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war of the worlds? maybe.
peace is one possibility
by robert a. melos
pop culture

As a child, I was told the world is what you make of it. Given the current state of world affairs, and the truly infinite possibilities in the universe, and my imagination, I can conjure up some truly bizarre scenarios. It is at these moments when I can’t help but think of that old Twilight Zone episode “To Serve Man.” Is it really so far fetched of an idea that, out there somewhere, lurking among the stars is an alien race that would use us as a source of food?

I would like to think the universe is above creating such creatures, but then I remember some of us like lobster. We might find them repulsive to look at, but their sweet tender meat is considered a delicacy. With that in mind, it is quite possible an alien species could come to Earth, take one look as human beings and think to himself “these are some butt ugly creatures. I wonder what they would taste like parboiled and dipped in drawn butter?”

Of course the human race would have to stick around on Earth long enough to become an item on some intergalactic take-out menu.

I’m not saying that’s how the human race is going to end up, roasted, boiled, fried, or barbecued on a bun, but it is one of the random possibilities that could occur. On the other hand, we could wipe ourselves out of existence through our constant squabbling and petty conquests to control one another long before a ship of E.T.’s show up looking for a table for five and a quick bite before the intergalactic drive-in picture show starts.

Call me a peacenik if you will, but I believe there are other ways of achieving goals aside from war. At least I used to believe that, and on a good day still believe talk and compromise are better than suicide bombers and world domination through force and violence.

However, more often I find myself resigned to the fact war amongst our selves is inevitable. Violence is a way of life, for the human race. It would be nice to break the cycle, but it just isn’t in our nature to live in peace. We might sing, “give peace a chance,” but give us a cause, almost any cause, and we’ll jump on the bandwagon to self-destruction in the name of God, or oil control, or Britney, or Shakira, or Helena.

I haven’t been in favor of a war with Iraq, because I don’t like or trust the Republican administration currently in charge, yet if it were Al Gore telling us we have to kill Saddam Hussein to preserve the American way of life, I’d be waving the flag and singing his praises.

Maybe it’s all in the presentation?

For me, as a gay man, if George W. would garnish the plate with the promise of equal protection and serve up an appetizer of acceptance of inclusion of same-sex marriage on a federal level, I might be willing to support a war that will probably last 10 years or more, and cost millions of lives. The thing is, deep down in my heart, I’ll always believe fighting of any kind is wrong, and the way to a truly enlightened future is through talk. This doesn’t mean we should open ourselves up and blindly trust Saddam Hussein or the first alien species to land on Earth.

While in my own way I might consider myself a nummy treat, I don’t plan on ending up roasted and stuffed with an apple in my mouth. Nor do I want to die because of a terrorist attack or due to a war between superegos or superpowers, while waiting for that alien species to come looking for some free range human.

Of course one of these possible futures is more readily at hand than the other. Or is it?

Until September 11th, no one in my generation gave a thought to the possibility of destruction on American soil on such a grand scale. So if that were made possible in a brief moment, why not aliens looking for something new to barbecue?

Now if we can accept those possibilities, then why not something on a more positive note? Why not a world where people are accepting of each other, and live in harmony, only willing to take up arms, if necessary, against a greater threat to the overall planet?

Of course, being that violence is in human nature, we’ll probably kick the butt of any alien species that lands on Earth anyway. So why not accept the inevitable and go out for a nice lobster dinner while you can? Perhaps the path to true enlightenment is through the stomach?


Robert is the author of the novels Cool Mint Blue, Melba Ridge, and the recently released The Adventures of Homosexual Man and Lesbian Lad; and the creator of the on-line comix Impure Thoughts found at his web site Inside R.A. Melos, as well as having been an on-line staff writer for QBliss where he had a monthly humor column, Maybe A Yip, Maybe A Yap. In his non-writing time, when he's not studying the metaphysical or creating a tarot deck, he sells real estate in Middlesex County New Jersey, hangs out with his dog Zeus, and spends time at the Pride Center of New Jersey in Highland Park, NJ, where he is on the Board of Trustees.

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elena siprova
2.17.03 @ 6:37p

I think you have hit on a theme that has been antagonizing me for days - whether we like it or not, war is a reality. Does that mean we are blood thirsty war mongers? Of course not. It means that if you enjoy the freedoms and luxuries you have here, you must be willing to fight for them. We have to accept the fact that there are people out there that will NEVER respond to reason or any other logical presentation of truth. No matter how you try to reason with them, you WILL FAIL. I for one am saddened by the loss of the "Let's Roll" mentality that made me feel that no one could threaten my freedoms. Now, I worry that I my future might be comprimised because some people want to waste time reasoning with a maniac.

robert melos
2.17.03 @ 6:47p

I do agree. Part of me still believes reasoning and talk are the right thing to do, but I realize talking will only work if both parties are willing to listen as well. There are infinite possibilities in the universe, but it looks like war is one of many that will come to pass.

I was raised to believe any violence is wrong, but at this point we have to accept the inevitability of war. If this is the case, then let's get it over with. Let's go in, kick Saddam's butt, and move on to the point of attempting to reach a level of enlightenment with which we can feel content.

elena siprova
2.17.03 @ 7:51p

I agree completely - this is one of those great arguments that could go on forever - it drives me crazy!! On one hand, you could argue that reason is subjective. I guess you just have to go with what you believe and then fight for it instead of trying to convince someone who will never be convinced. Does that make any sense???

robert melos
2.17.03 @ 10:38p

Elena, that makes perfect sense. There just comes a time when you have to stop the talking. Part of my problem with the whole Saddam things is, I don't think he's as immediate of a threat as North Korea or Bin Laden.

Again, I think it's in the presentation. Bin Laden was not an reconizable face for America to rally against. There are still too many people who are unfamiliar with him as a threat. Sure, they know the name, but Saddam has been around longer. Unfortunately we still have the "Will it play in Peoria?" attitude in America. Hell, at this point war will play in America, even if it isn't profitable.

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