"And who is the Creator?"
"The Creator is that which created Vger."
"Who is Vger?"
"Vger is that which seeks the Creator."
From Star Trek: The Motion Picture
When Hernán Cortés landed in the New World in the 16th Century, the first thing he did was to establish a museum celebrating all the worst, most-popular elements of mainstream Spanish culture. Before starting a fire, building a tent, or unpacking the Porta Potties for his army and horses, he set up a large card table and put all kinds of archaeological bric-a-brac on it for the indigenous tribes to fawn over and admire.
The first museum in the New World contained many impressive examples of Spanish literature, art, historical armor, sports memorabilia, advanced scientific equipment, and a primitive form of NFTs, which were basically overpriced reproductions of prints made by alchemists and astronomologomers enamored with the new, heretical, heliocentric view of the universe, which made so much sense it threatened to undermine the authority of the church.
These primitive NFTs were basically sketches of foliage, musical instruments, weaponry, and Lucha Libre wrestlers printed by hand on the most ephemeral, structurally-intangible substance known to man at the time, whatever it was. Nobody knows. Not a single example of a 16th-century NFT has survived, so flimsy and disposable was the medium upon which they were reproduced. But it has been posited by credible, imaginary sources that 16th-century NFTs were the artistic equivalent of a temporary tattoo you can buy out of a vending machine at a cheap Mexican restaurant.
It is thought that native kids would buy the NFTs, get them wet, stick them to their arms and act like gangsters, smoking candy cigarettes and pretending to be all tough until their moms made them take a bath and get ready for school the next day. The NFTs would wash off in the soapy water, and the kids would have to brush their teeth and go to bed.
Here is an artist's depiction of what a 16th-century NFT might have looked like:
In later centuries, after the Spanish had imported attack dogs, the synthetic Asian drug trade, and Catholicism to the native tribes of Mesoamerica, indigenous NFTs took a morbid turn into the infernal. If Cholo culture was born of colorfully-feathered Aztec sun-worship and human sacrifice, combined with the artful, philosophically-advanced, guilt-ridden brand of homicidal mania practiced by the Europeans, both of which cloaked their greed and bloodlust in idolatrous religious iconography, then perhaps these darker, bad-kid examples of indigenous Mesoamerican NFTs capture the morbid, deadly beauty of the culture Cortés discovered when he established his museum in the New World. Before even building a house, or opening a tamale stand. A museum. He built a museum. It was the first thing he did!
Of course, it's possible none of this ever happened, and is just a bunch of silly nonsense written for my own amusement while listening to Delinquent Habits. No records of these events exist in the National Museum of Imaginary History, which I have just established in the front yard, next to a large, stone cistern full of lemonade, which is being sold for dollars on the penny by a tattooed kid with a duct-taped AK who claims to make some extra money on the side in the synthetic Asian drug trade. Hard to say.
As ridiculous as it may be, in fact it's actually a-happening. Cortés is sending his NFTs to the moon.
From Mexico News Daily:
The museum will be a payload aboard Intuitive Machine’s Nova-C Lunar Lander, which is scheduled to launch from Cape Canaveral, Florida via a SpaceX Falcon 9 Rocket in early to mid 2023, according to NASA.
The museum’s collection is etched onto indestructible nano fiche disks made from pure nickel, an element that can survive the harsh conditions of outer space. The museum will have information about humanity including music by Grammy winners, famous speeches, collectibles from sports stars, works of art from the most famous artists in history, film scripts, NFT collections and more.
The information will be readable on the Lunaprise disk via a microscope, and a replica of the disk will be on display at the Smithsonian Museum in Washington DC.
You mean, we're going to establish a museum on the moon before we even build a place to spend the night?
If we're going to the moon, shouldn't we at least set up an outhouse and a retro, 1950s-themed rock & roll diner staffed with extras from a Noir movie first? What are visitors going to do when they get to the museum, camp on the freshly-vacuumed, oxygenless lawn outside, like a bunch of San Francisco victims of the synthetic Asian drug trade?
And even if they're just passing through, what if the visitors to the museum don't have the right connection for the Lunaprise disk machine? Will it have a USB port? A DVD player? Solar-powered Wi-Fi?
But even assuming they can access the information stored and archived in the museum, which can supposedly withstand the harsh conditions of outer space, what about the actual contents of the digital cultural establishment itself? If the self-important, wannabe creators can't stand the harsh conditions of cultural and artistic excellence (reasonable standards), how are they going to fare in an alien world populated by bald Indian women who are kidnapped by the alien El Chapo and forced to become message coyotes for the moon cartel? Are the aliens really returning to earth to merge with the Creator? Or are they digging a tunnel under the border fences of human self-righteousness, so as to infiltrate the inhabitants of the earth with undocumented ideas, migrant concepts smuggled under the noses of the imperialist human colonizers, so as to more efficiently undermine and destroy them?
