An open letter to the Martians. (Re-posted from Coolositable.)
Even though you probably avoid the human-created web, and you’re totally right in this decision, I want to tender my apologies for the behavior of the civilization I am sadly a part of. During the last fifty years there wasn’t a public conversation without starting speculations about the existence of life on your planet just out of the blue, without any obvious reason. I hope the present generation has already got the immunity for the hiccups we’re causing.
We’ve been dreaming about having certain neighbors on the nearest planet for ages. Neighbors and friends, who could teach us everything they knew, defend us, whose abilities and friendliness we could use without a twinge of conscience. As you already have noticed, selfishness is the most evil scourge of the humanity.
Tons of books were written about it. A bazillion of movies were shot. Well, popularity is always good, even for a non-human entity. But the way we portrayed you was on the border of insulting. Little green men? Who in hell created this image and what was the thing he was high on? Why not the enormous pink-and-purple-striped men, for example? I will never, ever understand that.
And the whole phrase “Is there life on Mars?” has already transformed into one of the most powerful questions in the mass-media and show-business, standing in line with “Who killed Laura Palmer?” and “Who framed Roger Rabbit?”. Yes, it’s not a mistake. Mass-media, not astronomy-or-whoever-should-take-care-of-it. The first thing that pops up in my mind when I think of it all is a song by David Bowie, that speaks by itself. “Take a look at the lawman beating up the wrong guy. Oh man! Wonder if he’ll ever know – he’s in the best selling show “Is there life on Mars”?” – sang David back in 1971, at the peak of the fuss about cosmos’ exploration and dreaming about a better form of life in the neighborhood. You can include something about the life on Mars on the advertisement and – tadaaaam! – the rating of your show/product will rise in a day. You can successfully sale merch based on this theme, and people will buy it. It’s the thing that passes in today’s world: no one cares about the subject itself, but how to sell it better and rise popularity on everything. We make a freakshow even of the things we shouldn’t, like tragedies. Our life actually has become a freakshow itself.
Also, Now we have Mars rovers, NASA programs with budget worth millions, a whole station floating somewhere in the space with people and scientists working on it, and all this bullshit. But what have we done during all these years? In the last decades we created more cosmic garbage than during all our existence. We “lose” rovers on the Moon and Mars, and according to several speculations, we’ve lost some astronauts, too. (Personally, I don’t believe there weren’t any Major Toms before Gagarin’s flight – impossible for such irresponsible creatures like humans.)
Have we deserved to know if you exist? And what will we do if you give us a clue? We can’t keep in order our own planet. …Ok, I’m starting to sound like a Greenpeace activist, but the whole message is clear.
So, if you someday pass by my house, dear Martians, please, please stop by and come for a tea. I promise I’ll never say anyone, I’m just craving for seeing you to know if I was right and you have red hair or not.
a hopeless earthling, Anna.