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Spielberg Says Aliens Likely Our Friends
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Author:  eveofthewar [ Tue Apr 26, 2005 8:50 pm ]
Post subject:  Spielberg Says Aliens Likely Our Friends

DAVID GERMAIN

Associated Press

LOS ANGELES - When the aliens finally arrive, Steven Spielberg expects them to be galactic good Samaritans like E.T. rather than the malevolent marauders of "War of the Worlds."

"I have to certainly believe what my heart tells me. That the first time there is a meeting of the minds between extraterrestrials and human beings, it's going to be friendly," Spielberg told The Associated Press in an interview looking ahead to his "War of the Worlds" saga, starring Tom Cruise.

Spielberg has covered the spectrum on alien behavior, from the mysterious yet ultimately benevolent explorers of "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" to the cuddly munchkin of "E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial" to the manipulative abductors in his miniseries "Taken."

With "War of the Worlds," based on H.G. Wells' science-fiction classic, Spielberg presents monsters from above intending to snuff out humankind. The film, due out June 29, substitutes space invaders of unknown origin for the Martians of Wells' book.

While Spielberg's latest aliens are bad guys, that does not mean he has turned pessimistic on the prospects of buddying up with off-worlders. Given the level of technology required for interstellar travel and the long star trek required to reach Earth, Spielberg figures aliens inevitably would come in peace.

"I can't believe anybody would travel such vast distances bent on destruction. I believe anybody who would travel such vast distances are curious explorers, not conquerors," Spielberg said. "Carrying weapons a hundred-thousand light-years is quite a schlepp. I believe it's easier to travel 100,000 light-years with their versions of the Bible."

So why does Hollywood tend toward first-contact stories of war and mayhem? First, it's more fun to show aliens blowing away puny earthlings rather than shaking hands and sitting down to a nice meal.

Second, it's more a reflection on human nature than extra-terrestrial nature.

"We tend to project our own human aggression into outer space," Spielberg said. "It doesn't necessarily mean there is aggression out there."



ARTICLE HERE (NEED TO REGISTER) : http://www.kansascity.com/mld/kansascit ... 493988.htm

Author:  Alland [ Wed Apr 27, 2005 12:35 am ]
Post subject: 

Spielberg's just another stupid left-wing Hollywood liberal. Technological advances are advances in technology alone, NOT morality! A good many conquering races had a technological advantage over their victims: the first metal-users against peoples with weapons of wood, bone, and stone; the Hyksos against the Egyptians; the Assyrians against everyone else in the Middle East; the Macedonians against the Greeks and Persians; the Romans against the Greeks, Carthaginians, and the barbarian tribes; Europeans against the Indians from Cortez and Pizarro on; Nazi Germany against most of Europe; etc.

Come to think of it, a case can be made that the nastier races are the ones most likely to develop high tech, because it makes the job of conquest that much easier. Nazi Germany invented jet- and rocket-powered combat aircraft, long-range missiles, smart bombs, submarine snorkels and guided torpedos, SAM missiles, delta-wing and future Stealth designs for aircraft, nerve gas, remote-controlled tanks, helicopters, antitank guided missiles, one-shot antitank rocket launchers ancestral to missiles like the LAW, guns that could shoot around corners, etc. With them as an example, you'd think even Spielberg would know better.

Author:  gypsywlf [ Wed Apr 27, 2005 3:03 pm ]
Post subject: 

Alland wrote:
Spielberg's just another stupid left-wing Hollywood liberal. ....


Alland,
Quite true. It seemed a rather naive assumption that technologically advanced 'race' would not bother bringing weapons or wanting to conquer. That is what humans have done, more often than not. The Spanish traveled a long ways to the New World, but brought cannons and muskets and armor with them.

Just as Spielberg thinks the bad-alien notion is a projection of human anxieties onto Others (and it is), his cuddly-aliens are just as much a projection of his own (liberal?) world view.

I pictured him (now) as the priest in the first portion of the Pal film. He's walking up to the aliens holding up his pocket calculator, mumbling things like "We have technology too, we want to be your friends. We're all part of the same 'circle of life'..." Then ZAPPP.

