It was a coincidence that I decided to draw a UFO during the same week that Congress held a hearing on the existence of UFOs, but I enjoy the tidy synchronicity. (Even though it doesn’t seem like anything very interesting happened in the hearing.)
I can never decide exactly how to feel about the military videos of UFOs/UAP (“unidentified aerial phenomena”) which have been leaked or released in recent years; on the one hand, they feed something primal in me, which was first awakened by The X-Files and Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark. On the other hand, they have sifted down to the bottom-most layer of our public consciousness, and I find it depressing how little curiosity we are able to maintain in the face of truly unexplained material.
I listen to a lot of horror story podcasts (pro-tip: keeps your heart rate up while exercising!), and it’s very common for skeptics to cite the prevalence of recording equipment (i.e. smartphones) as proof that ghost, aliens, and cryptids can’t possibly exist—the logic being, if they did, we would have solid evidence by now.
But we have those UAP videos. And I can’t help but wonder if the public reaction to those is a kind of counter-evidence to the skeptical view: that human beings are so disinclined to be made to look foolish, and so inclined to shut down out of confusion or fear, that any proof that is put forward is likely to be set to the side because we simply don’t want to deal with it. We don’t have the energy. When those UAP videos first came online, I remember seeing a lot of tweets to the tune of “Not NOW, aliens.”
Or maybe we just lose interest in anything that seems real. Reality is not always that much fun, after all.
Now that I sound like a full-blown conspiracy theorist, I will leave you with this: End of the World House has been out for about a month now! If you’ve bought it and/or read it: thank you. I have been thoroughly delighted by all the live-text and tweets I’ve seen as people move through the story. If you haven’t read it, and you might want to (slow apocalypse! Disastrous friendship! Art, museums, capitalism, and bad big tech!), consider picking up a copy. There are lots of places to get it! (Powell’s, Third Place Books, and Changing Hands should have some signed copies!)
And if you’ve already read it, five-star reviews (on Goodreads, on um, let’s say “bookstore websites” and leave it non-specific) really, really help other readers find the book.
Ok, that’s it. Books and aliens. It’s also hit 100 degrees more than once in the past week, but that’s really for me to live with.
(Oh, and for anyone interested: The Believer, which is the magazine I talked about last week, got a happy ending and is back home with McSweeney’s.)