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Wednesday, August 8, 2012

An Open Letter to Mars

Dear Mars:
Some say you are a lifeless ball of rock and sand, too cold and dry to ever support life in any form.
I certainly hope so.
If you do have life up there, you're pretty much screwed.
I don't know if they have screwing where you are, or if you can understand how this might be an idiom for something really, really bad happening to you, but screwing is how we earthlings create new earthlings.  Earthlings find this process very pleasurable and do a lot of it, which is why right now there are over seven billion of us down here, which coming back to my main point, is a big part of the reason we are so screwed in the first place.
Landing on your planet was a major accomplishment for us.  After traveling 104 million miles, a device which cost us billions of dollars, had to slow down from 13,000 mph to 2 mph in seven minutes, then transform itself into a crane and lower the "rover" the last twenty-five feet to the surface.  The rover's name is "Curiosity."  Here on earth we have a saying about curiosity and cats, and while I'm absolutely certain you don't have cats up there, it's a very troubling saying vis-a-vis your getting screwed.  It should tell you something that we spent all this time, effort, and money to get off our own planet, even if it was only a robot. We deliberately landed in a crater, because we knew if there were any signs of microbial life at all, that's where they'd be.  So if you were thinking of hiding from us, forget it.
Meanwhile, what can I tell you about us?  Recently we had a world-wide contest in which our strongest, fastest, and most agile specimens showed how strong, fast, and agile they were.  One in particular is very beautiful by our standards and extremely young, and was able to throw her body around in the air and twirl and spin and land in ways that would take your breath away, assuming you can breathe.  She was criticized for her hair.
Also in the news, a young earthling, who seems to have been very gifted intellectually, went into a crowded building with semi-automatic weapons and shot at the people inside even though they'd done nothing to harm him and were only there in the first place to entertain themselves.  Their entertainment was watching professional actors pretend to shoot and pretend to be shot at with semi-automatic firearms as well as other weapons.  In an unrelated incident another man went into a another crowded building to shoot at people who had not harmed him.  One of our earthling law enforcement agencies is investigating this matter because the crime will be considered more serious if it turns out the shooter hated them.  The people in this second building were there to worship God which is part of the reason the shooter may have hated them.
Perhaps you don't worship God up there and don't know what I'm talking about; God is a being who is all-powerful, all-knowing, and all-good.  Almost everyone here believes in God.  Everyone seems to agree God is Love, but we we still have many profound theological disagreements.   For example, some people say that God hates it when people of the same sex screw each other, perhaps because you can't make new earthlings that way which they say is why God may have invented screwing in the first place.  Other people say God hates it when people try to stop people from screwing regardless of whether this might create earthlings because they say God made them this way, and screwing is an act of love, and God is Love.  You see how complicated this is. Somehow all this means that I must either eat as many fried chicken sandwiches as possible or else I must not eat any fried chicken sandwiches at all.
If you are capable of reading at all, and if you do read this, by now you realize how deeply screwed you are that we have arrived on your planet, even if only in robotic form.  The best I can hope for you is that you have no life at all on your planet.  As for the other planets out there, and the other solar systems with planets, we on earth have an insatiable curiosity, and if there's any life elsewhere in the universe, we will not rest until we have found it.
Be warned.
Man Martin

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