We are ALL Dr. Babooner
Dear Dr. Babooner,
I suffer from a litte-known, not-well-understood condition called Atariphobia, which is an unsupported-by-facts but nonetheless pervasive fear of invaders from space.
Consequently, I find myself constantly scanning the sky for signs of flying saucers.
In addition, I am a practicing Orsonist. As followers of the late actor/director Orson Welles, we Orsonists assume that in every case the most dramatic explanation is automatically the one that’s most likely to be true.
Welles is known for the classic 1938 “War of the Worlds” radio broadcast, which convinced too many people that Earth was under attack. As a result, smoldering craters of every kind give me the creeps. When our family went to visit Yellowstone National Park, I stayed in the hotel room the entire time, sobbing.
In spite of these debilitating conditions, I am usually able to lead a typical life. But there’s a blog I follow where the writer often talks about how beautiful our planet looks from space, and he sometimes posts things like this video:
When I look at this, I’m terrified.
Compared to the barren, dead worlds we see elsewhere in our solar system (Mars!) and others we’re discovering throughout the galaxy, our place has a distinct ‘open for business’ look that makes me extremely uneasy.
It’s a swirly, spinning, sparkly gem set against a black background, with inexplicably vivid highlights, like the intermittent green glow of those northern lights – a feature that simply begs to be investigated.
If you were a space alien searching for a fun place to land or a bright bauble to tear apart, ours appears to be the only game in town. Why wouldn’t you come here?
I’m usually not too political, but I called my Congressman to urge her to do something. I thought maybe she could offer legislation to wrap the world in a drab,frumpy bag, dressing it down in the same way a beautiful woman de-emphasizes her best features to discourage unwanted attention.
The congressional aide I spoke with told me the Republican leadership is already doing everything it can to uglify the world through climate change denial. He used the incessant western drought as an example.
“California,” he explained, “is already looking a lot like Uranus.”
But I could hear stifled laughter on the other end of the line. I don’t think they took me very seriously.
Dr. Babooner, people are so willing to mock those who are even a little bit unconventional. How can I get them to consider the real risk posed by our planet’s obvious invade-able-ness?
I told I.M.W. there is not much one person can do to make the world seem uninviting to outsiders. And when it comes to putting a potential crisis on the popular agenda, one must wait one’s turn. As a people, we respond to risk when the danger is imminent and our possible responses are limited. In other words, we will only act when it is too late to act. But as an Orsonist, I’m sure you’re already well aware that the world will accept no whine before its time.
But that’s just one opinion. What do YOU think, Dr. Babooner?