Tuesday, November 2, 2010


Some days the extent of human stupidity absolutely amazes me. Yesterday we experienced an astronomical event called a corona or a sun halo. Naturally, when I saw it I thought to myself “Ah… what a pretty rainbow!” and left it at that. You could imagine my surprise when I turned on the radio and heard a bunch of people misinterpreting this natural phenomenon as an alien ship ready to invade the earth, the second coming and even the apocalypse! This led me to question the general sanity of society and what we would really do if the end of the world was imminent.
When something happens that’s almost supernatural it seems human nature's first instinct is to turn to religion. When we see something that we seemingly can’t explain people turn to God - after all biblical scriptures are filled with miracles. During these events some people choose to see God’s power but then there is the other spectrum of society, those who didn’t take their Valium that morning, those who panic and believe the sky is falling.

One thing I just can’t fathom is how a rainbow around the sun at 9am in the morning translates for some to mean the second coming or even the apocalypse! Sure it’s not something you see every day, but honestly wouldn’t the apocalypse be ushered in with a more ominous signal or sign other than that of a rainbow? And had it been the beginning of the end of humanity how would calling your local radio station save you? Sure, I get the fact that some people need conformation by means of mass hysteria to reaffirm their own doomsday fears, but wouldn’t their last moments on earth be better spent praying for salvation? If the world were to end, the radio station will most definitely not be the first phone call I make – it would be to my husband!
OK, so let’s imagine the rainbow was the signal of the start of the apocalypse and within hours hailstones of fire were to bombard the earth followed by brimstone and then more fire. What would you do? Well off course there would be allot of praying, asking for forgiveness and making amends. But, during all this, I would be stuffing my face with cheese cake, chocolate mousse, crisps, fizzy drinks and everything and anything that I either had to reduce or stay away from eating in order not to get fat or have a heart attack. I mean we are all going to die anyway, what’s the use of counting calories when the world’s ending right? However the one thing that I would hope for, in those final moments, is that it would be spectacular, memorable (even in the afterlife) and painless!

But it wasn’t the apocalypse and we are all still alive! So let’s examine our second scenario - the alien invasion of earth. With this I have two problems. They said there were a spaceship behind our sun and the “rainbow” was the emissions from the outer lining of that ship. Really? For all those folks who believed this for even a second I would like to ask you, do you even know how big the sun is? If the spaceship was behind our sun and looked the way it was described it would have had to be enormous!!! So enormous that NASA surely would have known it was coming for a very long time. But let’s imagine they knew and it was indeed a spaceship, what would you have done?
Frankly, again the radio station would not  be who I’d phone first! Moreover, I would also not just assume that the aliens had a malicious intent either. Unless you’re psychic or have been in communication with the mother ship nobody would know why the aliens were heading straight for earth. This time around I would not stuff my face with calorie rich food as I would want to look good for the aliens just in case they decided to herd and farm us like cattle and kill off the weak for compost. I would go home, turn on CNN and await further instructions. To curb some boredom, while I wait, I would send out a couple of e-mails to Pope Benedict XVI asking the Vatican to comment on the implications of aliens on the Christian faith and I would also write to the WestBoro Baptist Church asking them whether "God Hates Aliens" too and whether they planned on protesting the alien landing and/or invasion points.

While the alien ship makes its way closer to our little planet, I can imagine how governments (who also would not know what the hell was going on) try to calm down their citizens. As humans are during times of crisis I would imagine looting, stock piling and loads of religious gatherings. Speculations would be rife, facts few and reason none. Fighting back would be futile as their ship would be a billion times bigger than our planet and effectively we would be helpless little maggots. And then the message would come:

We come in peace – actually we’re just passing by. You see we had some problems with our warp drive and had to refuel from your sun and we have borrowed some helium and hydrogen. Hope you don’t mind, good bye and good luck – peace out!
As I sit here today, the world has not come to an end and aliens did not invade the earth. The sun halo disappeared shortly after 10am yesterday morning but speculations, predictions and prophecies by soothsayers and other misguided individuals persisted until late yesterday evening. I guess there will always be people in society desperate for a sign from above, desperate for a sign from their creator and desperate to believe we are not alone. And every now and again nature provides them with a glimpse of her astounding beauty and power and they will see in it what they want to, most times to the great amusement of others.

Till next time.

Apocalypse Please (Muse)


shanaz@MyReverie said...

They needed to call the radio station because they were attention-seeking nuts! Haha. Loved your post btw.

Pierre said...

shanaz@MyReverie, or scared of the weather ;-) I found their reaction quite hilarious!

Lea said...

"One thing I just can’t fathom is how a rainbow around the sun at 9am in the morning translates for some to mean the second coming or even the apocalypse!"

Religious zealots and fanatics love to use slippery slope arguments to back up their beliefs. For example (in this case):

God is supernatural, the sun halo is supernatural. Since both God and the sun halo are supernatural it must mean that it comes from God. The one thing we await from God is the Apocalypse, since God is sending a supernatural sign it must be the end of the world! HOLY CRAP!!!!!!!!! (Walter impression)

Kimberly Gauthier said...

Wonderfully written.

This is just more proof that people have way too much time on their hand.

Pierre said...

@Lea, good example. And when the Apocalypse doesn't happen they use the same reasoning to justify why it didn't happen. Very bizarre.

@Kimberly Gauthier, I agree 100%

Lea said...

That's so true. I tend to be open to logic and reason backed up by facts, not blinded by faith and religion.

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