Thursday, July 10, 2008

A is for Aliens.


Space-y aliens, not the other kind.

Let's look at the possibilities:

Explanation A: The contemperary, widely publicized alien myth where big-eyed grey dudes from outer space all zip down to earth in flying saucers and buzz around unpopulated areas and occasionally abduct people and stick metally things up their backsides....

Alla that. More or less true.

Explanation B: What people THINK are grey dudes with flying saucers... blah blah upopulated areas blah blah... backsides blah blah.. All of this is there own mistaken interpretation of perfectly natural, explainable phenomenemememems. Weather balloons, the planet venus, swamp gas.

Explanation C: Mo'fos be tripping. Grey dudes, flying saucers, ZIP!, backsides, all that shit is caused by mass halucination, the accidental or purposeful imbuing of psychotropic drugs. People think they see something, and are wrong. There's no aliens. Hell, there's no swamp gas, even. It's a-a-all in your head.

Explanation D: Again, the people who see aliens are wrong about their exact nature, but they ARE dealing with something beyond the ken of current human understanding. Say, they've encountered some sort of physical manifestation pf the divine,and choose to process this experience in a way that they can understand. 400 years ago they'da said they saw angels, today it's aliens. Or there's an alien-shaped hole in our Jungian collective unconscious and certain selected prophets are selected to deliver us the current cultural myths we need. Or the aliens are actually Bigfoots and Loch Ness Monsters.

Alright, some SERIOUS long-shots in this group. Ignore the examples if you want to. But (A) people did see something (B) that something was not within the bounds of recorded human experience, so (C) the alien spotter misinterpreted does seem like a real possibility.

Explanation E: Lies. Everybody likes attention!

Explanation F: Just for the sake of completeness, let's call this "All the OTHER options I'm not bright enough to think of." (Help me out here, wouldja?)

Now NONE of these are mutually exclusive, right? I mean, it could be D in some cases, C with a bunch of E thrown in in other cases. It's certainly not ALL A, and some alien encounters are B and E. Duh.

So let's move on.

(A) is gonna be a pain to work with. Aliens are inscrutable, and I won't attempt to scrutinize. Why do they avoid big cities? Why don't they want to talk with us? Do we have space cooties? CAN they talk? Is anal probing their primary means of communication? I dunno, dunno, dunno, dunno.

So. Let's toss "A" out and group all fo NOT A" together, and assume that NOT A = truth. Why do we pretend there are aliens.

It means! What does it MEAN? If grey sky dudes in flying saucers, why? Why not, say, orange translucent elephants in mini-skirts that live in oak trees and speak Latin.

For instance.

Yeah, screw you. Don't give me that look.

OK. So grey critters, flying saucers, anal probes...

There's kind of a religious thing at work here. Think old school paganism. Think Greek/Norse Myths. We have these critters that are, y'know, basically humanoid-y. Except MORESO. Sky Chariots and shape-changing or Flying Saucers and tractor beams, we have a race of beings that has clearly exceeded us doofy little humans in technology/power, which REALLY are, historically, interchangable.

And they're inscrutable, their motives aren't exactly clear, but for the most part their motives are framed in HUMAN terms, and they're out to fuck with you. (Contrast with the Christian God. Who loves us. On a scale that eclipses the human idea of "love.") Aliens kidnap you, Gods off-handedly send a giant bore to eatcha for random, petty jealousies, but these are not loving beings, exactly.

They are human-ish, they are powerful, they are not friendly. And there's a sex-thing to both of 'em, Zeus all swooping down in the form of a swan to get it on with Greek Sheperdesses, anal probing... It's alllll orifice insertion.

Still, it's not quite religion, izzit? It's got the social aspect of shared belief bit down, but religion, at least in the Classical, Western sense, creates social structures and hierarchies. In most of 'em there are priest types who can bargain with the Gods and stop them from randomly smiting you, in exchange for goods and services. (Which Uncle Jim points out is basically taxation.)

And it's hard to see who DIRECTLY benefits from aliens, like, financially. T-Shirt salespeople? manufacturers of glow-in-the-dark plastic novelties? And I'm sure someone SOMEWHERE claims to be the alien whisperer or whatever. (P.S. Fuck them.)

We're kind of dancing around the edges of issues of faith here, too, but we're swooping in from different angles. Claims of aliens are all about the sheer number of people who have seen stuff that sort of looks like the stuff that other people have seen. It's all aboug verified! Proof! Dammit!*

*offer void where prohibited and subject to diverse interpretations of the term "proof." Void in Oklahoma, Kentucky, most of Guam and yo' mama's house. Odds of winning 7,000,000:1 against.

While religious faith tends to anchor isself in emotional (spiritual) truth, not logic.

So, hey, Christians. If A Aliens, did Jesus redeem the aliens? Or do they have their own alien Jesus, and, if so, were the Jesuses simultaneous? Y'all see why I have trouble sleeping at night? Sheeeiiii

And, hey, I'm not an expert on Islam (as opposed to the solid SIX MINUTES of research I did on aliens) so correct me if I'm wrong here, but

God rewards the faithful with material prosperity. Allah provides, and Allah provides good.

Aliens have material prosperity the likes of what we's never seen. They have Flying Fucking Saucers! All spanning vast galactic distances like ZOW! We have quaint little space shuttles that can maybe get five, six dudes to the moon in a couple weeks if they don't blow up, which they do with depressing regularity.

(And no Islamic Nation even has that.)

So, seriously. Flying Fucking Saucers against un-manned Jupiter cameras, frisbees, and infomerials for direct buy furniture and thousands of people starving in Islamic Africa. Who's better provided for, God-wise.

(I tried to work up a Christian proof that aliens are God's chosen people, but my sources totally crap out on me.)

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Now We Are An Art Blog

Shooting War - (Comic) Interesting stuff, based on the idea of division of power. Quick summary - Lefty political blogger is sent off to Iraq to report for a major news network, ends up showing the world "the truth," - Except it's smarter and subtler than that.

Sorta. It's not dealing with real characters or delivering any life-changing insights, but it does, briskly, admit that every side and character in the story is somewhat flawed and or fallible.

Genre-wise, um, it's the kind of thing I'd LIKE to see more of it comics, but it's also not really what I'm most interested in.

What I AM interested in is the art, which is collagey in a cool way. It slaps together traditional pencil drawings, photographs, diagrams and 'puter drawings the overall effect works sometimes, and doesn't work sometimes, but it's a valiant attempt to utilize mixed media.

The Confessions of Saint Augustine - (Book) Chapters 1 -3. Recommended by my friend Liz. This fifteen-hundred-odd year old book was recommended to me as STILL the most important set of writings on faith.

It's written as an open letter to God, which is an interesting idea. SA narrates his life story about moving from the fifth century version of sinner (He stole pears! And fed them to the pigs!) to man of God. The first three chapters give us Augustine as baby, youngster, and attention craved young man.

O says that you have to read it like Irvine Welsh - There are a lot of worthwhile insights here, but you have to seperate it from the intermnable praising. Example: "But you are life of the soul, life of lives. You live, oh life of my soul, because you are life itself, immutable." And so on and do on... Ad infinitum.

The book looks like it's gonna pick up soonish, though. In the next chapter he joins a cult!

RIP 2007 - From Jon Bogart's Brilliant Music Blog. Link

Marvel Team-Up 35

Countdown to Mystery

Pirates Vs. Ninjas II: Up The Ante

MIA - KALA (Album) I'm listening to this one over. And over. And over in my car. Our buddies at Rolling Stone called it the best album of the year and, heck, they might not be so super-hugely incredibly far off.

Warren Zevon - Stand in the Fire (Album)