Join the Unexplained Mysteries community today! It's free and setting up an account only takes a moment.
- Sign In or Create Account -
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 1
ambelamba

One Common Theme about Aliens in Pop Culture

17 posts in this topic

Without exception, save for one, pretty much all aliens depicted in pop culture are inferior to humans in one obvious way.

Practically none of them seem to be capable of empathy and compassion, one way or another. And practically not a single pop culture alien shows rage out of sadness or loss.

Basically, they are all depicted as being incapable of feel for others.

OK, tin foil hat time. Is it a propaganda? :D

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think it boils down to the writers struggling to find something that makes humans distinct from the other species.

Lets look at Babylon 5 - humans are shorter lived, have worse eye-sight, less well defined telepathic abilities, physically weaker, less technologically advanced then just about anyone else. So what do they do better then anyone else? "Build communities". Just about everyone else is a "mono-culture", even the Mimbari with their castes are effectively one culture, while humans aren't. Humans in Bablyon 5 are multicultural and that has fostered in humanity an ability to weld together disparate group. The only species that could make the idea of the Babylon stations work is humanity because they're the only ones who'd TRY. The Vorlon would just manipulate from behind the scenes, the Mimbari would reserve their lofty disdain, the Centauri would simply conquer, but humans would try and bring together the best in everyone.

Or look at Star Trek - again, humans suck. they're less intelligent, less physically able, shorter lived, less psychically developed then even their closest allies the Vulcans let alone anyone else. But Trek basically ascribed one "skillset" to each species (Vulcans are the logical ones, Klingons are the violent ones, Romulans the scheming ones, Bajorans the religions ones etc) what humanity got was "the curious ones". The ones who didn't go out into the universe to conquer, or to simply examine phenomena, but to EXPLORE, to go "well we know that, lets see what's around the next corner?" and to damn the consequences.

Basically, the writers are trapped by the known human limitations and their desire to make the aliens alien by exaggerating something about them to the point of making humans look rubbish, so then have to come up with a way of saying "yeah, well humans are rubbish at everything except Cricket, so that's what sets us apart on the inter-galactic scene".

3 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not all of them. There was a show and movie that was huge in the 80's or early 90's called Alien Nation. God I loved that show. The aliens were stronger that us but felt empathy and some even wanted to be more human.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think aliens have taken the place of monsters.

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

the Talosians post-86645-0-28955100-1394361454_thumb.j (on Star Trek) made it possible for a wheelchair bound Capt. Pike and space crash victim girl post-86645-0-30117700-1394361497_thumb.j to live out their lives , together, in an illusion of perfect health and beauty . Some of the nicest aliens you'd ever wanna meet. :)

2 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"OK, tin foil hat time. Is it a propaganda?"

Er...no, it's fiction.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"OK, tin foil hat time. Is it a propaganda?"

Er...no, it's fiction.

Right. Movies with alien invaders that have moral values are bad for the box office.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think it boils down to the writers struggling to find something that makes humans distinct from the other species.

Lets look at Babylon 5 - humans are shorter lived, have worse eye-sight, less well defined telepathic abilities, physically weaker, less technologically advanced then just about anyone else. So what do they do better then anyone else? "Build communities". Just about everyone else is a "mono-culture", even the Mimbari with their castes are effectively one culture, while humans aren't. Humans in Bablyon 5 are multicultural and that has fostered in humanity an ability to weld together disparate group. The only species that could make the idea of the Babylon stations work is humanity because they're the only ones who'd TRY. The Vorlon would just manipulate from behind the scenes, the Mimbari would reserve their lofty disdain, the Centauri would simply conquer, but humans would try and bring together the best in everyone.

Or look at Star Trek - again, humans suck. they're less intelligent, less physically able, shorter lived, less psychically developed then even their closest allies the Vulcans let alone anyone else. But Trek basically ascribed one "skillset" to each species (Vulcans are the logical ones, Klingons are the violent ones, Romulans the scheming ones, Bajorans the religions ones etc) what humanity got was "the curious ones". The ones who didn't go out into the universe to conquer, or to simply examine phenomena, but to EXPLORE, to go "well we know that, lets see what's around the next corner?" and to damn the consequences.

Basically, the writers are trapped by the known human limitations and their desire to make the aliens alien by exaggerating something about them to the point of making humans look rubbish, so then have to come up with a way of saying "yeah, well humans are rubbish at everything except Cricket, so that's what sets us apart on the inter-galactic scene".

This theory is basically the same as how any particular species of animal will have one particular skill that it excels at (sense of smell, jumping, running, surviving hot or cold temperatures etc), but while humans may not excel at any one of those particularly, they're vastly more adaptable and have a whole range of skills in intelligence and communication, etc, so they can design and construct things to compensate. thesci fi writers seem to follow these principles too.

