Pine Nuts: The day after

“Remember the Maine,” was the casus belli of advocates for the Spanish American War of 1898. Just as readily, “Remember the Defender,” could become the casus belli of advocates for the Russian – United Kingdom War of 2021. And here’s how it could happen …

Vladimir Putin, Russia’s Emperor Norton, regards the Black Sea as his personal spa, and paddles his warships around on that pond to fend off aggressors. The UK warship Defender tested Russia’s red line recently and drew warning shots from a fleet of Russian patrol boats.

Hey, guys! Hold everything, we have a world pandemic we’re trying to deal with here, and a climate catastrophe that is choking us with the very air that we breathe. So knock off the insipid quarreling over venal rights to navigate the Black Sea, a dispute that could ever so quickly ignite the nuclear powder keg of World War III.

I can only imagine how doleful our Earthling obituary might read …

Earthlings were a promising experiment. They showed great capacity to create and produce amazing gadgets. Unfortunately, they were particularly adept at developing gadgets of destruction. Destructive novelties began with a cork, connected by a string to a play popgun. Air was compressed with a pump action handle, and children at play would pop that cork and laugh themselves blue in the face. In time the string broke and the loose cork popped into the ear of a playmate who in turn took a swing at the popgun perpetrator, and the fight was on. Then too, the race was on to make that cork fly faster and farther. Gunpowder was added to the popgun and the cork was discarded.

Fast forwarding a little, as time is of the essence, Earthlings discovered nuclear reactions could annihilate an enemy, a discovery that ended WWII with the obliteration of two entire cities. That horse was out of the barn, and soon enough, nine various countries had nuclear armories capable of destroying the world nine times over in nine minutes by the watch.

In the summer of 2021 the Royal Navy destroyer, Defender, crossed the red line and entered what Russia touted to be Russian Territorial Waters. Remember what happened when that string broke on the popgun? Well, that’s what happened with the Defender. All hell broke loose. The carnage escalated and escalated until not even a cockroach was left to crawl about.

I was able to pen this eulogy only because I paid Jeff Bezos a pile for a flight into space, and was lucky enough to be hovering up here when the end came down below. It was a terrible thing to witness. And as there is no longer a place to land this spacecraft, well, this eulogy will continue to float around out here in the dark night of space long after I’m gone. Another life form will eventually discover it I suppose, and stand in awe over a once promising experiment on a Planet called Earth …

Learn more about McAvoy Layne at

Support Local Journalism


Support Local Journalism

Readers around Lake Tahoe, Truckee, and beyond make the Sierra Sun's work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.

Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User