Rose Keating’s weekly column as published in the Waterford News & Star’s Well! magazine
SO, are you as ready to storm Area 51 as I am?
If you somehow remain unaware of what can only be described as the most wonderous event to have ever been created by social media since its inception, dear, kind reader, I am here to bring you up to date.
Earlier this month (possibly last month, I’m in my summer mindset and no longer obey civilisation’s rules and laws of time), a Facebook event was created. An open, public event, subtly named ‘Storm Area 51, They Can’t Stop All of Us’. The event is set to take place on September 20 – the description under this event declares that on this day, “We will all meet up at the Area 51 Alien Center tourist attraction and coordinate our entry. If we naruto run, we can move faster than their bullets. Lets see them aliens.”
How silly, you might say. Maybe you’ll even chuckle, if we’re lucky.
But all I’m saying is that event currently has approximately 2 million people signed up to go on this escapade, and a further 1.5 million people interested in going. So who’s the real silly one here, eh?
‘Aliens have, for a very long time, been a key part of my top three greatest fears; the trifecta of terror, if you will. This unholy trinity consists of: 1. Aliens, 2. Robots, 3. Spiders.’
Little known fact about myself; I am both terrified of and obsessed with aliens. They fall directly in the strange, grey area of my brain that lies right between utter fascination and gut-wrenching horror. When it comes to the idea of aliens, I’m caught between awe and terror. Do I fear E.T with all my cowardly heart or want to be his friend? Who knows, I certainly don’t.
Aliens have, for a very long time, been a key part of my top three greatest fears; the trifecta of terror, if you will. This unholy trinity consists of: 1. Aliens 2. Robots 3. Spiders.
I have very rational reasons for fearing the first two, as those closest to me will know from my numerous rants on this subject matter. It is natural and right to be a little (or more sensibly a lot) wigged out by alien life and artificial intelligence because, unlike so many other things we are afraid of, they are very likely to be real.
Ghosts, trolls, vampires, boogiemen; who cares, they’re fiction, myth, things we made up so we could tell stories to each other in the dark. But some form of life existing in our impossibly large galaxy? The possibility that our technology is growing more rapidly by the day and will one day result in manmade beings with intelligence and sentience?
These are not maybes, people. These are definites. These are things that could almost certainly be a reality.
As for the spiders? To be honest, no sensible rationalisation there. Their spindly little bodies just weird me out. I think it’s the way they move; some horrible hybrid of a crawl and a pounce. But, not their fault. Merely my own spider prejudice at play.
Aliens though? A whole different kettle of fish. Yes, they too weird me out. Yes, they too are mildly terrifying.
But at the same time, there is something so powerful about the idea of there being life out in that great, big universe of ours. Life that is nothing like our own. Life that has new words, new languages, that might not use language at all. Life that might have a billion limbs, or no limbs, that might not have a body on which to place limbs. Life that might look like us, or life that looks like nothing we could ever even comprehend. The idea that life, life is out there, the endless possibilities of the many forms life can take.
The most beautiful thought in the whole universe; that we might not be completely, utterly alone in it.
So, to be frank with you reader, if someone asked me to leave my life behind and become a full time extra-terrestrial investigator, I would drop out of my course and pack my bags before the morning had come. Yeah, sure, writing is alright, I guess. Being called a writer might be nice. But being called an alien investigator? Being able to say that you were the first person to befriend the alien greys when they land? I mean, there’s no competition, is there?
If you asked me to come see some aliens with you, I’d be ready to leave before the morning. This event is giving me a whole, solid summer to prepare. So you better believe I’m ready to take on Area 51 with the rest of those 2 billion. Let the FBI try to stop us. You’ll never catch me, coppers.
(This is very dependent on if I can afford an aeroplane ticket and don’t have an import lecture that day. We’ll worry about that closer to the time.)
Because I mean, if we can get 2 million people to realise that if there’s nothing that can stop us if we all stand together, well, who’s to say what we can do next?
Infiltrating Area 51 in search of aliens might be a silly idea, but the realisation that if enough people get together to make change happen, there is nothing and no one who can stop them- well, that’s not such a silly idea at all. That’s the kind of realisation that is powerful. That is important. That can change the world.
That’s the kind of realisation that we all need in 2019.