Is it a Bird? a Plane? a Satire?

In Current reading, Drafts, Music, proto drafts, Querying, Synopsis on January 6, 2015 at 8:38 am

The question arises because of the wording of my draft query.

(I’ve pared down the synopsis to one thousand five hundred and fifteen words so, agent/trainee, if you stop at fifteen hundred, you’ll miss the punch line. Sorry.)

Back to the draft query where I mention my lifelong admiration for François Rabelais and Jonathan Swift. If the recipient of my query is an agent in training, he/she may ask: François… Jonathan… who? Same as fans of Kanye West discovering the existence of one Paul McCartney. For one. More to the point, admiration or not, is my story a satire? As is so often the case when I put questions to myself, the answer is: yes; and no. Or: part-satire, part what-if.

The what-if arises from something I may or may not tackle in the next story. Something I’ve wondered about for a long time. Nowadays, we have phones, optic fiber, satellites,  and distance communication strikes us as a natural extension of basic human rights. But way way back when none of those technologies existed, how is it that humans in far-flung places developed new skills, tools and stories in approximately the same time frames? Why do we say “it was in the air” or “the time was right” when a discovery turns out to have several inventors, notwithstanding the official record?

The satire part? Also there, and my thanks to the unknown people at news laundry for their excellent take-off on Mr. Modri’s notions on the skills of the Ancients. The elephant head on the god Ganesh – proof of evolved Indian surgical skills back in the mists of time? Eighteen-meter airplanes pre-dating (or explaining) the flight of Garuda? That sort of thing. In other words: the debunking of the pseudo-miraculous. The better to clear the field for the unexplained.

So, satire, yes, at one level. At another, unanswered questions. To which humans may find answers some day. Or not.




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