By Greg O’Brien, Codfish Press
In an unsettling week that saw the solar system expanding to 12 planets, the discovery of creepy Frankenstein grass engineered in a lab and growing wild in the fields of central Oregon, and the shelling of Red Sox pitchers for 47 runs at the hands of Bronx bats (12.67 bullpen ERA), our lives cry out for normalcy—relief from an Alice in Wonderland world where “nothing would be what it is because everything would be what it isn’t.”
In the blink of a celestial eye, scientists turned the universe on its cauliflower ear with the “discovery” of three new planets: Ceres, an asteroid of a sphere between Mars and Jupiter; Charon, once considered a stepsister of Pluto; and exotic Xena, now the outermost planet, at least until scientists declare new ones.
If that wasn’t earth shaking enough, an unsanctioned form of genetically engineered, herbicide-resistant grass was found growing at will outside an Oregon lab, suggesting “agricultural biotechnology cannot be adequately controlled,” The New York Times reported. Yikes! We’re heading to a plant and animal kingdom of genetic copies and clones.
The Friday-Saturday-Sunday Red Sox drubbing doesn’t deserve comment, other than to say Josh Beckett gave up more walks than the Freedom Trail.
This clearly was the weekend to be in absentia from earth. No better place to flee than Nantucket where the real and imagined are clearly defined—a place in summer that offers more captains of industry per square inch than Manhattan, Los Angeles and Chicago combined, more heavenly bodies than a star-flecked sky, and locals that are as real as beach plums. Out in ‘Sconset on the island’s refined eastern edge, nestled between rose-grown bluffs and waves of cranberry bogs, Charon and Xena are not “plutons,” but names that are likely to surface on the guest list at The Summer House—a snug and elegant escape that offers up a Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald mise en scene, as its owners promise. The only news to be generated this side of the island, nurtured from 17th century fishing shanties, is Channel 5’s Natalie Jacobson having lunch on the open sitting porch overlooking a wide swath of the Atlantic or summer resident John Kerry dining on seared halibut and jumbo lump crab.
No word either on Iraq, Colombian drug lords or Joe Lieberman’s independent streak in the wide broadsheet weekly Inquirer & Mirror, just a lead story on high energy Selectman Doug Bennett running for state senate by chasing cars around rotaries, and a sobering business piece on how millionaire summer people aren’t spending as much money this season. “The goose that laid the golden egg is severely annihilated,” proffers taxi-driver Bruce Watts, a former selectmen and retired fire chief.
Ah, Nantucket, the perfect perspective for a world on the whack. Cellphone coverage is spotty here, news is a day late, and the rich, it seems, are a dollar short. It’s perfect, just perfect! I think I’ll have the native striped bass tonight.