You know, the place where you get all funky with crystal healing, spiritual chakras, and so on? Los Angeles, right? San Francisco? Seattle, maybe?
The Czar will shock and delight. His vote goes to Arizona and Colorado. The former is a hive of New Age weirdness, from
Roswell, Area 51, to the mysterious energies of the Sedona area. And the latter is also a mind-boggling nest of weird beliefs.
So the Czar, for one, is not surprised by something handed to him by Dr. J.
If my tax dollars were going to be wasted, this is how I would love to see them flushed….
It’s the absurdity of it that I love.
Does a municipality actually think that an interstellar race would be interested in local issues?
One just needs to watch any Star Trek TNG first contact episode to know that they care not one bit for local issues.
There has been a spate of UFO-related bits in the news lately. Jupiter is prominent in the SE skies this fall, so a lot of people are phoning him in for following their car along a deserted roadway and twinkling at them. And some balloons welcoming in the Spanish ambassador got released in New York City recently, causing a bunch of people to phone those in as weird, hovering objects Of No Human Design.
Denver, you see, has a lot of air traffic there—both commercial and military. Pilots are everywhere. Also, you may not know, professional pilots are an odd bunch of folk. In some cases, you can rely on them the least when it comes to accurate reporting of events. So in addition to the Czar not being surprised to see that Denver wants to establish a formal, paid extraterrestrail affairs commission, he also suspects that the woo crowd out there will vote yes on that proposition.
But Dr. J raises a better question with regard to what would really be expected. Should extraterrestrials come to Earth, they will not arrive at Gate 13 and ask where in Denver their luggage wound up on that conveyor thing. The sheer energy required to move a spacecraft within a reasonable distance of earth would be like a 747 sneaking up on you. You would know.
Because it would either take years for it to approach us—and believe me, we would see it against the backdrop of the stars—in which case they would eventually arrive here dead or extremely old, or they would need some trans-Einsteinian technology to get here quickly without being crushed by their own mass. In that sense, there would be a massive series of explosions we would see as they punched in and around the mesh of space.
Yet, what if the Czar is wrong about physics. Let us say they have technology so advanced that they can move faster than light without a massive expenditure of energy; further, they can easily sneak right up to our surface without us spotting them well in advance. Would their first stop be Denver?
Rather, what would likely happen is a careful approach that would take them to the far side of our Moon, where they would ever so slightly edge out to watch us. Unmanned (or unaliened) probles would study and map our terrain because you do not spend billions of quatloos on a hare-brained scheme without knowing exactly what you are getting into (unless, God help us, they’re democrats, too).
Once they have us figured out, and realized there are several approaches to take in communicating with us, the result will not be pretty. Roughly a fifth of our population will go ecstatic, chanting hope and change, and line up to receive their miracle cures and limitless free energy. Another tenth of us will go berserk, firing willy-nilly at the sky; the rest of us will go about our jobs as we usually do.
Science fiction has this generally correct based on sociological studies of what happens when very different levels of technology meets each other. Either we will be taken over War of the Worlds style, we will screw the whole thing up for our benefactors (The Day the Earth Stood Still, District 9), or we will slowly lose our way of life and adopt their customs in order to take advantage of their technology (real life). Either way, it ain’t great for us.
Fortunately, Gormogon members know exactly what will happen. We will eventually discover reasonable proof of life through chemical analysis of a far off planet as it transits its star. And we will get all excited for about a week, until we realize that (a) they cannot or choose not to communicate with us, (b) it will take us 60 years to send and receive a hello, and (c) the next five generations of people on this planet will never have the technology to see what their world looks like, get a probe that can get there in less than a thousand years, or find out anything about them other than they like nitrogen a lot. And then we will lose interest, the Church will refuse to comment officially on the nature of their spirituality, Muslims and Texas Board of Education members will deny their existence, and several diverse groups of Christians will set about trying to convert them into paying churchmembers. An American pop star will write a hit song about how they are probably just like us, cry, and love their children, a German pop star will write a nihilist song that they (and we) are all dead anyway, and a British group will write a song about getting pissed on pints with ‘em as they’re all Arsenal fans.
And life will be the same with our neighbors who live very far away that we never see.
Note: Alert nihil obstat EC writes in to remind the Czar that since 1912, Arizona is a delineated state and that neither Roswell, NM, nor Area 51, NV, are in Arizona. The Czar admits the errors, and aims to look at a map to see exactly how they laid that state out. Sedona, though, he evidently got right.