Posted by: Martin Scherer | 30/04/2011

President Obama is an alien? Me,Me

Serious?

It’s taken so serious in the UK, the story hit the news headline. Not the belief President Obama is an illegal alien but the incredulity any American can believe it. Let alone any serious presidential candidate. The UK’s Independent news headline screams, “The Day America Let Go of its Senses.

Don’t these people realise what they are saying to the world? That America’s borders are so porous, its election procedures so inept, that an illegal alien can slip though and work their way to be President of the most powerful nation on earth, and is only asked to produce his birth certificate two years after election. Meanwhile the alien had his finger on the atomic button!

Somebody has been watching, “The Event”, with a singing Sting in the tail, “I’m an alien, I’m a legal alien.” Donald will trump that joke by singing “He’s an alien, an illegal alien, an alien in the White House.” Doesn’t rhyme. Never mind.

Maybe we should talk conspiracy theories. Conspiracy theories are so simple to explain. Three minutes to demonstrate all conspiracy theories are self-delusions. Simple and transparent, once you know what you are looking at. That is part of their magic. Something that appears so complex and mysterious, who would look for the simple transparent reason under their noses? The Emperor’s Clothes.

Much like all superstitious practices, which if you believe seem such a tangled fog you can’t believe your own senses. So it must be real. Unless you don’t believe and from the outside looks so obviously stupid. Then the party’s over. Where is the fun in being rational and objective?

Did you know you can teach superstitions to pigeons. That was demonstrated over fifty years ago. In fact, you don’t have to each the pigeon, the pigeon will learn the conspiracy for itself. And believe it. Like the audience before Uri Geller’s slight of hand spoon bending. Pigeon-brained magic.

Donald Trump doesn’t believe it, but he’s flying high. “Shirley, you can’t be serious!” When McEnroe said something like that, he had a point. Wimbledon brought in the technology, so now no one can be in doubt. The first thing Obama’s enemies did was check out his birth certificate. Probably ex-rayed and carbon dated it. Press hacks took Hawaiian junkets to see it.

So why ask for it now? Surely not to remind the world when America required its black citizens to carry and produce identity cards? That would be racist. Shirley not a serious Presidential candidate. Surprising likeness between Donald Trump and Leslie Neilson. The UK has a little known political party that puts up candidates at all notable elections – The Monster Raving Loony Party.

What Donald Trump wants is an Internet Meme. Most people think the word meme is some Greek word for something like a gene. Its not. Meme comes from the noughties decade, of instant celebrity – Big Brother, You’ve Got Talent and U-Tube. Me, Me, please Me and more of Me. MeMe get it? Otherwise known as an internet viral. Those things someone puts up on u-tube or Facebook, instantly three million people see it and pass onto their virtual friends around the world. Before you know, the gutter press are chasing to see whose bed they got out of, and the quality press are talking new global theories with Greek names. To make it appear it’s been around so long it must be true.

For some bizarre reason, even the BBC’s flagship news programme had panels of experts on internet links in capitals on each side of the pond trying to determine if Obama is damaged by producing his birth certificate. Hurt? That’s the first time Obama has looked decisive in months. But heck, Donald Trump got onto every news in the Western hemisphere. That kind of promotion costs billions even Donald Trump does not have. Donald Trump does not want to be President. He wouldn’t know what to do other than build hotels in Afghanistan with taxpayer’s money, next time the property bubbles starts up again. Donald Trump wants to be a Trump. Does that mean a brilliant card player or a twit?

Facebook itself is an internet viral, meme, call it what you want. There have been dozens of social websites, but the ultimate one can only come from the most prestigious university of the richest nation – Harvard. Every student wants to fantasise they know everyone at Harvard on intimate first name terms. Along with the free download comes a Harvard groupie. Think about that for a moment. A Harvard groupie – A stunning Chinese beauty with a brain between her ears. Every bedroom nerds’ masturbate dream. Super-Girl and all she wants is your nerdy body. Like giving out free lottery tickets. Who isn’t going to take one? Just in case. You can’t win, unless you’ve got a ticket, to show you’re in the game.

Virals spread so fast no one has time to think. If you are not on Facebook, you are dead. As Bill Gates once said, “If your programme is not on windows, forget it, no-one will buy it.” Very true. Sign-up to the superstition or you are out.

