The Diaries of a Sozzled Scribbler #13
Transcribed by DMETRI KAKMI
17 July 2020
Recently the Canal+ TV series, War of the Worlds has been labelled alienist, a piece of hate, and cultural appropriation on social media. The respected broadcaster has been described as part of the earthling supremacist system, provoking riots in the US, England, and Australia. In all other countries governments just shot their citizens.
So strong is the voice for reform about how aliens are depicted in film and television that it has created the #alienlivesmatter movement. To help Earthlings understand what is going on, I invited the creme de la creme of off-world actors to have their say.
S.S: Welcomes Klaatu, Uncle Martin, Davros, Predator, Doctor Who, The Thing and Ms Xenomorph. Have I left anyone out? It’s hard to distinguish some of you from a chair or a pot plant.
[A cacophony of horrendous screeches, clicks, and unearthly squeals follows.]
S.S: Why do you call filmmakers ‘earthling supremacists’ and accuse them of being mean to those who come from another planet?
Davros: Look at the way we are depicted. Cliches and stereotypes abound. It’s absolutely appalling. And we are usually killed off at the end.
S.S: By Pan’s beard, you can actually speak in coherent sentences, without shouting.
Davros: That’s what I’m talking about. Stereotypes, cliches. I received a sound education at Oxford. But nobody knows about that. All they’ve got me saying on his ridiculous show [gestured at Doctor Who] is EXTERMINATE, EXTERMINATE in a hysterical voice. I’ve been doing it since the 1970s and I’m sick of it. I want to play Othello or Hamlet.
Doctor Who: You’re not exactly love interest material, Dav.
Davros: How dare you! I don’t look like this all the time. I’m wearing make-up for your stupid show.
Klaatu: What do you really look like?
Davros: A baby squid.
Doctor Who: I rest my case.
Ms Xenomorph: [Knitting.] That’s easy for you to say, Doc. You and Klaatu and Uncle Martin look human. You can pass. The rest of us can’t. I can’t even get my feet into a pair of Manolo Blahniks while I’m chasing that skinny bitch Sigourney Weaver on set. People must think I’m a lesbian or something. Always chasing chicks and hissing in their faces. Prometheus help me if my parents ever saw those films.
S.S: Can we bring it back to #alienlivesmatter please?
Predator: This is a righteous movement, long overdue. Tear down human society, destroy the nukiler family, I say.
Davros: I don’t mind being the tough guy in TV shows, but let’s not confuse that with real life. I was taking a self-isolation trundle through Clapham Upon-Upper in London the other day when a bunch of kids mugged me to prove they can beat the leader of the Daleks. And then a policeman kneeled on my tentacles.
Uncle Martin: Testicles?
Davros: Tentacles, tentacles!
Ms Xenomorph: Tisk, tisk, that’s sort of behaviour is unacceptable in civil society.
S.S: If the entertainment industry didn’t cast you in these films, you’d all be lining up for the dole.
Predator: You say that again and I’ll rip your head off and shove it up your ass.
Ms Xenomorph: Ignore him, Pred. He’s just trying to provoke you. Don’t play into his hands. You’re better than that.
Predator: No, I’m not.
S.S: Statues of prominent humans have been torn down by enraged aliens and their human supporters. Do you think that’s right?
Predator: You bet. Down with Earthlings. Up with aliens.
S.S: Doctor Who, as a proud Gallifrey man/woman/thing and one of the planet’s most important actors—even if you do have an eye for young gals—what do you have to say about this?
Doctor Who: We need to remember Canal+ and many others champion the work of diverse filmmakers, who do not fit easily discernible categories.
Uncle Martin: Granted we are usually cast as brutes out to invade the planet, impregnate nubile women and give unwary men anal probes. But so what? At the end of the day, as Mr Sozzled says, it is money in the pocket.
Predator: You would say that, you preening old queen. How’s pretty boy Tim O’Hara? Must be expensive keeping a dimwitted human in the lap of luxury for 60 years.
Uncle Martin: Watch it, Pred, you won’t like me with my antennae up.
Ms Xenomorph: [Continues knitting.] Hmm, is that what they call it nowadays?
Predator. Oh, I’m scared. Why don’t you get Ms Xeno to lay an egg in little Timmy’s chest? Then you can start a family, you conformist.
The Thing: Something is dangerously askew in the way that we are talking about aliens in the arts, and I feel like that it’s time we spoke up.
Predator: [Throws claws up in air.] Not you too!
The Thing: We are sick and tired of being depicted as ugly and nasty. I mean look at me. Am I like ugly? Am I like mean?
Predator: You are fucking hideous and there’s no two ways about it, Thing. Accept it. Don’t conform to beauty stereotypes perpetuated by Ella Bache.
