“Excerpts from Cliff Notes to Planet Earth,” by Matt Kolbet

Mar 13th, 2013 | By | Category: Fake Nonfiction, Prose

In the multiverse, Earth can be a wonderful place to live, and for most people is a definitive place to die.  Still, despite these near certainties, there are many misunderstood points about life on our planet, and although technology has helped us better explore the mysteries of the universe, it has not provided all the answers, like why we feel lonelier the more we use it.

For example, the planet is set on vibrate and earthquakes are text messages from God. Unfortunately, no one has yet figured out how to read them on plate tectonics or when God will send another message (if He’s angry or trying to rekindle what has been, since its inception, an on-again/off-again relationship).  There is less confusion over whether or not rainfall represents God’s tears.  It doesn’t.


As far as the tilt of the planet, a work order has been submitted, but you know how long these things take.  The tech department always says, “Have you re-booted?” as though that’s going to solve everything.  And even if it might, we don’t know how to re-start things.  The closest we seem to be getting is our own immolation or drowning, after which the re-boot may take only fifty years.  Fortunately, a few forward thinkers have the idea to watch from colonies on the moon.


The technification of Earth has led to numerous meditative misperceptions.  Among them: The Netflix loading bar moves in inverse proportion to your desire to watch something.  So, finding that one episode of X-Files to show your new girlfriend may take an hour—including time for cursing, apologizing, checking Facebook to see if anyone else is having the problem, and reloading the page—while any scene from My Little Pony is instantaneous.  Also, Twitter, while short on characters, adds inches to your junk and is sure to impress everyone on your feed.


And although most of the planet’s population makes do with gadgetry to get through their daily toil, the enslavement of other people, a stain on human history, is not far removed in history.  Moreover, some currently mythology still glorifies the tales of elven labor exploited by Santa in the North Pole, though is less bullish about sweatshops in China.

Mother Earth has taken up tweeting recently, often using the hashtag #Beforeitstoolate, but despite her best efforts to catch the attention of a captive audience, her crumbling glaciers, the holes in the ozone, her re-tweets do not persist or penetrate the sanctity of people’s personal zones, littered with pop music and news headlines.  On the other hand, as more movies come out in forty-eight frames per second, people are preparing for the promise of Exodus, to see the face of God and live.


Besides the health of the planet, one must consider that health of its inhabitants.  While obesity continues to grow (how could it do otherwise?), few people seem to miss images of starving people from across the globe.  Guilt is hardly an aperitif.  Nutritionists recommend a varied diet, suggesting, pithily, that the more colors you have on your plate, the healthier it is.  This caveat can be particularly troubling for cannibals, depending on where they live.

Finally, facing mortality, a majority of Earth’s populace has lately subscribed to the philosophical dichotomy that their responsibility for the suffering of others will not matter in a hundred years, or will be over in a matter of months, and find equal comfort in either of these suppositions.  Some have gone as far as to craft a precept suggesting that the literal truth—a person’s exclusive opportunity at viability occurs but a single time—should be blazoned as a generational anthem.

For who would seek re-incarnation under such circumstances?


Matt Kolbet has published variously on the Internets, including here at Defenestration and Clockwise Cat.  He enjoys satire, but secretly wishes it weren’t so necessary.

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