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Space post, coast to coast

 - James

Sorry if those of you who read my blog are tired of often seeing what I write here repeated there, but it is the easiest way to go about things. Anyhoo:

Yesterday, as I was milling around outside this very library (the one I'm writing this in), I heard the oddest...sizzling sound, coming from above. Before I had time to even look up to see what the sound was coming from, a small, cylindrical object about the size of one of those tennis ball containers plunged from the sky and into the asphalt, barely missing my head. Eventually, the smoke from the landing cleared, and, after getting my fingies singed a few times, I managed to pry the object out of its crater.I found it was a hollow cylinder, and it had a lid which could be screwed off. I removed the lid, and found inside some papers, written in English, which appeared to be letters. But the names mentioned in the letter were very strange, and the fact remained that this thing had come from the sky. As I read the letters, I realized something: Along with having narrowly escaped an interstellar braining, I had stumbled upon what appeared to be a piece of space mail! Rock on!Below is part of the (long) letter:

1To the most honorable Xylylnahn;

I, the Observant Kuymrg, am writing this letter
to you as part of the required summary concerning my observations of the Planet
Tholcandren, known to its natives as "Earth." The dominant species of Tholcandren,
known among themselves, and now by ourselves, as Humans, is what this letter will
be mainly concerning.Humans are an intriguing species. They are exceptionally
intelligent, indeed, Iwould guess that they are only about a few centuries, no
more than a single millenium, behind us in technology. It is only a matter of
time before they will be able to travel the heavens with the same speed and
efficiency as us. They do, in fact, have means with which to travel through
space, but only extremely primitive ones. They haven't been able to transport
themselves to their nearest neighbor, Malcandren, yet (they have, however,
transported machines meant for study to that planet, and to many others within
their vicinity). They have colonized practically all of their planet, they can
even be found (if only sparsely) in its least hospitable areas.However, for all
their intelligence, they seem to lack something else fundamentally important.
They have a great deal of smarts, but are sorely lacking in something infinitely
more important: wisdom. I have seen a great many absurdities that they practice
commonly, some so ridiculous one can hardly believe that they are intelligent as
they are.

They have, of their own accord, split themselves up into seperate
empires, instead of living peacefully together, without dividing themselves.
Naturally,this division leads to conflict, and a lot of it. These conflicts
occur for numerous reasons, and many times they will be started by one person who
does something extraordinarily disagreeable, and therefore, other nations are
pressed to resist this person, and from there everything escalates into conflict
in which many Humans lose their lives. Currently, things are especially chaotic
in this respect (and in many others).Each of these nations is ruled seperately,
and, strangely, all of them are ruled by their own kind, Humans. An incredibly
dangerous way to go about things. As a result of this, the Humans have gotten
themselves into more messes than can be counted. How they can expect a flawed,
imperfect person like themselves to lead a nation to prefection I have no idea. A
large part of their problem stems from the fact that many of their leaders have
long since given up the practice of turning to Maleldil for assitance, in fact,
they, and many of their fellow humans, have refused to believe in His existence
altogether, flatly defying simple logic, because the existence of Maleldil and
His Laws barr the way in what seems to be the Humans' primary pursuit:

They seem consistently seek only their own pleasure. Whether these pleasures be
excessively luxurious lives, the escape of unfortunate realities, or perhaps
involving themselves with multiple members of the opposite sex, theHumans often
pursue, first and foremost, the enigmatic, perfect Pleasure, which, many fail to
realize, can only come from Maleldil. Anyway...While the Humans maintain the
appearance of being ruled by certain groups of their fellows, put together and
called "government", their real rules--or, in any case, the ones more faithfully
followed--come from a seemingly omnipresent influence known simply as "pop
culture". Pop culture is made up primarily of an organization known as the Media.
The Media came about when Humans progressed to the point where they were no
longer constantly fighting to survive; they had leisure time. To fill this
leisure time, they invented ways to entertain themselves. The earliest form of
this entertainment came about in the forms of simple games, many of which are
popular still today with them and have little to do with either pop culture or
the Media. The next form of entertainment to take shape were things known as
Books (rather similar to our own Kadshyna), which were many slips of paper on
which were written words, which, in turn, would come together to tell a story, or
make a point, or something of the kind (like this very letter). These slips of
paper would be arranged in such a way as to make up a comprehensible order, and
were bound in a case of leather. Through books, opinions were widely expressed,
and they most definitely influence the Humans. Books are most definitely part of
the Media. Another part of the media is Music, which is the Human word for the
Art of Maleldil. For the longest time, Music was used the way we use it, to
simply convey emotion and beauty with simple sound. The Humans used their own
voices as instruments to add to this music, and, eventually, they began to put
words to their music. This form of spoken music is very prevalent and influential
in the Media, and the artists who make it have an enormous amount of influence
(more on this later), despite the fact that much of the words spoken in this
popular (shortened to "pop") music says nothing of importance; the messages
contained in the songs are frivolous or downright harmful, and the songs would
lose little without them. Also, there are what the Humans call Plays, in which
some Humans will act out situations as specific characters for the entertainment
of their fellows. These plays have much the same power of suggestion as do their
more sophisticated counterpart, Movies, but for some reason they do not have as
great influence as do Movies.

