Darkness Shortage!

The wonderfully astute fellows at boing-boing, a few weeks ago posted a link to an article about the "Global Darkness Shortage."

At first, I thought perhaps this article would have something to do with the increasing prevalence of octoroons in the media. I myself have been wondering where all these octoroons are coming from, and a genetic darkness shortage of some kind would certainly make a lot of sense to me. It would be a terrible blow to multiculturalism, were we to run out of darkness.

I began reading the article with the following Masta Ace lyric in mind:

"I'm ghetto like them chicks that hate kobe's white fiancee
And wanna try to fight her, Brandy and Beyonce."

As I dug deeper into the article, I realized that this was not the kind of darkness the article was referring to. They in fact mean the type of darkness that prevents one from seeing one's own hand in front of one's own face. The type of darkness that seeps out of alleys and collects in pools in the deep, clutching forests of German fairy tales. The kind of darkness that is always disrespected by know-it-all scientists (who actually don't know-it-all) who go about defining it as the absence of light. This is a desperately important type of darkness both in regards to our quality of life and the horror movie industry. If this darkness shortage is as bad as it seems, it is certainly a sign of the apocalypse.

I also found an article in Spacing magazine which suggests that this is a significant problem even in Toronto, where I currently reside. The article wistfully recalled the lusciously obsidian evenings which occurred during last year's blackout. Oh how I agree! I recall that I, in order to honour the jet-black sky embedded with sparkling fragments of crystal, took my deepest, darkest red wine and poured three bottles into a gigantic Baccarat crystal decanter and went out into a public park. The last thing I remember before succumbing to that delicious blackness was spreading good-will towards all by delighting young women with a surprise fondling from my old, gnarled, but still wondrously manful fingers.

I can only imagine how many young women went home thinking, "Lo! I am truly blessed to have received such a miraculously firm yet subtle groping. I feel so invigorated and feminine. Those manful and manicured fingers, it must have been Von Mustard, but now where has that playful knave disappeared to?" And then they would presumably titter and cover their mouths and head home to pen passionate perfume-soaked epistles.

It was then that I fully realized what a tragedy it is that the modern world has lost the providence of smothering darkness which our primitive forefathers were blessed enough to experience night after night.

Don't get me wrong, I believe that a drawing room, such as the modern jewel of a room in my own home, should be cheerful and golden, lit with the best gas-lamps the twenty-first century has to offer, and it should sparkle deep into the evening, whether one is entertaining company or simply relaxing at home lounging about in nothing but shirt-sleeves and a tie. However!, this cheery glow should not be allowed to leak out of the home, and when one steps into the street one should instantly be hit with a black tsunami of heavy, dripping darkness.

This is the perfect challenge for a wealthy industrialist such as myself and I have already taken it upon myself to go about fixing the problem.

The local situation should be easy to remedy, I will simply use my Shattenmaschine, which I mentioned in one of my earlier posts about the difficulties of zeppellin travel in a post 9/11 environment, to generate a great cloud of darkness to hang over Toronto to suck up all the light pollution leaking from family homes and choke the pitiful little streetlights.
Considering his usual tendency towards idiocy, Matthew actually did an admirable job explaining the Schattenmaschine in the comments to that article and I will quote him here:

"As an aside, a Schattenmaschine is not a bicycle precursor, it is a large engine containing certain rare crystals and noble gases which somehow generates immense, but somehow curiously unremarkable, shadows. As far as I know the only one in existence is contained in Von Mustard's Zepellin and I am not at all clear on the principles by which the machine works. It apparently has something to do with introducing "shadowy corpuscles" into the "formative matrix of the ether itself."

Of course, as we can see he has a very limited comprehension of the tenets of advanced corpuscular physics, but through judicious quoting of someone much smarter than himself, he has managed to get the point across.

The Spacing magazine article suggested that "the most serious impediment to the campaign to reduce light pollution is the public's fear that if light levels are reduced our city streets will become unsafe." This is a valid concern and in order to avoid this problem I have genetically engineered several thousand gigantic mugger-hunting vampire bats which I will release into the first night of man-made shadow in order to assuage the public's fears. The loud leathery flapping of their wings, invisible in the darkness above, should be reassurance enough, but, just in case, I have trained them to land their entire fifty furry pounds upon the shoulder of passing citizens as they walk the streets so that they can actually feel the warm presence of protection.

As far as the global problem goes, I know from personal experience that the deepest darkest Congo has a grave and deadly excess of darkness. Lord man, that darkness was so thick it would clot in a man's nostrils and choke him if he did not keep his hankerchief over his nose and mouth, even during the day. After eighteen days and nights, I pressed my musket close against the velvet flesh of Ricardo, the world's only literate panther, and told I would let him live because his critical essays on James Joyce's Dubliners had touched me deeply. He then shook my hand with his paw and we parted best of friends.

But I digress, I shall get Alphonso to work syphoning off the excess darkness from the Congo and distributing it to those cities most in need.

Or black holes, that would work too.


Blogger me said...

hey Von Mustard,
any chance you've been in the Mississauga area lately? there have been many groping reports recently. and, with many public areas shut off after, oh, i don't know, 9 pm, there's lots of darkness round dees heer parts.

8:10 p.m.  
Blogger Bottle Rocket Fire Alarm said...

Those who are darkness-deficient can use some fine twine and a slim needle to thread one eye shut, thereby reducing incoming light by half.

Just a notion.

4:37 p.m.  

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