Author:  The Improved Trog [ Wed Apr 27, 2005 8:39 pm ]
Post subject: 

Alien minds do not need to think like us, but if so:

Superior- "Scientific" Explorers:
Sees themselves as the superior race and takes us as their servants and also makes some tests etc. Religious people will either go berserk or say "They will take us to paradise" bla bla bla.

Superior- "Conquistador" Explorers:
Raid, pillage and enslave. Needs no more introduction.

Alliance Seeking Explorers:
Not large chance- seeking an ally in a war between factions (a war against another species is a veeery small chance).

Cuddly Aliens who wants friends:
May look good in the beginning, but in the end, someone's gonna be on the bottom, and thats probably us.

"War-makers must die":
Classic in b-science fiction, an alien race comes to kill us because we pollute nature and start war. You need war or opposition of some kind to get technology, and where the hell did they get anti-matter cannons from??! NEVER gonna happen.

But of course if they dont think like us, there is no end of the possibilites.
I use to portrait humans as the most foul, greedy, corrupt, self-obsessed, war-maddened species of all in my stories. No matter how ugly or brutal the aliens are- in the end, they have a reason for their attacks, humans do it out of greed or the reason "they were ugly- ugly aliens are evil, ever watch movies?" :P

But if an UFO lands in your garden and they say "Friends?" do you pick up the baseball bat or do you welcome them?

Author:  Lonesome Crow [ Wed Apr 27, 2005 8:46 pm ]
Post subject: 

Quote:
Alland,
Quite true. It seemed a rather naive assumption that technologically advanced 'race' would not bother bringing weapons or wanting to conquer. That is what humans have done, more often than not. The Spanish traveled a long ways to the New World, but brought cannons and muskets and armor with them.

Just as Spielberg thinks the bad-alien notion is a projection of human anxieties onto Others (and it is), his cuddly-aliens are just as much a projection of his own (liberal?) world view.

I pictured him (now) as the priest in the first portion of the Pal film. He's walking up to the aliens holding up his pocket calculator, mumbling things like "We have technology too, we want to be your friends. We're all part of the same 'circle of life'..." Then ZAPPP.


So are you saying, if we travelled to a distant planet and found it inhabited by an intelligent species, but not as smart as us, it's OK to start slaughtering them?

I think the majority of the people on this planet would not agree with that opinion.

And hopefully any inteligent aliens would have a higher moral code, just because we haven't had in the past and we are not perfect now, we are getting better at respecting other peoples and animals rites.

Author:  Alland [ Thu Apr 28, 2005 1:08 am ]
Post subject: 

Moral codes don't even mean a thing in behavior. Humans evolved from apes that learned to eat meat, hunt, and make weapons, and the genetic equipment for violence (not necessarily WAR per se, but deadly enough on the recipients) is still inside us. That much is never going to change.

Oh, and don't take any hope from the "not necessarily WAR per se" part of the last paragraph. A sufficiently superior race might not regard the extermination of other races as war, but as hunting or the extermination of vermin. The mounted steppes barbarians like the Mongols and Huns thought that way about civilized peoples, the Nazis regarded the Russians, as well as the Jews, as "subhuman", and in Wells' own book, the artilleryman regarded the whole affair as the equivalent of men going out of their way to stomp on some ants.

Having now appalled you sensitive types with my complete and utter cynicism, excuse me while I display some more of it. Spielberg may also be animated by greed in this instance. He wants to make a bundle of money by jumping on the "evil alien invaders" bandwagon while trying not to nullify the effect of his earlier films "Close Encounters" and "E.T.", because no doubt digitally-remastered and otherwise improved versions of those films will almost certainly be released in the future for the DVD and possibly VHS markets.

Author:  The Improved Trog [ Thu Apr 28, 2005 6:20 am ]
Post subject: 

I think that a more intelligent alien species, IF thinking like us, will not 100% come in peace. There are "Bushes" in space too :P

Guys, calm down. :?

No matter how long we will exist, we will never learn the basics: Share, non-aggression, tolerance, individual rights, see the soul, etc. Thats how we are. There are no "evil" politicians, just simple humans. Only the goodest of all would not take advantage of their position.

