Using Our Edge

That dear old Homo sapiens is a disgusting excrescence on an otherwise civilised galaxy is not an entirely new idea; it was, in fact, the revolutionary innovation of The Day The Earth Stood Still and was attempted also in the famous turkey, Plan 9 From Outer Space. And then we have C.S. Lewis’ Interplanetary Trilogy and Doris Lessing’s Canopus in Argos sequence. The reason it is not used more often is that we find goodness much harder both to portray and to believe in than badness; which may be fresh evidence for the truth of the original hypothesis.

A way out of this trap may be to reflect that “no species is a villain to itself” and to concentrate on our human spin-doctoring. After all, if so many million people can be induced to vote for George Bush and Donald Trump, then obviously the human propaganda machine is up to “making the worse cause appear the better”, probably also on a pan-galactic scale. A story, or even better, a film, could show the high-minded aliens – whose evolution on their distant worlds would have to be driven by something other than our own small-group coalition politics – vainly struggling with the human suite of Big Lie skills, and the ordinary people of Earth enthusiastically falling into line behind the flacks.

An ancient and benevolent galactic civilisation opposed by Fox News? It would like shooting fish in a barrel.

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