ALIENS AMONG US? ALIENS FROM WITHIN?
WE – AND ‘OTHERS’
1. Or ‘I’ and ‘the other’ – not myself. For selfhood, we distinguish ourselves from
other beings. That Other has also a social role as the excluded being, the one not
‘ourselves.’ It, or they, is outside our identity. Excitement, curiosity, fear/ terror,
disgust, and hatred – we find it in myth, religion, social behaviour, law, fiction,
ALIENUS – SOMEONE FROM ANOTHER COUNTRY.
2. A legal term. But the term has extended its range off world in science fiction,
opening up the mythological possibilities of strangeness beyond the rules of life
on earth, and beyond the imagination, to speculation about actual life in the
3. they want our world and its resources… or to eat us, or replace us? (Independence
4. they are more intelligent, or older and wiser, and can save us from ourselves?
5. they’re here already, and we haven’t noticed? (Invasion of the Body Snatchers,
6. our cruelty and stupidity are offensive to them and we must be exterminated, or
we’re in the way and must be exterminated? (Hitchiker’s Guide to the Galaxy)
7. they can’t be bothered to notice us? (Rendezvous with Rama, 1972)
8. …they want our world and its resources… or to eat us, or replace us?
(Independence Day, Alien)
9. A projection of our awareness of our species at its worst: conquest, destruction,
greed – conquest, slavery, exploitation. What if they’re like us at our worst?
10. What if they’re here already, and we haven’t noticed? (Invasion of the Body
11. Damn, they could have been doing anything to us! Making us smarter (The
Church of Christ Cosmonaut, Chariots of the Gods) or keeping us stupid (The
12. Turning us into an energy source (The Matrix) or a colony of workers, or taking
us occasionally for food, or abducting us to conduct anal probes and
brainwashing. (Common knowledge among some humans)
13. …they are more intelligent, or older and wiser, and can save us from ourselves?
14. They’re not like us, don’t have our failings and vices. What if we don’t measure
up, are ashamed – but they can show us the way to redeem ourselves?
15. What if/ if only there were Others who had figured out how to live without our
WHAT IF OUR CRUELTY AND STUPIDITY ARE OFFENSIVE TO THEM AND
WE MUST BE EXTERMINATED, OR WE’RE IN THE WAY AND MUST BE
EXTERMINATED? (HITCHHIKER’S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY) 16. These aliens we model on the JudeoChristian Old Testament flood, the New
Testament apocalypse, nuclear apocalypse, and our human behavior towards each
other and other species: we hate you and are going to destroy you.
WHAT IF THEY CAN’T BE BOTHERED TO NOTICE US?
17. …until we – what? – grow up? Become less destructive? Become noticeable to
them – how?