Tag Archives: conflict

The Country Needs An Attack By Aliens From Outer Space

12 May



The Country Needs
An Attack By Aliens
From Outer Space

By L. Stewart Marsden


I’m at the point with the verbal assault and battery going on in the US between various factions I’ve begun to look skywards and pray for an attack by aliens from outer space.

And you know why, I think.

Whether you are Conservative or Liberal, pro- or anti-gun control –– whichever and whatever niche you have found yourself or those you know (some of whom you love) cudgeled into –– enough is enough!

I’m wondering why we haven’t heard God’s booming voice from the hinterlands warning, “Don’t make me come down there again!

So, in lieu of a Biblical Armageddon, or the Rapture, or whatever else is portended by gurus and mystics and the Jimmy Bakkers of the world, why not have one of those Independence Day invasions? You know, where spaceships the size of New Zealand hover above all the really big population centers in the world (that’s why I live in the mountains, by the way). Where the President says “Zounds! What’re we gonna do?” And the twenty-two star general with the square jaw and skinhead crew cut shouts “Blow the holy HELL outta them!” Where the US and Russia and China and the Middle East and all of the various other countries stop killing themselves and each other to redirect their angst towards the really, really bad guys?

Seems we need things like real/imagined enemies to keep us focused on something other than ourselves. As wonderful a thing as

Ahhhh! A Giant Alien! Run!

the dismantling of the Berlin Wall was, it has left a huge chasm between ideologues and their extreme points of view (called, opinions, not necessarily facts). It was the focus of Truth, Justice, and the American Way, and everyone (well, maybe not everyone) was glad when it fell. But at least those on either side of the wall focused their attentions on IT, and when IT fell, and when Ron and Nancy rode off into the sunset, there was this void.

Sorry, I saw a rabbit hole.

Anyway, it doesn’t really have to be Martians. It could be Rodan, or Godzilla for that matter. You know, the nightmare beasties that arose from the aftermath of “winning” World War II? Tiny organisms feeding on nuclear soil and water, growing to gargantuan proportions and reeking ironic havoc on the very nations that had a hand in its coming to be in the first place?

My gut feeling tells me that we’ve already seen the beginnings of a different sort of invasion. It hies back to Walt Kelly’s famous words of Pogo: We have met the enemy, and he is us.

Similar to the simple solution to the aliens of H.G. Wells’ mind: lack of immunity on the part of the aliens to earth bacteria.

Our “aliens” have already landed. Thousands upon thousands of years back in time –– who really knows how long ago? And those aliens found the earth rich with possibility. Plenty of space, food sources, fresh water and clean air. And unlike the various creatures they found here that fell into extinction, they were able to adapt to changes in seasons, and move with the availability of sustenance. Then there was plenty of room to move onto once all the trees were cut and the rivers harnessed for commerce and energy.

They populated and expanded and became diverse. And like the first ovum fertilized by a single sperm, divided and multiplied ad infinitum. Except in this case it wasn’t really infinite.

Eventually our earth will convulse and spew those aliens into oblivion and extinction –– those who never applied Dr. Ian Malcom’s famous thoughtful maxim of consideration, we can –– but should we?

Damn the torpedoes! Full speed ahead!

It would be far better for us as a species, however, if we had to battle an invisionary force from twenty billion trillion light years away. For that conflict, perhaps we would throw away our pettiness and unite. Redirect our frustrations from each other and towards something we could all agree was truly evil and threatening (from our perspective, of course): the threat being our extinction as a species.

Everyone could do their thing to the maximum. Shoot, kill, pray, scream, run in reaction to one centralized threat –– either towards it or away from it. Wouldn’t matter. Pro-this or pro-that, anti-this or anti-that would become trite and unnecessary.

As it is, I sadly fear we will succumb to our innate nature and Nature will eventually expel us –– the true and most deadly aliens –– from the planet.

I wish we had a choice, but it seems a bit late now. I’d choose the attack by aliens from outer space.