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Right. Movies with alien invaders that have moral values are bad for the box office.

A super-intelligent being that comes down from above and teaches moral values to humanity? Sounds like a religious message more than anything, that does.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A super-intelligent being that comes down from above and teaches moral values to humanity? Sounds like a religious message more than anything, that does.

Sounds like something Eeech Von D would say.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Star Trek ones seem pretty nice, and Leelo was nice in the 5th element, she was the element of Love afterall. Some of the Mortal Kombat fighters were aliens in a sense, like Kitana. I liked her. Then there was Max and Me...

I think the idea is, if they're capable of traveling light years and make their way to our planet, then they must have technologies that can annihilate us. I can't wait for Independence Day II.

I think most people would assume they're hostile. The human race doesn't like to play 2nd place.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I thought Leeloo was the element of life?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

The Star Trek ones seem pretty nice, and Leelo was nice in the 5th element, she was the element of Love afterall. Some of the Mortal Kombat fighters were aliens in a sense, like Kitana. I liked her. Then there was Max and Me...

I think the idea is, if they're capable of traveling light years and make their way to our planet, then they must have technologies that can annihilate us. I can't wait for Independence Day II.

I think most people would assume they're hostile. The human race doesn't like to play 2nd place.

People have the same opinion on US Marines. But at least they act saintly compared to Roman Legion.

In fact, many of them are good people who took a gamble in career choice. Maybe some aliens are in similar situations. Who knows?

Edited by ambelamba

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Without exception, save for one, pretty much all aliens depicted in pop culture are inferior to humans in one obvious way.

Practically none of them seem to be capable of empathy and compassion, one way or another. And practically not a single pop culture alien shows rage out of sadness or loss.

Basically, they are all depicted as being incapable of feel for others.

The aliens that contactees hung around with regularly (back in the 50's and 60's) were not depicted like this at all. They were all very concerned about the fate of humanity and with few exceptions were described as being our wise friends in outer space, very much like us. Soon they would make contact with us and we would have no need for nuclear weapons any more. People generally felt that any race that had such technology must have rejected violence and science fiction like "War of the Worlds" just showed how primitive we are. This of course reflected the times with the fear of nuclear war and a growing peace and ecological awareness movement.

The change in popular culture happened after Betty and Barney Hill became famous with their "The Interrupted Journey" and the highly rated "UFO Incident" network television movie. While our Space Brothers were still portrayed as having good intentions, they were now kidnapping people off our highways and sticking horrifying needles into our abdomens for no apparent reason.

These two ideas of alien visitation competed in the 70's with some contactees and abductees claiming there were several alien races visiting Earth, some with good intentions and some with bad. By the 80's people realized our Space Brothers weren't coming to rescue us from ourselves or the bad aliens so the thought that aliens were a threat became more popular. Now we regularly heard terrifying stories of people being kidnapped right out of their bedrooms and subjected to examinations (often with sexual undertones) that would be unethical to perform on animals. This sold more books than ones about peaceful aliens who were coming to save us.

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

Without exception, save for one, pretty much all aliens depicted in pop culture are inferior to humans in one obvious way.

Practically none of them seem to be capable of empathy and compassion, one way or another. And practically not a single pop culture alien shows rage out of sadness or loss.

Basically, they are all depicted as being incapable of feel for others.

OK, tin foil hat time. Is it a propaganda? :D

We really have no idea what they'd be like. All we have are stories from abductees and the imagination of screenwriters. It's just one of many questions. Are they Greys? Robots? Lizards? 50ft. women? All of the above?

Edited by Sweetpumper

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

The One Common Theme about E.T is that were all still looking waiting,some hopeing,some fearing, many just dont give a " t" and then theres the truley curious and intrested,the people that may or may not of seen a UFO ,to spark there grey matter a bit.

Regaurdless we really know nothing about it. Look just how big the local Hood is ! then times it by about a million Space is really,Really Big. Even a FTL race could be another million years away from getting here . Thats BIG !

But We can have our Dreams,and hopes. Maybe someday we will get that meeting ? It will be a Great day even If they Eat us All ,fry our planet, A few seconds of at least knowing we wernt alone would be understood by a few for second or two !

Boom,Boom out go the Lights isnt all that bad,So Live a Happy Life now enjoy our Earth,and our Place in the Universe.We cant change it ,we didnt Cause it. ANd We for sure are not alone in my Book. So Keep Looking up ! :whistle:

Remember Iggy Pop was mostlikely an Alien !

Edited by DONTEATUS
1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
45358_slide.jpg?v=1
2 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 1

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.