And IF they think like us, they do. Of course, there are a large chance they dont and perhaps do come in peace, but who knows?

Author:  Thunder Child [ Thu Apr 28, 2005 12:41 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Spielberg Says Aliens Likely Our Friends

Steven Spielberg wrote:
"I believe it's easier to travel 100,000 light-years with their versions of the Bible." [/i]


Intergalactic Jehovah's Witnesses? Now THERE'S a nightmare.

Author:  The Improved Trog [ Thu Apr 28, 2005 1:11 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Spielberg Says Aliens Likely Our Friends

Thunder Child wrote:
Steven Spielberg wrote:
"I believe it's easier to travel 100,000 light-years with their versions of the Bible." [/i]


Intergalactic Jehovah's Witnesses? Now THERE'S a nightmare.


Man, I would rather want them to probe me than that! :shock:

Author:  Lonesome Crow [ Thu Apr 28, 2005 9:07 pm ]
Post subject: 

Quote:
Moral codes don't even mean a thing in behavior.


Maybe they do to aliens, you can't judge aliens by human standards, when Alexander swept over the known world or Genghis Khan it was just to conquer as much of the world as possible Later when the Vikings invaded Britain it was in need of good fertile land, the Spanish traveled to the New World, originally in peace until they found there was not as much gold as they hoped there would be and the natives didn't want to be Christians "thank you very much", then things turned nasty. but as time has moved on we have become more civilized, our leaders have to justify there actions to the general public more and more (just look in any newspaper today and you will see what I mean). a good example is Kim Stanly Robinson's Mars trillogy, Man Journeys to Mars but when they get to the dead world, one faction wants to terraform the land and another bunch say we don't have the right to spoil this untouched world.
If Spielberg wants to consider visiting aliens as just explorers I dont see aything wrong with that, we as a species have grown up enough, not to shoot on sight something that is different from us, maybe aliens have progressed and developed even further.

P.S. I like your tripod Trog :D

Author:  The Improved Trog [ Fri Apr 29, 2005 9:28 am ]
Post subject: 

There is a game called "Dark Colony" thats about humans coming to a planet, first they begin mining and mildy colonizing the world but becomes attacked by the "Grey" as they are called, who tried to defend their land. But instead of trying use diplomatic conversations the humans go to war directly, and as the aliens use many of their worlds' animals to help them, the humans take it as an excuse to slaughter them all, as these animals fit more in the "monster" folder than "cuddly animal". As a nuclear attack would pollute this useful world, the humans instead tries to change the atmosphere of the world to fit humans- while the aliens are still there!

Thats humanity in a nutshell.

Thanks crow! :)

Author:  gypsywlf [ Fri Apr 29, 2005 1:19 pm ]
Post subject: 

Lonesome Crow wrote:
So are you saying, if we travelled to a distant planet and found it inhabited by an intelligent species, but not as smart as us, it's OK to start slaughtering them?

I think the majority of the people on this planet would not agree with that opinion.


Crow,
Well, I don't know about majorities on that one. However, my point was about projection. Humans have been pretty good at exploitation and extermination for a long long time. Collectively, we're still too good at it.

Since we have no aliens to study, they're an unknown -- an empty folder. People don't like empty folders. We tend to project our hopes/fears onto the outside Other -- to put into that empty folder what WE hope/fear. That was my point.

The way hostile aliens dominated the 50s movies has often been attributted to the Cold War -- fear of being conquered. So, that's what the aliens did: conquer, kill, take the cute women, etc.

The rise of the cuddly aliens isn't as well studied, but they seem to spring from the 'peace generation' of the 60s getting into movie making and projecting -their- vision (totally tolerant peace) onto the outside Others.

Both (conquest / peace) agenda are more of human origin than anything.

