Oct 22, 2006

The Alien Savior/Threat

Science Fiction has two themes of perennial strength:

1. The aliens are coming and they'll bring peace/enlightenment. 2. The aliens are coming and they'll enslave/destroy us all.

Noticing the self-destructive path of the human race, it's not difficult to understand the popularity of both themes. Looking even the slightest bit ahead gives uncomfortable predictions of great woe - climate change, economic collapse, famine, pandemics, mass extinctions, environmental collapse, nuclear resource wars, religious and fascist responses to crisis. The scientists are gloomier than John the Revelator.

We live in apocalyptic times, and it's in our mortal nature to seek a savior from what looks to be certain destruction. At the same time (when we're honest), we suspect our dire straights are the result of some unfathomable moral failure, and that alien invasion might be what we really deserve, and it would sure put a quick end to what otherwise appears to be a very long, ugly, painful die-off.

Marc Morford at the SF Chronicle writes:

"We are overdue. Long overdue. For some sort of great breakthrough, some sort of unfathomable shift, a great cosmological ideagasm that rearranges our perspectives and bitch-slaps our dogma and makes the church wince and recoil and scream out its denial even as it slowly melts away, leaving only a black hat and a broom and a puddle of slimy green goo."

The resurgence of Sci-Fi saviors and demons reflect our desperate straits. Saviors include aliens like those in Close Encounters of the Third Kind, and super heroes like Superman, X-Men, The Incredibles. Threats also include aliens (Independence Day, The Borg of Star Trek, Martians in War of the Worlds, aliens in... Alien), sentient machines (Battlestar Galactica, Terminator), comets and asteroids (Armageddon), alien spores (The Andromeda Strain, Invasion of the Body Snatchers).

Morford is right, we are ripe for a transformational event - one way or another.

Queer Sci-Fi

There is a particular genre of gay erotic fiction called "muscle growth" or "morph". They're stories written about the transformation of average men into massively muscled, horse-dicked fuck machines. These stories are all written with one hand on the keyboard, the other around the author's dick. These most carnal of stories, written simply to "get you off", have the same mythic themes flowing through them as do sci-fi, fantasy, and yes... the bible.

The transformations are brought about by injections of serum, lab accidents, a space-born virus, alien abduction or invasion, computer programs, ancient gods, magic, angels, demons, witchcraft, voodoo, you name it. Any and all myths are put to the noble task of changing mere men into sex-crazed beasts! Of course, men don't have so far to go in becoming sex-crazed beasts, urban legends notwithstanding.

Sex does seem to be all we think about, or it WOULD be, if we didn't have things like scrounging up food and shelter to distract us. The muscle growth stories simply give men the bodies, cocks and libido to get the job done as it really should be!

I've been a fan of muscle growth stories for years (go figure). But over the past year, I've begun to see some interesting themes running through them... biblical, sci-fi, apocalyptic themes. It's interesting to me how often the queer stories cast the invading aliens/demons/spores as "savior", where everyone else would see "threat". For instance, Invading alien spoors that transform a man into a massively hung sex machine with a libido that never quites and a desire only to mate with more men, creating more men like himself... that would kinda be "bad" in the eyes of the world, wouldn't it? Not for our intrepid gay erotic writers!

My friend Dan once told me that gay men are like the children of aliens. The aliens come to earth, plant their seeds within human women, and then depart to let the humans raise us as their own. But the alien children have a sort of inner "homing beacon" that goes off inside, and we're eventually compelled to go seek others of our own kind. Woah!

Art: Unknown

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