Posts Tagged ‘Alien Abductions’

Master(The Master, 2012. Starring Philip Seymour Hoffman and Joaquin Phoenix, directed by Paul Thomas Anderson)

A few years ago, my GF (a former high ranking Scientologist) and I went to see, with high hopes, “The Master,” the Philip Seymour Hoffman film supposedly about L. Ron Hubbard and the birth of Scientology. (My GF is a “squirrel,” who thinks some of the lower-level Scientology material — basically abreaction “therapy,” a dangerous therapy (similar to “co-counseling”) with no scientific evidence of efficacy — is valid, and that LRH was genuinely insightful and wasn’t a megalomaniacal, pathologically dishonest charlatan.)

Well, to put it mildly, we were disappointed. The primary problems are that this film has essentially no plot, and that both lead characters are simply loathsome. There’s no one to root for, and not even enough structure to allow you to root for a sympathetic character if one existed — and there are none.

The sequence of events (not plot) follows the chance encounters of Phoenix’s intellectually challenged, alcoholic (to be PC about it — “dumbshit” drunk in plain language) character as he intersects with Hoffman’s LRH character in chance encounters in the early 1950s. There is simply nothing to hold this film together, other than than Hoffman’s and Phoenix’s portrayals of these two disgusting characters in familiar (to those who have studied Scientology) locations. Anyone not already familiar with the history of Scientology would be totally lost.

The only positive things to say about the movie are the Hoffman’s performance is great, and that Anderson really got some of the bizarre “training routines” right. Beyond that, it’s a total waste of time. On the way out of the theater, we stopped to chat in the lobby with an older couple. We looked at each other, and the guy asked, “What the hell was that!?”

Very much not recommended.

The two fairly current Scientology documentaries, “Going Clear” and “My Scientology Movie,”  haven’t shown yet in Tucson. If the likely venue (The Loft)  hasn’t been intimidated into not showing them, I’ll review them when they appear.

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What brings this relatively ancient history up is that I have a new musical project — “Enturbulation Blues” — which will consist almost entirely of COS jargon.  If anyone can suggest any especially bizarre terms to incorporate, please leave a comment.

To give you an idea of the tone of “Enturbulation Blues,” here’s a recent song on a somewhat similar topic, Abductee Blues.

by Zeke Teflon

While vegging out in front of the tube the other night, I channel surfed to the Hitler Channel, which remarkably enough was showing a non-World War II-related “documentary” on, of course, aliens. During its course, an interviewer asked the trump question “ufologists” always ask about supposed alien visits to Earth (this is a paraphrase): “There are so many other stars and galaxies that there have to be aliens. Aren’t those who deny that aliens visited Earth being close minded?”

If you had to choose one question as proof that there are stupid questions, this is it.

Let’s take a close look at that question and the presumptions that underlie it. First, while it seems very likely that there are intelligent aliens in the universe, there’s still no proof that they exist. As Stephen Jay Gould once remarked when asked about this matter, “Not enough data.” In other words, it’s impossible to prove a negative, the burden of proof rests on the positive, and those who say there’s intelligent alien life have yet to present any evidence for it. And just because something seems likely doesn’t mean it is so.

The right question is this: Have intelligent aliens visited Earth? Again, the burden of proof rests on the positive. And, again, there is no physical evidence that indicates that aliens have visited. Not even one gram of a metal alloy unknown on Earth. Nothing.

There’s anecdotal evidence in abundance, but no hard evidence. Not surprisingly, that anecdotal “evidence” comes almost exclusively from those with little or no scientific background.  For some reason, aliens and UFOs are remarkably adept at hiding from scientists, and especially from astronomers.

Then, of course, there’s the matter of the almost unimaginable distances between the stars and the almost equally unimaginable energy requirements of traveling at even a small fraction of the speed of light. One illustrative fact here is that the fastest spacecraft ever launched from Earth would take approximately 80,000 years to reach the nearest star (if it was headed in that direction, which it isn’t). Those who assert that aliens have visited Earth either ignore these difficulties or gloss over them by blithely asserting that aliens have mastered faster-than-light travel, again while presenting no evidence whatsoever for it.

There’s also the matter of SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence). In the over half-century of organized SETI searches, SETI researchers have yet to find evidence of alien civilizations. And, needless to say, they want to–for many, it’s their life’s work. The difference between them and “ufologists” is that they follow standard scientific procedure, in which evidence determines conclusions, while “ufologists” insist that their conclusions are correct, while presenting no evidence to support them.

Ufologists need to put up or shut up. Unfortunately, thus far they’ve done neither.

As for skeptics being “close minded,” which is more close minded, the skeptical position, “I’ll consider any possibility. Just show me some good evidence for it,” or the ufo-believer position, which insists on the truth of a cherished belief in the absence of evidence?

Finally, for a bit of fun with UFOs and “ufologists,” here’s “Abductee Blues,” a song I recorded with the Pinche Blues Band a few years ago. It’s on the now out-of-print CD, “Three-Beer Night.” Enjoy.

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Zeke Teflon is the author of Free Radicals: A Novel of Utopia and Dystopia.

Free Radicals, by Zeke Teflon front cover

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Born to probe graphic

AREA 51, n. Site of the world’s worst proctology clinic.

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–from the revised and expanded edition of The American Heretic’s Dictionary, the best modern successor to Ambrose Bierce’s Devil’s Dictionary


American Heretic's Dictionary revised and expanded by Chaz Bufe, front cover

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Fora musical commentary and some background information, check out Abductee Blues.