7.2 – History Week

Hello there. As you well know, faithful listeners, it is Night Vale History Week, in which we all learn a little bit about what made our bustling little town what it is. Or, as the official motto released by the City Council goes: “Poke about in the black recesses of the past until it devours our fragile present.”

In the interest of civic participation, Night Vale Community Radio will be pitching in with short lessons about some points of interest from our town’s history, starting with 4000 BC. Archaeologists believe that this is the earliest date of human settlement in Night Vale. Little remains of these ancient inhabitants, except a few cave paintings of their towns and their hunting practices, and of the dark shapes that would watch them in the distance… inhuman, shimmering shapes that never came closer or farther away, but whose presence could be felt even with eyes shut tight, huddled in fur and the company of another human’s naked skin.

Or so I’m extrapolating from the evidence. The cave paintings mainly resemble smudges now, after their original discoverer attempted to power-wash them off the wall because he, on religious grounds, did not believe in the past.

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7.5 – History Week

And now, let us continue with our Night Vale History Week special feature.

The year 1745. The first white men arrived in Night Vale, which was not Night Vale then, but was rather just another part of a large and featureless desert. I think we can all agree, though, that even as large and featureless as the desert was, the part that would eventually become Desert Bluffs was still probably awful and drab in comparison to our part.

In any case, the story goes that a party of explorers came to the area that would be Night Vale, looked around, and immediately left to go find somewhere with more water and maybe some trees. Then another three parties of explorers did the same thing. Then finally one party of explorers all looked at each other, shrugged, and plopped down their stuff. And thus was a proud city born.

7.7 – History Week

The year 1824. The first meeting of the Town Elder Council, predecessors to the City Council. Picture them: crimson robes and soft meat crowns, as was traditional at the time, setting the groundwork for the splendor of today’s Night Vale.

A number of elements of our modern civic process were invented in that single three-hour meeting, including the City Council membership, since unchanged… the lovably Byzantine tax system, as well as the system of brutal penalties for mistakes… and the official town song, chant, and moan. All records of this meeting were destroyed, and, according to a note being passed to me just now— I am to report to City Hall for re-education, effective tomorrow morning.

Oh, dear.

7.11 – History Week

Let’s return to another key moment in Night Vale history.

The year 1943. As part of the war effort, Night Vale citizens dedicated themselves to chanting. The young, the old, men and women alike gathered around their bloodstones and chanted for the victory of the United States. While some credit must be given to the strategic planning of U.S. Command and to the brave fighting of American soldiers, most reputable scholars believe that Night Vale’s chanting was the deciding factor in America’s eventual victory over the Axis powers. The City Council erected a seven-story monument in Grove Park saying so in large, neon letters, until a federal lawsuit forced them to take it down.

And now, a word from our sponsors. That word is carp.

7.12 – History Week

This next installment in our exploration of Night Vale’s storied past takes place in the future. The year 2052. The scion of the Dark Order will descend, realize he mistimed the prophecy, and re-ascend. The seventh siege of the great Night Vale Temple will rage on. The plague of buzzing boils will kill thousands, and annoy thousands more with its buzzing. The City Council will reveal its true form and eat half of Night Vale’s population. Approval ratings for the mayor will hover in the low forties, which will be surprising, as there will have been no mayor for over thirty years.

And now, the weather.

[“Despite What You’ve Been Told” by Two Gallants.]

7.14 – History Week

For our final story in this week’s featured look into the history of Night Vale, let’s look at the very recent past. Yesterday. I had cereal for breakfast, a sandwich for lunch, steak for dinner. Cars were driven. Cars were not driven. The sun gave a great shout of light and then, after several hours of thought, quietly retracted the statement. Old Woman Josie dug up a box in a shady corner of her yard and carried it, cradled in her arms like a baby or a delicate explosive, to another part of her yard, where she buried it again. An unknown person did something that no one else saw, the nature and extent of which is impossible to determine, and the result of which will be lost in the chaotic chain of causation and consequence that is history.

