Wednesday, 28 October 2015

A view from Andromeda


As you have probably guessed, I am an alien. What you cannot have guessed is that I come from the planet Qargle which circles a fairly typical star in what you refer to as the Andromeda Galaxy. Yet life is a matter of perspective - you humans are the aliens as far as I am concerned but I’ll let that pass. I’ve been here on observer duty for many years so I’m becoming used to you.

“How did you get here?” must be the inevitable question. It is hard to describe in your terms, but imagine a kind of intergalactic wheelbarrow powered by a vat of radioactive lard. That’s not it of course, but the image is close enough. Actually I don't really know how it works, I just identify myself and press the blue button. It seems to be very fast.

So – what are my conclusions after all these years? The details of my reports are secret but I am allowed to pass on some broad conclusions before you become extinct. Oh, I should point out here that I and my species have nothing to do with your impending extinction. That is entirely your doing, so no surprises there. We don’t kidnap people either. That’s the other lot. They even kidnap us from time to time – bastards.

I cannot give any details of your extinction, but what I am able to say is that tedium and idiocy will play their part. Sadly, many of you already know that, but my wheelbarrow only has room for one. Plus a huge supply of bacon which we don’t have on Qargle. Yum yum.

I suppose I ought to say a word about the leaders you elect. You know they are inept and that’s fine, I have no problem with inept leaders, it’s how we do things on Qargle. Inept leaders are good because their ineptness allows the general populace to get on with their lives. There are minor irritants caused by ludicrous and expensive schemes which never work but on Qargle we accept this as inevitable. Unfortunately you humans are making a number of basic errors when appointing your inept leaders. Perhaps you need to choose them more carefully or offer more guidance.

Inept is not the same as stupid or venal, that is the first error. Genially inept is the target here, not rampantly stupid, insanely greedy or sexually incontinent. Your voters need to refine their notions as to what is appropriate in a leader. Genial ineptness is fine, it works. Inept is not the same as mad either. A point worth adding I think.

For example, your reaction to the scandal of fiddled expenses by UK MPs was quite inappropriate. Petty thieving by your MPs was a good sign, it showed up a whole range of desirable limitations and also how inexpensive their little foibles were. Really, the whole issue should have been swept under the carpet.  

I should also say a word or two about your ideas of entertainment. In general it is good for any society to foster entertainment, even yours. Here is a typically apt quote from an earlier Qargle observer.

For laughter and also jocularity are merely pleasure; and therefore, provided they are not in excess, they are good in themselves. Nothing, therefore save gloomy mirthless superstition prohibits laughter. For why is it more becoming to satisfy hunger and thirst than to disperse melancholy?
 Baruch Spinoza – Qargle Observer NI (Not Inept)

You see there is nothing here about falling down drunk, hours spent gaping at a television screen, more hours spent fiddling with mobile phones or weird rituals such as Strictly Come Prancing. These are inept entertainments and ineptness is supposed to be reserved exclusively for your leaders. It is their prerogative, not something you take from them, otherwise there is not enough ineptness to keep the political system clogged up. Your political classes wake up from their constructive stupor and start changing things. Therein lies disaster.

While we are on the subject of entertainment, a word about sport seems appropriate too. Sport is something in which one takes part, not something we merely pay others to perform while we stuff ourselves with inferior pies and cheap lager. The game’s the thing, not the pies and the booze.

Oh well, time to check my “wheelbarrow” and the “lard vat”. I shall not be using them for a while, but the temptation is hard to resist as I you must realise. Don’t forget about the extinction.

On second thoughts you may as well.


Demetrius said...

Did you land at Malik Way Heanor? Apart from that I believe Malik liked to visit coal mines when gadding about. Given the period I suspect he may have been looking at an NCB pit that had introduced mechanisation, I think the Notts and Derby fields were more advanced in this at the time.

A K Haart said...

Demetrius - I don't know if it is the same chap, but Malik Way lies within walking distance of the old Woodside and Coppice NCB pits which only closed in the 1960s.

James Higham said...

Pleased to meet you. I'm from Zog.

A K Haart said...

James - not the planet where almost everyone lives on a boat?

Derek said...

If I came from another place, I do not have a recollection of it. But do wish I had a selective memory for all the good things that have been seen to the exclusion of all the bad. The more time that passes, the more the past calls me, and the more alien becomes the present. Perhaps I'm just an Earthling after all, and long for innocence and ignorance.

A K Haart said...

Derek - yes the past does call as we become older. Inevitable I suppose, there are only so many adjustments we can make in one lifetime.