Dweedles To Mission Control : No. 9

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Science Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
Another instalment of the exchange of messages between a disaffected galactic explorer and an increasingly exasperated staff at home-planet mission control.

Submitted: July 01, 2017

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Submitted: July 01, 2017

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FIFTH MESSAGE TO PLANET X

Notwithstanding the provocative tone of your latest missive, I intend to continue doing all I can to acquaint you with the situation on planet Earth. For a few minutes, I shall overlook your more contentious remarks. When last interrupted by technical shortcomings – where are our much-vaunted scientists? – I was about to go into theological matters.

Religion is a big thing here. This is mystifying, as it induces people to kill each other in large numbers, regardless of the fact that nobody can confirm or refute the existence of a supernatural agency. Christians, Jews and Muslims continue their long-established practice of reciprocal butchery, regardless of the fact that they are, as I understand it, branches of a common Abrahamic tradition. This goes further, in that the various adherents have subdivisions, which seem to be as hostile to others of their own kind as to those they consider adversaries in a wider sense. One could be excused for thinking that an omnipotent and omniscient being would have settled for imbuing sentient creatures with a single belief system. By the way, the three strands just mentioned do not represent the whole spectrum. Don’t ask me to explain this because I would not want to insult your intelligence by doing so or my own by trying.

As for governance, once again I cannot offer unequivocal clarification, as this seems to be intertwined with entertainment, both being aspects of show-business. I recently observed a congress of European Union heads of state and government – in some cases there is no distinction. It was hilarious. As far as I could make out, the leaders went back home afterwards, claiming that they had outmanoeuvred everyone else and achieved a triumph for their respective electorates. Growing pains, I’d say, but better than the warfare that ensued from piffling disagreements in bygone days.

The position in the USA – currently top dog in economo-military terms – is not much different, as some of the citizens there have genuine concerns about the world situation, while others don’t give a damn about it, so long as they are apprised of the latest baseball/basketball/football results. I find this a little depressing.

With regard to social organisation, the capitalist system described in Appendix 9 prevails in many of the more highly developed areas, the reason being that this arrangement is the most successful in creating wealth, though it does not really address the spread of material riches. There was – and to some extent still is – an alternative in the form of communism. Regrettably, this has usually proved itself to be more efficient in the distribution of poverty rather than wealth. Still, the socialist idea may well be sound, if a little ahead of its time. I am mindful of the fact that we had similar convulsions in our society long ago. Some compromise will be necessary here. Overall, movement is slow and sporadic, but mainly progressive.

Now, I must inform you of my personal position. Frankly, I am in a conflicted state. Androgyny no longer seems the right course for me. To put it bluntly, I have fallen in love. Snigger if you will, but I am attracted to a human female. She is of Mediterranean extraction and her name is Vulpina. I believe that has some associative meaning, but am not sure what it is. Anyway, she is voluptuous, in addition to which she is also a competent amateur harpist. In fact, I heard someone ask her if she was a virtuoso, to which she replied haughtily that she had ‘never been with a man’. I don’t know what that means.

As a result of her former occupation, Vulpina is financially independent. She worked nocturnally and it is common here for night-shift people to be well-rewarded for their inconvenience – remarkably so in her case. She has a number of videotapes which she says are very valuable, though they will remain so only for as long as they are secreted. I find this baffling, but she must know what she is doing. Anyway, a little light morphing has put me in her good books, and I can think of no place I would rather be.

I have just spent some time hovering around England, home of the mongrel language which, despite its manifest absurdities, or perhaps because of them, becomes increasingly the lingua franca for many of the Earth’s people. Superficially, this tongue would appear an unlikely candidate for its leading role, as (a) writing and pronunciation seem to have undergone divorce proceedings and (b) the rules of speech are pretty much what any given individual wants them to be, though I should say in fairness that the grammar is largely uniform, which means that most Anglophones recognise good style when they encounter it. The explanation is probably threefold. First, the Britons were remarkably active in colonial times. Second, the record of their cultural spread, albeit far from unblemished, was on the whole possibly less negatively charged than those of some other nations. Third, the Anglosphere is prominent in economic affairs and currently accounts for a large proportion of the Earth’s gross international product. This will change, but the unifying effect of English will, I think, endure for quite a while.

Earlier, I studied the second-largest continent, Africa, which I must say is not in good condition – though I believe that circumstances there are likely to improve. Europeans and North Americans often deplore the violent events that occur at times in what used to be called The Dark Continent. This is strange because during the last century, the people of the countries from which this censure emanates were involved in the greatest orgies of bloodletting that even the remarkably murderous human race has ever experienced.

Much as I would like to continue, I am, as they say here, running on empty, so this is all for the moment. It would be nice to think of more backup from the place I am ever-less disposed to think of as home, but what chance is there?

Yours more in hope than expectation,

Dweedles

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