Sunday, February 18, 2018

When I Discovered Tumblr




Tumbler. The land of rabbit-holes. You happen upon one interesting piece, which leads you to another similar piece.. and another and another, and suddenly you realize you've spent hours reading!! HOURS!!!


Probably the first rabbit-hole I discovered on Tumblr was "Humans are Weird," addressing human behavior, various human cultures and practices from the perspective of theoretical alien life.

~ Baring of teeth is generally seen as a threatening behavior, even here on Earth within the animal kingdom.. but consider a human smile?
~ We seem to be an apex predator (top of the food chain, master of the planet). But we have no fangs, claws, talons, poison, etc. We don't even have the basic defenses of fur or scales. So how did we become the top of the food chain?
~ General medical practices- surgery, transplanting organs, vaccinations, metal implants in bones (or any kind of implants for vital or cosmetic purposes).
~ Body modifications- piercings, tattoos, dying of hair.
~ Basic biology- baby teeth, pregnancy, menstruation.
~ Culture... Uh, which one? We have hundreds of cultures on this planet, each with their own set of customs, holidays, languages, taboos, religions, etc, and even those aren't consistent- some cultures have multiple languages and religions.
~ Psychology- emotions and various emotional responses, "intrusive thoughts," developmental psychology, criminal psych, the drive of curiosity.

One piece I recently read was a story about a mixed-species crew that got captured. Well, some of them did. The non-human captain felt it was a lost cause to attempt a rescue, but one if the crew, a human female, absconds with a shuttle and comes back with the missing crew members.

Which got me to thinking.... Some species here on Earth specialize, mostly insects. Their body shape defines their role in their society. But most humans are pretty versatile. I'm kinda small (5'3", 140 lb), but I could do most any work, theoretically, from hair dressing to construction (sort of?), to chef to child care provider, even a fighter or something in entertainment. But we don't. Our personalities and personal preferences (both completely invisible to the casual alien observer) often dictate what we choose to be.

*****

The OIUD:S made first contact with the sentient species of the planet 6 months ago. They were fond of speaking and hearing their own voice. They really wouldn't ever shut up! So the OUID:S thought it would be an easy planet to conquer. The beings of that planet were all talk.

Little did they know that talk is all politicians do. Little did they know that there were more than politicians on that little blue and green backwater planet.

The OUID:S had promised peaceful exchanges of culture, technology. But their idea of a "peaceful exchange of culture and technology" took the form of expecting the humans to be  peacefully mowed down by the alien technology.

At first, it was catastrophic. Washington DC became a ghost town in an afternoon. London, too. many major political cities followed.

As they wiped out the political hubs, the militaries of the planet activated. In addressing the trouble those caused, the OUID:S discovered something.
OUID:S vs air forces- RAF, USAF, Luftwaffe. Their jets ere embarrassingly easy to puck out of the sky.
OUID:S vs navies- The ocean was a little trickier. The OUID:S homeworld was arid, but adapting the technology to find the vessels below the surface of the vast oceans didn't take their scientists long.
OUID:S vs armies- It was no contest. The OUID:S infrared vision was able to see past the camouflage used to hide their presence from their own kind.
OUID:S vs the US Marines....

The OUID:S were much like many of the social insect species of Earth- one species, but a variety of morphologies- different body types for different roles in their communities. So the Earth sentients were a little confusing: one basic body type, but so many roles... and often those roles overlapped layers upon layers within one individual. Hairdressers were also child care providers and chefs and weekend warriors. Trash collectors were also athletes and motivational speakers. They were really a surprisingly adaptable species.

That's part of why the Marines confused and surprised the OUID:S. The Marines looked like all the others. But they didn't act like the others.. sometimes. It was that change that surprised the invaders. They expected these yammering, squishy, vertical creatures to be so easy to wipe away.

But the US Marines changed that. Their tactics surprised. Their ferocity terrified. Their tenacity wore down defenses, both physical and psychological.

The OUID:S had never encountered anything like this. It was as if these "Devil Dogs," as they called themselves were determined to bring hell to the aliens. There were surprise attacks where captives were taken. Some were killed summarily, while others were tortured to gain information about the enemy. The OUID:S didn't think they had any weaknesses when they arrived. But the Marines educated them otherwise.

Somehow, these Devil Dogs put the fear of a new god in the OUID:S. The god was an eagle, above a representation of this little backwater planet.. and an anchor.



Eventually, when the Humans began exploring space, they put the US Marine Corps flag on their vessels.. and never realized that the courtesy that other races gave them was simply well-veiled fear for the fiercest race in the known universe.

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