The Critical 'I'

Read. React. Repeat.

Monday, September 29, 2003

Searching for intelligent extraterrestrial life can be a drag, man. At least if you're a kook with an aluminum foil deflector beanie on your head, people will make allowances for your unstable state of mind. But if you have PhDs out the wahzoo, and your whole career is based on listening to the skies? It can be tough to get respect, even if NASA finally comes around to your way of thinking.

Still, better to be searching for alien beings than to be going out with one.

I haven't seen any little green men... yet. I did have a German professor in college, the late Dr. Ken Keaton, who--no kidding--often took notice of the little green men who would occupy the seats in the back of his classrooms, and would let the class know afterwards that they had been there. It was a surreal experience, watching him pause for a few seconds in the middle of a lecture, nod or shake his head toward the back of the room, and then resume. But he was a sweet old man. His only other idiosyncracy (as if he needed another one) was an irrational dislike of the Germanic Christmas carol "O Tannenbaum/O Christmas Tree".