By Kate Clinton on July 10, 2012

Once again disappointment humps my leg. It’s still early but so far this summer I have not been invited to one Higgs boson Discovery party. And I have an amazing outfit. Not to give it all away, but I had consulted with several Lady Gaga designers.

Do people not know how amazing the discovery of the Higgs boson really is? They know all things Kardashian, Holmes-Cruise and America’s Got Talent but they don’t know Higgs. On a scale of one to Copernicus, it’s huge.

Researchers at the European Organization for Nuclear Research’s (CERN) Large Hadron Collider straddling the Swiss-French border recently found the footprint of the so-called God particle and it’s not Roger Federer. They postulate that the particle will give the building blocks of matter mass and explain some basic facts about the universe, like why summer Cape traffic jams up so infuriatingly on the rotary to the Sagamore Bridge.

Like many science reporters, I am no good explaining the details of CERN’s intensive, expensive experiments or the ramifications of the discovery for future generations, but I can’t wait for the anti-evolution creationists, flat earthers and atheists to start trying to ‘splain away this thing.

The folks down at the Creation Museum, who think the world came full form out of God’s head four thousand years ago, are going to pretend that the Big Bang date of fourteen billion years ago is a misprint. Too many zeros. They can’t count that high because they were the children left behind in math class.

The yammering atheists will never believe there is a god particle. They are convinced that their well-articulated lack of belief will bring down the whole religious-industrial complex. As if the Catholic Church needs any help with self-destruction.

Of course some have claimed that they discovered the Higgs boson first. Google’s self-congratulatory claim that they’d found it in .004 seconds was discredited as was HRC’s claim that they had a team of LGBT scientists working on it for years. Even my beloved’s claim that she had found it while colliding some artisanal beets in her new Brevill centrifugal juicer is under dispute.

But she did make a divine borscht. We will serve it at our own Higgs boson party.

If you liked this article by Kate Clinton, a columnist for The Progressive magazine, check out some of her other pieces by clicking here.

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By Wendell Berry

Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front

Love the quick profit, the annual raise,
vacation with pay. Want more 
of everything ready made. Be afraid 
to know your neighbors and to die.
And you will have a window in your head.
Not even your future will be a mystery 
any more. Your mind will be punched in a card 
and shut away in a little drawer.
When they want you to buy something 
they will call you. When they want you
to die for profit they will let you know. 
So, friends, every day do something
that won’t compute. Love the Lord. 
Love the world. Work for nothing. 
Take all that you have and be poor.
Love someone who does not deserve it. 
Denounce the government and embrace 
the flag. Hope to live in that free 
republic for which it stands. 
Give your approval to all you cannot
understand. Praise ignorance, for what man 
has not encountered he has not destroyed.
Ask the questions that have no answers. 
Invest in the millennium. Plant sequoias.
Say that your main crop is the forest
that you did not plant,
that you will not live to harvest.


Say that the leaves are harvested 
when they have rotted into the mold.
Call that profit. Prophesy such returns.
Put your faith in the two inches of humus 
that will build under the trees
every thousand years.
Listen to carrion—put your ear
close, and hear the faint chattering
of the songs that are to come. 
Expect the end of the world. Laugh. 
Laughter is immeasurable. Be joyful
though you have considered all the facts. 
So long as women do not go cheap 
for power, please women more than men.
Ask yourself: Will this satisfy 
a woman satisfied to bear a child?
Will this disturb the sleep 
of a woman near to giving birth? 
Go with your love to the fields.
Lie easy in the shade. Rest your head 
in her lap. Swear allegiance 
to what is nighest your thoughts.
As soon as the generals and the politicos 
can predict the motions of your mind, 
lose it. Leave it as a sign 
to mark the false trail, the way 
you didn’t go. Be like the fox 
who makes more tracks than necessary, 
some in the wrong direction.
Practice resurrection.

Wendell Berry is a poet, farmer, and environmentalist in Kentucky. This poem, first published in 1973, is reprinted by permission of the author and appears in his “New Collected Poems” (Counterpoint).

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