Guard Well This Shield… For One Day It Will Guard Your Life

So for like the 5th time in the last two years, I was attacked by birds. I really don’t know what is up with them. For my whole life they have never bothered me, and I’ve done a few hundred thousand miles worth of walking around in my day. This is only a recent phenomenon. I’ve read up on all the reasons, such as them having babies in the nest, etc. Still, this only seems to happen to certain people. A few days ago I was taking a stroll down Ash in Tempe when out of nowhere some modern day pterodactyls(mockingbirds?) started divebombing me. They took turns coming at me from all different directions. Luckily I managed to deflect their attacks using my iPad as a shield. I escaped without getting as much as a scratch. My own theory is that they think the bill of my hat is some kind of “beak” and that I’m a type of predatory bird looking to eat up their young ones. Little do they know I’m just wandering around daydreaming about Battlestar Galactica, and I would never even think to hurt a bird at this stage in my life. In fact I always stop to hang out with the duck family at the canal, and we get along just fine. One thing I noticed is that the attacking birds get more aggressive if you run away. You’ve got to hang in there and at least pretend to fight. As birds slowly realize that humans are pussies minus their tools which destroy animals’ respective natural habitats, we will all be bird food.

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Guard well this shield. For one day it will guard your life

I attempted to clean out my room today, but about 15 minutes into it…I discovered The Zombies greatest hits cd that Brandie(an infamous ex from several years back who later became a reliable if completely invisible friend) gave me for Christmas in 2004. And so of course I got sidetracked and ended up dancing on my bed in my underwear(and an American Apparel tanktop) for about 45 minutes. I kind of wish I would have gotten it on video, but then again I kind of don’t. Lately my days are filled with such shenanigans. I conduct almost all my important art related business from my cellphone on the roof of the parking garage at Fashion Square Mall. A lot of Scottsdale girls walk by and either smile or scowl at me, but as of yet no one as ever bothered to ask me what the fuck I’m doing there.

Yesterday, I helped Jonathan put up his posters and promote his album. There was one that needed to be placed in a prominent position on Mill Ave, but he was too scared to put it up there because there are usually bike cops everywhere and he was afraid of getting fined…so I decided to run for it and just tape that sucker up, but before I did I quoted Laurence Olivier from Clash of the Titans(1981 version) and said “Fortune is ally to the brave.” It’s a quote that always seems to jump in my mind in critical moments of decision making or hesitation. I’m almost always the designated person who has to go up to a group of girls cold and talk to them, and pave the way for my friends. I will find any excuse to talk to them, and if I do not have one i will simply make something up. Life is too short to care about what some girl thinks of you, and most of the ones you meet turn out to be dumb as bags of hammers anyway. At best they tend to be unimaginitive and uninspiring. Not all of them though, and of course some of them, the most dangerous ones…you do care what they think. And so bravery does not come without wounds and battle scars.

But anyway, back to COTT. I had a Clash of the Titans lunchbox when I was a kid. That movie, like many others from when I was a child, became and archetype for the way I felt relationships and love should be….which of course causes a lot of problems. That’s how I always imagined it’s supposed to be, Perseus and Andromeda. Just solve the riddle, vanquish Calibos(who represents problem exes who make trouble or just scumbag competition), cut off Medusa’s head and defeat the Kraken, and the beautiful princess is yours. If only it could be that easy in real life, where you can just go on a quest and destroy some mythical beasts and walk away with the girl! Somebody lend me a helmet, a sword, a shield! I’m ready for anything, anything except the all too familiar experience of females analyzing every given suitor to death. There is nothing harder than having to shield my heart from the analytical superpowers of those few supremely likable females. I would rather do battle with cyclops’ and swordfight with skeleton kings. But I do what I must, because I am eternally courageous, which is often merely a euphemism for foolish.

Chariots of the Gods

chariots of the gods

When I was in about 5th grade I got really into Greek Mythology…so much so that I began to tell people it was my religion, and it became sort of a “problem.” This intense phase was brought on by 3 distinct things: the cool looking artwork in D’aulaire’s Book of Greek Myths, fond memories of the original “Clash of the Titans” and a fascination with the Nintendo game “Kid Icarus.” But let all this talk of bizarre childhood obsessions stop there(for this entry anyway!)  While I was going through my greek myths era, my mother informed me of a book called “Chariots of the Gods” by Erich Von Daniken which claimed that ancient gods and goddesses were actually space aliens whose advanced technology was interpreted as supernatural power by primitive peoples. “This is heresy!” I thought to myself, and I remember actually not liking the idea of my gods not really being true gods, but merely creepy aliens.

Fast forward  to a couple years ago, and as a dude who has seen a lot of Twilight Zone episodes, I began to get interested in the Ancient Astronaut Theory for all its imagination.So I finally picked up a copy of “Chariots of the Gods” to examine the “evidence” for myself.The crux of Von Daniken’s argument seems to be that many ancient civilizations had produced artifacts and monuments which were uniquely more advanced than the era from which they were were constructed, and therefore may have originated with the assistance of visitors from outer space. The obvious problem with this theory, is that in order for long-distance interplanetary space travel to occur, the aliens would have to be thousands if not millions of years more advanced than we are today. Thus, finding an artifact that appears a few hundred or thousand years ahead of it’s time in say 5000 BC, would not be sufficient. We would have to find artifacts that are well in advance of anything even in today’s current technology. Perhaps such objects do exist, and we are as yet still too dumb to recognize them(think of the monolith in 2001 A Space Odyssey.) But I doubt it. All of this would of course be highly insulting to the wisemen of the primitive civizations who busted their(and their slaves’) asses to build and figure out these early breakthroughs in scientific achievement.

The book offers all sorts of other superficial and subjective “proof” such as ancient drawings which may or may not depict astronauts and vague biblical and mythological references to spacecrafts…all of which are obscure and open to interpretation. It’s somewhat telling when the most “compelling” evidence is all the least tangible stuff. To me, the only eerily curious thing in the book is how some ancient peoples seemed to have knowledge of how the Earth looked from an aerial view when no form of flight existed.

And here is where “Chariots of The Gods” finally shines. Whereas it flunks the evidence test, it does not fail to set fire to the curiosity and imagination of people. When Lowell claimed to have observed canals on Mars through his telescope(I have been to the Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff a few times now) he turned out to be completely wrong. But such claims sparked wild interest in Mars, and among those who became interested spawned many other theories about Mars, which led to their scientific investigation and subsequently a deeper understanding of the red planet.

Such is exactly what Von Daniken achieves with his imaginative pseudoscientific ramblings. Based on the scant evidence he provides, it’s highly unlikely that we’ve ever been visited by beings from other planets. But it begs a deeper question, which is this: If small insects and micro organisms have little or no capacity to comprehend the world of higher intelligence lifeforms like humans, then what advanced lifeforms and fantastic realities out there do we as humans lack the capacity to understand, with our relatively primitive minds?

In other words, ants are to humans as humans are to ?

One of my favorite Twilight Zone episodes is called “5 Characters in Search of an Exit,” which tells the story of a group of people trapped in a giant room. They don’t know how they got there, who they are, or even what they are. And they spend their time trying trying to find a way out, in order to understand what they are. I won’t give away the ending, but one of them manages to climb out at the end, and it’s revealed who and what they are. They are a microcosm for us though. Perhaps if someday we travel far enough into space, and climb high enough into scienctific understanding we may find ourselves on the tip of the tiny spoon of some gargantuan creature the size of which is larger than anything we can fathom at the present time, with our universe being but a mere morsel.  Until then, I shall remain skeptically curious.