virus: Alien Meme Evolution

Tim Rhodes (
Thu, 9 Oct 1997 11:53:29 -0700 (PDT)

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This is the text of a rant I gave last Saturday as part of "The First
Annual Surrealist Weenie Roast and Snake Handers Revival" (thanx David for
the inspiration for the name). I thought some of you might find it
interesting. If you need to, substitute <Alien> every time you see the
word "Alien" and you'll get the gist.=20


Alien Meme Evolution
by Cap=B9n Piledriver, Ph.D. (a.k.a. Prof. Tim)

So what is it the Aliens are trying to tell us? What is their=20
message? And what can we learn about ourselves from the Alien Meme=20
and Myth?

Let=B9s start with a little history:

=09The first modern UFO was seen in 1947, fifty years ago, over Mount=20
Rainier. Three sickle shaped silver objects caught in the light of a=20
setting sun. It was the beginning. But these strange objects were=20
not content to keep to the skies for long. Baffling unwary pilots=20
quickly lost its thrill and soon these unearthly weightless ships=20
were landing in the wheat fields of middle America.
=09Like the first tentative steps of a child, the Aliens would venture=20
from their ships for just a moment, or two, to dazzle and dumbfound=20
the amazed hapless farmer in his field. This was our first contact,=20
fleeting though it was, with these inhuman creatures. These first=20
steps led, as they always do, to more daring and daring explorations=20
on the Aliens part.
=09As the Cold War rumbled into full swing and middle America filled its=20
idle time planning fallout shelters, the Aliens added a new element to=20
their act. No longer content to simply appear to the odd Farmer Joe,=20
giving him an amusing story to tell his fishing buddies, these Aliens,=20
for reasons we will understand more fully later, began to communicate. =20
At first the messages, often sent telepathically into the minds of the=20
startled humans, were simple, reassuring words: =B3We come in peace=B2 or=
=B3Be yea not afraid.=B2
=09But by the sixties, as Kennedy and Khrushchev flexed their manliness=20
at one another on the world stage, the Aliens tone became a more=20
somber one. We were a young and violent race that must take care not=20
to destroy ourselves. We had harnessed the power of the sun, but=20
lacked the maturity and composure to know how to use it wisely. =B3We=20
would have to learn how to control ourselves,=B2 the Aliens warned, =B3or=
they would do it for us!=B2
=09But by the late sixties and early seventies the Aliens warnings had=20
mellowed with the times. To the acid addled flower power generation=20
the aliens new messages of peace and love and understanding and=20
connection were of no surprise. Their prophesies that we were all one=20
children of a single universe, brothers in space separated only by the=20
void between stars, went down easy on the steps of Berkeley and the=20
sidewalks of Haight-Ashbury. It was what we had suspected all along,=20
after all, wasn=B9t it?
=09But these days of peace, love and hippie-shit were soon to come a=20
close, and with them the mouths of the Aliens as well it would seem. =20
Their tongues falling silent as the seventies came to a end, without=20
explanation or reason. Had we done something to offend their delicate=20
natures? What had caused these once talkative Aliens to fall into a=20
bitter silence once again? What so perturbed the myth to send it on=20
this frightening new course?
=09With the coming of the Reagan and Thatcher governments saga of the=20
Aliens took on a dark and ominous tone. These unholy years are known,=20
among those who study such obscure trivia, as =B3the anal probe years.=B2
=09While Ronny lost himself in the presidency and a culture turned its=20
idealistic eyes to the harsh realities of cold hard cash, the Aliens=20
began their cruel task. Sinister and without warning this new class=20
of Aliens found their pleasure in the abduction of unwary victims. =20
Often performing upon them hideous unspeakable experiments. Taken=20
from their quiet homes in the dead of night and strapped down to=20
sterile examination tables inside unfamiliar and unnerving=20
extraterrestrial laboratories, they were poked and prodded in every=20
conceivable manner. (And even in some ways that only a distinctly foreign=
and un-human mind could begin to understand.) Countless thousands were=20
so abducted, taken in their sleep, defiled by Alien fingers without=20
cause or explanation, and returned using as yet unheard of=20
technologies, to that very point in time at which they were so rudely=20
=09The end of the eighties saw a new bent to this, now common and=20
sadistic, story. The Aliens began to take our women. In their secret=20
starbound chambers they would impregnate our sisters and mothers. =20
Bringing them to term and removing the strange mutant half-alien=20
half-human babies before returning them to the earth. Often the=20
Aliens would give the mother a glimpse of the the child before setting=20
her back down on earth; they looked quite human in many cases,=20
surprisingly. Some times they would baffle the mother by displaying=20
one human and one alien offspring side-by-side in a strangle sort of=20
show-and-tell. But what were they trying to tell us?
=09These abductions continued in silence, unabated, until the early=20
nineties. Once again, without rhyme or reason the Alien's story took=20
another turn and, some five or six years ago, these cosmic travelers=20
vail of secrecy was lifted once again. This time the Aliens were more=20
tight lipped. But the new message they now told, it seems, would=20
prove to have ramifications beyond the simplest of human=20
understandings. As they spoke the whole history of the Alien myth=20
thus stood quaking, waiting to be rewritten.
=09They were not from the stars at all, these big brained, gray
skinned, sexless, waif-like creatures now informed us. They were not, as
we had assumed, far off travelers from another planet. They were not, in
fact, travelers through space at all. But rather travelers through time;
travelers from the future. Yes, these Aliens were in fact our future
=09Now this should come as no surprise to us, really. How could we have=20
been so vain and egotistical to think that an advanced race of beings=20
would travel light years across the cosmos just to study us? But if=20
they were us... If they were ourselves some thousands of years=20
hence,... Well, that=B9s just anthropology, isn=B9t it?
=09And this crucial turn in the progress of the Alien myth and its=20
memes, sheds light on all the previous years as well. Those first=20
tentative steps from their time machines, afraid to venture too far,=20
their emphatic warnings not to be foolish and destroy=20
ourselves/themselves, the message that we are all brothers descended=20
from the same ancestors. Even the =B3anal probe years=B2 make sense now,=
in this new light. Like early archeologists who destroyed whole=20
sights in their hurried quests for the ruins of a lost Troy, these=20
future humans seem not to have lost the talent for leaving ruin and=20
destruction in their wake as well.
=09But what of the abducted mothers and their half-human/half-alien=20
mutant children? What can we make of this? What part did they breed=20
out of themselves, ourselves, in their quest for technology, that they=20
now must return to reclaim those genes from the DNA of their own=20
ancestors? Do they bring back with them this warning: Do not become=20
as us! All head and eyes, frail and sexless, coldly performing their=20
=B3duties=B2 experimenting without mercy despite the terrified screams of=
their primitive and animalistic subjects. What did they lose that we=20
still possess? That they now long to regain by what-ever means=20
=09But, my children, we no longer need fear these Alien future selves. =20
For we are no longer the hapless victims of some advanced race come=20
down from the stars. We are no longer merely bit players in this=20
Alien saga-- for ours is the starring role. It is not just the=20
Aliens story any more. It is our story as well. What they are, what=20
they will become descends from us, you see. They are not in control=20
of us, rather it is we, who are in control of them! We are in control=20
of the Alien myth, for it is our story, ours to tell, ours to interpret=20
and, more importantly, ours to create!
=09And so, brothers and sisters, isn=B9t it about time we started to tell=
it like it is!
=09Power to the People! Long live the Aliens!
=2E..that we all are. =09 =20

-Prof. Tim

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-Prof. Tim