One of the challenges of knowing the Secret History of the World is that it somewhat spoils you for most other versions of history.
I’ve heard various ideas about the origin of firecrackers. It does look like they originated in ancient China, and, as you know, that period of history as part of the Secret War of the Alchemists, heavily torn between those who wanted more Ancient Alien knowledge, and those who thought that the human race needed to expand and grow on its own.
I’d like to honor the origin of the firecracker, and, of course, the particularly clever alchemists involved. Because, even if we exclude the whole Wan Hu incident, which was, admittedly, hilarious, they showed us what I think is some of the best of human ingenuity: the idea that we ought to combine the utility of technology with the technology of culture.
Would we have otherwise been able to forget the memories of the Pyramid Wars? Perhaps. I mean, I really think that Set and Enkidu went over some lines, and it probably wasn’t actually necessary to send that gigantic mechanized snake to devour the Sun, simply to piss off the Sun-Eating Alien Invaders.
But it did set a bit of a precedent: “Those Earthlings are insane enough that they’ll destroy their OWN Sun rather than let you eat it!”
Obviously, yes, we had lost the majority of the Hidden Technology of the Seventh Age by the time firecrackers came into vogue. But what a brilliant idea! First, teaching humans to associate brightly-colored explosions in the sky with celebrations, rather than various attempts by warring extraterrestrials to steal our pineal glands…I mean, that, right there, was genius.
Sure, in general, I mourn our lost knowledge. I’m sad that most humans no longer realize how important the Pineal Gland is in understanding the general surreality of the Universe, and the Neocortex alone isn’t particularly able to make sense of the word without it. But at least, if some sort of big blue-yellow-orange thing explodes in the sky on a holiday, nobody has to leap out of bed screaming, “NO, THAT’S MY THIRD EYE AND YOU CAN’T HAVE IT!”
And yeah, obviously extraterrestrials can tell the difference between decorative kabooms, and Pyramidal Techno-Magic. But the message we’re sending is clear:
“That wacky planet is STILL WACKY; and they may no longer control the Sphinx, but if we get them mad, who knows what they’re going to do?”
Which is true. The ingenious human mind is capable of just about anything. And we make DAMN sure that Aliens know it.
I mean, okay, probably being perpetually on the brink of total self-annihilation is also intimidating. But seriously, fellow humans, that part really is optional. They’re already scared of us. We bluffed them good.
We don’t have to actually prove them right, you know.
My name is Jeff Mach (“Dark Lord” is optional) and I build communities, put on events, and make stories come into being. You can get most of my books right here. Go ahead, pre-order “I HATE Your Prophecy“. It may make you into a bad person, but I can live with that.