Author:  The Improved Trog [ Fri Apr 29, 2005 8:03 pm ]
Post subject: 

To add crow, the conquistadors had many enemies in europe who prefered peace- monks, and even Queen Isabella of spain! Why the monks was tolerated is quite obvious- religious people. In the end, not even the king liked the idea of slavery and plundering- it was weakening the country itself by all expensive troop transports, cargo ships, materials moved about and too little gold. At the same time the countries around him wasnt very happy about this either (though they forgot that later). Stillthe conquistadors moved about in their own wicked business- and thats what the explorers may become (if thinking like us that is).

Alland; minor correction; wickedness have little to do with technology- the soviets allways stole their technology and the space program was only a minor lucky event. Technological advancement lies in patriotism, I would say. What does Nazi Germany and America have in common? Patriotism. if you fight for an ideal and something you strongly believe in, you make things better. Hitler succeeded in completing many things the germans wanted, Stalin didnt and his faithful ones were a minority. Germany could easily crush europe if not Hitler would be foolish enough to point a finger that we all know makes the american angry if they see it (:P). The russians advantage was the hard discipline and superior numbers, but really, they would rather die for the motherland than die for being traitors(which could cause the death of the family and big problems to relatives).
Even though patriotism (aka fanaticism) limits the freedom of thinking, its a great boon for true hard-working people, not poets and writers. :P

Author:  Lonesome Crow [ Fri Apr 29, 2005 9:40 pm ]
Post subject: 

gypsywlf wrote:
Crow,
Well, I don't know about majorities on that one. However, my point was about projection. Humans have been pretty good at exploitation and extermination for a long long time. Collectively, we're still too good at it.


And my point was, just because Spielberg chooses to belive in a benevolent Alien species I don't see why that makes him
Quote:
just another stupid left-wing Hollywood liberal.
if not wanting to shoot someone on sight makes you a stupid left-wing liberal, then I must be one as well, I would rather give them the benefit of a doubt before blowing their brains all over the walls, but thats probably because I live in the UK and we don't have a gun culture over here yet.

And yes I hear what you are saying Trog, but that was Five or six hundred years ago, I hope we have progressed since then and not just progressed in ways of killing each other :lol:

Author:  The Improved Trog [ Fri Apr 29, 2005 11:09 pm ]
Post subject: 

Crow, to name a few:

Vietnam, Afghanistan (soviet period), Iraq (now), Israel-Palestina (from time to time), yeah, you get my point ;)

I dont think Alland meant to say that every non-weapon wielding person is an idiot, nor that every liberal is an idiot. Modern conservatism wouldnt exist without it- If not for it, everyone in america would sing "God save the queen" in choir, and think freedom is for sissies and the french. He just meant that there are some liberal idiots out there, of course, the choice of words could be better. :)

Author:  Lonesome Crow [ Sat Apr 30, 2005 12:44 am ]
Post subject: 

Thank you Trog, yes I get your point you have just proved one of the points I was putting across. "Vietnam" that shameful blood letting was brought to an end through public opinion and protests from "civilized liberals" :D could you imagine the public haveing that sort of effect a hundred years ago? I think not, they would have locked any anti war protesters away, and did. Nowadays a government had better have a bloody good excuse to go to war or face some tough questions, watch Tony Blair (Britains Prime minister if you didn't know) squirm when the question "why did we go to war with Iraq?" is put to him :D

Author:  The Improved Trog [ Sat Apr 30, 2005 11:22 am ]
Post subject: 

But I guess the Iraq conflict will end in the same as the spanish conquerings- resources. Not even the upbringing of the hippie culture or Messiah's words would change the Republicans opinion(The real Messiah is Bush). :P

Author:  gypsywlf [ Sat Apr 30, 2005 12:12 pm ]
Post subject: 

The Improved Trog wrote:
But I guess the Iraq conflict will end in the same as the spanish conquerings- resources. Not even the upbringing of the hippie culture or Messiah's words would change the Republicans opinion(The real Messiah is Bush).


Well, political commentary aside, I think these musings have strayed out of the analogy. Vietnam, Iraq, or even the 'good' wars like WWII, were battles between "equals" (more or less)...of states against other states for a whole bunch of complex reasons.

In the WotW scenario, the superior invaders show up just to take possession. They kill and destroy more as a matter of 'cleaning up the place' than waging any kind of war in the Vietnam sense.

