Saturday, 11 July 2009


I used to have this fantasy where a spaceship landed just as I was stepping into a pub and disgorged dozens of little green men with a dozen arms apiece, carrying pencils and notebooks. Their leader explained they were doing market research. Their own planet had become uninhabitable and they were looking for somewhere else to live. Would I mind answering a few questions. Naturally I said I would be happy to oblige and when they said, “Where are you going now?” I said, “The Pub”.
“????????????” they said, pencils hovering uncertainly.
“It is a building where I stand in front of a long counter and buy beer and spirits,” I explain.
“Liquids that make one do silly things and sometimes vomit and is eventually poisonous.”
“What a terrible punishment.....................”
“No, I do it for pleasure.”
Little wonder that in my fantasy the spacemen scurried off to a more balanced planet.
Now I think Oscar Wilde was quite right. Nature does imitate art. There is evidence of an actual invasion from Outer Space. In making this ground breaking discovery I must give credit to the influence of Doctor Who, whom I discovered by accident on a Freeview Channel last month and have been obsessed with ever since. Made in Wales, it is the new Mabinogion. Though I do wish they would stop running everywhere.
Alarm bells rang when scientists announced they had evidence that the Soya sheep in the Outer Hebrides have been shrinking by 81g a year for the past 25 years. One scientist reassured us that we won't be seeing pygmy sheep being herded by Chihuahuas. We are not convinced, the good Doctor and I. Similar symptoms have been discerned in cod, sticklebacks, Marine Iguanas, North American squirrels and Blue Tits.
Worse, I have it on the authority of The Times that the long winged bushheaded cricket is flying further as its wings lengthen. In their innocence, the scientists claim this to be the result of global warming. A likely tale.
The Times in the same week carried the story of a tree stump in Co Limerick which is being worshipped because it is roughly shaped like the Virgin Mary. In vain the parish priest has said, “It's a tree. There is nothing there, it's just a tree. You cannot worship a tree.” Clearly he has not read Sir James Frazer's fascinating work “The Golden Bough”, an anthropological study of the days when tree worship had a very large fan club.
The Times took the opportunity to tell of earlier Alien interventions. There was the Welsh family who claimed to have seen the face of the Virgin on a tin of Marmite. Or the family in California who insisted their house smelled of roses after homemade salsa spattered their wall in resemblance of the Virgin. In Warwickshire this much travelled lady appeared on a pregnancy scan which the proud mother claimed meant the virgin was looking after her child.
She has a considerable market value. A ten year old toasted cheese sandwich on which her face appeared sold on E-bay for $20.000 and attracted 1.7 million hits.
Jesus has been seen in mildew, a rock surface, cement, cereal, a soya oil and a turtle. The jury is still out on claims that he also appears on the backside of a Los Angeles terrier.
In an impish moment on the Mirror, a Catholic picture editor and I launched a pilgrimage to a cow shed in Tintwistle, Lancashire. The Virgin Mary had appeared in full detail on a wall of the shed. We subbed out the explanation that a light flooding through a stained glass window from a demolished church which had been stored in the shed was throwing an image. I believe we encouraged 10,000 pilgrims to visit.
Doctor Who shares my belief that at the bottom of all these happenings is The Master, Anthony Gormless, who is spreading life forms which send whole populations insane. Its influence emanates from a pedestal in Trafalgar Square where humanoids take turns to stand, dressed in one case in a suit resembling human excreta to draw attention to the shortage of clean water, and where a man will play hip hop on a gramophone whilst making tea and an architect will mount a pink folding bike and pedal furiously to power a pink-lighted suit.
Most bizarre is a living sculpture where a near naked, middle-aged, 6 ft 2in tattooed skinhead will sit in a children's paddling pool, bathing in a gallon of fake blood mixed with real blood taken from his close friends and family.
On the beach at Crosby, near Liverpool, The Master's earlier madness from outer space, his Iron Men, have had a makeover. Supporters of the Crosby Housing Association checked the tide tablesand then took 40 different fashion outfits down to clothe the men, who rise from the sand where the waves break as the tide rises and falls.
Suits, gowns and - of course - beachwear were fitted, photographed and filmed before the statues were left naked again, apart from 40 blue balloons, by 7.30am.
Working in three shifts, seamstresses in the North of England are making a suit of tails for the giant Winged Spaceman with which the aliens announced their presence on the planet and which is now an object of worship.
The alien presence is most obvious in The Media. The impressive technology - HD, digital, 3D - that no one can afford proliferates and boggles the humanoid mind. The truth is they are toys for Alien Suits. In all the debate over them, no one has pointed out that the content these sophisticated machines deliver, which is the human contribution, is crap. This can be the only reason that the proliferation of networks is dominated by repeats. Alien scheduling ? Whatever programme you want to watch, it's on somewhere. And if you miss it one night, don't worry, it's on again the next night.
Our poor brains are not the equal of our New Masters.
The purpose of this control of humanoid minds is not yet clear, either to the Doctor or myself, but we are both convinced that the race has undergone dramatic change. The corruption in parliament, the police force, the BBC and now, we discover, the Civil Service, is so widespread we cannot believe it is accidental, nor can we blame it on the weather.
Every day brings fresh evidence of wrong doing. Even the News of the World is at it.
Parenthetically, if a Council induces a Chief Constable to take a job by offering a new car to his wife and a public school education for their children, where does that differ from bribery?
Five hundred years ago our greatest human brain counselled us “Neither a borrower nor a lender be”. We have corrupted Africa with our gifts and at home devices in the shape of small oblong plastic cards have been introduced to enable people who cannot afford it to borrow money. When Governments discovered we were deep in a world of debt, their answer was to spend more. Our army is ill-equipped. We take on new wars, when the obvious answer is to fight fewer. Our Banana Monarchy demands more money to keep up its five homes. Wiser heads would have solved the problem by having fewer homes. They solve it by asking for more money at the same time as they are giving their old houses to their kids and cousins at a bargain price. The Royals could, maybe, share the good fortune of parliament where members are allowed two homes and the tax payers, some of whom are being thrown out of their only home, pay for one of them.
As Doctor Watson wisely said, “These are deep waters, Holmes.”