Tuesday, July 31, 2012
AstroGnosis: The Terrible Burden of Truth
I'm finishing up some work here at Secret Sun Central, but in the meantime it's summer and that means it's time for The Outer Limits. Unfortunately You Tube pulled their TNOL collection so you'll have to hit Hulu if you're in the US or check your local streaming service if you're outside the US.
This is a pure dose of AstroGnosis, and the paranoid brand thereof. Joey Pants (of Matrix fame) plays a Howard Stern clone who witnesses an alien walk-in exit a host and finds himself involved in a deeper conspiracy. It's the kind of thing The X-Files would have handled much better, but you take what you can get.
But at the same time it goes for a deeper shade of weird when dealing with these walk-ins and how they communicate and travel (harking back to the very first Outer Limits episode, which also dealt with radio), whereas Chris Carter's aliens were always just stand-ins for the dark forces of the Military Industrial Complex. There's also a deeper metaphor at work here...
What the text doesn't say outright is that even if he doesn't consciously acknowledge it, Joey Pants' character is really asking for a dose of Instant Gnosis. And he gets it. He spends his time poking at the hornets' nest and then tries to put the swarm back in the hive when it comes gunning for him.
I often wonder if so-called 'debunkers' are doing the same thing right now-- whacking at Pleiadian pinatas in hopes that one day they'll find a real alien nest in disguise.
Chris Carter certainly thought so- the Dr. Barnes character of 'Sixth Extinction' fame was probably inspired by the shoddy reception he received at a CSICOP meeting back in the 90s. Carter's an insightful guy-- he would quickly realize what the debunkers were really after.
Think about it: why would they bother spending all their time looking at UFO videos if they weren't secretly hoping that one day they'll find one that will finally break through the phony cynicism and disenchantment?
Off the top of my head I can think of dozens of topics I don't believe in or think are valid. Do I spend all my time writing about them? No. Why?
Because I don't believe in them and I don't think they're valid. Doing so would be a total waste of my time. So what's their story?
'Alien Radio' also deals with a similar theme explored in X-Files episodes like 'Conduit' and its sequels 'Tempus Fugit' and 'Max'- and that's the terrible burden of truth. We always tell ourselves we want to know the "truth," to know all the secrets and mysteries that lie beneath the facade of everyday life.
Do we really?
Forget about aliens and science fiction and the rest for a minute-- how much do you want to know? How deep do you want to dig? I'm not trying to discourage anyone in their personal quests, I'm simply trying to tell you that my own experience has taught me that the truth hasn't always been something I wanted to hear. And it can never be unlearned, either.
The truth doesn't always set you free. Sometimes it saddles you with a burden you can never escape. So choose very carefully where you decide to start digging and what dragons you choose to slay. Prepare to be taken places you never wanted to go. Gnosis isn't always a flower-- sometimes it's a sword. Maybe more often than not.
And sometimes the truth is a lie. Most often when it's spelled with a capital T.
UPDATE: Well, I had forgotten The Outer Limits did an episode directly addressing the issues raised in this post. This should be available for region-free viewing .
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