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September 30, 2009

Live long and prosper

Attention people of Earth. This is Capt. James T. Kirk of the Starship Enterprise. Many of you are undoubtedly familiar with my work exploring strange new worlds, yadda yadda. To be clear, this is neither William Shatner the actor nor any of the later roles he played: not T.J. Hooker, not Denny Crane, not the Priceline guy. This is not even Adm. Kirk of the movies. This is plain ol’ Capt. Kirk from back in the ‘60s when the times they were a-changin’ and the cannabis was mild.

Anyhoo, the Enterprise is currently double-parked in your orbit, and we’re keeping an eye on you because you seem hell-bent on destroying yourselves, which would be a bummer for us because most of us come from your future. Those of you who are familiar with “Star Trek” probably know our prime directive is to avoid interfering with any civilizations we encounter. And if you’ve watched the show at all, you know we break the prime directive every chance we get, even if it’s just to beam Spock down for a much-needed dylithium B.J. But usually when we interfere with a planet, it’s to save it.

We tried to use metaphor to warn you about your dangerous ways, but that was apparently too subtle. You are not a people who respond well to nuance. For example, we once visited a planet that based its entire society on a book about the Chicago mobs of the 1920s. You probably thought that episode was just a chance to shoot fake Tommy guns and wear pinstripe suits and use a lot of goofy mobster terminology like “heaters” and “piece of the action.” You probably also thought the plot was completely absurd: a whole planet stricken with self-inflicted violence because it based all its behavior on an old book about a violent, patriarchal, intolerant, manipulative, brutal, superstitious people. That could never happen on Earth, right?

So you can’t take a hint. We tried environmental themes, overpopulation themes, anti-war themes, diplomatic themes, and themes of courage, sacrifice and justice. But you went right on choking your planet, killing each other in the names of your gods and reproducing like Tribbles on Jägerbombs. Frankly, your behavior is so illogical, Spock is writing songs about it. And nobody wants to hear that shit. So we are prepared to act.

But Starfleet gets cranky when we meddle, so we’re keeping a hands-off policy for the time being. Unfortunately, you are now capable of destroying yourselves and your planet in a lot of ways. You’ve got nuclear weapons, of course, and global climate change. You’re needlessly destroying animal, insect and plant species. Most of your food is poison and half of you are texting while driving, while also shaving.

For now our hands are tied. But as they say on Rigel VII, just because Kanye is rude doesn’t mean he isn’t right. So we are prepared to seize the microphone before you do something we’ll all regret. And if you refuse to stop destroying yourselves and your planet, we are not above setting our phasers to “bitchslap.” Here is our list of demands:

First, what is with all the killing? Did Caligula or Pol Pot or Quentin Tarantino send around a memo I missed? I thought Klingons were bloodthirsty, but y’all make them look like a bunch of shamans just back from the Rainbow Gathering. War, murder, genocide, slavery, malnutrition, capital punishment, terrorism, “Grand Theft Auto”: Stop it!

Second, climate change. You know your entire planet is at risk from your own behavior, but you won’t lift a finger to stop destroying it. You people remind me of those Romulans who hate themselves. Those of you who don’t reduce your carbon assprints will be beamed onto the moon.

Third, mass extinction. Thanks to your pollution, deforestation and greenhouse gasses, one half of all species of life on Earth will be extinct in 100 years. Trust me; you don’t want to know what happens when the last frogs and bees are gone.

Finally, what are you people eating? Did mirrors quit working since I was here in the ’60s? Did humans mate with rhinoceri? As they say on Vulcan, y’all look like 20 pounds of potatoes in a 10-pound sack. Just sayin’.

I guess that’s pretty much it. Oh, and Scottie says to tell you nerds to quit looking at porn for five minutes and fix the Internet. It’s an embarrassment to humanity. Kirk out.