The Astronomy of Aid: Stars and Starlets in International Development

All universes have their stars. It is therefore not surprising that International Development, as its own little universe, has produced both stars and starlets.

In the following, I classify and characterize some of the most prominent and luminous celestial bodies. They can be seen almost every day and night in the sky projected onto us by global media, and many of them have become experts in using this space to shower us with their radiation, whether we like it or not.

Old Stars (some burnt out, but many still shining)

We all know their names. This does not mean that we have actually read their books (although we tend to cite them regularly). They have clustered in different spheres of the universe and thus formed its cornerstones. They have been where many of us will never go. We owe them for their discoveries as well as their failures.

Solar Systems (created to produce light, but often only glimmering)

Commonly institutionalized, they are constellations of stars and other matter. They determine the orbits of Starlets. It is common for them to form cosmic alliances with Very Bright Stars for mutual increases in universal legitimacy.

Very Bright Stars (bathing in their own radiance)

They were born as small stars but, through both celestial coincidence and deliberate repositioning in Solar Systems, have ascended into the center of the universe. They are, so they claim, deeply committed to increasing its overall lumen, ideally however as a result of their own light. They do not tolerate any stars that shine in a different spectrum and oscillate frantically if another star dares to throw a partial shade on their shiny surface. They are known for shortening other rising stars’ lifespans, sometimes through Solar-Systemic interventions. They are also the most important creators of supernovas, although Very Bright Stars only claim credit for the light and not for the subsequent explosion.

Transuniversal Stars (born in other universes)

Often born in universes of lighter matter, they already were stars before entering ours. They did not force themselves into it; many of them were pulled in by Very Bright Stars. They usually don’t really understand which spectrum of light is shone upon them, let alone which kind of light they themselves should emit. They are just happy to be part of the whole thing and to increase their overall radiance. Some of them even like it so much that they adopt little bits of Star Dust from the darker parts of the universe.

Battle Stars (solid matter, but often outshone)

They are the true stars, and they know it. The galactic problem is that they are regularly outshone by Very Bright Stars, although the latter are made of much lighter matter. In response, Battle Stars send out occasional rays of brilliant light, powerful enough to damage Brighter Stars’ surface substantially. Everyone in the universe lucky enough to notice this radiation cherishes these truly inspirational moments.  But life is not fair, and neither is the universe; solar systems as inert constructs don’t switch central stars lightly.

Starlets of Emission (always on mission)

They make up a sizable group of celestial bodies in the universe of International Development. They travel great distances but almost always orbit within one of the major Solar Systems. Their allegiance causes habitual alliances with some of the Very Bright Stars, although few Starlets actually understand this spectrum of light. They simply enjoy the resplendence, also because it makes them look brighter as well. On their journeys, Starlets emit a lot of rays onto Star Dust, the vast majority of which deflagrate prior to impact.

Starlets of All Trades (try to shine in no matter what matter)

Somewhat overlapping with Starlets of Emission, Starlets of All Trades are true chameleons. No matter what corner of the universe they are being sent to, they will always try to shower light. Never mind they’ve never been there before and never heard anything about the idiosyncrasies of Star Dust specific to a particular section of the universe – they are relentlessly propagating the vision of a brighter universe, whether they believe in it or not.

Falling Stars (make a wish!)

Some of them used to be Star Dust, others Starlets of Emission. In either case, their visibility is short-lived. More by chance than planning, they stumble upon a trajectory that one other star has traveled on before (or at least no one seems to remember), and then they focus all their energy on shining for a brief moment of fame. Many of them understand that their radiance is enhanced further if they rise and fall in the vicinity of one of the Very Bright Stars, although the latter tend to accelerate their death out of fear that too much attention could be attracted by these momentary phenomena.

Star Dust (mostly invisible)

They are everywhere, but no one sees them. They are the ones who should be shone upon by the light emitted by all stars, large and small. Yet in the orbits and constellations of universal politics, they have little to no influence on trajectories and clusters. A few of them manage to shine for a moment (as Falling Stars), but usually it is their patience and their unwavering will to survive that makes them hang in there. Without them, though, there would be no universe.

… and, of course, Black Holes (where did all the aid go?)

They are immersed in Star Dust, but no one knows where exactly they are located. However, cursory evidence points to a mutual attraction between them and Very Bright Stars and Solar Systems.


One thought on “The Astronomy of Aid: Stars and Starlets in International Development

  1. I’m wondering if star dust wouldn’t be better classified as dark matter – vaguely, theoritically known to exist but invisible and not really understood. But then dark matter does (I think) have rather a large influence on the trajectories of things around it, so maybe not.

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