But most importantly, all of us, all of us here in Night Vale, in America, in the world, in the secret orbital bases— all of us got through another day. We passed the time from one end of twelve to the other without stopping once. Well done, us! Good job, people who experience time. Time experiencers, good job! And from this moment in history, the one that’s happening right now… good night.

10.7 – Feral Dogs

Let’s have a look at the community calendar.

This Sunday afternoon, the Night Vale Fire Department will be holding its bi-weekly Fireperson Appreciation Parade. All of the town’s firefighters will be riding through main street on their bright red engines, which will be turned into floats depicting some of the greatest fires in Night Vale’s history. One of my personal favorites is the 1983 earthquake dust fire, when tremor-initiated fires became so intense that the airborne sand burst into deadly flames. Nearly the entire city population was lost, and the FDNV does a fantastic job capturing the drama with streamers and papier-mâché.

The Fire Department would like to remind Night Vale citizens that the parade is free, and to check your coffee makers and gas stoves before you leave home, because they will not fight any fires while the parade is happening.

On Monday, the staff of Dark Owl Records will be wearing sweater vests.

Tuesday night is the Boy Scouts’ Court of Honor. The BSA will name its first-ever Blood Pact Scouts, the rank just above Eagle Scout. So far, no scout has attained the coveted position of Eternal Scout, but we have heard that two local boys, Franklin Wilson and Barton Donovan, have earned the Invisibility Badge, which is a prerequisite for the rank. Well done, Frank and Barty!

Wednesday afternoon is the city-wide Fitness Fair at the rec center. Last year’s event was canceled, as it was held on the same day and time as the Fried Chicken & Cigarette Fair. This year’s event, however, promises to be a huge success, as they have secured a large corporate sponsorship from the Intelligence Group International, who will provide free prostate screenings, mammograms, and surgically embedded government monitoring devices.

Thursday morning, the National Weather Service and National Security Agency have scheduled a giant sandstorm.

Friday is an oasis. Only a metaphor for something unattainable. A haunting dream of meaning for our lives, but don’t look. Turn your head. Your life is here. Stay here. You are alone. You are so peacefully alone. That’s it. Yes. Good.

10.11 – Feral Dogs

This just in: two more schoolchildren were attacked by the wild dogs this morning near the playground at Night Vale Elementary School. One of the boys was taken to Night Vale General with treatable leg injuries. The other boy, we understand, was unharmed, because he was a better boy, and more loved by the angels.

We’ve also received confirmation that a handful of mangy curs broke into the Senior Center, stole their televisions, and made the internet stop working. This has gotten out of hand, ladies and gentlemen. We simply cannot live in fear for our safety because of wild dogs.

Allow me a brief editorial here, if you would. First off: please, have your pets fixed. It’s an inexpensive and quick process. You can take your dog or cat to the Night Vale SPCA, to your local veterinarian, or to Big Rico’s Pizza. Rico studies taxidermy as a hobby, so he’s happy to help out in whatever way he can.

Second, many of these dog packs are formed by dogs that are not raised to be loved, but bred to fight. Trainers are teaching these dogs everything from jujitsu to kickboxing to knifework. This is simply unacceptable. Dogfighting is illegal, cruel to animals, and a danger to society when these dogs are untethered.

But we are a strong, united community here in Night Vale. We must stand up to violence. Our town was founded by peace-loving imperialist conquerors who, to escape taxation, overwhelmed a potentially violent race of indigenous people and founded this beautiful city on principles of family, fortitude, fence-building, and friendly propaganda. Let’s not forget our long-standing town motto: “We have nothing to fear except ourselves— we are unholy, awful people. Fear ourselves with silence. Look down, Night Vale. Look down, and forget what you’ve done.” That is the motto of a determined, unified community.

And now, the weather.

[“I Know This” by Rachel Kann.]