Or How Martian Invaders Affect Us
Some of the Martian old sci-fi movies that I watched while growing up have reentered today's scientific discussions. One of these movies I saw in 1953 when I was 10-years old. It explained why many Americans were acting so bizarre at the time. The reason for their strange behavior was due to Invaders from Mars. Those dastardly Martian invaders somehow invaded the minds of some of their captives and manipulated their minds.
As I look back 6-decades, I do not recall whether I bought into the contention that Martians were responsible for those strange behaviors of Americans or not. However, those sci-fi films of the early 50s intrigued my generation. Interestingly, the sci-fi space genre was about a decade before John Glenn orbited Earth. By that time, I was a freshman at Muskingum College where John Glenn had also gone to college.
When I first watched Invaders from Mars, I did not question the opening error about the Martian invaders coming "from 300-million miles away." In reality, the relative distance between the Earth and Mars is closer to 35-million miles rather than 300-million miles. In addition, the movie's explanation for the bizarre behavior of some Americans captured by the Martians was a bit of a stretch.
In the same year that Invaders from Mars hit the theaters, It Came from Outer Space also captivated the minds of millions of kids my age.
Not only did space invaders come from outer space, but also "It's coming right at you!" My generation loved seeing any film in 3-D...especially a sci-fi film. Now, I do not recall whether it filled the world with terror or not, it did fill movie theaters with my generation.
A decade later in 1964, Robinson Crusoe on Mars, arrived in theaters, which was only a slightly more realistic sci-fi movie even though we were well into the actual space race with the Russians.
This film merely updated Daniel Defoe's Robinson Crusoe first published in 1719. Defoe's novel was about Alexander Selkirk who was a sailor from Lower Largo, Scotland. He wanted to be left off at Juan Fernández Islands, which are just off the coast of Chile, because the ship was not seaworthy. On those very small islands in the Pacific, he lived for several years.
The story of Robinson Crusoe On Mars was not quite at the literary level as Defoe's classic. Nonetheless, millions of Americans loved this sci-fi flick.
In 1965, the year after Robinson Crusoe On Mars, the Mariner 4 spacecraft invaded Martian airspace. Mariner 4 gave scientists the first close-up images of Mars. The Mariners spacecrafts 4-9 started to address many of the mistaken notions that we had about our sister planet.
However, something recently caught my eye since those days half-century ago when I watched films about the Martians coming to Earth. Today there is a great debate about whether we were indeed invaded by visitors from Mars. One group of scientists think that a Martian invasion did occur. The invasion came by means of chunks of Mars and resulted in life actually starting on Earth. Panspermia is the theory that life on Earth came from outer space via debris like comets, asteroids, or meteorites.
The debate today is about the possibility that debris from Mars arrived on Earth resulting in the beginning of life here. Mars, while today is not a bonanza of life, was several billions of years ago. The Mars rover suggests the same reality. Some scientists believe that Martian meteorites brought needed chemicals and microorganisms to Earth. While the jury is out regarding whether or not Mars invaded the Earth some billions of years ago, it is a theory strongly held by some scientists. This is a drawing of how the panspermia occurred.
Time will tell about whether or not life emerged on Earth due to an invasion from Mars. Nonetheless, I am hesitant to give my opinion. The reason for that is that since in the more than a dozen years of post-high school education that I possess, I have only taken 10-hours of science, which was in my freshmen year of college. Therefore, I am leery of defending whether or not there was a Martian invasion billions of years ago and resulted in the beginning the process of creating life on Earth.
However, I do teach humanities classes at college. One of those classes is history. I still wonder about the sci-fi film, Invaders from Mars. The film's contention was that the odd behavior of some Americans was due to Martian invaders messing with their minds. History suggests we were invaded from Mars billions of years ago, but could we have been invaded within my lifetime?
Case in point: Obamacare was passed by both the House and the Senate and became law on March 23, 2010. America was the last Western nation to acquire universal healthcare, which was started by Norway in 1912...nearly a century before. Nonetheless, we finally joined the rest of the world. The picture below is of Obama and some of the administration supporters celebrating the vote.
Now, my next point is purely conjecture; I do not know. What I do know is that this photo was taken in the Theodore Roosevelt Room in the West Wing of the White House. You can tell by the painting to the right of Obama and Biden. So what? Teddy Roosevelt started out as a Republican but soon started the Progressive Party (or the Bull Moose Party). The Republicans were too conservatively entrenched. I do not know whether this photo was taken intentionally in that room. However, Roosevelt tried in 1912, the same year Norway started universal healthcare, to do the same in America...but was unsuccessful. However, a century later, another progressive president was successful. Obamacare became law in March of 2010. However, the constitutionality of Obamacare was raised and taken to the Supreme Court. On June 28, 2012, it was found constitutional by Chief Justices Roberts and Justices Ginsburg, Breyer, Sotomayor, and Kagan.
Now, in the version of Obamacare that Sarah Palin possesses, there is mentioned death panels.
(G)overnment health care will not reduce the cost; it will simply refuse to pay the cost. And who will suffer the most when they ration care? The sick, the elderly, and the disabled, of course. The America I know and love is not one in which my parents or my baby with Down Syndrome will have to stand in front of Obama's "death panel" so his bureaucrats can decide, based on a subjective judgment of their "level of productivity in society," whether they are worthy of health care. Such a system is downright evil. (from Sarah Palin's Facebook of August 7, 2009 "Statement on the Current Health Care Debate")
In addition, Betsy McCaughey's version will ask about your sex life. McCaughey said, "Obamacare will question your sex life." She also read in her copy of Obamacare about how the elderly will be required to meet every 5-years with counselors to be instructed to "tell them how to end their life sooner".
To be honest with you, I merely write off these dissers as troubled minded people. However, after revisiting the Martian invasion issue, it has reopened the movie assertion that Martians messed with the minds of their captives.
Instead of laughing off the Palins, McCaugheys, birthers, and the tea party junkies, maybe it would be better to send them to medical specialists to determine whether some of those invaders from Mars manipulated their minds. It seems everything is coming together. It is apparent that the Martians have messed with many minds in America. Nevertheless, universal healthcare is the law in our nation, and these troubled souls will be able to get healthcare even with their pre-existing condition medical problem. My hope is that, with time to heal, they will return to a normal and healthy life.
As I proofed this article, I was doing a couple of things at the same time. I happened to hear on the TV something stupid that Ted Cruz was saying. Then it hit me. Cruz is a Joe McCarthy look-a-like. McCarthy chaired what were called the Army-McCarthy hearings, which searched for godless commies in our country without finding any. Nonetheless, I think that both these Congressmen might have been victims of the invaders from Mars. I wonder how McCarthy's infected genes from Mars got into Cruz's bloodstream, but they apparently have.
Is not it strange how movies can morph into science and explain some of the most bizarre conduct of some Americans?