(A departure from my usual faire; Minor w00t: I hit 2k YTD miles yesterday.)
Last holiday, someone flipped on some History Channel? (A&E? Sci-Fi?) time-filler infotainment show between various football playoff games. The Voice narrated a “dramatic reenactment:”
It seems that vistors from another planet had been waiting for a flux capacitor replacement (under warranty but, unfortunately, not shippable via FedEx) for their craft’s dilithium quantacore powerplant. The visitors passed the time engraving stone discs with scientific measumements — or possibly karaoke tunes, it’s unimportant — as any sentient being would do when stuck in an area with bad subspace cable reception. In the aliens’ joyous reunification with their tentacled, semi-gelatanous brethern, they forgot to pack out their trash before they left. Many years later, archaeologists stumbled upon the litter, made the obvious conclusion and sought to inject the population with the discovery… until an unspecific tragedy befell them.
After the commercial,
“Authority #1” added to the mystique with his description of an obscure, now-deceased Austrian photographer who allegedly visited a remote, now-defunct village where he shot ambiguous photos that might resemble the Artist Depiction of The Aliens’ Stone Disks — or Dogs Playing Poker, it’s unimportant. The details are murky how, but the photographer realized he had discovered the “smoking gun” (or “stone cold disk”) proving the aliens crash prior visitation.
The photographer became ill but, when he seemed about to recover, suddenly felt the icy hand of death upon him. One of his grainy photos found its way into the hands of a local Chinese mini-museum.
After the commercial break, The Voice recounts the thirty-second history of Mao’s Cultural Revolution. Inexplicably, the photograph was discovered in the museum, but the curator ran afoul of an adjunct deputy six degrees separated from Mao and the grainy lithograph was “lost” — or recycled as a bird cage liner, it’s unimportant.
Another commercial, they segue to a scientist, aka “the only person with verifiable credentials.” I want to say it’s Michael Sherman, who summed it up nicely: There is an absense of substantiation. The photographs are such poor quality they could be anything. None of these people have been located. No evidence has ever been produced nor does the premise make sense. This is utter nonsense.
Beautifully done, Dr. Sherman. Unfortunately, this is a TV show that must end on a proper half-hour timeslot, so… why don’t we cut back to “Authority #2”, who notes there were far fewer publicized UFO sightings during Mao’s tenure. Now, however, there are clubs and regular publications documenting sightings. This is sufficient evidence to him, and he emphatically proclaims his belief it has to be true. Inconsistencies and a scandalous lack of authoritative and tangible evidence are a conspiracy by the military-industrial-entertainment complex. Fade to commercial.
Okay, the show didn’t have the brimming level of sarcasm in my dramatic reinterpretation, but I was struck by how fervently people will believe what they want, lack of evidence and facts be doomed. (And why The Colbert Report is funny.) For example, I have a friend who sincerely places credence in the accuracy of horoscopes , even suggesting it steers her relationships. As in “I can’t date Jeremy because he’s a Taurus born when the moon was in the seventh house and Jupiter aligns with Mars.”
Part of me just wants to say “Let the sunshine in, baby” … until the well-intentioned, engineering half goes into hyperanalysis mode, ready to debunk the logic. This would do neither me nor my friend any good. Out of sympathy for Jeremy, who’s actually a sweet guy, I suggested to my friend the mathematical abberations in Earth’s orbit mean the timing of the constellations, defined > 2,000 years ago, is off by a month, so Jeremy is really an Aries, which is astrologically compatible.
It’s little-known that the aliens (giant flying spahetti monsters, who were mistaken for gods) excreted so many of those discs (out of dark matter, not stone) that their sewage treatment plant on Atlantis imploded, not only destroying the island but causing a rift in the space-time continuum that continues to spew out radiation every year (around Erich von Daniken’s birthday) that not only affects the human brain, but fogs photographic film,causes the ignition systems on petrol-engined cars to fail, and causes image-processing software to generate artefacts where none exist.
Afraid of the impending year Y-3K problem, sick of their films getting fogged, and tired of the engines on their Tauruses and Geminis konking out at inconvenient moments, the ancient Egyptians abandoned cars, computers and film cameras in favour of chariots, carving heiroglyphics into stone tablets, marrying their sisters and stealing astrology from the fertile crescent.
Congrats on the 2,000 mile mark!
Thanks, John. Likewise, congratulations on hitting 2k yourself.
Steve – a more pressing problem is the Y2.033K problem, when all of those 32-bit UNIX machines’ clocks roll back to January 1, 1970. “And the Saggitarius shall konk out at inappropriate moments, carving heiroglyphics in the Libra. At night, the Scorpios shall triumph.”
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