Sunday, January 3, 2010


Ten percent of the 21st century is already over. Think on that.

The arrival of a new decade, drifting out of the oughts and coming into the teens, has me thinking long and hard about - what else? - extraterrestrial contact.

Never mind that we're already swimming in a sea of invisible Lovecraftian beasties brushing up against our reality (you probably think I'm joking, don't you?) and never mind that certain microscopic critters most likely actually came here from interstellar space. I'm speaking here of more tangible, wrap-their-lunchhooks-around-you kind of aliens, which may or may not be little green men or Autogyro-piloting entities or what have you. (Some might even tell you to "Drop the Tunug" if you don't block their voices out with your Thought Screen Helmet.)

The tagline for the film version of Arthur C. Clarke's 2010 is "The Year We Make Contact". Given that all my high-weirdness detector readings are off the scale these days, I wouldn't be surprised if this isn't indeed the year that all humans finally realize (as John Titor once predicted) that we have not been living in the kind of world we've grown up thinking we're in.

With the upcoming full-throttle-firing of the Large Hadron Collider this year, some paranoid nuts - in other words, my dearest friends and associates - believe an interdimensional portal is going to be opened as a result. And something from somewhere else could end up here.

Perhaps it already has.

Our ally JLK's Ending Sentences With Ellipses blog has a great feature about the conversation between Helen Mirren and Roy Scheider about Kentucky in the 2010 film.

But when Roy says we play very good basketball, does he mean the Cats or the Cards? Most likely the Cats. But you never know. He may also have meant both, in a general, all-encompassing, Neutral Zone kinda sense.

Anyway, I'm glad to see that they still drink Kentucky bourbon in the future. Or I would be, that is, if the future were not right now.


Ed said...

I made a photographic slideshow of this and posted it to youtube.

Melissa said...

It is "something wonderful" that Bourbon and Kentucky were used in this 2010 (film) vignette to help bridge the cultural gap between Cosmonaut and Astronaut. Particularly appropriate, as our old, unusual Kentucky home is about as consummate a crossroads of cultural influences as they come! Huzzah! I love it that way.

Regarding a past-tense reference to the previous decade, I favor 'the Aughts'. It is possible we'll settle on 'the 2K's'. I hope it will not be 'the Naughts' because that seems to connote a null set, which the Aughts definitely were not.

JSH said...

I definitely favor the aughts, although I prefer the cowboy/hillbilly spelling "oughts", as in Tom Waits' "16 Shells From A Thirty-Ought-Six". The term was used commonly around the previous turn of the century.

ought (n.)

"zero, cipher," 1844, probably a misdivision of a nought (see nought), meaning probably influenced by aught "anything" (q.v.)

Melissa said...

Aha! Roger that. I retract my previous statement.

Oughts it is!

Cubex said...

I wonder if in the future, they will have to step up production of bourbon to meet the demand of all the people drinking it in space?

JSH said...

Definitely, Cubex! Did you read this post about Bourbon and Star Trek?:

They're importing Kentucky Bourbon all over the Universe! Wonder if they have Vidalia Onions on Starfleet colonies as well?