Rather more like the British with the Tasmanians, or even the American colonists with their Indians. "Hey, nice place for us to live. Move over boys."

A superior alien culture wouldn't need old fashioned war-think. They could just be cold-hearted colonists.

Author:  The Improved Trog [ Sat Apr 30, 2005 2:44 pm ]
Post subject: 

Yes, the imperial age has better likenesses, but crow wanted likenesses from this century, so I mentioned some that had a few likenesses. The cruelty of the american forces in vietnam was a good example since it finally ended up in a "cleanse" situation. Thanks for feedback anyways.

... And thanks for pushing the on the right side, else I would bring this topic waaayyy too off-topic... :oops:

With "end up" about Iraq I meant why the forces will leave- it will cost too much to hold for the US while private profiteers drain the countries' resources.

Author:  gypsywlf [ Sat Apr 30, 2005 5:01 pm ]
Post subject: 

The Improved Trog wrote:
Yes, the imperial age has better likenesses, but crow wanted likenesses from this century, so I mentioned some that had a few likenesses...


Quite so, and more obviously the case in Wells' day. The whole exploitation of the Congoese, for instance, in the 1890s to 1910 or so, was certainly not a war in the traditional sense, but clearly an exploitive occupation for profit. Probably seemed war-like enough to the Congoese, I exlpect.

Seems a trait of modernism to imagine that 'we' are advanced and civilized and don't do mean things. The Victorians certainly thought that way about themselves. Might we 2005 moderns be similarly able to fool ourselves into thinking we wouldn't do mean things?

Wells scenario had the martians pushed into it, more or less, by survival needs. Would all humans, most humans, be so noble as to just die quietly, if a neighboring world were suitable but populated with monkeys? We ought remember that the WotW scenario is a battle NOT between peers, but between 'advanced' and 'inferior' creatures.

Sure, I expect there are a few PETA types who'd rather die than hurt a monkey, but I rather bet there are a lot of middle-ground "liberals" who'd put their own survival ahead of the monkey's.

Author:  The Improved Trog [ Sat Apr 30, 2005 8:14 pm ]
Post subject: 

Actually, if earth was dying and mars was populated by monkeys, and mars thrived in beauty, air and all I think everyone would want the world for us. Of course, if there was a fight started in between US and THEM, well, we would simply wipe the troublemakers out, and let the others learn from the lesson to not mess with humans. Kind of like the cruel tragedies in the deep south that was going on in the beginning of the last century.

Actually, in an US or THEM scenario we would all go for US, we are afterall humans. And one thing we all should know by now- humans are thick headed idiots who cant learn from their mistakes if it isnt about technology and military strategies... :P

Author:  Lonesome Crow [ Sat Apr 30, 2005 9:54 pm ]
Post subject: 

gypsywlf wrote:
Might we 2005 moderns be similarly able to fool ourselves into thinking we wouldn't do mean things?

Wells scenario had the martians pushed into it, more or less, by survival needs. Would all humans, most humans, be so noble as to just die quietly, if a neighboring world were suitable but populated with monkeys? We ought remember that the WotW scenario is a battle NOT between peers, but between 'advanced' and 'inferior' creatures.

Sure we still do mean things, you will see on the TV news, American and British soldiers under arrest for their cruelty to Iraqi POWs, that's part of my point. the world is watching, I'm sure the atrocities still go on, but hopefully there are fewer than there used to be.

And yes I agree, as in Wells' scenario, If we where fighting for our own existence and there was no other alternative then, tough luck monkeys :D . It was just the way Spielberg was condemned for choosing to belive in non hostile visitors, that annoyed me. :?

Author:  gypsywlf [ Sun May 01, 2005 12:50 am ]
Post subject: 

Lonesome Crow wrote:

Sure we still do mean things, you will see on the TV news, American and British soldiers under arrest for their cruelty to Iraqi POWs, that's part of my point. the world is watching, I'm sure the atrocities still go on, but hopefully there are fewer than there used to be.


