UFOs are idiot fodder

2010-07-28 13:35

Last week we waxed histrionic about sealing our borders from desperate Zimbabweans, and this week it’s about opening our minds to the idea that visitors from another planet would travel several light years to our beautiful pale blue dot, then decide to hover over Pretoria, of all places. Was I the only one thinking that this doesn’t say much for the quality of extraterrestrial intelligence?

As an eternal optimist who likes to believe that one day, weirdoes from another planet will descend from the sky, destroy global capitalism and turn the rest of us into awesome communist cyborgs, I continually disappoint myself with my internal bullshit detector.

Sure, the possibility of life beyond our planet is extremely likely, but as soon as I hear news of yet another UFO sighting, I ask the same questions that should be asked by everybody. How did they transcend light-speed? And if they didn’t, why would they spend so many Earth-years travelling though space simply to silently check us out from above before buggering off again? Why are UFO nutjobs such lousy photographers? Focus, people! Oh, and do the aliens have holodecks, like in Star Trek? I would totally kill for a holodeck.

But scepticism requires effort, usually leading to boring results - and besides, we’re not a species that allows facts to get in the way of a good story. So what if it was just an airplane, a satellite or the universe throwing rocks at Pretoria yet again? It’s way more entertaining to speculate about mysterious grey men arriving on Earth and declaring via Babel fish to the first shivering human they meet, “Take us to your leader’s anus.”

My theory is that Unidentified Flying Objects only remain unidentified because the people who spot them are generally morons.
Depressingly, insectile alien pervs with an arse obsession is hardly the only crazy belief that persists in our world, despite all recently acquired knowledge to the contrary. Scratch a close encounter of the first kind and you’ll soon be rubbing noses with fake crop circles, Mayans who could predict the end of the world but not the end of themselves, and the blatantly insulting theory that the slave-built Egyptian pyramids are the work of extraterrestrials. Here is a belief that could only be held by New Age wankers whose bourgeoisie brains severely underestimate the can-do power of a damn good flogging.

If you think I’ve been unfairly rude to monotheists in past columns, I should point out that my contempt for traditional religions pales besides my militant loathing of these crystal-hugging, homeopathic-sucking, incense-burning, mystic-meg freaks. New Ageism like a colour-by-numbers painting without the numbers - an egotistic faux religion conveniently free of altruism and dogma for self-involved, lazy, living room-bound fuck-ups. I’m actually pissed off that they don’t have an identifiable god for me to blaspheme.

Because of the universe’s inconvenient light-speed limitation and the fact that UFO theories fall within the po-mo, fragmentary gamut of New Age gobbledygook, I’m inclined to dismiss ufology as the domain of the tinfoil-hatted horde and hardly worthy of the reasonable person’s spittle.

But on the other hand, I also want my Star Trek future so I can assimilate with the Borg and have wild collective monkey sex with Seven of Nine. In a world where people believe that their personality is determined by distant stars, worship undead entities and believe they’ll be rewarded in the afterlife with 70 virgins (those poor, poor women), who could possibly ridicule me for having a hope that exceeds my sense of logic?

Because that, my friends, is the very definition of faith.

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