News for Youse: London braces for alien attack, DARPA to the rescue
As the late Ray Bradbury once put it, “We are the Martians.”
Last Thursday, the Daily Mail published an elaborately illustrated interview with Nick Pope, the former official who investigated UFOs for Britain’s Ministry of Defence in the ‘90s. He tells the Mail that governments are preparing for alien contact—or worse.
“It has been a widely held belief in Ministry of Defence circles that ‘aliens’ have been able to detect us for decades via TV and radio broadcasts,” Pope declares. “What once seemed like science fiction is steadily being realised by central governing bodies as distinctly real… If aliens have studied our psychology, they may choose to appear in our skies on a significant date – the closing ceremony of the Olympic Games is one date being widely circulated by conspiracy groups.”
Sure, and now it’s being widely circulated by Nick Pope and the Daily Mail, whose readers at least will be reassured that the £550 million security budget for the London Olympics won’t seem quite so grotesque when we’re aiming Rapier missiles at the invading outer-galactic foe from an estate rooftop in Tower Hamlets.
Of course, nobody could have expected that 24 hours after it was named as the host city of the 2012 Olympics, London would experience the “terror attack” of 7/7. In that instant, the cost of protecting the Games doubled. Pope’s dum-dum ray is squarely aimed at anybody who might perceive a troubling connection between those two things.
“With the summer of mass events we are all on high alert for terrorism,” he says. “But we must also cast our eyes further afield and be prepared for even the most seemingly unfathomable.”
So seemingly unfathomable, in fact, that it’s guaranteed to not happen, in contrast to the gargantuan transfer of public money to private defense interests. That really did happen.
It’s easy to dismiss such a bald-faced piece of tabloid minduckery, but matters become especially interesting when you consider that the oh-so-smart readers of Foreign Policy Magazine are being fed the same hallucinogen.
In an article entitled Battlefield Earth", published in late May, the “global magazine of politics, economics, and ideas” asks, “Does the Pentagon have the right weapons to fight off an alien invasion?”
“Luckily, the Pentagon's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, better known as DARPA, as well as some of the world's largest weapons manufacturers, are dreaming up the weapons of the future today,” is the chirpy reply from co-authors Cara Parks and Joshua Keating.
With quivering excitement and pre-adolescent zeal, the article then goes on to describe an awaiting world of “awesome laser beams”, intelligent bullets, and Magneto Hydrodynamic Explosive Munitions—aka MAHEM!
“What lucky engineer gets to dream up these names?” clack Parks and Keating, who bolster their broadly psychopathic celebration of tomorrow’s way cool killing tech with breathless references to Star Wars, Predator, and Battlestar Galactica.
And here is where News for Youse would like to thank 40 years of popular culture for dumbing us down to the point where Nick Pope can warn, “Aliens may possess weapons or advanced technology we’ve no idea of,” while Foreign Policy cheerleads for the weapons, advanced technology, and seemingly unfathomable horrors being developed right here on earth.
Which unlucky Martian do you think will take the first intelligent bullet to the head?