Thursday, November 01, 2007


This being the sixty-eighth anniversary of the tortured event, I thought I’d regale you with the story of my miraculous birth. The telling of it also gives me an opportunity to explore how truth is mistaken for its manifestations.

In 1898, inspired by canals on Mars perceived by Percival Lowell that Hubble or any number of robots on the surface have since yet to detect, the first speculation of life on other planets led H. G. Wells to write the first science fiction novel distinctly different from fantasy literature until its time. War of the Worlds told of an Earth invasion by malevolent Martians attacking England. For a cute Halloween prank, the eccentric genius and roaring egomania of Orson Welles took it upon himself to recast the story’s narration to a quaint little area of New Jersey and broadcast it uninterrupted, virtually unannounced over national radio as if it were a story breaking in on a real newscast.

In 1938, inspired by invaders from Mars just over the hill from her home in New Jersey, Jane Green jumped in the car with her husband Johnny to join the rest of their neighbors in panicked stampede out on the highways leading away from wherever the martians were last reported being sited. As the faux announcer was eventually overrun by Mars' deadly arrival, Jane's water overran when I announced my lively arrival. I always knew her as a placid person passionate about small things and the magic in nature, but the floorboard on the passenger side of any family car I remember was worn through the rug, mat and protective paint to the bare metal from just her nervous feet shifting at every turn dad put on the steering wheel, though I never heard a peep of backseat driving from this woman who never drove a car in her lifetime. Such contained imagination and nervous energy certainly were enough to reify the newscast and project me into catching hands almost a month before anyone expected, or so the story goes.

In 2007, inspired by the lack of personal responsibility for the life they lead, I feel more and more like an alien living among these people I resemble enough to not be noticed and occasionally even get invited places. Like a mouse living off the spillage of an overfilled silo here in my haven outside Austin I am aware of my proximity to the path of a real panic stampede when any or all of several ignored disaster scenarios come to a head: peak oil, China demanding value for US' imperial war debts, one world fascism, global starvation, global frying. After a history full of prophets crying wolf the confluence of natural, karmic disasters resulting from civilization’s continuous abuse makes hardly a ripple in the mainstream. Just the idea that a race of beings sufficiently sophisticated to visit earth would still be as malicious as human’s disregard of mother earth is a prime example of our culture's basic attitude to anything alien. I want to save the planet, I must be alien. To paraphrase Mickey Roark’s great line in Barfly, “I don’t hate earth people, I just feel a lot better when they’re not around.”

1 comment:

Erica said...

I mentioned this story to a couple friends and they were absolutely tickled :)

Heheh you goddamn alien, you!