I Prefer Martians to Humans

No one cares where E.T. ended up

I Prefer Martians to Humans

Nobody else on the planet will agree me. I get it. Men prefer Men. Women prefer men. Women prefer Transgender. Gender Nonconforming prefer women. Transgender prefer Transgender. Men prefer Transgender. Women prefer Gender Nonconforming. Men prefer Women. Gender Nonconforming prefer Men. Transgender prefer Women. Transgender prefer Men. Men prefer Gender Nonconforming. I prefer none of them. I prefer the Martian to the Human.

For Mars I feel is a more preferable planet than Earth and the Martian more preferable to the Human. No more human politic for me. No more human love for me. No more left or right for me, I want to go to a place where there is no left or right, where they have never heard an untruth, I want to go to a place where they know what love is. I want to go to a place where there has never been a war, where there has never been a crime, where there has never been a broken heart. A place that has never had a religion and has never damaged itself. A place where you never have to wander a Home Depot with a hangover looking for a toilet plunger. A place where you never have to eat a four-day old sandwich standing up in a crowded airport terminal where all flights have been cancelled for 24 hours. A place where you never have to answer to the Man or wear a silly uniform or speak to people in stock corporate, faux friendly, sales patois. I want to got to a place where they have never pored through lonely hearts clubs, have never had their soul smudged from the cattle mart that is Tinder, have never heard them talking about stuffing you into an old folks home, I want to go to a place where we don’t have to live in a world of fools, breaking us down when they all should let us be.

I find the Martian infinitely more fascinating than the Human. Humans are so first millennia. The Martian has mystery. Humans are spattered palimpsests. John Lennon never wrote a song about a Martian. Shakespeare never wrote a sonnet about a Martian, he could have written one, just one of his 154 sonnets about a Martian rather than blathering on about Humans seeking soppy love on summer days and glorious mornings. All the art, all the love songs are about Humans, okay there is a minority about animals, but for the most part, they are all about Humans. Every haiku, every limerick, every elegy, every ballad are about Humans. Man, it has become so tedious. I feel like the girl in Bowie’s Life on Mars, you know the one with the mousy hair for whom the film is a saddening bore, for she’s lived it ten times or more wailing, Is there life on Mars? Of course, there is, I just know there is a Martian out there for me. A beautiful Martian, unlike any of the grossly misleading depictions that the film industry has appropriated upon the mysterious inhabitants of the red planet.

There has been mis-information spread as well. Ridley Scott’s movie The Martian was not shot on location. It was not even shot on the same planet. The external scenes were shot in Wadi Rum in Jordan. And that wasn’t the first time that Wadi Rum posed as Mars. The same occurred in Mission to Mars, Red Planet and The Last Days on Mars. In The Martian, not one Martian is depicted. Indeed, the lead character is played by Matt Damon! A human is the eponymous Martian! There are no Martians in it, and none of the movie was shot in Mars, how can it be called The Martian?

Martian tripod illustration from the 1906 French edition of The War of the Worlds by H. G. Wells

But it’s one thing not to depict Martians in a film about Mars but a far worse indictment is portraying some of them as awfully malformed mutants, such as Paul Verhoeven did in Total Recall. Compounding their ugliness, they were cast along side one of the best physical specimens that Humans ever produced in Arnold Schwarzenegger and one of it’s most beautiful in Sharon Stone. This has been the case with casting and depiction of aliens since the beginning of time. They have always been depicted as monstrously ugly. In Tim Burton’s Mars Attacks, even after the Martians displayed such a passionate love for music, that they would rather self-combust than listen to music that appalled them, he still depicted them as murderous clowns. Similarly, HG Wells was grossly unfair depicting them as octopus-like creatures in his War of the Worlds. Everyone knows that Octopuses live in oceans and there are no oceans on Mars. So, they can’t look like Octopuses. Humans have always depicted the unknown as gross savages and they always turn out to be more beautiful than Humans, so I am pluming that the Martian is a beautiful creature. Tragically, science fiction writers have shown little imagination over the past one hundred years, basically copying HG Wells cephalopod musings. Martians are either depicted as Octopuses or little green men. The latter is equally insulting. I mean Warner Bros’ Marvin the Martian, what is that? A chap with no mouth in a Centurion’s hat? Yes, I get the Mars, Roman God of War allusion stuff, but the oversized hands and feet, I mean what are they alluding to here? No wonder the Martians are hiding from us. Nor do I buy DC Comics’ Martian Manhunter. The Martian J'onn J'onzz possesses the most incredible array of abilities - superhuman strength, he can fly, he can shapeshift, he can make himself invisible, he can read minds, the dude has got more going for him than Superman, but he’s no oil painting, he’s one ugly dude, a far, far cry from Christopher Reeves.

And even when they do try to make the alien cute, like they did with E.T, they went and completely crowded him out. In a movie named after him, it isn’t really about him, rather it becomes all about Elliott. Drew Barrymore had a handful of lines and yet went on to make fifty more movies, yet we never seen E.T. again. Not even a sequel. We never found out about him again. No one cares where E.T. ended up.

Mars, it looks so lovely, all red and all. Yet, it is constantly dissed. It is always stated that there is nothing up there to see and nothing to hold. Yet it possesses the largest volcano, the highest mountains and deepest canyons in the solar system. It has not one moon but two, the beautifully misshapen Phobos and Deimos. Humans think they know everything about Mars. Yet no human has ever being there. Humans have derived all their information about Mars from telescopes and Exploration Rovers. The latter are rudimentary robots. Humans have sent four up there, three have knocked off and the last, Curiosity is up there vaporising rocks. Think about it. There were thousands of Humans living in America thinking it was India. Humans don’t do geography or exploration very well.

Oh Mars. I love its butterscotch hue. It is beautiful but robust. It has been battered, almost two thirds of it are indented from the Late Heavy Bombardment. Which sounds heavy. Oh! what Galileo Galilei must have first felt when he became the first human to see that red bombshell via telescope in 1610.

Don’t be feeling sorry for me. Don’t think me a fool for thinking that there are Martians, that there is intelligent life on Mars, of course there is. Sure, our unmanned rovers have never encountered signs of life. But, I mean, would you wait around for us? I mean they can see us coming. You think with our history of vile behaviour when we discovered the Americas, and Australia that they are going to wait for us? Man, they are going to hide out on Venus or Uranus or on the dark side of Mars.

And yet even after all the horrible stuff Humans have said about Martian, the Martian judges us not. Indeed, the Martian sees us better than we see ourselves. They see as one people rather than many. The Martian doesn’t see colour, or race, or religion, or culture, or gender. Martians see us all as simply Human. I want to go to Mars. I want to meet my Martian in Garden City. Take a trip together in our dune buggy through Pahrump Hills, gazing up at Mount Sharp, over the Murray Buttes and the Bagnold Dunes to Ogunquit Beach on Yellowknife Bay to lay under a blue sunset and look down on Earth and see it as the Martian does – perfect.

Will Russell
Will Russell
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Will Russell

Freelance Writer — Hotpress, Atlas Obscura, The Start Up, Noteworthy — The Journal Blog & lifestoryontheroad.com

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