Monday, August 3, 2015

It's a Cookbook! How We Became the Aliens from the Twilight Zone

Of all the Twilight Zone episodes, perhaps the creepiest and most jaw dropping is the episode called "To Serve Man". The premise runs something like this (spoiler alert): Aliens land in Washington D.C. At first, everyone is utterly terrified of them, in part because they are nine feet tall and can speak telepathically, and also did I mention that they are aliens? Soon however, just about everyone's fears are allayed by the fact that they seem genuinely benign. With apparent sincerity, they insist they have only come to earth to bring an end to human suffering. Indeed, they promise to end world hunger, create the conditions for world peace, and ultimately bring healing to the infirm. What's more, the goal of their mission (at least according to the title of the book that they carry around with them) is merely "to serve man".

Of course everyone buys into this enticing program, mainly because, well, materially speaking, it is a dream come true. Who wouldn't want someone to come along and promise to end all needless suffering in the world? Subsequently, even the skeptics eventually cede to the apparent generosity and benevolence of these intergalactic missionaries.

The truth is these aliens really aren't lying about their designs, and they really do wish to provide human beings with all of their basic necessities. However, their reasons for doing so are not exactly what they initially appear to be. As mentioned before, they genuinely do wish to "serve man", but not in the spirit of Mother Theresa, rather they connive to do so in the spirit of Buffalo Bill from the Silence of the Lambs. Tragically, by the time the main protagonist in the story wakes up to this fact, it's too late (see photo below), and before he knows it he is being whisked away to the aliens' home planet, never to be heard from again.

I remember being haunted by this episode for some time afterwards, not simply because aliens kind of freak me out in general, but because of the imaginative experience of being kidnapped and trapped inside a space ship beyond the reach of earth. For my part, few things could be more psychologically terrifying than this form of helplessness.

With the exception of E.T. (and a few other notable exceptions), there really aren't many alien stories (including Alien itself) which depict other-worldly beings in a positive light. Whatever the reasons for this, and I have my theories, there are certain attributes common to these aliens. The most typical of these are as follows: they tend to have an air of hostility about them, they like to toy with the procreative processes of humanity (ex. creating alien-human hybrids), abduction and kidnappings are a popular part of their regimen, they have an affinity for dissecting humans (and implanting devices), they appear to be without much of a conscience, their brains are generally quite large (while we get no account of their hearts), they are curious about us like a scientist is curious about his specimen, and lastly, as depicted in this particular episode of the Twilight Zone, they do, on occasion, see us as a culinary treat and/or a potential candidate for harvesting.

From whence all of this imagination comes, I will not dwell here, but safe to say these aforementioned aliens have a lot in common with demons, and as it turns out, with us. The idea of aliens/demons experimenting on human beings is terrifying enough, but add to that the fact that this episode, along with similar extra-terrestrial tales, can no longer even be regarded as mere science "fiction". The truth is we have become those dreadful aliens in these stories. We are the ones that exhibit their inhumane behavior. The "law and the prophets" of science fiction have been fulfilled, but we haven't the eyes or the conscience to recognize it.

One of the strangest details surrounding those recent under cover videos at Planned Parenthood (i.e. those videos that reveal top executives at the company glibly discussing the sale of vital organs of aborted fetuses) is the fact that there really isn't anything surprising in them at all. Abortion has been legal for over forty years, and so it's no surprise that some people profit from it, nor is it terribly surprising that the ugliness of this industry gets exposed on occasion (see a few recent examples: Kermit Gosnell and Planned Parenthood lawyer). Interestingly enough, much like those terrible aliens from the Twilight Zone, those who are behind these clinics claim that they are only here out of pure altruism, and that their only wish is "to serve man". But in a profoundly sinister twist of the phrase, they also mean something quite different than what was initially suspected by this phrase.

Do I blame Planned Parenthood for all of this? Of course I do! But what is even creepier than an organization that claims to do something brutal (and then carries it out), is a general populace that feigns surprise at the fact that Planned Parenthood has done exactly what it said it would do. "You mean a company that regards unborn children as little more than a "lump of tissue", would actually have the gall to treat unborn children as little more than tissue? The nerve of it all! In truth, if fetuses have no real intrinsic value or dignity, then why can't we treat them like they are worthless? How could Planned Parenthood treat aborted babies as a lab experiment?! Well, because they have little or no problem throwing babies in the dumpster in the first place... along with all the other medical garbage. Yet if that "trash" does indeed have monetary value, then why not recycle it, right?

"Guess which one of these isn't protected?" We shed tears over lions being needlessly killed (as we have seen in recent
days), but babies in the womb… not so much.

Protestors do not mince words when it comes to expressing their disdain for the dentist who killed "Cecil the Lion"

What should really outrage us in all this is our own complicity in Planned Parenthood's behavior. They have done exact what they have been legally permitted to do, and so if they are just a little bit fuzzy about their ethics, and tend to be a little bit lax about keeping the letter of the law when it comes to defending it, you can forgive them. Indeed, it is hard to make fine distinctions about the value of innocent life, especially when you have been given charge by the legislators and the courts to butcher it.

They are consistent (at least in what they do, not necessarily in what they say), and we are not. As a society we have declared in essence; "I'm OK if you kill this or that baby, just make sure there is a sufficient cause for doing so (whatever that means), and whatever you do with the body, take care to dispose of it quickly, so that no of us has to feel too bad about a baby being needlessly slaughtered." Consequently, Planned Parenthood's biggest crime in this situation is leaving a bloody mess.

