15 MAY 2010


You no more know who's getting crazier by the day: extreme right or extreme left; climate-change militants or climate-deranged "scientists;" doomsday advocates or better-day activists.

As if Haiti's earthquake and Iceland's volcanic dust did not fabricate enough earthly and unearthly theories, new and renewed ominous warnings are coming from every direction.

Most recently, one of the world's leading scientists Stephen Hawkings, cautioned us not to talk to aliens. He did not mean people you didn't know. He meant extra-terrestrials. They are out there, he knows. But instead of looking for them, even as a curiosity, just keep your distance. Avoid contact. It could be devastating!

The professor, according to The London Times, suggests that aliens might simply raid the earth for its resources and then move on. To where? He didn't explain. The real challenge to his mathematical brain is "to work out what aliens might actually be like." Most of it, he opined, may be equivalent to microbes or simple animals, "the sort of life that has dominated Earth for most of its history." So why worry now? Because, "if aliens ever visit us" (he already said they already did), the outcome could be as much as when Christopher Columbus landed in America. It did not turn out very well for the Native Americans!

Just when we are pondering our options in that cautious encounter with a third kind, another homophobic storm came out from the South, or to be more precise, the South Left. His Excellency Evo Morales, President of the Republic of Bolivia, who cautioned about the drastic impact of chicken hormones. Speaking at an environmental conference on Tuesday, 20 April, he accused chicken "producers" of injecting them with female hormones; so "when men eat these chickens, they experience deviances in being men"!

We are not certain whether His Excellency was reflecting his own experience, most likely as a young man because, as far as the market goes, the use of hormones in poultry was abandoned decades ago. But then he added that eating chicken will also drive men to go bald, and Evo Morales has plenty of hair. Incidentally, a photo covering that story was taken by a man with the appropriate name of Kafka.

Again, while we were contemplating which came first, the chicken or the alien threat, a wild shot across the world's bow came from a turbaned preacher in Teheran: Earthquakes are actually caused by sexy looking women!

Such startling pontifications came right after volcanoes were erupting in Scandinavia, earthquakes were shaking Haiti, floods were drowning Asia, and the earth was rumbling in Iran.

It was all totally confusing. Already there were those in the West who were convinced that Icelandic volcano ashes were the work of UFOs seeking to divert earthly attention while stealing our natural resources. Some competition had to come from the East. And if dark lava from Scandinavia could be churned out by dark spirits, the weary Iranian cleric was offering a conviction that barely-clad women could not only arouse men but the earth beneath them. In between, of course, there were several theories. An American right winger broadcast the belief that volcanic eruption was a revenge for Congress passing the Healthcare bill. A reporter in Scheveningen thought he saw a threatening black spot in the drifting black clouds reflecting an agitated and aggravated plot against Europe. Even the venerable Financial Times editorialized, tongue-in-cheek, that Iceland was hitting back at the countries that had declared it bankrupt.

Back to women...Teheran's acting Friday prayers leader Hojatul Islam Kazem Sadiqui announced: "Women who do not dress modestly lead young men astray and spread adultery in society -- thus creating earthquakes"!! That view was reported by an Associated Press news agency correspondent in Beirut, Scheherazade Faramarzi. The name sounds like that of an Iranian woman. Let's hope she's properly dressed.

As to the volcanic lava, we were told that the last wish of the Icelandic economy was to have its ashes scattered over Europe.