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Chronicle of the NonPop Revolution


 
The Essay
Show #58
The Tunguska Firebird
David Gunn
At sunrise on a June afternoon 88 years ago today, the once tranquil area near the Tunguska River in Siberia -- that is, the Lower Tunguska, not the Upper Tunguska nor the Stony Tunguska Rivers, both of which follow their more famous sister into the swollen Yenisei River, whose interminable journey north from the Tuva Republic to the Arctic Ocean is interrupted only by the occasional hydroelectric barrier and vodka vineyard and whose fragrant silt is often celebrated in song, though not on today's show because we have been unable to translate the Siberian dialect to insure it's appropriateness for radio play -- was the site of a tremendous explosion that had the force of a modern H-bomb -- not H as in hydroponics, which coincidentally was the experimental basis of growth for the previously mentioned vodka vineyard, the result of which, newsworthy in its own right, has, like its silt-songed counterpart, yet to be deciphered from the substantially-seriphed Siberian scrawl, but H as in colossal -- and which took place at an altitude of several kilometers. Although the explosion flattened trees from Katmandu to the Irkutsk farmer's market, from Ulan Bator to the Eiffel Tower, no crater was formed and, aside from some microscopic nodules extracted from the soil near Novocainsk, no recognizable fragments remain from what UFOlogists theorize was a midair collision between a small, ugly comet and a sleek, extraterrestrial spacecraft, a hypothesis bolstered by their acknowledged misinterpretation, exaggeration and falsification of relevant data. The subsequent observance in the immediate area of what has been termed "The Tunguska Fireball," or le flambeau oriange, of mile-high luxury townhouses with crystalline roofs and pulsating towers of ivory, surrounded by angular embankments of blue, spongelike material that reeked of scorched fennel, does lend some credence to their claim. In 1976, 20 years ago today, the structures suddenly vanished. Concomitant with that mysterious disappearance, the Republic of Seychilles, a sleepy archipelago in the Indian Ocean, declared independence from England. Serendipitously enough, the Seychilles Islands have for the past 88 years been known for exporting coconuts, cinnamon, vanilla and patchouli, an enigmatic commodity which have been clinically proven to contain microscopic nodules of extraterrestrial spacecraft fragments. Coincidence? You be the judge.

And today, in fact, is Judgment Day on Kalvos & Damian's newly named New Music Bazaar, a day when you, our listening audient, may deem what issues forth from your radiophonic speakers as musically appropriate or not and, in an attempt to imbue our show with extra quality control, we will heed your appraisal and act accordingly, although probably in a manner which is intangible to all but the most vigilant of listeners.

In light of this, we rededicate today Vigilante Day, and salute the tireless members of the musical militia as they infiltrate and harass those of you who elect to unwind to the soothing strains of a Montovani LP, or the lush arrangements backing a Julie London torch song. So for all of you listeners who for years have been afraid to come out of your easy listening, light sounds closet ... oh never mind.

This portion of Kalvos & Damian's New Music Bazaar is beholden to no one.

And now, it's time to empty your minds of all practical thoughts and join us on an euphonious journey down the path of harmonic enlightenment. Your conductor awaits.