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NASA To Martians: We’re Weak And Helpless


I suppose it’s their job, but I’ve always been ill-at-ease with the concept of NASA doing everything in their power to flag down potentially evil, babe-enslaving alien civilizations while simultaneously cluing them in on the fact that we’re about as defenseless as gastropods on any sort of intergalactic scale.

Consider my eyebrows arched for NASA’s latest attempt to get us all obliterated: when the Phoenix Explorer lands in the Martian arctic in May, 2008, it will carry with it a Voyager-like DVD, containing messages from scientific and sci-fi visionaries like Carl Sagan and Arthur Clarke.

But it doesn’t end there: NASA is also including a digital copy of Orson Welles’ 1938 War of the World broadcast on the DVD.

If you’re as afraid as insect-like alien conquerors as I am, this is troubling. The one clear message of War of the Worlds is that aliens can beat the snot out of us, but that snot will contain the common cold, which will kill all the aliens. Therefore, a successful invasion of earth can be conducted by an antagonistic alien civilization just by stocking up on Robitussin.

Hey, NASA! While you’re busy teaching aliens how to clean our clocks, why don’t you try putting in some media that demonstrates that when we’ve got our backs to the wall, there ain’t a single bug-eyed alien in the universe we won’t hit so hard their whole species dies. At the very least, cram Independence Day onto the DVD.

Projects: Messages from Earth [The Planetary Society]

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