These two Martians, prompted by our probes on and around their planet, landed here in the US. They were looking for signs of intelligent life.
That is the subject of today’s 10-minute episode.
Revolution 2.0™ stumbled into an exclusive interview with two self-professed Martians, Gog and Magog. I took them at their word about their planetary ethnicity because they were thoughtful enough to be small and green, arriving in a flying saucer; some stereotypes are downright helpful.
I call this meeting an interview, but as you will soon see, they asked most of the questions. I was out in our backyard, repeatedly saying “Good potty!” to our 9-week-old Standard Poodle. (BTW, lest you think the life of a podcaster is all glamour, consistently hobnobbing with presidents and celebrities, I do this a lot…:) ). Their saucer landed a few feet away from our blazing fire pit.
As they emerged from their spacecraft, one of them said something that was entirely unintelligible. I responded with, “What? Who are you?” (Best I could do in the moment.) After apparently recalibrating their speech mechanisms, he spoke again. “We are Gog and Magog, from Mars. We were taking another lap in your ionosphere, saw your fire and thought this was as good a time as any to settle the question of whether there is intelligent life outside of Mars.”
“Would you like to sit down?” I asked, not really knowing if they were standing or sitting at the moment. “Thank you”, answered one, while identifying himself as Gog. They adjusted themselves in an odd way, which I suppose meant they were now sitting. “May we ask you some questions?”, asked Magog? “Feel free.”
“We lubb the slogan ‘All Lives Matter’; why does it make so many people mad?” “Lubb?” I responded. “Sorry, translation error; I meant love. We love the slogan ‘All Lives Matter. We also hear slogans like ‘Black Lives Matter’ and ‘Blue Lives Matter’. Aren’t they simply subsets of the completely correct claim that ‘All Lives Matter’? It seems…” Gog interrupted with “What is a ‘Blue life’? We can’t find any Blue people.” Undeterred, Magog continued, “It seems that when some people hold up signs saying Black Lives Matter, others hold up signs saying All Lives Matter, and they start yelling and fighting. Then some other people hold up signs saying that Blue Lives Matter (he glared at Magog to keep him from interrupting again). The Blue people and the Black people also don’t seem to get along.”
In the interval when I was trying to think of a way to explain this to an extraterrestrial, Gog, politely, this time, asked, “Who are the Blue people? And why does Black people mean people who are mostly not black, but various shades of brown? And why does White mean all those people who are not white? Isn’t your primitive printer paper white; do you know anyone who is that color?”
Well, he had me there, but I offered. “Well, Blue means a profession, law enforcement, and Black means, well, anyone with African ancestry, or who looks like they might have African ancestry.” They looked confused, so I went on, “And White means that you are not Black, Latino, a Pacific Islander, from Spain, or Asian.”
They slumped a bit, looked at each other, then looked back at me, asking together, “Why don’t the colors work together?” At this point, I wished that I had not turned on my fire pit. I ventured, “Well, you see, everyone is looking for justice.” Again, together, they asked, “How do you get to justice for all by fighting each other? Is one side really the enemy?” I began to fidget, wondering how on earth (pun intended) I had gotten picked as the person to answer for all of this.
Gog changed directions slightly by asking, “If everyone wants justice, then everyone must want laws to be enforced. Why are so many people mad at the Blue people who enforce the law?” Thinking that at last I had one I could answer, I said, “Some people think that law enforcement is systemically bad, and that it needs to be greatly reformed, perhaps even abolished.” Gog, struggling to be patient with me said, “If law enforcement is systemically bad, why isn’t everything having to do with law enforcement completely ‘screwed up’ as you would say? That would have to be true if the Blue people are systemically bad.”
Damn. They had me back on my heels. I was getting tied up in mental knots. I had no reasonable answers for their completely logical questions.
Magog quietly asked me, “How well do you know your Bible? Do you know who Gog and Magog were?” I dimly remembered the 1954 movie, “Gog”, but that was no help. My knowledge of Revelation was barely enough to understand that they were warring entities. Gog helped me out, “We picked these names to show you that no matter how deep the division is between entities, cooperation is always the answer. We cooperate, which is how we are able to get along so well, and to achieve things like interplanetary travel. Of course, before cooperation makes any sense, there needs to be a certain level of, well, intelligence leading to a determination of common goals. That is why we came here looking for signs of intelligent life.”
Gog picked up where Magog left off, “We did not really come here because we saw your fire; there are huge fires burning everywhere. We came to see you because of your message, your message which includes seeking common goals, you call it podcasting, yes?” “Yes!” I practically shouted back. “How did you find me?” “Your message found us. Work, and work hard so that your message finds millions of others.”
I was overwhelmed by the goal they had set out for Revolution 2.0; they sensed that and one of them, I forgot which one, asked, “What is a s’more?” as he pointed to the fire pit. “Huh, you are asking about s’mores?” I described them in what I thought was delicious detail, adding that we had enjoyed many hundreds of them around the fire pit, with all sorts of happy, smiling people involved at different times over the years.
I did not know if they were simply allowing me to take a break from the questions and daunting goals, or if there was a deeper message, a message somehow connecting s’mores and common goals. Unlike potato chips or popcorn, s’mores are more than must a snack, they are an anticipated and then talked about event. From the first moment they are mentioned, including the shopping and other planning, there is a fair amount of happy discussion and anticipation. And who has ever gone camping without looking forward to s’mores? Does anyone remember cutting and shaping branches to cook them while camping–then comparing and debating who made the best roasting stick? And the discussion over whether it is better to slowly brown them vs just burning them could go on all night. Hmmm…seems that s’mores events require some cooperative planning, leading up to an enjoyable and memorable experience. An experience people want to repeat–together.
Without knowing that the speech mechanism was still on, one of them said, “He looked pretty rattled; good thing that we did not mention the face mask mess.” “Yeah. Let’s go. We can always come back another time to see if we can find intelligent life here.”
What are your answers to the Martians’ questions? And were they trying to teach me something with the question about s’mores?
Tell me what you believe. I and many others want to know.
As always, whatever you do, do it in love. Without love, anything we do is empty.
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Will Luden, coming to you from 7,200’ in Colorado Springs.