Last night I was reading a collection of short stories by David Brin. Since working at the bookstore, i got into reading a little sci-fi again, much to my embarrassment. Brin wrote the Uplift books, which came across as some of the most imaginative, exciting sci-fi I’ve read in ages (probably since i was just starved for candy.) So many stories were so formulaic that i gave up reading that genre in my teens. I needed some popcorn to go with the thick literature that I was reading at work, so sci-fi seemed a good choice, and i decided to read anything that won the Hugo and/or Nebula awards. I finished the Uplift series a few weeks ago, and thought this collection “Otherness” would be a good stop gap until i made up my mind which author to pursue next. Well, Brin is getting on my nerves. He loves to point out that he has a doctorate in astrophysics and has worked as a consultant for NASA. He’s quite bright. However, he also seems to be a narrowminded jackass. One of the stories was this cute, quirky bit that goes with the idea that space aliens are not space aliens at all, but elves. creatures that dwell on the edge of the unknown, on the darkness in ther human imagination. The story itself was not bad, but his commentary afterwards was so smug… the fool actually believed that was an original concept! What more, he believed that because the similarities between faeries and the alien greys are so great, then the alien greys must not exist, as “everyone” knows faeries do not exist. Ooooo…. he’s so smart!
Actually, I don’t know that faeries do not exist, and to be utterly annoying, you don’t really know either. The first time I ran across this idea, of the faerie/alien connection, is in the rantings of Robert Anton Wilson, in the first of his Cosmic Trigger books. He didn’t even come up with it. It’s a common notion among many of the psychedelic pioneers who have dabbled in shamanic rituals. They sense alien intelligences out there, not up in the sky, or from another planet, but just out there. In fact, it’s really just an externalized perception of Jung’s addressal of UFO phenomenon, that it’s all a projection of the collective human psyche. Well, it may be that they are projections of the psyche, but those intelligences are just too damned weird to be human, too truly alien…. yes, I’ve seen them too. Not literally “seeing” as flesh and blood creatures, as certain friends of mine have experienced, but perceiving them as “presences.” Ah, to hell, with it. Most of you think I’m either insane or feeding you lines. Anyway, i don’t like authors who pat themselves on the back for being smart, when they merely are unconsciously picking up on the ideas of the people that they are trying to disprove, people that they try to ignore in their “scientific” arrogance. They are a bunch of key-punching yes-men technicians.
Wait! I’m not finished ranting yet! I heard some more nonsense this morning on NPR. There’s those completely absurd hearings being held by John McCain, Joe Lieberman, and Cheney’s wife. (I feel like a phallocentric asshole for not remembering her name, but then again, she didn’t run for president either.) they are trying to force the entertainment industry to stop sowing so much “obscenity” and “violence”. What a complete nonissue. Does anyone remember the Good Old Days? What about the dimestore novels that lionized murderers like Billy the Kid, a total sociopath with no redeeming qualities that i can think of? Countless American children rode around on their stick horses gunning each other down until playing cowboys and indians became unfashionable. Let’s reach further back… it used to be considered entertainment to watching public executions. Imagine now take little Bobby and Susie to have a picnic in the park to watch a murderer get a noose thrown around his neck, having his spine snap or slowly suffocating to death, and then voiding his bowels upon himself. Does that sound moral?
It’s perverse that these conservatives want to dictate morals to us. They fight to keep government out of regulating state laws, and especially corporate business practice, screaming “Less goverment is better!” How is forcing these narrowminded standards fitting into their visions of less goverment?
Music? i didn’t get a chance to listen to music today!