Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The Conspiracy

I am not, by nature, a crazy sort of conspiracy theorist. I am more a "Hmm... I wonder..." sort of conspiracy theorists. I publish no zines, I don't own exactly thirteen copies of Catcher in the Rye and I have never blamed alien races for political issues. I may not be the sanest woman in America, but I prefer to think that I am not the craziest either.

So yesterday, Brynna got sick at school and we ended up home early. You know that vast and horrible landscape of nothingness that is daytime TV? Well, we had that going on and I had to work from home, so it's not like I could be a good mommy and play board games and stroke her hair.

I flipped around aimlessly while she lamented that everything on was a "baby show," and finally landed on The Science Channel. There was a show called The Planets that seemed like basic educational, space stuff. I asked Brynna if she wanted to give it a try and she said sure. She watched the end of one, but never figured out what planet they were talking about.

After it was over, they started on Mars. I was in the kitchen working on a snack when she started shouting in to me about water on Mars. When the show was wrapping up, they were asking some of the unanswered questions about life on Mars. I was paying absolutely no attention by this time.

Brynna finally asked me about aliens.

"Well," I responded. "They've never found life out there. That doesn't mean it doesn't exist, but it does mean that it's probably not close to us."

"They might have," she replied.

"I think they would have told us," I muttered, burying myself in a great pile of foundation research.

"Nope. They wouldn't. Because then everyone would be scared and panic. They don't like people to panic, so they tell us whatever they think will keep us from panicking."

Suddenly, I stopped what I was doing and stared at my sweet, beautiful and obviously talented six year old. I am pretty sure that I have said nothing that would inspire this belief in her, but it is something that I have long held close. Not necessarily about aliens, but about other things: impending natural disasters, medical epidemics, car recalls. They tell us, I believe, when they see a possible positive outcome to our knowledge. For instance, if a hurricane is headed for the coast, it makes sense to tell people because they will travel inland. If a meteor is headed to Earth to destroy us all, well, they're going to keep that one under their hats. I don't believe that this attitude is necessarily seated in evil. I believe that they would believe they were making this decision for the right reason. And really, who's to say they aren't?

I don't have much faith in they. Again, I don't think they are out to get us, but I do think that they don't really know as much as they tell themselves they do. I don't think they know better than we do. And I totally believe in they.

When Brynna started talking and learning and really becoming an amazing person, I worried, just for a moment that she may be a genius. I don't want to raise a genius. I think I've mentioned that. A really, really smart kid? Absolutely. A high achiever? You bet. A real, live, certifiable genius? Uh-uh. Too much stress and worry and pressure. Well, it turns out that's not so much a concern. Instead, I'm parenting one of the Lone Gunmen. Only, I kinda think they were geniuses too.


Strangeite said...

I am not a conspiracy theorist either, but I LOVE conspiracy theories.

Bryanna's observation is very astute and one that I believe is very plausible; however, I don't think it is true. Even though there is part of me that wishes it were true.

The problem is that our galaxy (much less the universe) is just too damn big.

There is only 0.000000000000000001% doubt in my mind that other intelligent species exist in the galaxy, but the time and energy requirements necessary to travel interstellar distances are SO great that any aliens that have achieved that level of technology would be so far advanced from us that the idea of meaningful contact between us and them is crazy.

To quote Douglas Adams, "Space is big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind- bogglingly big it is. I mean, you may think it's a long way down the road to the chemist's, but that's just peanuts to space."

Jenn-Jenn, the Mother Hen said...

Isn't it eerie when you hear your own thoughts coming out of the mouths of your children? Especially thoughts you never shared with them?