Social scientists have been explaining this kind of behaviour for half a century. The only difference today is technology that enables millions to imitate. But heck, this is a new millennium, so we must have a new explanation. Something like a gene, the blueprint for life itself. God’s only plan.

Something, which floats about, not connected to anybody or anything, floating around the ether at Einstein speed of light, in and out of our very souls, like the Holy Ghost. Magical. Now we will never look for an objective explanation. That would spoil it, like trying to explain love. Which is also very easy to explain, but poets and gift card writers have been avoiding such mundane explanation for a thousand years. Romeo, Romeo, let me tell you about the ways I blindly love thee.

Even better, if you can weave in mind-blowing, philosophical imponderables. Which came first? The chicken or the egg. How do I know I exist? Because I think I do, said Descartes.

Sorry, I had to have a bit of poetic licence fun there. Like the dream every guy has after a good night on the beer with his mates. Busting for a drunken piss, he can’t be sure if he is dreaming it or is standing at the urinal. “Let a little out. That was wet. Must be in bed. Are you sure? Try again.” And so the poor drunk sleeps troubled until his wife says. “Hey, cut that out!” Descartes said, “I am because I think things.” No, you are not, twit. You are because you do things. You can lie thinking in a coma but every one is going to believe you are brain dead unless you do something. And you’d better do it quick before they pull the plug.

Who dreamt up this MeMe explanation? Why, who but Richard Dawkins, he of the God Delusion fame. I know God’s a delusion, but I want to believe it. Or at least not think about it. Richard Dawkins rose to fame telling you, you are not the one with the brains. You have no meaning, you’re not a man, you are not free, you have no dignity, you are merely a gene’s way of producing another gene. I’ve seen chickens cross the road but never eggs. When we were kids in hottest Africa, our neighbours kept chickens. One day, coming back with eggs for my mum, I dropped one on the road. It fried, it didn’t walk.

And Obama has gone and spoilt it all by saying something as stupid like, “Look, I got a birth certificate”. We all wanted to believe Obama was an alien, a Star Trek alien, from the planet Zoff, where no one ever dies. Now ‘Superman’ is in the White House, he’s gonna make our world right. Free healthcare, stimulus plans to make us all wealthy again, in a world where every race works in harmony because Obama’s heart is big enough to take the world and all it’s got. Sorry, I pinched that from song.

The better word is viral because it spreads like a biological virus. Fast. Unseen. At deadly speed. We don’t have to go borrowing biological analogies. We are not instinctive animals born to be a workers or a queen. We are social beings and to explain our social being we need to ask a social scientist. Like Bandura, who explained the process half a century ago. It’s called imitation. All I need to know is ‘it’ had 38,000 hits in six minutes, so I turn to my virtual friend down the internet, who I’ve also never seen, and say “Hey see this?”

I don’t have to know what it is, I just have to say “OMG” and pass it on. If I was to think about it, I might realise it is dumb or offensive, and then I might not pass it on. Does anyone think about what they are doing when they imitate another? When one person in the room yawns, do the others who imitate him think, “I’ve been sitting motionless for so long my body is short of oxygen so I’ll take a compelling breath.” No. They just yawn.

If they thought about it they might shorten the meeting. If people thought about the reason we fall in love, we might avoid so many divorces and damaged children. Falling in love is what we evolved to do. It’s what draws too people close enough to procreate and stick around long enough until the offspring can walk about. If you don’t think about who you are falling in love with, then you might wake up realising you did kiss a frog.

We want to believe. Love comes from the stars. Believe that MeMe on U-tube, Twitter and Facebook walls, shows I exist. Believe that genes cross the road. Believe I am because I think of my fifteen-minute-fame and that’s all I need to do. Believe that President Obama is an alien from the stars who is going to solve all our problems. The comics are going to have a field day. What a load of horse $#*! As My Dad Would Say.

OK, I’ve stopped. Aren’t I a bore? Telling you all the fun things in life – conspiracies, superstitions, MeMe’s and ten minutes of imitation fame – are all vacuous. Am I suggesting we’ve all got work for a living. Shirely not, but that’s what this decade is all about. The party’s over Donald.

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