Then there is what is called "Radio," which uses
special beams (basically the same as the Rolygn Waves) to transmit all sorts of
sounds, from music to spoken words, into small boxes, and from these boxes the
transmitted sounds could be heard. Radio used to be incredibly influential,
indeed, there was one incident in which a young man used the technology to
transmit the words and sounds of a play about Tholcandren being invaded by
"Aliens" (beings from other planets, like ourselves) and thus sent millions of
his fellows into a panic, as they believed what he said was actually happening.
Now, however, Radio has grown somewhat obsolete, having been replaced by its more
sophisticated counterpart, Television (see directly below). Two of the most recent
forms of Media are incredibly powerful, and they go hand in hand: Movies and
Television. Movies, as stated above, are much like plays, except that they can be
recorded, preserved, and seen by millions. In this way, their messages are spread
much more effectively than Plays.T he second, Television, is a combination of
many things. The Television itself is a large box, on one side of which is a
large, glass screen. Onto this screen images are projected, and machines
called "speakers", which are usually nearby the Television, project sounds to go
with the images, and thus create theillusion to whoever is watching the images
and hearing the sounds that they are really experiencing the situation. These
images and sounds are transmitted much the same way Radio sounds were
transmitted, and thus, a single message, event, or form of entertainment can be
seen and heard by millions. Now, what, exactly, is shown in Television?
Primarily, there are things calledTelevision Shows (or Series), which are like
Movies, in that Human actors portray specific characters in certain situations.
However, while the characters remain the same, there are different performances
dealing with different situations on a regular basis. As a result, many of the
viewers of these shows can form a strong attachment to the characters and their
messages. More prominently, there are things called "Advertisements". Some
background mustbe given before I explain these: For the past century or so,
Humans have been using a strange procedure to manufacture goods. Rather like
their nations are divided, their manufacturers are likewise divided into numerous
companies, all of which manufacture various goods. Advertisements are like very
brief shows in which a specific company will vie for the viewers attention, and
by making their product look more appealing than others, try to get the viewer to
think they are in dire need of whatever product is being advertised.
Advertisements tend to be flashy, fast, and in all other respects generally
obnoxious. And even though they are not supposed to, they probably take up more
time on Television than does anything else.

Now, throughout the time all these
forms of Media were being developed, there was another form, different from the
others because it was (supposedly) meant toprovide information, instead of
entertainment. This particular part of the Mediais called the Press. The Press
is made up of hundreds, even thousands, of publications rather like books except
that they report on current events and have updated editions published and
released on a regular basis. Most of these publications will claim to be
objective, fair reports that are not biased towards any individual viewpoints.
This is a lie. All of these publications are most definitely biased, some more so
than others. And, unfortunately, many of them are biased in support of the
various idiocies plaguing Humans. I apologize for the time I took to describe the
Media, but it is vast and the explanation was needed. You can probably already
see how the Humans minds are nearly controlled by this semi-organization (it's
more of an omnipresent entity, really). All seperate factions of the Media are
constantly pushing various veiwpoints, ideas, and promotions on their hapless
patrons, many of themconflicting and competing. No doubt this is largely
responsible for the crippling confusion Humans suffer.

Interesting, ain't it, to get an alien's point of view? I wonder if he's met C.S. Lewis; I think I espy some similarities between the letter and a certain trilogy of books that Lewis wrote. How odd.More to come.


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