Critical Mass: Lent in Casablanca, Night 26


That’s Comet McNaught, which was just amazingly gorgeous a few years ago, awesomeizing the Southern Hemisphere’s sky.

In one of my favorite exchanges from Casablanca,   Rick and Victor Laszlo are talking:

Laszlo: You might as well question why we breathe. If we stop breathing, we’ll die. If we stop fighting our enemies, the world will die.

Rick: Well what of it? It will be out of its misery.

For the first time I can remember, Thursday I actually agreed with Rick: put the sumbitch out of its misery.

It was a fleeting moment, a chord of pessimism as there are more earthquakes in Japan, more nuclear danger, more war zones flaring up in the Middle East, and a government about to shut down because our “leaders” are all petulant brats, schoolyard bullies and all around shitheads.

McNaught was such a thing of beauty, but its beauty was caused by its destruction. That magnificent tail was gas, dust, other comet guts blasted off the nucleus by the solar wind.

Maybe that wouldn’t be a bad way to go.  I could just look up at the sky, marvel at the beauty, then “Isn’t that getting a little close to–” BOOMBLAMKABOOM.

But I’d miss hugs and bacon and cats and cheese and sunsets and Hammond B-3’s. I’d miss Love, Actually, and holding hands and laughter and microwave popcorn and feeling the wet, relieving  blast of ungodly heat and humidity I feel when I walk out of an over-airconditioned building in August. I’d miss driving fast with the windows down and Judas Priest “You’ve Got Another Thing Comin'” blasting.

I’d miss Casablanca, too, for Casablanca shows how brightly love and hope can shine amidst dark clouds of evil and institutionalized douchebaggery.

I hope the world’s various cabals of jackasses and shitsforbrains can find peace or compromise or a budget agreement–whichever is apropos. I truly hope that happens.

If a comet or asteroid or a vengeful Pluto smashes Earth to bits, I hope only that it puts on a great show before it kacks us, and that my last thoughts aren’t whining complaints about how unfair this cataclysm is to me or how it was caused by (insert today’s scapegoat).

I hope I’d just sip a cold refreshing beverage,enjoy the pretty lights, and be grateful for the awesome ride, and love that in some distant system, some geek will look up at the sky, and dig the sheer gorgeousness of our destruction.

Happy Friday.   


7 Responses to “Critical Mass: Lent in Casablanca, Night 26”

  1. [this is good]

  2. Also, today the Writers Guild of America has posted its 101 Greatest Screenplays list. Number 1? Casablanca.

    • tomzone Says:

      I love this tidbit from “In the 1980s, this film’s script was sent to readers at a number of major studios and production companies under its original title, “Everybody Comes to Rick’s”. Some readers recognized the script but most did not. Many complained that the script was “not good enough” to make a decent movie.”


      There are two lines in the whole film that stick out and annoy me. Beyond that, I can’t fault the WGA one bit (even if they didn’t ask my opinion 😉 )

  3. “The heavens” is the best place to see beauty in destruction. Stars collapsing or exploding, galaxies colliding, shooting stars…


    Although, anything involved in the destruction might view it a little differently.

    PS: I totally expect Pluto to find us and make us paaaay for its demotion.

    • tomzone Says:

      Right. It’s not like we have any real say-so in whether a planet is really a planet or not. I mean, if The Universe decides Pluto is properly called a tangerine, we will be in no position to contradict.

  4. One minor note ehre Tom: Since Casablanca has shown on TV more than once, those waves are zooming and careening around the universe as we speak, headed for distant galaxies and places unknown. Perhaps someday, if that massive collision occurs, it will not be the end of Casablanca at all. perhaps someday, millions of eyars in teh future, some alien race, somewhere, will see it and think of jsut the exact same things you are detailing here about life and Casablanca. How the end that came was just what needed to happen and they will see us for the wise yet stupid creatures that we are and erect a giant bar at the end of the universe named Casablanca.

  5. tomzone Says:

    If I see you at the Bar at the End of the Universe, I’ll buy you a frosty adult beverage. Great comment.

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