September 20, 2014 at 10:28 am

Shoot Some Asteroids and Contemplate Copernicus?

By Lori Bauer

In his new book In Praise of Nothing: Essays, Memoir, and Experiments, Dr. Eric LeMay gives readers an opportunity to shoot some asteroids while joining him in a contemplation of Copernicus and our fascination—sometimes addiction—with ourselves.

Eric LeMay's cosmo asteroid screen shotPlay along with LeMay at On Cosmology. The game is modeled on the old arcade game, Asteroids, and the essay is in the voice of Werner Herzog.

(Just start hitting the space bar and the asteroids will come.)

“As a matter of principle, I refuse to look up at the stars, as though that streaked and speckled image of the heavens which supposedly strikes us with awe and sublime wonder, weren’t, in truth, an enduring falsification and spiritual suppository for mental cowards unwilling to see, before their very eyes, the blatant emptiness that engulfs an earth and promises neither life, nor hope, nor God,” LeMay writes after the first onslaught on a few asteroids.

(Hit the cursor again to continue.)

“So I honor Copernicus, who shook humanity from its delusional slumber. Copernicus refused to believe that we sit like royalty at the center of a harmonious university, encircled by intervening angels, as though our very existence weren’t in actuality a matter of chance and our very consciousness an evolutionary fluke. We could have just as easily been shrieking baboons in a senseless jungle.”

(Just keep playing—and reading.)

LeMay is Assistant Professor of Creative Writing: Nonfiction in the College of Arts & Sciences at Ohio University.

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