The Sun and the Statue

The fidget spinners are gone and there is a new fad in town. Solar Eclipse glasses. In a matter of weeks the average price of a 10-pack of Solar Eclipse glasses went from $8 to $159.00. These special glasses are not expensive to make according to this article.

The frames of eclipse glasses are made of cardboard, and the lenses are made of a special solar film that must comply with the current safety standard, ISO 12312-2. The cost of making a pair of eclipse glasses ranges between 30 and 70 cents. According to data collected by SellerCloud from actual sales by users of its program, the average retail price per pair of eclipse glasses sold was $7.15.

The public demand increased the average price to rise by 2000%. Our infatuation with not being left out made a lot of money for those smart enough to cash in on the latest fad.
Who can blame us? Who wants to miss out on something that might only happen every 375 years.

Wait, every 375 years? I thought the total Solar Eclipse would occur sometime in April 2024? I should have prefaced – a total Solar Eclipse on average takes about 375 years to occur at the same location. I guess this Solar Eclipse was the chance of a life time for some folk.

This past week has had some interesting headlines – from ‘Bannon is Out’, ‘Trump Chooses War’, ‘Game of Thrones is in Decline’ to ‘White Supremacist in Charlottesville’ and ‘Down with the Statues’.

Yet for a few brief moments yesterday people all over the United States forgot about our troubles and united around a spectacular event. This amazes me. ‘Myspace Tom’ on his Instagram account advised his followers that instead of looking up, they should look around at all the others focused on the the radioactive ball of fire 93 million miles away.

For a moment we were so fascinated with an event, that it eclipsed our current social issues by reminding us of our insignificance in the grand scheme of celestial objects. Under the darkness of the Sun we couldn’t see what was written on each other’s picket signs. Why are we as a society like this? Why do we crave the next craze? Whether it’s fidget spinners or a statue that doesn’t agree with your version of history? We seem to latch onto whatever trend we can to distract ourselves from the trivial role we play in this Universe. Are we as humans that naive to think we can conquer the Universe while being triggered by inanimate objects? The American dream isn’t dead – it isn’t racist – and it sure isn’t a fad. The American experiment of individual freedom is still being written. If in 4 billion years our Milky way collides with the Andromeda Galaxy and by some miracle our tiny planet Earth is still around – I hope whatever intelligent life that may visit our surface will find our imperfect culture, our faults, our coliseums, and our mausoleums. Perhaps they will see us for what we are: glass stained windows; we may look jagged and crooked up close, but if you stand back far enough – we begin to look like art.




And as always, thank you for reading.

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