The Thing: I’m a victim of hierarchical oppressive systems that marginalize and oppress creatures of no discerning form.
Predator: Come on, kid, keep it together. You’re not a victim. They want you to believe that so they can control you.
S.S: Who, pray tell, is they?
Predator: Those giant non-binary ants that appeared in a film back in the 1950s.
S.S: That was Them!
The Thing: Flash in the pans. Nobody remembers them but everyone remembers me.
Predator: Atta boy, Thing! You’ll pull through.
E.T: Hold on a minute. Spielberg did his bit with Close Encountersand with my memoir, which he unimaginatively called ET.
S.S: Oh, you’re here too ET. I thought you were an old cushion.
E.T: Well, I never. I go out of my way to appear on your show and all I get is insults. [Waddles off in a huff.]
The Thing: The Spielberg love-fest is like a drop in the ocean. The rest is a deluge. It’s like so depressing. I’ve been like living on Zoloft for so long I can barely shape shift any more, which impacts the parts I’m offered.
S.S: The correct word is affects. Not impacts.
Predator: How dare you impose your imperialist dialectic values on him.
S.S: Thing, your last job was in 2011 in the Norwegian version of The Thing, wasn’t it?
The Thing: No, I played a blancmange in a Japanese ad last week. So like humiliating. I’m scared my agent’s gonna like dump me. [Starts to cry.]
Predator: [To S.S.] See what you done!
Ms Xenomorph: I want to play a Bond girl before I die. Extend my range a little.
S.S: Is the current focus on public shaming and burning down the industry misguided and ahistorical?
Klaatu: It started as an attempt at genuine critique but it descended into online bullying. The activists accusing the content creators of being part of earthling supremacy are not taking into consideration the long history of ground-breaking, intergalacticly recognised alien and culturally diverse work, much of which has been supported by the film and television industries.
Uncle Martin: Equally, they have not understood the history of struggle against alienism on Earth, which has established structures that have enabled alien actors to assume their current positions within mainstream media, and to provide ongoing opportunities for others.
Doctor Who: In painting the industry as ‘all human’, they fail to acknowledge the changes already happening, driven by the hard work of aliens and sundry monsters who have come before them. The most powerful TV executive in England, Nyah, is The Devil Girl from Mars, for heaven’s sake. She has a lovely BBC accent.
Predator: She’s one hot bitch. I wants to shag her while she pulls my dreadlocks and calls me names.
S.S: Get a room why don’t you?
Predator: Fuck off, you old prune. When was the last time you had a root?
Klaatu: And let’s not forget Netflix just hired a man from Uranus…
Uncle Martin: Really? What’s his name when he’s on Earth?
Klaatu: Calm down, Uncle Martin. You know people from Uranus cause a stink when they’re propositioned.
Doctor Who: We must remember that many of the most significant creatives in the industry are from another planet or from a dark pit at the centre of the earth—Harvey Weinstein for instance.
Predator: Yeah, the real world is becoming more frightful every year. We need to celebrate that.
Ms Xenomorph: Just because I incubate my babies in random chest cavities doesn’t mean I’m not nice. I’m at an age when I can play the parts previously played by Sharon Stone, but are producers calling me?
Uncle Martin: We recognise there is a lot more work to be done, and that we can never rest on our larvae. However, we believe in constructively changing the system, rather than burning it down.
Klaatu: Well said. I believe in having strategies and policies, informed and researched targets, open and safe debate.
Thing: I’m sick of earthlings appropriating our stories to portray the growth of human characters. It’s like no, okay Just no.
Predator: [Stands.] No more compromise. I’m for tearing down the house, sowing the seeds of discord and relishing chaos. Come on Ms Xeno, Thing, let’s go for a drink. Leave these turn-coats to discuss strategies. You want to join us, Dav?
Davros: No, thanks. I’ll go home to read Shakespeare’s sonnets.
[Ms Xenomorph and Predator depart with their arms around a sobbing Thing.]
S.S: [Looks at remaining party.] Gentlemen, thank you for joining us today.
Klaatu: We propose the best way forward is to create a safe forum with all players, that offers solutions to lift up and not tear down.
S.S: Yeah, whatever… Get out of my penthouse. I’ve got martinis to drink, freaks to insult.
Until next we meet. Cheerio!
The Sozzled Scribbler was born in the shadow of the Erechtheion in Athens, Greece, to an Egyptian street walker (his father) and a Greek bear wrestler (his mother). He has lived in Istanbul, Rome, London, New Orleans and is currently stateless. He partakes of four bottles of Bombay gin and nine packets of Gauloises cigarettes a day.
Dmetri Kakmi, is a writer and editor. His first book Mother Land was shortlisted for the New South Wales Premier’s Literary Awards in Australia, and his new book The Door will be released in September 2020.