"a fish, a barrel, and a smoking gun"
for 15 July 1997. Updated every WEEKDAY.

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[Whaaaaaaaa! The Aliens are here. Goddamn them.  I hate aliens.  They can really screw stuff up.  They are pretty damn messy, too.  Boycott the aliens. At least until they learn to clean up after themselves.]

A teaser at MSNBC asks "Why are

we still so fascinated by the

events at Roswell 50 years

later?" Probably the most

correct answer - that we are all

kind of stupid and credulous -

is not quite material for an

expose´. So instead of addressing

a boring likelihood, the media

searches for alternative

answers. We are told that belief

in extraterrestrials reflects

the modern search for

spirituality, that inextricable

ennui has lead us to literal

alienation; or that maybe, just

maybe, it's all true, and the

laws of physics are just another

government-manufactured lie.


[So these scientists are naming every rock on mars.  Ok. Ok. Ok.  They traveled a long way.  But why not use some humor?  Geezus.  You know it's one big polace with brand new humorous material.  The couch my ass. This doesn't even look like a couch.]

The live CNN coverage of the Mars

Pathfinder mission suggests that

the general public is still at

least mildly interested in real

space exploration. But since

even the really interesting

parts of Mars look a bit like a

Yuma RV park during the summer

off-season, it's unlikely that

Pathfinder will hold the

attention of many, regardless of

how amazing a feat of

engineering it is. And if we're

to be honest with ourselves we

have to admit that what we

really crave is not the

discovery of life on Mars, but

rather a good old-fashioned

dragon to slay. It might be cool

if visitors from another planet

came to our world, but can you

imagine what a drag it would be

if they simply made nice, got a

seat at the UN, and pretended to

be concerned with the quotidian

mechanics of earthbound events?

No, dammit, what we need is an

enemy, the bigger the better,

and if the freaking aliens won't

commit, then Big Brother will do

quite nicely. We might not get

to fly jets and shoot missiles

at the mothership, but maybe we

could still blow stuff up.


[T was our country goddamn it. Ours.  Those stinking filthy apes.]

It's not exactly irrational to

believe that the government lies

to us, especially when it does

its part so well to fuel

confusion (parachuting

crash-test dummies? Puh-leez).

In fact, it seems that the Feds

rarely tell us anything unless

it's propaganda. But the numbers

also tell us that we are

collectively prosperous and

secure at an unprecedented

level. We've beaten the cosmic

evils of the past like rampant

fascism and potential nuclear

annihilation, and we're left

with facing problems a bit

closer to home. It looked like

global environmental destruction

might bail us out there for a

while, but soon we realized that

fixing that one would require

some sacrifice. Basically the

same deal with most of our other

dilemmas. Take violence for

instance, which we could

probably curtail a bit if we

stopped so effectively

glorifying it. But that would

pretty much ruin the summer

movie season. Big enemies on the

other hand simplify our

problems. It's a standard 80/20

scenario: Fabricate something to

be the 80, so that we can

blissfully ignore the 20.


Maybe the talking heads are

right, this does have the

characteristics of a hastily

concocted pseudoreligion. The

rapidly growing Church of

Paranoid Nonsense has all of the

ecclesiastical trappings except

for tax-exempt status (which

they probably would consider

redundant, anyway): The idea

that order can be brought to

chaos simply by assuming some

overarching principle not

entirely in evidence, a

convenient spiritual anodyne for

those who have a hard time

dealing with the arbitrary

cruelty of mere reality, rigid

dogma (the government

systematically equivocates about

all consequential events). Talk

radio provides the evangelists,

Usenet the scriptures, and

network newsmagazines the high

mass. But all in all, the stupid

and naive theory has fewer loose



[I'm fucking sick of these burning-man attending hipsters that stick this schwa shit everywhere.  Yeah I'd buy a goddamn 20 dollar t-shirt with a lame ass-graphic on iot.  Or maybe I'd even paint it on my door.  What a bunch of chump-stains.]

Skeptics might mistake movies

like Men in Black or novelty

items like the rubber alien

roadkill on sale in the Roswell

shops for a sign that few people

seriously believe in either ETs

or military coverups of same.

But nothing in our culture

indicates acceptance,

incorporation into our

mythology, so unerringly as

making fun. Parody requires

archetypes and canonical ideas

to really work. It's clear now

that most folks doubt the

existence of UFOs, bug-eyed

aliens, and those inscrutable

abductions no more than they

doubt the existence of angels, heaven, or

welfare queens. With that level

of critical thinking, at least

the government doesn't have to

spend too much of our tax money

to keep up the charade.

courtesy of Dilettante

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