By Brian George
(Note: I have expanded and revised the first section of "Revolution by Night." Also, I have added an epigraph by Henri Michaux.)
“I also saw there the Auroch, the Parpue, the Darlette, the Epigrue, the Cative with his pear-shaped head, the Meije, the Emeu with pus in his ears, the Courtiplian with his eunuch pace; Vampires, Hyperdruches with black tails, Bourrasses with three rows of stomach pockets, Chougnous in a gelatinous mass, Perfils with beaks like knives; the Cartuis with his chocolate odor, the Daragrues with damascened plumes, the Purpiassses with green and trembling anuses, the Baltrees with watered silk hides, the Babluits with their pockets of water, the Carcites with crystals on their mouths, the Jamettes with saw-toothed backs and tearful voices, the blear-eyed and almost decomposed Purlides, with their two venom jets, one looking haughtily down, the other up towards the sun, the Carjax and the Bayabees, rarely emerging from their parasitic life, the Paradrigues, so agile, surnamed jets of stone…Wide avenues suddenly opened up and the view dipped past crowds of spines and rumps to fall on the voids which were howling at the bottom in the universal confusion…”—Henri Michaux, from “Zoological Notes”
Strange bedfellows/ 6 questions about aliens
Strange bedfellows/ 6 questions about aliens
Hi Joan of Art,
You wrote, “I really appreciate your imaginative matriarchal approach to narrative and recognition of the necessary threads we spiders weave into the cracks' of each other's psyches through imaginative hooey flab. I marvel at how you managed to present the game-changing wisdumb of aliens from a human perspective—WITHOUT being alienating, which is always my problem, but at this stage in the game I don't seem to care. What is your relationship to extra-terrestrials?”
—Please, will you watch your language! The ones I know prefer the politically incorrect name of “aliens,” which they take to be a kind of inter-dimensional joke.
Who, you may ask, is the butt of this black humor? That is the never ending question. Perhaps the eight-armed egg of Moebius knows, but he/ she cannot be tempted to say much, and we humans seem to have lost our keys to the grammar of the once universal language.
You could argue—as so many in search of re-virginization do—that certain aliens are “bad,” while others, more properly called E.T.s, are “good.” Vampiric Grays from Zeta Reticuli, for example, are out to tamper with our DNA. They are fond of cattle prods. To them, humans are a type of god that is powerless enough to eat. They can taste fear. They will shrink when we call them out. Nordic 7-D Pleiadeans are a particularly attractive group. Their white skins are translucent, and gleam. 4-D Snakes from Draco are the masterminds behind the International Monetary Fund. Their hearts are black, while the race of 9-D Ambassadors from Arcturus have no shadows.
I can’t help but ask: doesn’t this just re-format the traditional light/ dark opposition that has made such a hash out of human history? How are alien or E.T. traits in any way distinct from the mix of forces that we struggle with each day? Instead, let me echo the Roman playwright Terrence, who said, “I am a man; thus nothing human is alien to me.” I would tweak this as follows: there is no part of the Macrocosm that is not—at least potentially—a part of my own body.
In the Ptolemaic cosmos, one argument for placing Earth at the central point was that it could not have an orbit. Circles were a perfect form, while the Earth was an impure mixture of four elements. If this is true, then the center of the body would seem like an odd place for a navel. The gods would disdain to communicate through such an opening. A hex would be placed on Omphalos. They would not want to catch germs.
Sal Rachele, in “The Truth about E.T.s,” argues that close to 100 percent of the Earth’s population is made up of species from other star systems, and he even gives an exact breakdown of the figures. Not only do E.T.s walk among us, but, according to Sal, they are most often indistinguishable from the average pedestrian on the street. All the better for those who would prey on the unsuspecting, and who hide their unnatural wet dreams under hats.
Let us say that you are standing at a crosswalk near the docks of the Generic City, above which a wave towers. There, you are attempting to determine the significance of each sign. Two signs—“Walk” and “Don’t Walk”—flash, but, above them, there are lights of three different colors, and the streets lead off in four directions. So: is it safe to cross? FYI: that is not a Wagnerian helmet. Instead, those are Brunhilde’s horns. It ain’t over till the fat lady sings.
In Chapter six of the Tao Te Ching, we read, “The great state should be like a river basin, the mixing place of the world, the feminine of the world.” And, in Chapter 49, “The sage has no fixed mind. She treats the mind of the people as her mind…I treat the good as good. I also treat the evil as good. This is true goodness. And in Chapter 41, “The great square has no corners.”
One can only wonder what other Earth species, such as cows and fish, would say about the benevolence of humans if they could speak. The verdict of an alien board of judges on our race would no doubt be severe—if they were to look at such things as Auschwitz, the bombing of Hiroshima, the BP oil spill, the Stalin purges, or the institutionalized violence of the global “free market.”
There is a statement that I think is from Moses Cordovero’s “Pardes Rimmonim,” or “Pomegranate Garden.” I can’t remember the exact quote, but it goes something like: “If each thing were allotted the judgment it deserved then the world would cease to exist. Let us hope that love is the operative principle, and that we will all clap when the actors take their bows.
Joan of Art, you had asked, “What is your relationship to extra-terrestrials?” Let me respond to your question with six questions of my own:
1) How “alien” are they, really, and is the shiver of uncanniness we feel a tribute to the closeness of our bond?
2) Why do “aliens” approach humans in the most intimate of settings, such as bedrooms, which they enter with no prior notice, almost as though some long standing relationship were in effect, of which their Earthly counterparts, only, remain unaware?
3) If they are exobiological, then why do they have such an interest in our bodies, which they violate with impunity, leaving only a few hieroglyphic scars, as we find that their zany transplants and their Fascist interventions often do more good than harm?
4) And how should we interpret this incestuous family drama: heads or tails, love match or Greek Tragedy?
5) Are they the servants and we the masters, now grown senile, on whose behalf they perform their initiatory rites?
6) Is our categorization of these presences as “aliens” a kind of magical act to avoid confronting the full fear and wonder of the dimension that they come from, the home that we left some indeterminate time ago, on which a door slammed shut?
(IllustraVictor Brauner, Eventail du Poete)