The secret conference taking place in a room below San Francisco city hall is about to begin, the gentle purring of the air conditioning a dramatic contrast to the riotous demonstrations outside. Groups of indigenous earthlings, i.e. people like you and me (which does not include the SF board of supervisors), chant and wave signs saying, “earth for earthlings” and “save our bodies from extraterrestrial predators.” Meanwhile, counter demonstrators, also native earthlings, wave signs saying,”we were planted here by aliens” and “every living creature entitled to a fair share of carbon.” Inside, as the conference gets underway, the two sides, human and alien, sit — as their appendages and misshapen bodies allow — on opposite sides of a long table. On my right is a representative group of human political leaders past and present: George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Ronald Reagan, Winston Churchill, and guest celebrity Alyssa Milano. On my left are representatives of various illegal alien species: Edgar the Bug, an Orthopterous Exomorphs, a belligerent race of insect-like aliens; Boris the Animal, an intergalactic criminal and the last known member of the Boglodite race; Serleena Xath, the evil, shapeshifting Kylothian queen in the human form of a lingerie model; an unnamed Worm; Lauranna, princess of the Zarthans. MIB (Men in Black) agents K and J provide security. Why’s security needed?
Edgar the Bug has already been making threats if it doesn’t get its way. “Have you ever pulled the wings off a fly? Wanna see the fly get even?” he sneers at K and J. Such threats are no joke. K once described Bugs thusly, “Imagine a giant cockroach with unlimited strength, a massive inferiority complex, and a real short temper is tear-assing around Manhattan island in a brand new Edgar suit.” Living on Earth includes a lack of oversight from the different alien races’ leaders. Most venture on hedonistic binges partaking in vices that are forbidden on their home world, as if they are German tourists in America, or tourists from anywhere in Amsterdam. Lauranna came to Earth decades ago, so she could hide the Light of Zartha, which if it got in the wrong hands, could lead to the demise of Zartha. The Zarthian true form is unknown, but they always appear as human females, adopting the appearance of various nationalities, usually Japanese, or British blondes.
The topic of the conference is “administering social justice between the indigenous inhabitants of planet earth (earthlings. i.e. you an I) and the illegal aliens.” Real off-planet aliens. Thankfully, neither the Alien nor the Predator franchises are included, or the everyone would be eaten, which, if you have to live in San Francisco these days, could be the lesser evil, but once again, I digress. How many true aliens are actually living here? Only the MIB know for sure. I am the moderator of the conference, hopefully safe in my titanium steel cage, with the guns of K and J ready, because who knows what these aggressive creatures might do if they get mad? I’m even more worried about the aliens. Anyway, let’s get started. I will open this intergalactic social justice conference with a statement from each side. “Mr. President, how about articulating the official earth position?” Three former presidents each defer to the others, until Mr. Churchill’s voice rumbles to life.
Churchill: “There is a hush over all Europe, nay, over all the world. Alas! it is the hush of suspense, and in many lands it is the hush of fear. Listen! No, listen carefully, I think I hear something yes, there it was quite clear. Don’t you hear it? It is the tramp of armies crunching the gravel of the paradegrounds, splashing through rain-soaked fields, it is the tramp and slither of uninvited aliens, worse than the tramp of two million German soldiers and more than a million Italians, going on maneuvers. Yes, only on maneuvers! They said, many years ago, ‘ we only want to hide the light of Zartha, nothing more’, just as the camel told Abdul he just wanted to warm his nose. Now look at what we have. Loathsome bugs bigger than Shaq, drinking from toilets while insisting on using human facilities. Shouldn’t human females have the right to use a toilet without being chomped on by a rogue Orthopterous Exomorph? What’s next, aliens laying eggs in unsuspecting human bodies, then protesting being separated from their babies?”
Ms. Xath, since you have taken such pains with your makeup today, can I assume that the alien contingent has chosen you for their spokescreature? Serleena: “You earthlings have some colorful sayings, not the least of which is ‘assume makes an ass out of u and me.’ I will indeed speak for the undocumented visitors, but not because of my makeup, rather because I can change myself into anything, including the freely salivating gigantic carnivorous lizard/insect that threatened Ripley in Alien, Alien 2, Alien 3….Alien 50+.” While continuing to stare balefully at Edgar, who briefly challenged for leadership until Xath chomped off a leg (which he replaced by ripping off a leg of a passing human and fastening it to his hip with industrial fasteners), she hissed, “we’re here, we’re queer, you will accommodate us, or your end is near.”
Churchill: “Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm, and Serleena is not lacking in enthusiasm. As for her, it’s, xe’s or whatever pronouns such a creature deigns to adopt, that lingerie model look reminds me of Christine Keeler, and we know how she ended up. She was so famous that at one point she said ‘the only two people in the world who wouldn’t take my phone calls were the Pope and Marlon Brando. After that it was all downhill. I have survived and possibly I should not hope for more than that.’ We’re all for social justice, but what would that look like here?”
Suddenly, Lauranna stood. The gasps were audible. How dare she! Serleena was in charge, Edgar was ready to mow down her opposition, but Lauranna challenged them all with, “great question, what does social justice look like? It looks like the Light of Zartha, the very reason we from other worlds came here and want to stay here!” The other extraterrestrial delegates sat mute, realizing that each species had the same problem — none cared for justice, each wanted to be treated more equally than the others. They knew no way to resolve their differences except by force. Why not let Lauranna speak? “I came here centuries ago, in your time measurement, to hide the Light of Zartha, a precious jewel which bathes all in a sense of universal justice. What is justice? You earthlings once knew what universal justice was. You called it, in your vernacular, ‘having your day in court’: The opportunity for each party to tell your side of the story, to be heard, and to have a judgment rendered. Court used to be the disputing parties giving their side, without all the complicated rules, procedures, appeals, publicity and confusion. Your peers — humans you lived among day after day would hear both sides — bathed in the emanations of the Light, would listen, discuss, then render a generally fair verdict.
“The winner of the judgment would be compensated by the loser, the loser would pay restitution. What a beautiful idea, that the human who had done the wrong was given a chance to make their victim whole, the wronged human given a chance to forgive. With the restitution and the forgiveness, the Light would shine on your community, the loser would be restored to fellowship, justice was done. No one used the term social justice, no one believed that wrongs could never be forgiven nor demand that those innocent of the wrongs still owed something to those who were wronged and long dead. But you humans covered up the Light, forgot it was there. Now look at what you have. Instead of justice, grievance. Instead of restitution, greed. Instead of forgiveness, venom. Serleena does not speak for all of us. We beg you, uncover the Light once again, let its emanations bathe us in love and justice. Only then will all of us — earthlings and extraterrestrials — know what is right and what is wrong. We will be free to choose right.”
The conference ends with tumultuous cheers, the clapping of hands and waving of tentacles!