The New England Patriots were gearing up for a football game this past Monday night against the Denver Broncos, a game that was moved from Sunday due to multiple players testing positive for COVID-19. The brouhaha surrounding the NFL continues growing larger and larger as more and more players across different teams test positive for the virus, and the NFL and its teams scramble to figure out ways to keep the season alive. Of course, this has caused tremendous consternation. Generally speaking, those who were already boycotting the NFL for whatever reason are using this as yet another “Aha!” moment, while those who enjoy watching the NFL are hopeful that the league will figure out a way to maintain its season as regularly scheduled.
There is at least one person though who is thinking about the bigger picture. When asked about adapting to life in the wake of COVID-19 and a constantly-changing schedule, Patriots defensive end Chase Winovich had this to say:
“It’s definitely an adjustment. It’s a crazy year, first off. Aliens, they come out and said basically they are real, and no one even bats an eye.”
Winovich went on to talk about a dragon-like creature whose remains were found in Canada, before going on to discuss the rigors of playing in the NFL amongst all the craziness that is happening in the world.
He has a point, though. We seem to have lost our shared sense of humanity. Instead of understanding our humanity for what it is – that we are all deeply flawed – we seem to have done the exact opposite. What we have done instead is set the expectation that everyone must be perfect. And if others fall short of our expectations in some regard, we are quick to criticize them, write them off, call them names, and what have you.
What does perfection look like? Well, right now, it means having the same ideas as us. At least that is how it seems today. We have become more conditioned than ever to look for ways to find issues with those with whom we disagree rather than using big issues to unite us. Let me talk a little bit about what I mean by that.
First, let me disclose that I have always been interested in extraterrestrial life. I say that to reveal my own bias. Recently, a gentleman named Bob Lazar went onto Joe Rogan’s podcast and talked about how he was responsible for reverse-engineering alien spacecraft near Area 51 in the late 80s. I believed that story wholeheartedly. I believe UFO sightings are real, I believe aliens have visited Earth, and I believe that world leaders know more about this phenomenon than they are letting on. So if that makes me some conspiratorial weirdo, so be it. But recent events have made it seem like maybe I might not be so weird to hold these beliefs.
It is no secret that our own government has warmed to these ideas over the last several years. A few years ago, it made major news that the New York Times published an article about mysterious phenomena that fighter pilots were encountering. Commander David Fravor – who was one of the many men responsible for defending the United States after 9/11 – is cited in the article as having engaged an aircraft that moved in ways that were quite simply not humanly possible. Recently, the Pentagon – generally quiet about such matters – admitted that the footage was real, and that they have no idea what it is. It is now known that our government is actively monitoring UFOs, and in July, the New York Times published yet another article suggesting that we are actually in possession of materials that are “not of this world.” Lastly and certainly not least, former Senator Harry Reid just said this week that the overwhelming majority of information about the UFO phenomenon has not been released to the public, and that it is a shame that our government is holding such information from its people. In fact, not long ago, Senator Reid seemed livid that no investigation had been launched since the presence of such UFOs made our own nuclear weapons unlaunchable.
What has not changed is the plethora of videos and speculation about this phenomenon. However, what has changed is the breadth of reputable people who have now put their reputations on the line to assert that something is going on and that everyone else is being lied to. Never before in our history have we had such breadth of knowledge and information shared openly with the public, and from people who can absolutely be trusted.
Now, if you think this blog is actually just about aliens, you would be wrong. It is actually more about a serious flaw in our genetic makeup: our ego.
I admitted my bias earlier, but I think we can all agree that if we were confronted with the reality that aliens are real and visiting our planet, that not much else we typically care about would matter any more. It would completely change our world to know that we are not alone. It would bring us much closer to an understanding of why we are even here. Religion would be fundamentally shaken. People who had squabbles with one another would now realize how inconsequential such squabbles really are. Our earthly problems would seem quite small in a universe that is so vast.
But that is not what has happened. Our news coverage is dominated by people calling other people racists or snowflakes. It is dominated by people whining about the Supreme Court for one reason or another, burning people on Twitter with a cool one-liner, or arguing about whether the NFL should be playing during the COVID era. It used to be taboo to talk about aliens as if they were real, and even though more and more credible people are coming out with unshakeable evidence about the reality that we are not alone, our media is acting as though nothing has changed. And no one seems to care.
If there was ever a time to bring people together, I thought that it might have happened during the COVID-19 pandemic. That clearly did not happen as everything became politicized, and as is usual in politics today, those who are Team Blue staunchly believe one thing and those who are Team Red believe the exact opposite thing. There is no nuance in the conversation. And that is because peoples’ minds are dominated by their own ego. There is an insatiable desire to be “right” about everything, lest you end up on the wrong side of history. And even though literally none of this matters any more if we are indeed being visited by some extraterrestrial friends, that is no matter for those who are intent on boosting their own ego by being “right.”
In the movie “Arrival,” the idea of an extraterrestrial event uniting the world is explored in depth. Spoiler alert for those who have not seen it yet – the aliens teach their human counterparts a language that transcends time and allows them to work together in a much more productive way. At the climax of the film, various world powers are at odds with one another and in disagreement about how to handle this phenomenon until the protagonist learns this skill and ultimately brings the entire world together. If COVID-19 could not unite everyone together, then maybe what we truly need is a universally common enemy which transcends a pandemic entirely. That would manifest itself in the form of alien life.
Consider the narcissism it takes, for example, for someone to wish death upon Donald Trump now, or Ruth Bader Ginsburg not long ago. On one hand, such a person has so much conviction in their own views that it would be passable to wish the worst possible event upon another human being. And on the other hand, such a person must believe that they are the only thing that matters in the entire universe. Simply put, anyone who realizes that we are but specks of dust in the universe does not have the energy to wish death upon other people. Why? Because it simply does not matter any more. Only someone who is completely self-absorbed – and perhaps afraid of what it means to not be alone, if we want to give some benefit of the doubt – is capable of feeling joy in the suffering of other people with whom they disagree.
I do not want to be a part of the problem by doing my own finger-pointing. We are all human. If anything, I want to call attention to something important that is going on. Not just because it might bring us together, but also because it is really important. Much more important than problems we used to think were so big, which now seem pretty small.