How about you?



The Test … further continued

6 Jun

Continued from last post


The noise of the life-support machinery bothered Dawn the most. Not how her dad looked prone on the  ICU hospital bed. Contrary to her expectation, his skin tone looked good — nearly normal. A crinkled plastic tube extended from his mouth to a ventilator next to the bed. A thin, clear tube ran from one nostril to a bag of liquid hanging among many. His hair was combed neatly. His eyes peacefully shut, flickering back and forth under the lids in REM sleep. Reading a book, she thought.

The ventilator — ka-puff … wheeze … ka-puff – wheeze — combined with the beep-beep-beep of the heart monitor that graphed his heartbeats in jagged green mountains against a black background — reminded her of the Stomp concert she and Jared saw on their last anniversary. Dad gave them the tickets. It was loud. Not her cup of tea. Just like the noisy hospital room.

“He’s stabilized,” said the cardiology. Dawn was reminded of a pet peeve of her dad’s.

“Stable is not a goddamn condition!” he would rail at the TV or radio whenever the term was used. He hated those who should know better continued to abuse the terminology. “Even the network anchors — and PBS!”

“Critical condition,” the cardiologist had correctly said.

It was a wait-and-see situation.

With all of the hook-ups, all the indicators were slightly south of normal. Blood pressure on the low side. A slight recurring arrhythmia blipping on the heart monitor. Elevated temp, just under 100.5 degrees. Even respiration with regular, sonorous breaths, his chest rising and falling.

IV fluids and meds. Hanging to the side of the bed, a flat vinyl pouch with some yellow liquid — a tube running from it under the covers. Catheter, thought Dawn. She had been hospitalized as a child and had one. It embarrassed her when visitors noticed it and asked her, “What’s that?” “Pee,” she would answer, blushing.

“He’s on pain meds and others that will help him sleep. I don’t imagine he will come out of it for another eighteen hours or so,” the doc explained.

“Is he comatose, then?”

“No. Not at this point.”

“What would bring that on?” she asked.

“We are hopeful stroke won’t be a problem. Or another myocardial infarction — heart attack,” she explained.

“Is that a likelihood?”

“Well, in the way that after-shocks can be expected after an earthquake — sure. You will probably want someone with him twenty-four seven.”

“I’ll stay tonight, and I’m sure one of my other siblings will spell me. Both are on their way and should arrive tomorrow sometime.”

“And you have medical power of attorney?”

“Yeah. Are we at that point?”

“No. But I’m glad you’re local. I’ve looked his Advanced Directives over. He’s not keen on vegetating on life support.”

“Not him. He hates hospitals. His mom lingered on life support for more than seven months before she went.”


“Yeah. So it’s not the way he wants to go.”

“Are you prepared, then?”

“Who can ever be prepared?”


“I’m gonna have to rely heavily on your medical opinion.”

“I understand. Well, we’re not there yet. But that could change — actually either way — in the snap of a finger,” and he snapped his fingers.

“Sounds awfully iffy . . .”

“Nothing is a sure bet, Ms. …”

“Ellington. Dawn Ellington. I’m the eldest daughter. I have an older brother and younger sister. Like I said, they’re on their way.”

“I’ll try to give you enough information in a timely fashion for you and your siblings to make an informed decision.”

“Appreciate that. Problem is it’s me who has the final say. According to the POA.”

“Yeah, but you know that’s not legally binding.”


“Sure. Plenty of time next of kin have influenced medical decisions contrary to the patient’s desires. Probably more likely where there is no Advanced Directive or POA. But even when those are in place, things change.”

“Great! And if I don’t agree with my siblings?”

“I’d advise consensus.”

“Even if it goes contrary to my dad’s wishes?”

“The survivors are the people you have to live with when and if your father goes.”


“It’s not an enviable position to occupy.”

“Tell me about it.”


Copyright © by Lawrence S. Marsden, 6 June, 2015