Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Let's Celebrate Roswell Day!

Of course, if these guys were on the Jury...
Hey everybody, it's Roswell Day! Or at least it would be if there was any sort of official recognition of the day the Air Force admitted to having found a goddamn starship full of dead aliens lying in an impact crater on some guy's ranch. Or maybe they just found a weather balloon. The jury's still out, but c'mon. Look, I'm not trying to take sides on this whole alien vs. weather balloon thing, but clearly something happened. Ferengi, secret Soviet mutant hoax, gin. Who knows?

Don't laugh, conspiracy fans totally have a case. Like why would a weather balloon crash be newsworthy? I know it was the 40's and nothing of note happened at all that decade, but still, that's a slow news day. But was it aliens?
I suppose that in the 1940's, any distraction from the radio
constantly playing In The Mood on loop would have been welcome.
Unlike most razors available to us,
Occam's is the opposite of bullshit.
Maybe. I think Occam's razor cuts both ways on this one. On the one hand, it seems pretty straightforward: weather balloon falls out of the sky, there's some miscommunication, a little early Cold War anxiety and the whole things gets blown out of proportion. On the other hand, the universe is frelling huge and math seems to favor the possibility of aliens, so who's to say that a spaceship didn't crash in Roswell? Ok, so that's exactly what the Air Force is saying, but who's to say they're not covering the whole thing up?

Above: Agents Scully and not Mulder.
Thanks aliens, thanks a lot...
Reason, that's who. Turns out that mathematically possible isn't the same as bloody likely and it's a bit of a stretch to suggest that the technology to cross interstellar distances would breakdown somewhere in New Mexico like an overheated RV. Besides, I'd imagine aliens would have a Prime Directive or something to prevent them from freaking out the natives. I mean, look at us, a crashed weather balloon probably resulted in seven decades of conspiracy theories, paranoia and the unnecessary final three seasons of The X-Files.

In return we can teach them about this
thing we humans call love.
Anyway, all that said, I think we should absolutely celebrate Roswell Day. Not because of what may or may not have landed in a field in 1947, but because the question reminds us that we're probably not alone in the universe. Not alone and not all that smart by comparison. Sure, we invented agriculture and later, the internet, but we still have war and racism and people tasing each other at the mall on Black Friday. We've got a ways to go. The best thing the aliens could do for us isn't cure all known diseases, or hand us the formula for cold fusion, it's give us a sense of perspective.

We need them to park themselves above out planet, hijack our communications and call us, as a species, on our bullshit. You know, shame us from orbit--it's the only way to be sure.
"Hey, are you the psychotic chimps who, despite developing 
art, music and science, still murder each other over money, 
territory and religion? Wow, way to go guys, way to go."
-Aliens, before subjecting
us to a planet-wide slow clap

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