Fun fact: our galaxy moves through space at a speed of about 625 miles per fucking second! Wrap your head around that if you can.
Got it? Great. You traveled about 2000 miles since you started reading this article (4000 if you’re dyslexic).
So why celebrate the birth of baby Jesus? The twat was born approximately 39676230000000 miles away from here! Switch to the metric system and it sounds even more distant.
Instead of pondering the adventures of a baby, some shepherds, three wise men and a virgin with a questionable backstory 39676230000000 miles ago, I’m more concerned with where we’re headed.
As an alien I’m familiar with traveling faster than the speed of light. Still, 625 miles per second is quite fast considering no one knows where the brake is located.
And here’s the scary part: no one knows where we’re going. Humans don’t know. Aliens don’t know. It’s like we’re all stuck on a runaway train. We’re so powerless we’re fine with it.
625 miles per second, people. That’s a lot of momentum. A lot of energy. A lot of everything, really. And all we can do is let it happen.
I’m not saying history isn’t important. It is. History can be a road map. Sometimes it’s helpful to take a few seconds (that’s thousands of miles!) to commemorate important events from one’s history. But in the end you have to face the inevitable and undeniable truth: Time only moves forward.
Alien species generally don’t celebrate events from a distant past. I used to think it made sense. But being stuck on Earth changes one’s perception.
The first time I visited your planet was in the year 1914. I spent a little over half a year on this rock and saw something interesting: because some archduke got shot in Sarajevo people all the way in Burkina Faso started fighting each other. (That’s Burkina Faso the country, not my home planet.) I loved the randomness of it. If ever there was proof of the butterfly effect, you guys are it.
When the world went to war in 1914 I was fascinated. Never did I encounter a species so destructive. This may sound harsh, but please bear in mind you guys are like an ant colony when seen from outer space.
Shortly before I left Earth I witnessed something that always stuck with me.
It was Christmas eve on the Western front. Soldiers from both sides stopped fighting each other. The next day they played a game of soccer. They weren’t given orders to do so. In fact, for the first couple of hours no one but those directly involved knew of the ceasefire.
I can’t remember seeing anything in this universe more powerful than a bunch of enemy soldiers playing a game of soccer. Mind you, their orders were to blow each other’s brains out. For a brief moment, the beauty of sanity prevailed.
I left Earth feeling a bit of respect. That may sound frugal, but let me remind you again: I’m an alien from an alien planet. Earth is just a pit stop for us. To have an alien care for you guys must mean you did something good. Those soldiers that dared to play a game of soccer in no man’s land did something good. And it was Christmas.
When I crash landed near Roswell back in 1947, you humans had just finished a second world war. That disappointed me somewhat. Yet those few days the guns stopped firing in 1914 will always stay with me.
So what does Christmas mean exactly? Should you care about a virgin whose water broke 2000 years ago? Or perhaps those soldiers in December of 1914 are more relevant to you guys in this day and age? Remember, they were fighting ‘The War to end all Wars’.
Another fun fact: a lot of those soccer playing soldiers would die a mere 5346000000 miles from here. That’s less than half a light year away. Their echoes haven’t left your solar system yet.
If you want to praise someone who died for your sins, perhaps those soldiers should take the credit.
Enjoy your journey, but beware of the Andromeda Galaxy, for it’s headed our way at 187 miles per second and nobody seems to be doing anything about it!
This post was partly inspired by a wonderful poem written by Mike Steeden, which can and must be found here.