Friday, October 31, 2014

The Fourth Kind



There may be limitless variation on life among the sextillion or so planets, but we're limited by our human schema when envisioning what it might look like. We necessarily conceive of the greater sentient universe in terms of earthly society, as that's our only reference point.

Films, writings, and interviews on the extraterrestrial more often involve encounters with predatory monsters because those vicious aliens are a projected fear that foreign life forms resemble humanity at its worst. It's easiest to imagine astronauts being shot down and vivisected in an outer-space operating chamber since that's just what our institutions would do if the ship were on the other shore.

In here and out there, we pose the most consistent threat to ourselves.

: - | >   

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Witch Dog


How would we feel if other creatures saw us as amusing mannequins around which to drape, bundle, and tie humiliating apparel made in their image? What if a peacock stuck a flashy accordion fan to your backside without asking? Or if a kangaroo glued a hairy pocket on your stomach? Claustrophobics, be thankful you don't belong to a turtle or a hermit crab.

Put yourself in their scales, feathers, and fur. Pugs already resemble chewed gum, so spare them the tinseled Christmas sweater with matching sleigh-bell cuffs announcing their every googly-eyed entrance. And all those cats persecuted on Easter, enduring the indignity of being dressed and photographed as another animal that is both cuter and lower on the food chain.

If I were a pet with a festive, childless owner, I'd be under the bed waiting the holidays out like a passing storm.

:  - | >

Friday, October 3, 2014

PG-13




Nothing against adolescenceit's a bridge to adulthood we all must crossbut tweens and teens are not fully developed beings.  By simple fact of a shorter life, they find novelty in cliché, depth in shallowness. They're forgivably whim over wisdom and are entitled to a learning curve. 

The trouble is that their demographic has the most disposable income, and companies have seized on this.

So the airwaves ring with formulaic edginess around impotent anthems of pseudo-revolution. Movie screens burst with explosions and costumes in place of plot and character development. Supermarkets teem with highlighter-colored drinks and snacks engineered to nourish cartoon characters.

With so much censored for substance, where are the casual opportunities for personal betterment?  How do you bring about a society of healthy, whole people when the majority are reared on sugar and emptiness?  In part, our cultural collapse will come from gauging the success of industry by how well it appeases the impulses of those who can barely grow pubic hair.

It's time for a grown-up rating system.

: - | >