Re: virus: Alien Meme Evolution

Nathaniel Hall (
Thu, 09 Oct 1997 21:28:36 -0600

Tim Rhodes wrote:

> 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.
> --------------------------------
> Alien Meme Evolution
> by Capın Piledriver, Ph.D. (a.k.a. Prof. Tim)
> So what is it the Aliens are trying to tell us? What is their
> message? And what can we learn about ourselves from the Alien Meme
> and Myth?
> Letıs start with a little history:
> The first modern UFO was seen in 1947, fifty years ago, over Mount
> Rainier. Three sickle shaped silver objects caught in the light of a
> setting sun. It was the beginning. But these strange objects were
> not content to keep to the skies for long. Baffling unwary pilots
> quickly lost its thrill and soon these unearthly weightless ships
> were landing in the wheat fields of middle America.
> Like the first tentative steps of a child, the Aliens would venture
> from their ships for just a moment, or two, to dazzle and dumbfound
> the amazed hapless farmer in his field. This was our first contact,
> fleeting though it was, with these inhuman creatures. These first
> steps led, as they always do, to more daring and daring explorations
> on the Aliens part.
> As the Cold War rumbled into full swing and middle America filled its
> idle time planning fallout shelters, the Aliens added a new element to
> their act. No longer content to simply appear to the odd Farmer Joe,
> giving him an amusing story to tell his fishing buddies, these Aliens,
> for reasons we will understand more fully later, began to communicate.
> At first the messages, often sent telepathically into the minds of the
> startled humans, were simple, reassuring words: ³We come in peace² or
> ³Be yea not afraid.²
> But by the sixties, as Kennedy and Khrushchev flexed their manliness
> at one another on the world stage, the Aliens tone became a more
> somber one. We were a young and violent race that must take care not
> to destroy ourselves. We had harnessed the power of the sun, but
> lacked the maturity and composure to know how to use it wisely. ³We
> would have to learn how to control ourselves,² the Aliens warned, ³or
> they would do it for us!²
> But by the late sixties and early seventies the Aliens warnings had
> mellowed with the times. To the acid addled flower power generation
> the aliens new messages of peace and love and understanding and
> connection were of no surprise. Their prophesies that we were all one
> children of a single universe, brothers in space separated only by the
> void between stars, went down easy on the steps of Berkeley and the
> sidewalks of Haight-Ashbury. It was what we had suspected all along,
> after all, wasnıt it?
> But these days of peace, love and hippie-shit were soon to come a
> close, and with them the mouths of the Aliens as well it would seem.
> Their tongues falling silent as the seventies came to a end, without
> explanation or reason. Had we done something to offend their delicate
> natures? What had caused these once talkative Aliens to fall into a
> bitter silence once again? What so perturbed the myth to send it on
> this frightening new course?
> With the coming of the Reagan and Thatcher governments saga of the
> Aliens took on a dark and ominous tone. These unholy years are known,
> among those who study such obscure trivia, as ³the anal probe years.²
> While Ronny lost himself in the presidency and a culture turned its
> idealistic eyes to the harsh realities of cold hard cash, the Aliens
> began their cruel task. Sinister and without warning this new class
> of Aliens found their pleasure in the abduction of unwary victims.
> Often performing upon them hideous unspeakable experiments. Taken
> from their quiet homes in the dead of night and strapped down to
> sterile examination tables inside unfamiliar and unnerving
> extraterrestrial laboratories, they were poked and prodded in every
> conceivable manner. (And even in some ways that only a distinctly foreign
> and un-human mind could begin to understand.) Countless thousands were
> so abducted, taken in their sleep, defiled by Alien fingers without
> cause or explanation, and returned using as yet unheard of
> technologies, to that very point in time at which they were so rudely
> taken.
> The end of the eighties saw a new bent to this, now common and
> sadistic, story. The Aliens began to take our women. In their secret
> starbound chambers they would impregnate our sisters and mothers.
> Bringing them to term and removing the strange mutant half-alien
> half-human babies before returning them to the earth. Often the
> Aliens would give the mother a glimpse of the the child before setting
> her back down on earth; they looked quite human in many cases,
> surprisingly. Some times they would baffle the mother by displaying
> one human and one alien offspring side-by-side in a strangle sort of
> show-and-tell. But what were they trying to tell us?
> These abductions continued in silence, unabated, until the early
> nineties. Once again, without rhyme or reason the Alien's story took
> another turn and, some five or six years ago, these cosmic travelers
> vail of secrecy was lifted once again. This time the Aliens were more
> tight lipped. But the new message they now told, it seems, would
> prove to have ramifications beyond the simplest of human
> understandings. As they spoke the whole history of the Alien myth
> thus stood quaking, waiting to be rewritten.
> They 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
> selves!
> Now this should come as no surprise to us, really. How could we have
> been so vain and egotistical to think that an advanced race of beings
> would travel light years across the cosmos just to study us? But if
> they were us... If they were ourselves some thousands of years
> hence,... Well, thatıs just anthropology, isnıt it?
> And this crucial turn in the progress of the Alien myth and its
> memes, sheds light on all the previous years as well. Those first
> tentative steps from their time machines, afraid to venture too far,
> their emphatic warnings not to be foolish and destroy
> ourselves/themselves, the message that we are all brothers descended
> from the same ancestors. Even the ³anal probe years² make sense now,
> in this new light. Like early archeologists who destroyed whole
> sights in their hurried quests for the ruins of a lost Troy, these
> future humans seem not to have lost the talent for leaving ruin and
> destruction in their wake as well.
> But what of the abducted mothers and their half-human/half-alien
> mutant children? What can we make of this? What part did they breed
> out of themselves, ourselves, in their quest for technology, that they
> now must return to reclaim those genes from the DNA of their own
> ancestors? Do they bring back with them this warning: Do not become
> as us! All head and eyes, frail and sexless, coldly performing their
> ³duties² experimenting without mercy despite the terrified screams of
> their primitive and animalistic subjects. What did they lose that we
> still possess? That they now long to regain by what-ever means
> necessary?
> But, my children, we no longer need fear these Alien future selves.
> For we are no longer the hapless victims of some advanced race come
> down from the stars. We are no longer merely bit players in this
> Alien saga-- for ours is the starring role. It is not just the
> Aliens story any more. It is our story as well. What they are, what
> they will become descends from us, you see. They are not in control
> of us, rather it is we, who are in control of them! We are in control
> of the Alien myth, for it is our story, ours to tell, ours to interpret
> and, more importantly, ours to create!
> And so, brothers and sisters, isnıt it about time we started to tell
> it like it is!
> Power to the People! Long live the Aliens!
> ...that we all are.
> -Prof. Tim
> Direct your comments to:
> peaceout-
> -Prof. Tim

All this is fine and dandy but just where does ELVIS fit in?
The Nateman