I have always wondered about the arrogance of Earthlings.
For example, we are always sure, as a culture, depending upon the religious denomination, that the Messiah will come back during our lifetime. As if our rather short 70 or so year arcs of existence were that important. And, I suppose if this will happen--a Messiah coming, that is--it does have to happen sometime, but why during our lifetime, is puzzling.
Like those people who predict the end of the world, during their lifetimes. Or other cataclysmic things.
I always chuckle when I watch movies--especially those from the 50's--where foreigners, or better aliens all speak English. Often, with an English accent. Because everyone knows, for example, during the time of Ben Hur, everyone spoke modern English.
Same with those encounters with aliens, although over the past few years some films, like Star Wars, have presented the notion that life and language do not begin and end with American Cinema and vision.
But, most stories also always assume that aliens want to take over the earth, and earthlings must protect earth, and invaders are really ugly and cruel and vicious and must be destroyed at all costs.
And, though we have a space program, we never seem to think of ourselves as potentially ugly and dangerous invaders of other worlds.
So, I was kind of happy and amused that an alternative life form was spotted in California, no less, near Mono Lake. This life form actually exists on arsenic, a substance that is toxic to humans. These beings not only eat the arsenic, they absorb the stuff into their DNA and the result, says Felisa Wolfe-Simon, of NASA, has "cracked open the door to what is possible for life elsewhere in the universe."
Umm, I think these guys are actual scientists, and they are just figuring this out now? Did they not see The Day the Earth Stood Still, or Enemy Mine, or the Twilight Zone where the ugly people sent the pretty girl, whom they thought was ugly, to earth and we sent our ugly person to those ugly aliens, and that person fits right in the other species?
Or, what this really reminds me of is the Star Trek Season III episode called, Is There No Truth in Beauty?"
In that episode the Enterprise crew is taking the Medussian Ambassador Kolos, of the Federation, back to his home planet. The only problem is Medussians are these formless gaseous beings that are so horrifying to look at, they make us mere humanoids mad to see.
The show involves the obvious bad boy love triangle that causes madness, one of the lover's troika to go insane and take over the Enterprise, and needs Spock to perform a Vulcan Mind Meld with Kolos in order to save the Enterprise, and I suppose the universe.
One of the things in that episode that amused me was Kolos, while on the Enterprise, lived in a sealed metal container that looked suspiciously like the kind of container in bathrooms that hold this stuff called trash.
So, the discovery of creatures on our planet that live of something that kills the rest of us kind of reminded me of the struggles of Kolos for some reason.
But, back to the big picture, this discovery does make me hopeful. It makes me think there is a chance that there is another race or species of beings out there just as goofy and insecure and optimistic and courageous and terrified as we Earthilings are.
For that gives me hope for our species. And lately, I cannot get enough hope.