Memo from Ursa Major: An Introduction to the Alaska Nanooks

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Over the transom it came, thrust rudely into a thread devoted to other things, introduced only with a terse "Presented without comment."

A bare YouTube link toward the end of a work day marked mainly by fury, ineptitude, and second-guessing, a day that took place nigh-entirely on treacherous terrain consisting of the shifting sands of ill-defined and undesigned revision cycles; it might well have gone unclicked.  

In some nightmarish alternate universe, I didn't click on the link, I stagger around, essentially crippled north of the heart, devoid of joy, a miserable, bleak creature adrift in a society valuing only the meanest and most brutal measures of worth: accumulation displayed, domination attained. Only, in this imagined life I did not know, in this dark world untasted, I would not have seen this excellent and valuable video. So that would be a difference. Stick-tap, as always, to Bogdan von Pylon for the link—truly is he the man who squats behind the man who works the soft machine.

0:00—0:27: Shimmer, haze, aurora borealis with hints of bear. An icebreaker. And, in this viewer, a complicated response to the Alan Parsons Project sample that in one life underwrote the hated Bulls' overwrought intro, when they mattered, that in another was in a song I liked probably even more than your occasionally erupting into inexplicable violence father did, in still another a sped-up sample in another song I liked. Obviously, I'm nervously filling time until...

0:28: HOLY HELL A BEAR A LIGHTNING BEAR A HUGE LIGHTNING BEAR... I think he hates that ice-breaker.

0:43: The bear has extruded a hockey stick of eldritch lightning. (Is he Teemu Selanne?)

0:49: The bear has, with his hockey stick of eldritch lightning, gone full Marty McSorley on the breaker of ice.

0:51: Like so much post-pun David Caruso, the bear applies sunglasses and surely now we can settle down and see what in sweet fiery creation this video might actually be about—

0:52: Okay, multiple bears in fighter jets are tipping salutes to each other.

1:01: The bears are unleashing hell. Bombs fall upon Miami University, Ohio State, and Michigan State. Enemies thus crushed, certainly now will the bears retire to their caves to wallow in sad satisfaction—

1:13: OKAY NOW THE BEARS ARE DROPPING BOMBS INTO VOLCANOES

1:29: They have...the bears have destroyed the very earth. The bears have destroyed a mighty ship of the northern seas, three institutes of higher learning and mid-level hockey, and finally the planet. The video is not yet over.

1:30: A bear hurtles through what's obviously a rip in the space-time continuum.  (Note: two of the three bears are now no longer present; if hockey be played on other worlds, may their anti-bearcraft defenses be sturdier than ours.)

1:33: The fighter jet comes apart like Jek Tono Porkins' X-Wing and perhaps we're all safe—no. This major ursine has reëxtruded his glowing stick and set his sights on...

1:41: A building, floating on a chunk of terra firma in otherwise empty (thought lightning-crackled) space...

1:42: ...And there goes the roof. Girders clatter. We are welcomed.

1:44: SKATES THE BEAR IS WEARING SKATES.

1:46: In the least surprising moment of the video, the bear calls for and receives the puck.

1:49: Tees up a slapper!

1:51: Shoots so hard the net explodes. The bear, obviously, is Shea Weber.

1:56: Roaring post-goal bear and we—are—consumed.

1:57: Deep inside the bear, a logo. It is time. We know the time. The logo hangs mutely before us as we come to terms with what has been and whatever is to be as we pass through the bear.

—FIN—

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