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interstellar_donkey's Journal: On the subject of other beings 1

Journal by interstellar_donkey

Once again, I can't sleep. I really hate not being able to sleep like this. It's nearly noon, and I'm very, very wide awake, sitting in the dark.

The television is becoming annoying, so I've put on some Lindsey Buckingham in the CD player, sitting on my bed with nothing but a dull turned down LCD display spreading light. And for the last half hour I've been just sort of deep in thought, trying to work out the things that are the mysteries of the universe. I'm contimplating the science and philosophy debate that goes on endlessly, with the off hope that I may reach that point of 'aha!' and have the answers.

But the more I think about it, the more I realize that the questions I ponder really aren't that important. For example, I've been watching these 10-10-220 ads on TV with the lovable Alf, and I started to wonder what has been going on in Alf's life since his TV show was canceled.

Did he hit the booze? Did he have a house in Malibu, throwing outrageous parties involving snorting cocaine off the breasts of models?

No, of course not. Don't be silly. Alf was just a puppet. But the show--and now the commercials--present more questions about this fictional character then they answer. Nobody has ever taken the time to deconstruct Alf as the literary hero he is.

And the conclusion I came to was, that for the most part, it didn't really matter what Alf did, or who he really was supposed to be. And as I was ready to move on to the next topic to churn over in my brain, like a bolt of lightning a question was implanted that I need to know an answer to. A question that, if left unanswered, will gnaw at me until the day I die.

Does Alf celebrate Christmas?

We don't know. Alf came from another planet. Melmac, if I recall correctly. Yet nothing was said of the faith based holy days, if any such exist, that were celebrated on Melmac. Are the Melmacians (is that correct?) Christians? Jews? Do they hold cultural roots in Malmac's equivalent of Africa and have their own Kwanzaa? Is there even a single religion on Melmac? Could the planet be filled with hundreds of different faiths, cultures and rituals like our own Earth?

As you can see, this ends up creating a near monsoon of question upon questions about the possibilities of religious and cultural exploration of other life. Yes, Alf is fictional, but good sci-fi makes us think about the science fact that we have yet to discover. What if we do meet up with a real 'Alien life form'? Would they stick with their own traditions, or would they adopt a spirituality and culture closer to their new home?

I just don't know.

As luck would have it, as I was about to embark on a week long journey of deep meditation, yet another thought jumped into my brain.

Now, I've said it before, and I'll say again: I love... I mean, I really LOVE robots. What I haven't pointed out yet, is that I also LOVE llamas. Alpacas, specifically, but all llamas are wonderful in my book.

So, I got to thinking, what would happen if some scientist were able to come up with a merger between two of my most strongly loved things? A robotic llama (or 'electric llama').

At first I thought it would be neat if they just had electric llamas. But what would be really cool is if they were able to make robot llamas that were able to fly in outer space. I mean, be able to go from one planet to another exploring new worlds.

It was at this point, the 'aha' feeling came to my brain: Alf is the Melmac equivalent to a robotic Llama. Think about it.

1. Alf is confused. He thinks his planet was destroyed, he eats cats, and basically mooches off this Earth family. In turn, Llamas are also often confused, they eat cats, and if you told one that the Earth had been destroyed in order to make him get off the planet and explore, the llama would probably believe you.

2. Alf is never seen pooping. Yes, he eats, he devours food, but not once do you ever see him on the toilet. I can think of only one other type of being who eats and eats and eats, but never poops: Robots. You ever see a robot poop? No. Because robots can't poop. None of them. Not even cybernetic organisms with a metal exoskeleton with biological outer laying like the terminator. How many times have you seem the terminator use the bathroom? None. Because he can't. He is a robot.

Take the above information, and realize that different planets will inevitably have different evolutionary timelines, and it becomes clear. On Melmac, the eventual evolution of its biological creatures could easily produce an Alf that is more or less equivalent to our llamas.

It all makes sense now.

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On the subject of other beings

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