Thursday, February 09, 2012

I Disbelieve, and Roll a D20: Ancient Aliens

I was watching Stargate while working on a cover letter, and I had some additional fun watching the short film in the special features. I can’t really call it a documentary because the content has little evidence and too much speculation. The little feature is titled “Is There a Stargate?” and has both Erich von Daniken and Giorgio Tsoukalos talking about their beliefs.

These two gentlemen believe that humans were taught all the basics of culture from aliens roughly 10 to 12,000 years ago. They base their beliefs, which I won’t call theories, on the architectural accuracy of various ancient structures around the world. Since the pyramid is accurate to within a foot on all sides, and the ancient Egyptians didn’t have the latest laser surveying equipment, these things must have been built at the direction of aliens. Since the Nazca lines can’t be seen as a whole from the ground, they must have been built for aliens, or someone in a plane. The aliens will someday revisit their intellectual progeny, and usher us in to another new understanding of the universe. My problem with the alien explanation is that this premise removes all trace human ingenuity and imagination. Without the aliens, we would still be wandering the savannas and forests, gazing up at the night sky in fear. I refuse to believe that we would not have created art and discovered math without some intervention.

Aliens that swoop in and teach us everything or inspire us out of our huts feels like a parent assembling the entire LEGO toy while the kid watches, or those parents who finish all their kid’s homework when the kid gives up because it is too hard. I hope that we can grow up enough as a species to get past our stupid insecurities and maybe stop killing each other, and ideas like this take the best parts of humanity away from us. Also, Tsoukalos’ hair is goofier than my moustache.

Saturday, February 04, 2012

Like No Other Feeling in the World

...and I have felt every feeling, even if I will later deny this statement. There is nothing quite like being momentarily famous, even if I did not reach the level that Mr. Oats did. A few years ago, my father gave me a box set of The Onion books, specifically so I would point out the article in which I was a model and he could then bring them in to work. His PostIt note on the page said, "This is my son. What a way to waste your fifteen minutes of fame." Little did he know...