I don’t remember all the details but in school we learned about a satellite, or a probe perhaps because satellites only go into orbit maybe, that they shot into space with a gold record to tell aliens “hey, what’s up”. If aliens exist. Which they don’t.
As I recall the guy who played Spock and JFK were the ones who made the final call on what was etched on the record, including the song Daisy Bell comma A Bicycle Built for Two, a book on chess moves, children singing Jesus Loves me, and footage of Dostoyevsky doing the Hustle, stuff like that. I may not have that exactly right but since I’m the only person alive who remembers this thing that’s what it is now. (Except me – Martialla) [And me – Lucien]
Now you’re messing with my journal Lucien?! Get out of here!
When they launched the gold record they knew that it would never be found because even if there are aliens (which there aren’t) space is too big for anyone to ever find anything. Shooting that gold record into space wasn’t really about aliens at all, it was about reminding people what was best about humanity, what was beautiful, what was poetic.
This was in the sixties, or seventies maybe I forgot, back when people still thought life and the planet was cool. If they had done that same project in my time the project would have been run by Pauly Shore and Tia Carerra and all they would have done is shit in a box and put that in the probe along with a DVD of Bonerjamz ‘97 and an XXXL Stone Cold Steve Austin t-shirt and called it good. Thanks Nirvana!
What does this have to do with anything? In the storage unit or missile silo or whatever it was we found a sheet of metal, copper I guess, that had a bunch of Morse code etched into it because sending a message into the future is kind of like sending it into space. Why Morse code? Beats me. Future people may not speak English I understand that, but you think they’re going to understand Morse code? Come on past guy, get real.
I won’t lie, not about this I mean, I was very smug when Martialla said that she didn’t know Morse code. Coast Guard my shapely toned ass. But then when Lucien said that he didn’t know it either I got worried. The good news is that we found a little pamphlet that explained Morse code right with the record. Which was intact still. I suppose as long as they don’t get wet books are okay.
Still it’s pretty stupid, they put a code on the very hard to destroy record that you could only read with the very easy to destroy book, which defeats the whole purpose of the record.
Assuming anything we’ve learned so far is true we know a few things about what happened. There was an energy crisis in the US that resulted in the long-threatened Texas secession coming to pass, featuring military conflict and tactical nukes. There were supply chain disruptions and civil unrest. Something came out of the sky and tore shit up, maybe an asteroid, maybe a bunch of missiles, maybe both. Some people built bio-dome fortresses to live in and the people that didn’t get to live in them smashed them like a kid kicking over a sandcastle.
That’s what we “know”. There’s also a tiny amount of evidence that maybe Russia invaded the West Coast. But that’s even less likely than aliens existing and finding a gold record with some crap by the Dalai Lama on it floating through space.
The copper etching, which is dramatically entitled “Civilization Gone” is the work of someone claiming to be part of the North American Military Alliance and referring to himself as Guardsman 1st Class. He outlines in brief a series of tsunamis, earthquakes, weather disruptions, and volcanic eruptions. Not to mention solar flares disrupting communications. He says that contact was lost with Mexico City and the president and vice president along with both their families were killed in their underground safety bunker by a “weather event”.
That’s it. Just a catalog of disaster and “peace out mofos”. Nothing about hope for the future, nothing about “in case of people still being alive go here’s where we stored all the shit you need to make a new world”. Nothing about how they’re going to fight to the end and humanity will survive. No truth, justice, and the American way. No apple pie and baseball and God bless us everyone. Just here’s how the world got killed.
I think I might have preferred Bonerjamz and the Steve Austin shirt.
On the plus side we were able to pry open a weapons locker that had a dozen dusty, but perfectly functional rifles. Martialla and Lucien were super excited about them but they look weird and dumb to me. They’re made out of plastic so it’s like a Nerf gun to me, and the back end is crazy big (J-Lo joke here) with a tiny little barrel out the front (Bill Clinton joke here).
“This is an upgraded P-ninety!” Martialla exclaimed while drooling over the thing like an actor in an Anne Rice vampire movie fondling a lady’s neck.
Like that’s supposed to mean anything. What would have been better than finding a depressing record and some ridiculous plastic guns is a manual that told us how to make the giant egg-bot destroy our enemies, but you have to make the best of things right?