Are we really arrogant enough to risk the future of humanity on a bunch of Grammy winners? Remember when the aliens sent back the speech of Hitler in Contact? That was who the aliens thought our species was all about. If it wasn't for the dissenting voice of Jodie Foster, the president would have blown the aliens to bits (or tried to).
What if the first visitors to the moon museum watch the video of Sam Smith's performance of "Unholy" at the Grammys, and come back and decide to destroy us all, like the hateful, culturally-vacuous fascists everyone who disagrees with us about anything has obviously become?
I'm sure there's nothing to worry about. Even if "collectibles from sports stars" like a signed pair of Air Jordans don't impress the aliens, surely the digital ashes from a Frida Kahlo drawing will appease their technologically-superior intellects. Surely there will be a Dali, or a Van Gogh, even just a poster from the gift shop, of a Picasso or a Rembrandt or a somebody, the aliens can hang on the wall of their anti-gravity kitchen, to admire while they're making Chicken Cacciatore from all the fowl they've abducted from our farms over the years.
Or are we going to send a preachy sermon about the oceans over an 8-bit sunset that looks like the graphics of a car-racing game from the Atari 5200, to make absolutely sure the aliens hasten our destruction?
I Wonder, by Guille Blancarte
Because we are a self-congratulatory species that is prone to extended bouts of suicidal myopia, we are of course going to do the latter.
From The Mazatlan Post:
"I Wonder (I wonder/I marvel), 'represents duality, cycles, beginnings and endings, sunrise and sunset; wonder about the future of the ocean, everything that has not yet been explored and at the same time marvel at the unique feeling that it causes me every time I have the privilege of enjoying this experience in which sometimes if you are lucky, you can get to see the green ray.”
It is my drop of water to try to raise awareness of the profound danger we face if we do not do something now to restore the balance of the ocean.'"
Sigh. Our culture has become so unwieldy in its monolithic banality, so sanctimonious in its lack of self-awareness, so monochromatic, trite, and artificially unintelligent, that platitudes are now served like would-be delicacies from drinking fountains that also serve as latrines, and the fluoridated air that fills the cavities in our cerebral cortex with calcified stupidity has created a vacuum of soul and brains in which nothing but the most unchallenging, corporate ideas are allowed to thrive.
"Raise awareness," please. You first. Start with yourself. It's time.
So, the aliens are going to find this little hard-drive museum on the surface of the moon, presumably while hiking or on some kind of road trip, pull over, sift through the nickel-plated vinyl, select one, put it in their Lunaprise disk player, and actually marvel over our virtuous concern about the oceans, based on the 8-bit depiction of a Sinaloan sunset by a member of the priest-creator caste of murderous Euro-Cholo colonialists on the flaming blue ball, floating over the horizon?
But hey. Y'know what. I don't even really care if the art isn't art. I don't. I don't care if you want to post some pretty lines on your Twitter feed and say it's an NFT, or a temporary tattoo, or a painting. I don't care if you submit the pretty lines to some spaceship company running a contest to raise funds for rocket fuel by selling raffle tickets and submission to people who "create" indigenous NFTs on the Paint program that comes with Windows 98.
Go for it. Send your tattoos to the moon. Why not.
I don't even care if you want to deliver another glib, corporate-approved sermon about the environment to a bunch of holographic aliens, or demons flying around in UAPs, or Chinese balloons, or the haunted dreams of Asian drug-trade victims, or wherever the aliens/demons/holographs may choose to expose themselves to humanity, this time. I don't care if you want to leave a little time capsule for them on the surface of the moon, are into disco music, don't speak English, or anything.
It isn't any of my business.
HOWEVER. I bristle at the smug, self-important tone with which you presume to improve the world. I balk at the obviously-never-questioned presumption that the "aliens" are going to naturally assume that you're a righteous, holy person who doesn't deserve to be annihilated immediately.
Because, the best way to earn the acknowledgment, respect, and friendship of indigenous populations, whether in Aztlán or on the moon, is to unthinkingly assume that they will see us like we see ourselves.
Obviously, they will see us like we do.
How can they not?
Haven't you seen us?
We are great!
Famous last words, methinks. Cuz really, how are you going to clean the oceans, when you can't even cop to the open sewage floating in your heart?
Of course, maybe we'll get lucky. Maybe the aliens will be ARTISTIC GENIUSES, and will leave us alone. Maybe a 20-foot Dali will stand there while Frida Kahlo waters digital cartoon flowers with her dogs, and on their way home, they will stumble across our clumsy attempt to be "creators." Frida and Dali will find our absurd, self-important little "museum" half-buried under some rocks, the digital record of an entire species of murderous, power-tripping idolaters begging for attention and importance in a transparent, cowardly attempt to intimidate the universe into disproving God so we can kill our consciences once and for all, and assume our rightful place upon the throne of deity at last, and they will share a laugh think, "yeah, right!"
One can certainly hope.