We can certainly hope there are fewer, but given human nature, I have to wonder if our better behavior is found more in being watched than any intrinsic improvements. A bit like my cat: He's learned to stay off the kitchen counters -- while I'm in the kitchen.

Quote:
And yes I agree, as in Wells' scenario, If we where fighting for our own existence and there was no other alternative then, tough luck monkeys :D . It was just the way Spielberg was condemned for choosing to belive in non hostile visitors, that annoyed me.


I guess it comes down to motivation. Why would an advanced (enough) culture invest tons of time, talent and money into building ships and crossing vast distances? Just to say "hi" in a friendly sort of way?

Guess the thought was, that the truly benign and/or benevolent would be more likely to stay home and not put all that effort into the trip. Send a message in a bottle, or something 'lite'. All that investment usually means you want something badly enough to invest that heavily.

The human parallels were the trips to find new routes to the Indies (for trade profits), or the New World for the gold or the raw goods, or the New World for settlements. When WE invested heavily for such long trips, it was because we wanted something. Not just to say 'hi' or even bring them Bibles. Missionary journeys came later.

The natives who stood in our way weren't usually attacked just because they existed, but because they got in our way. Colonizers in the past felt all the more justified in behaving badly towards the natives if the natives had the temerity to resist. (or fight back! gasp!)

To me, Spielberg sounds a bit naive or too trusting or optomistic in projecting his hopes for peace/brotherhood onto the unknown. He's entitled to his opinion, certainly.

The flip-side projection is just as faulty... that any/all aliens must be slobbery-toothed monsters who want nothing but to kill. It's the same projection thing, but on the paranoid, pessimistic side.

Wells' original tale was focusing on the dark side. Seems incongruous to speak of nice aliens when making such a movie.

Author:  Alland [ Sun May 01, 2005 1:48 am ]
Post subject: 

What's with the liberal loser nonsense? The handful of atrocities laid at the feet of US forces in Iraq are literally a pinprick compared to what Saddam Hussein has done to his own people, and the liberal vermin who protested the US invasion didn't have a thing to say about Hussein murdering and torturing his fellow Iraqis.

Same goes for Vietnam. We were defending an ally---South Vietnam---against an insurgency of communist terrorists backed up by communist North Vietnam. We failed, in large part to the traitors who protested the war, and when "peace" came, Vietnam murdered a half-million of her own citizens, Cambodia/Kampuchea murdered two million, the two countries fought an all-out war with each other, and then Vietnam fought a border war with China. And once the US pulled out, the liberals didn't have a thing to say in protest about all this new killing.

Author:  The Improved Trog [ Sun May 01, 2005 7:46 am ]
Post subject: 

Right... So only because Saddam was baddest those who act bad should go free? People are becoming Saddam loyalists in Iraq now because the occupants wont move away- its because they wont war keeps on. UN forces there would be okay- even the extemists say so. Even the extremists want democracy but not when imperialists occupy the land.
The war was a war of respect & greed, Saddam was a badguy, AGREED, but China has killed way too more than little Iraq has. Attack China then! oh, forgot, you are allies... :P

Oh, and North Korea and Iran are waiting to be bombed allready! Lets rock 'n roll!

Actually, the Vietnam war was just a minor conflict until America showed up, and the majority of people slaughtered there was slaughtered by american soldiers.

Freedom? Dont mention that crap. We dont got observers and dont call in our neighbors to be carried away be the KG... Uhm FBI for sayng bad things about the country. We can marry a co-worker and the boss cant do anything, we can like other cultures without saying that out own is the best, we can eat margarine that actually tastes good! Who said america was the land of the free?

And Im actually politically neutral, was a socialist until I found out there is no logical way a such society would work. And every american is liberal anyway so dont call them stuff. If your conservative you would like a king and thinks taxes are beautiful things, and people should think less and work harder for king & country. America only has two different forms of Liberalism, not much choice there ey? The only likenesses is the family policy and the belief of one F├╝hrer... :P

I like debates but sometimes the opposing side repeats the same argument just like Goebbels did. Ive heard this before! :wink:

Pretty crazy. From now on I will go lightly on a thread to not turn into a political debate.

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