Klaatu, Nierikas and the News
During WW II I vaguely remember going to the movies on Saturday afternoon with my parents and watching the black and white news reels from the war and being scared out of my wits from the gun shots going on and I would cover my eyes and not watch it. The news WAS the news, and those film reels were our contact of what was going on in the world.
Now we seem to be more interested in what some famous actor or singer is doing instead of being informed about what is happening around the world, like the radiation leaking from the reactors at Fukushima that has reached the American continent, the killing of the people in the middle east, the hype of going to war and how we should be looking at diplomacy, the three ring circus going on in our government, climate change. That’s the real news. and we bury our heads in the sand and numb out with news of little consequence to the future of Earth.
When I used to teach Face 2 Face (F2F) classes, I include a unit on film history which included part of the old black and white movie (on VHS), ‘The Day the Earth Stood Still’ from 1951. I remember when the movie came out and back then, it was a scary movie. It looks pretty tame nowadays, when I compare it to ‘Wonder Woman’, and my students would get restless and bored when I show it, but the announcements of the aliens by the newscasters is the way it was on radio back then, and the movie has some good lessons to learn, including the ending speech. Although there may not be any spaceship with robots landing on Earth to warn us that we must learn to live in peace, it still makes a good point and we may end up wiping ourselves out if we don’t stop our fear of the ‘other’ and learn to live in peace.
Ending speech of ‘The Day the Earth Stood Still’:
‘MED. CLOSE SHOT — KLAATU
He is a figure of intense dignity in his impressive otherworld tunic. He stares with even defiance at the armed soldiers, as though holding them off by sheer weight of his personality. He turns to look out at the audience, which is held spellbound. Then, after a breathless moment, he speaks.
I am leaving soon and you will forgive me if I speak bluntly. (he pauses, studying the faces) The Universe grows smaller every day — and the threat of aggression by any group — anywhere — can no longer be tolerated.
There must be security for all — or no one is secure… This does not mean giving up any freedom except the freedom to act irresponsibly.
Your ancestors knew this when they made laws to govern themselves — and hired policemen to enforce them.
We of the other planets have long accepted this principle. We have an organization for the mutual protection of all planets — and for the complete elimination of aggression. A sort of United Nations on the Planetary level… The test of any such higher authority, of course, is the police force that supports it. For our policemen, we created a race of robots — (indicating Gort) Their function is to patrol the planets — in space ships like this one — and preserve the peace. In matters of aggression we have given them absolute power over us.
At the first sign of violence they act automatically against the aggressor. And the penalty for provoking their action is too terrible to risk.
The result is that we live in peace, without arms or armies, secure in the knowledge that we are free from aggression and war — free to pursue more profitable enterprises. (after a pause) We do not pretend to have achieved perfection — but we do have a system — and it works.
I came here to give you the facts. It is no concern of ours how you run your own planet — but if you threaten to extend your violence, this Earth of yours will be reduced to a burned- out cinder.
Your choice is simple. Join us and live in peace. Or pursue your present course — and face obliteration. We will be waiting for your answer. The decision rests with you.’
You can watch the speech here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_seKyGYlTHY
I believe it was Reagan who said that the only thing that would bring Earth together was the threat of an alien invasion from space. So we have a choice, do we Earthlings want to live on Earth with care and Love for Earth and all her sentient beings? Or do we want to live in Fear, destroying our beautiful Earth and all that is on it by our senseless and thoughtless ignorance and violence?
One way will save us and the other will obliterate us. Let’s join with Klaatu and live in peace. Earth is waiting for our answer and we are running out of time.
In the first photo, the old VHS movie rests on a yarn painting, one of the samples that I used in my classes in our multicultural unit on Mexico, and are called Nierikas. They are elaborately made by the Huichol Indians as healing prayers, and are considered sacred art that facilitates entry into the spiritual world. Wax figures and jaguars are also made with beads pressed into wax while beads pressed into wax inside of a gourd are used as prayer bowls that are then given as offerings to their deities. The last photo is a prayer bowl that I picked up in Tepotzlan, Mexico. Nierika comes from the word nieriya which means to see. It is time to see.
This piece started out as a bastardization of the news and it took on a life of its own as the muse guided me to a far off field from where I started, but I find the spiral path more interesting than the linear and I just followed the path set before me. It was written a few years ago and slightly updated.