Friday, July 10, 2009

Aliens Were Here? Are Here? Wha?!?

So the other day, I was watching a show about something called "Ancient Astronaut Theory" on The History Channel. It's a rather long, somewhat convoluted theory, but I'll simplify it as best as possible.

Basically, believers of Ancient Astronaut theory believe that some time ago (possibly as long as twenty thousand years ago) aliens (from space, not Mexico) came to Earth and gave knowledge to primitive humans and (here's the sexy part!) possibly interbred with them.

The basis of this theory is simple. There are things that are, even in our scientifically advanced state, beyond our explanation. For example: How did stone age (or was it bronze age?) humans build the Great Pyramids with their limited technology? Why are pyramids found oceans apart (Egypt and South America)? Why do supposedly separate peoples have similar ideas about religion and architecture? Why so many eerie examples of what appear to be spacemen in cave art? Etcetera, etcetera.

The simple answer: Aliens set all this shit in motion. Aliens, so the argument goes, are quite literally the parents of us all.

My threefold argument with Ancient Astronaut theory is this.

1. It completely discounts human ingenuity and willpower, and does not take into account the all-encompassing devotion of early humanity to their gods - their rulers.

Now, AA theorists get around this by claiming that Pharaohs, Mayan kings and the like WERE the gods - aliens. Of course, there's no physical evidence that proves aliens and humans interbred, and, one can only assume that creatures from other planets would have different numbers of chromosomes... making interbreeding impossible. But AA theory isn't about hard evidence.

2. The theory not only underestimates humanity, it grossly underestimates the alien element. My questions about aliens always start with our depiction of them. Why are they shaped like us (arms, legs, etc.)? Why do they travel in spaceships? Why the obsession with sex? The probing and the breeding experiments?

If aliens were so far advanced, wouldn't they be over sex? Why would they mate with hairy, stinky, possibly diseased humans? If they were so smart, wouldn't they have known about syphilis? Gonorrhea?

Put simply, an advanced alien boning a human would be akin to the Dalai Lama fucking a spider monkey.

If the aliens were so advanced, why the hell would they build pyramids out of stone? Wouldn't they create some wild, indestructible alloy? After all: They just traveled an untold amount of light years to get here.

And my guess is they weren't flying in a stone ship.

And finally, 3. The Ancient Astronaut theory does for today what the gods of yesteryear did for early civilizations - It gives a simple explanation for the difficult to explain.

Why does it rain? The gods do it. Why does the sun rise? The gods do it.

How did the Egyptians build the Pyramids?

Aliens helped them (or just built the Pyramids themselves as "landmarks" for future landings).

Ancient Astronaut theory is like that rusty bucket I used to use to fetch water in New Hampshire: It just doesn't hold. It underestimates everything, all for a simple "new gods" answer: Nothing more than a write-off embarrassment for our supposedly "technologically advanced" race.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

New Blogs Are Up!

The new blogs are up. You can find links in the navbar to the right. Much, much more soon.

Dut Dut Duh Dah!

Guess what, everyone? I'm adding two new blogs! One will feature my drink stories/recipes/reviews, the other will focus entirely on book reviews.

Basically, after southcoast247 bit the dust, I felt (some of) the show must go on. And since drinking and reading are two of my favorite pastimes, this new direction seems like the next logical step (until I get hired, or something).

Check back here for updates.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Takin' a Snooze

Sorry everyone. For the past, I don't know, two weeks or so, I've been on hiatus. My explanation for the break is simple. I just haven't had much to talk about.

Funny coincidence. The media at large hasn't had much to say over the last two weeks, either.

Because two weeks ago, Michael Jackson died. And since then, any responsible decider in the American media has been on vacation, allowing the tabloid rats in the ranks to let the MJ story take full reign and precedence over such trivial matters as civil unrest in Iran and North Korean missile tests.

Some may be surprised how quickly the major media outlets rolled over their serious reportage for all MJ, all the time coverage. I, however, saw it all coming from the moment I heard about his death on the 25th. Felt it like a hurricane on the horizon. Because the big news (Iran, Afghanistan, North Korea, the economy) has nothing on the biggest of news (MJ, 9/11).

Yes, I compared the coverage of MJ's death to 9/11. And I'll tell you why.

Simply, it's because of the all-encompassing nature of a story like MJ's death... or 9/11 - and the pervasive, grossly subjective reportage that followed it. It's everywhere, everyday. And, like 9/11, any story on MJ is fair game... even if that tale is rather tall.

Paging Dr. Sanjay Gupta! What's the word on MJ's toxicology results? We need an ambiguous report on that unreleased bit of information, STAT!

Katie Couric! Come out from behind that desk! We need you to report on some real news! Get over to Debbie Rowe and see if she'll fight for custody of the kids! And hitch up your skirt, damnit! Show a little thigh!

Geraldo Rivera! Get in front of a camera and start positing wild conspiracy theories! Who killed Michael Jackson? Who benefits most by having Michael dead?

The media! That's who!

MJ's death and 9/11 have a lot in common. Both surprised and shocked the world. Both proved a boon for conspiracy theorists. Both had widely televised memorial services. Both stories ruled supreme over the media for some time.

And both exhibited the triumph of subjectivity over objectivity.

But only 9/11 was a real, relevant story that demanded objectivity and, unfortunately, didn't get much of it. And only 9/11 will continue to affect the people of this nation, and the world, for years to come.

The case of MJ, sad and tragic to some, highly annoying to others, isn't relevant to the majority of us. It doesn't affect how we live our lives or will live in the future. All MJ's death has done is allow the media to throw objectivity aside and let the bloggers take over.

Which is fine as far as MJ stories go. But not kosher for a supposedly objective entity like the media.

Oh well. I guess in a world as screwed up as ours, even the media needs to take a snooze. Better on MJ than 9/11.

(For further reading, check out my commentary on the Jackson verdict from 2005.)