I have no idea if many of you know about Cerebus the Aardvark, or his creator Dave Sim’s three decade-long committment to the story of the earth pig (6000 pages; 300 issues beginning in 1977; completed 2004).
Anyway, one of my favourite passages appears in Volume 4 Church and State II (the collected issues 81-111), Cerebus ‘ascends’ to the moon and meets an all-seeing, all-knowing character called the Judge (based on Marvel’s Watcher character, drawn in the style of the judge from Jules Feiffer’s Little Murders).
Among other things, the Judge describes our future as a race: mankind will land on the moon; this will be the first in a series of events that lead to the development of space-based weapons and the means to destroy the sun at the push of a button.
The upshot is that, according to the Judge, this button will be pushed, ending all life in the solar system.
This has stuck my mind for years as a succinct summary of where we’re at pollitically, and scientifically. And it hasn’t dated yet.
We surely will invent that device (the sun is pretty wildly unstable, offering plenty of avenues of exploration), and that button will be pushed.
Right now, we’re at the less intense end of the spectrum. We’ve had nuclear weapons for more than half a century, used them a lot in testing, and used large scale weapons twice in anger. Smaller scale weapons, no comment.
And now, after 50 years of enforced chastity, some of our leaders are absolutely drooling for an opportunity to do it again, particularly among the Bushcons.
Anyone can go to Baghdad. Real men go to Tehran, or at least nuke big chunks of Iran. (link)
Imagine if these guys could destroy the sun at the touch of a button, especially the ones with heads full of sugar plum fairies and eschatology, rapture and end-times.