Post the Facts / Shoot the Kids

At first: a fifth grader, smarter than the Smithsonian, noticed that the Precambrian had been misrepresented, misnamed among the granite halls, the absolute exhibit of trilobites, the row of official postcards, and the quantifiable cost of admission, adding insult to a bleak prehistory. Thirteen-year-old Nestor, devising his own brand of cosmic motion, declared NASA had miscalculated the odds that Toutatis asteroids would collide with the earth, swab off the coastlines and close the sun indefinitely. 2039. If asteroids arrive, Nestor will see them through eyes that are forty-one years old. The museum has a perfect skeleton of Velociraptor (complete with the same ragged claws he used in Jurassic Park to tear into geneticists). A child asks the curator: professional, hell, he’s wearing a badge, how many of these bones were actually dug up from the ground, carbon dated, proven to be artifacts that bitched above the hills of what is not the Gobi desert. The curator cannot answer. Like a minor coup d’état, the nation’s children are taking over.

—Jeremiah Webster

RE:AL 36.1 Spring/Summer 2012

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