Well, here we are at last. What once started as joke or, rather, a satirical vent for airing my accumulated disappointment with mankind, very soon – and quite unexpectedly – began to take the shape of a movement. I used to think of myself as a rather eccentric type who doesn’t quite so easily subscribe to the mainstream view on most things, but I guess that was only by Facebook standards. Twitter really is something else.
But let’s be fair: even Twitter is polluted up to the highest rim by nauseatingly large quantities of contagious and unrestrained normality. You know, the “Hope you all have a lovely Tuesday” tweeting type or the being furiously appalled by a universally unpleasant thing type. The self-righteous, the whiners and the bores. So, in this ocean of “hurrah” to all the good things and “boo” at all the bad things I was pleasantly surprised to discover a significant stratum of intellectuals who, like myself, were more inclined to entertain the observation that both “hurrah” and “boo” are two rather impractical sets of syllables for getting a point across on a matter as complex as most of those for which these explanations are commonly used.
I’m talking about you.
Yes, you, the person still reading this. And this. There’s something special about you.
Why would someone like you start following a Twitter account supposedly run by an alien talking about humans?
I only see four possibilities for why that is:
- You are an alien (in which case you may be in for a bit of a disappointment);
- Someone paid you to do it;
- You inherited a locked ivory chest from your great grandmother, who was a famous Maasai huntress, and after years of relentless searching were able to recover the key, which showed to be a string of characters engraved on a tombstone hidden deep inside an ancient catacomb in Kenya, which you later inaccurately deciphered by means of a reverse-engineered Enigma machine to constitute the exact URL of the Aliens About Humans Twitter account;
- There’s something special about you.
We both know which one it is. You have one of those minds capable of taking a step back from everyday reality and looking at the world – and yourself – from a distance. Let’s just say that I know one or two things about that.
It rose in the East…
Between 2015 and 2017 I was tirelessly battling political and historical myths propelled by Russian propaganda in my myth-debunking Russian-language blog Antimif. The forces were uneven. I mean, how hard is it not to have to prove that Western Europe is not a decadent citadel of perversity where everyone is either gay, liberal, a pedophile or a woman? But common sense can get you a long way with relatively little effort when facing a clueless enough adversary, who uses the inertia of taken-for-granted truths as its primary weapon.
In my debunking articles I was encouraging readers to take a step back and try to look at those so called truths through the eyes of an outsider.
It did strike a chord. My articles gained a lot of traction. Some were republished multiple times in various regional media and blogs. With tens of thousands of followers and hundreds or thousands of article shares, I felt I was really making a difference. The curtain of cynicism that so effectively veils the popular support of increasingly corrupt elites in authoritarian societies was showing signs of being shredded at the edges. The fresh air of the free world, standing firmly and selflessly in defence of ideals greater than man, was reaching the minds and the hearts of people who for too long have been fooled by fair words concealing foul deeds of appalling selfishness and greed.
How rewarding it was to be able to convey to disillusioned intellectuals in Ukraine, Belarus, Russia, Moldova that justice, transparency of power, tolerance, freedom of speech and, above all, common sense could indeed prevail in societies, which by no coincidence are among the wealthiest and most developed ones in the world!
…and set in the West.
Imagine my surprise when, while I had my eyes fixed on the Eastern front, that free world I had been idealising began to slide down into the same pit of doublethink I was hoping to pull the post-Soviet societies out of. In the past decade Western democracies started drowning in misinformation, becoming increasingly polarised as the most dishonest partisanship and bigotry were gradually substituting open discourse as the standard manner of political conduct. The right was increasingly losing touch with reality by manically entangling itself in conspiracy theories while the left was eating itself by turning everything good it has ever fought for into instruments of censorship and hate.
That fresh air from the free world was gaining an unpleasant odour. At times it was, and is, hard to know which side of the window is outside.
It got so depressing that I stopped writing and secluded myself in my own cocoon of individualism.
It dawned on me that the problem wasn’t regional. It is all of humanity that really needs to take a step back and take a good look at itself through the eyes of an outsider. And what better way of doing it than shooting yourself out into the orbit and imagining yourself to be an alien?
And this is where we met.
You, me and over 100,000 other extraordinary people who have shared such enormous amounts of totally crazy, and yet oddly refreshing and insightful thoughts with me, that it basically left me no other choice but to make a book out of it.
No, this will not be a collection of tweets and twisted road signs. It will be the full and complete version of what Aliens About Humans has always been about: a handbook for aliens who, by the necessity of their profession as planetary infiltrators, need to understand how to behave like humans. Chapter by chapter, all the perversities of the human body, habits, codes, societal structures, religion and ideas will be explained (and beaten the living hell out of) in the most inhuman way (in the best sense of the word). For better digestion, the (pseudo) scientific narrative will be supported by anecdotal cutaways into early terrestrial missions of the legendary pioneer infiltrator Zorn.
And I want you to know that you have played a big part in it: by liking, by re-tweeting, but adding witty comments, by being blocked by weirdos with no sense of humour, but most importantly – by just being there. For that I’d like to thank you and hope that this book will be a fair reflection of what you would have expected to be put into your basic terrestrial infiltration pack. In any case, please know that once it’s finally out, there’s definitely going to be a bit of you in it.
With that said, I believe I now have a bit of writing to do. Please join the waitlist if you haven’t yet, and please share it with other alien-minded people. Everyone needs a good guide to humanity, and every debutant author needs some readers to get published, so kudos to you in advance for spreading the word! Also, feel free to follow my personal Twitter (and drop me a line of encouragement to help me avoid writer’s block).
Take care, friend! You’ll be hearing from me again soon.