Sunday 23 August 2009

Alternative to the Drones

Dear Aliens,
On the off chance that you understand this language, I’m writing with advice on how to carry on upon this planet so as not make the same mistakes we humans made during our relatively brief occupation of it.

You see, despite what may seem like major differences in our respective compositions, based on your methodology so far, it is easy to see that you are more like us than not, and prone to the same short-sighted errors.

Take the word "exploration", for example. It starts out innocently enough: A couple of school children rollicking through an open field. But before you know it you’re pulling the wings off of flies. Sound familiar?

Virtually every pioneering civilization on this planet previous to yours has occupied, enslaved, and/or killed off the previous indigenes. We always managed to justify it because we traditionally saw the other as primitives or savages.

Within each of our colonial nations, however, was disagreement between factions on just how to deal with those who were already living on the lands where we had arrived. There were usually two predominant philosophies: One saw the indigenes as inconvenient, but were willing to use them to their advantage until this proved untenable, at which point they tended towards a policy of extermination. The other faction felt that the indigenes were simply in need of a more advanced way of life and wanted to go about giving it to them whether they wanted it or not.

Well, as you might imagine, the indigenous populations always had similar approaches to dealing with the encroacher: Many saw the invaders as inconvenient and just wanted them to go away. This notwithstanding, they often tried to trade knowledge and resources with them, to their detriment. Then, of course, there were the warring factions which didn’t fare much better.

Considering this history, it is hard for me to say that you were incorrect to see us as primitives to use as you please and savages to destroy at will. But I hope for your own sake that you can look beyond this convenient interpretation.

Now that we humans are nearly extinct, only shadows of our culture remain. You will eventually attempt to decipher this world we have left behind much like we attempted to find meaning in the ruin civilizations past and the glimpses that they gave us regarding your coming. In spite of the potential lessons contained therein, we repeatedly failed to fittingly heed. We continuously opted for a convenient interpretation of our folly and ignored anything else as if it were mere inconvenience.

The last great and most enlightened civilization on this planet gives us a chilling example of what the us versus them mentality will manifest. Despite being the most egalitarian society the earth had yet known, they were at war with other nations whose only recourse was to inflict heavy casualties upon their invading army. They were hardly otherwise a threat to the invaders.

Even with the unpopular politics of deeper involvement in these wars of attrition, and despite the lessons learned in the past regarding this kind of undertaking, this most egalitarian of nations still lent authority to the same blocs of opinion. One wanted to destroy this primitive nuisance they had invaded with increased manpower. The opposition to this voice thought this rather suicidal, and while they considered themselves humanitarian and rational, their solution was to spare their own army and kill the savages with unmanned machinery.

That's where you came in. The savages and machinery were having the last word when you made your presence known.

It has been clear up to this point that you are not going to leave this planet for the humans to repopulate. It is likewise apparent that you will not tolerate the slightest resistance to our enslavement. But what happens once you’ve exterminated us all? Will you turn more emphatically against yourselves?

It’s been written in some human circles that your kind excretes your waste through your pores. I can’t help but think that that was, at best, prejudiced guesswork on the part of abductees trying to make sense of their experiences or, at worst, misinformation or human government propaganda.

Hence, I’d like to give you the following hygiene tip, which you just might find analogically valid even if it doesn’t apply literally:

Toilets are really simple to keep clean, but you have to do it regularly. Bits of your own waste left behind after flushing can be easily removed with a toilet brush. Don’t wait. While porcelain may seem slick and durable, and that nothing will stick to it, your feces is a toilet killer if you let it get out of hand. Crusty shit never comes clean.

Reluctantly yours,
the other kind of drone