Look, Planned Parenthood is merely carrying out its own wretched, despicable Nazi philosophy to its natural end. We are the ones who have the nerve to whistle and look the other way as the train heads towards Dachau and Auschwitz. Is it more evil to do the dirty deed, or to enable it? Seems like two sides of the same coin to me. Evil generally requires both a passive and an active element; one who commits the act in cold blood, and the one who excuses it (or at minimum stands by and does nothing to prevent it).

Another prime example of these "alien indecencies", can be seen in the treachery committed against human embryos. Whatever you think of In Vitro Fertilization, at least consider this: as we speak there are upwards of 600, 000 thousand human embryos frozen in "storage banks" in this country alone.

Yes, I do not deny, that some of these embryos will be permitted to enter a womb and live their lives. Nevertheless, a large number of these "leftovers" (as they are frequently called), will eventually die or be thrown out. Other embryonic children will suffer the indignity of being used for experimentation, while still others will ultimately end up as casualties of the implantation process itself (when In Vitro is performed, doctors generally implant three- so as to achieve pregnancy for one). To those embryos presently frozen and kept in laboratory holding cells, how can we as a society be deemed as anything different than a bunch of cold and cruel aliens interlopers?

To demonstrate just how weird and inhumane this whole process can get (if you haven't figured it out already), consider the recent case involving Sofia Vergara (the lead actress from Modern Family), and her now estranged ex-husband. Apparently before they got married they created a prenup that stipulated that- in the event of a divorce- the embryos that they had already created would be destroyed. When a legal ethicist was asked recently on Fox News about these embryos (and their subsequent legal status), she admitted, in essence, that these embryos are little more than "property" of the couple (welcome to a new form of child slavery).

As a consequence of a tragic equestrian accident some twenty years ago, Christopher Reeve spent the remaining nine years of his life in a wheelchair. During that time, he worked diligently to find a medical cure for this type of spinal injury (and presumably others). For this reason, he petitioned Congress (and anyone else who would listen), for greater access to those previously mentioned "leftover embryos" in the hope of pioneering a medical cure (Michael J. Fox also was initially involved in this campaign, but his initial enthusiasm wore off when the initial hype elicited little medical success).  
Personally, I am not a huge fan of the show South Park, but I suppose comedians who indiscriminately take a swing at everything eventually knock down something that ought to be knocked down. In one particular episode, Christopher Reeve is attending a rally in support of embryonic stem cell research. During this particular rally, he makes a speech during which he pulls out a dead fetus and begins to gnaw on it ravenously. After essentially absorbing its "nutrients", he then begins to get up and walk around the stage, evidently cured of his prior affliction.  

I find this satire disgusting– in part because it mocks someone who suffered tremendously. But I do not find it any more disgusting than the fact that it is actually true. Regardless of how offensive this parody may be, it is based on a medical fact, and should serve as a powerful reminder of why emotions alone should not be the final arbiter of our ethics. Reeve (and others) may not have perceived their actions in this light, but are they not in the end essentially doing what this South Park episode suggests (i.e. supping on the lives of the unborn in order to save their own)?  

Amidst all of these disturbing and gruesome examples of how we abuse human life, I have not even included in this discussion some of the more decadent examples. One such example involves the use of aborted fetal cells in cosmetic products in order to regenerate the skin of the aging consumer. Next, we have the story of how Pepsi used tissue derived from aborted fetal lines in order to test the savoriness of their products. And lastly, we have the recent scandal of several large hospitals using aborted fetuses as an alternative energy source in order to heat the facility. It's great being green, isn't it?! Note, in all of these instances, I have not simply focused on some lone crazy going rogue, but rather on the decisions of entire cooperations. Obviously this does not mean that everyone in these organizations is aware of these practices, but presumably in order for such controversial methods to go forward, consent must be given at the highest levels.    

Looking in the mirror as a society, we are no doubt horrified by the set of alien eyes that we find staring back at us, but strangely enough, we do not associate them with our own. I suppose this all makes sense in a way, especially considering the nature and psychology of evil, a kind of dissociative disorder whereby humans and angels alike become particularly adept at the practice of denying any personal culpability for anything. 

Evil is always over there, it's never here. The truly wicked man is immaculate in his own eyes... or at least never responsible for the subsequent effects of his action. Proverbs puts it another way; "Every man is right in his own eyes, but God judges the heart" (Proverbs 21:2). So it is likewise with the general response to the behavior of Planned Parenthood. We are naturally horrified (at least most of us are) to discover that “Soylent Green is people!", but we nevertheless remain fundamentally detached and disassociated from our own culpability in the wide distribution of this mystery meat. 

Yes, To Serve Man, is a story about a fictional alien cookbook, but it may as well be the Cliff's Notes to the Satanic Bible. The goal here is simple: reduce the human race to a bunch of mindless tablet-watching zombies with giant unblinking eyes, who both consume and are consumed by one another. How do you accomplish this? Not by withholding things from humanity, but rather by gorging him on every imaginable material good (just as the aliens did in the Twilight Zone). This will subsequently result in a humanity that is utterly anesthetized and stupefied, a slave to his own appetites, so much so that he will serve as the perfect host body and specimen for harvesting, even as we- in this most tragic days- have done the same to one another. 


Rod Serling: (closing narration from To Serve Man) The recollections of one Michael Chambers with appropriate flashbacks and soliloquy. Or more simply stated, the evolution of man. The cycle of going from dust to dessert. The metamorphosis from being the ruler of a planet to an ingredient in someone's soup. It's tonight's bill of fare in the Twilight Zone. 


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