Thursday, June 8, 2017

Please Hold While We Transfer Your Call

Trump's immigrant crime hotline trolled with calls about aliens and UFOs
May 2017, BBC

On the same day that I read a headline about a hotline that helps women trying to give themselves abortions, I see this one, about an illegal alien hotline that is being trolled by people reporting about actual aliens. Did someone say fake news? How the hell are you supposed to know what's even fake anymore?

So it turns out the abortion hotline, which I thought was a joke meant to draw attention to the lack of women's reproductive services, is real, and it is because - the abortion problem (as a result of lack of reproductive services) is already such a big deal that the hotline is necessary. Yup.

So many women are taking abortions into their own hands that they are dying as a result, and this is an available solution. Right.

But wait, there's more. A real hotline comes out that encourages people to report "criminal aliens" (this is the current terminology used to refer to what used to be called illegal aliens, but I guess now we're trying to specify illegal aliens that have also committed crimes). But like, come on, did you really think the term "criminal aliens" would not be the funniest thing ever to the entire internet? It actually sounds like a joke. Is there nobody up there who's job it is to go - "wait a minute, I know you know what you're talking about, but everyone else is gonna hear "criminal aliens" and just have a field day with this..." Nobody?

Sure enough, the hotline was brought to a standstill by people reciting X-Files episodes and all sorts of jewels from our cultural repository of alien encounters, with criminal aliens, that is.

Anyway, the next time you're reading the news, don't forget, the real news is so much better than the fake stuff.


On the term "aliens" - Prior to 1940ish, the word alien meant foreigner.

Then what happened? HG Wells, that's what. He is the guy who wrote War of the Worlds, the narration of which was broadcast live on the radio, sparking mass hysteria, and ushering in the Little Green Man into the cultural imagination. Since then, the word alien means little green man, not foreigner.

Unfortunately, government moves about as fast as a 20th century spaceship (relatively, this is not very fast, like relative to the speed of light, for example), and so we're still using the word alien to refer to foreigners. Would somebody tell these guys??

see this post from Network Address on where "little green men" come from:

Culture Fail
July 2012, Network Address

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