Thursday, September 21, 2006

When Doug the Bass sent over the following excellent piece of film, I couldn’t help but recall a piece I wrote years ago for the old LA Reader, and since right now I’m up to my ass in a fairly arduous writing job, I decided to re-publish it for your general amuse ment.
Watch the clip –

Then read the story

The last time that I was abducted by aliens, I returned with the distinct impression that they were close to the end of their extra-terrestrial rope with the Third Stone from the Sun and, in particular, its overdeveloped, tool using, simian inhabitants. Namely us -- the human race. When one of those lipless little grey suckers with the bald heads and huge guppy eyes came up to me, right there in the main abductee reception area, a charmless place not unlike Ontario airport with an added dimension, and wanted to know "when the hell are you Earth monkeys going to stop breeding yourselves into extinction", I had to accept the fact that we may not be the most admired lifeform in this neck of the quadrant.
I rarely admit my abduction experiences. Not so much because I'm embarrassed by them. It's more that I've never really felt that my encounters had been significantly productive. I tended to talk about them rather more when I lived in New York. I discovered that, on 14th Street, if you told the guy on the next bar stool that you were an UFO abductee, he would more than likely dismiss you as crazy, but mercifully harmless. Try the same thing at a party in Venice and they'll not only totally believe you but proceed to recount their own adventures in space, usually centering on intrusive alien surgical procedures, often of a gynecological nature. Some will even give you the number of a therapeutic support group.
It was during the initial medical examination that the ETs started to discover that I was hardly the experimental subject of their collective dreams. I was first abducted at a time when I was drinking even more heavily than usual. It solved the missing time problem, but my blood alcohol level spiked out and created chaos butterflies in their nano-stats. Even worse, my chromosomes had been so customized by the quantities of LSD 25 that I'd consumed during an earlier bout of destructive self exploration, that I was pretty much useless as a source of genetic material, unless, of course, someone or something wanted to breed a race of nappy haired tadpoles with nasty imaginations. Rumors also circulated that, when particularly fucked up, I would show a less than appropriate affection for the rectal probe.
In terms of the normal conventions of Earth/alien interaction, I pretty much proved myself a social incompetent, and I would never have been abducted again had the implant not already been in the small of my back, just to the left of my spine. This means I'm solidly on the tracking computer, and can be hauled up for a bogus 20 thousand light year service at any time, and there isn't a damn thing that I or any other bio-entity can do about it. I don't want to see them, they don't want to see me, but, like junk mail and unwanted relatives, they just keep coming around.
This was surely the reason that, after the third routine beam up, I was shuffled aside to hold gentlemanly if sometimes oblique conversations with Qua/D/Thrrof, the discursive focus of a being, essentially a form of highly intelligent yeast, about nine thousand miles long and one molecule thick, that makes its home in a loose orbit around Jupiter. Qua/D/Thrrof was the first alien to make crystal clear what I'd already suspected. As far as the rest of the inhabitants of the viable cluster are concerned, here on the Monkey Planet, (as Earth is commonly known) we are in big trouble. That's why, even after twenty thousand years, we still haven't emerged from the quarantine phase as laid down in the Prime Directive. (He also confirmed how Tom Tomorrow's theory about the Republican Party and Rush Limbaugh being a secret alien test of human stupidity is uncannily on the money.)
Like most foreigners, Qua/D/Thrrof blames a considerable proportion of Monkey Planet woes to the affluent of the United States. (Or, as they call them, The Resource Gobblers.) In our most recent conversation, he expressed trepidation over how 2000 AD is a Presidential election year, and the escalating horror of the phenomenon might, this time round, actually push us over into a collective, species-wide, greed-barking psychosis.
"I don't know why you don't just get rid of democracy." Qua/D/Thrrof has a certain problem gasping concepts like the rights of the individual, coming as he does from a collective consciousness of over two billion component facets. He's good, however, at accepting nuances like how election finance reform is fundamentally impossible because the television stations end up with the lion's share of the bucks, and around election time, politics yields more ad revenue than headache remedies, phone sex and psychic hotlines combined.
"Just get rid of television." Even other passing aliens realized that Qua/D/Thrrof was elaborately out of touch with this remark. A small green person with tentacles and huge ears sadly shook what approximated for a head. "It's only television that keeps them from killing each other more than they already do. If television hadn't been introduced in the fifties, they'd be into mechanized erotic cannibalism by now. You know what the monkeys are like when you leave them to their own devices."
Another received snippet of intergalactic gossip is that our Earth, despite its quarantine, is getting the reputation as a clandestine hangout of vermin and lowlife. High on the list are the crew of retard hot rodders and nova scum from Zeta Reticuli who've been putting on the lightshows out at Area 51, just north of Las Vegas, and sending the conspiracy paranoids into uproar. It would seem that these alien Hells Angels have managed to have convinced the US military that they are the Supreme Authority in the Universe, rather than the malicious honky tonk sweepings of a hundred parasecs, and now have total run of the Pentagon.
What really worries Qua/D/Thrrof, however, is our galloping overpopulation. "Surest way to foul up a perfectly good planet. You either got to stop breeding or start dying." Qua/D/Thrrof is especially pissed at the Catholic Church and their attitudes to population control. As he puts it "Jesus was one of ours in the first place. It's kinda embarrassing."
Another serious consideration would seem to be that many aliens feel that our Earthling stupidity is playing directly into the hands of some galactic political hard liners. Apparently the stampede to the bellicose right is not confined to only this solar system. An entire multi-species mindset would be just as happy to fire up the Great Planet Fryer and turn this whole messy sphere that we call home into one vast, fused, green glass Christmas Tree ornament. Seemingly they view Earth as something akin to a planetary welfare case.
Like they say on the X-Files. "The truth is out there." Or at least some approximation of it.
Written in 1996. First published in 1996 in The Los Angeles Reader as a column in the "Panic In The Year Zero" series.

The secret word is Banana

ALSO fidcen sent over the full text of Hugo Chavez speech to the UN. And I was a amused to note that a number of talking heads on MSNBC seemed to think that reference to the Satanic smell of sulphur was a fart joke. Do we live in South Park?