the seabed are explosive enough without human prodding, poking and drilling. But sucking everything out of the ground is how the wealthy got that way and how they stay that way. Cars, as with all the other creatures, need to be fed, after all.

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