Saturday, January 20, 2018

The Space Alien at the Women's March during a Government Shutdown

What a busy week for the Space Alien!

First there was the Chicago Women's March entitled The March to the Polls.

The Space Alien loved participating in the Chicago Women's March last year and urges Loyal Readers to check that out here:

This year the Space Alien marched with friends including Your Editor, Beth, Maya, and one of the Space Alien's very best pals, Lady Liberty!

But while the Space Alien marched vigorously through Grant Park and Chicago's Loop, it was impossible to set aside worries about the federal government shutdown that had begun a few hours earlier, and especially about how this would affect the animals in the National Zoo.

Finally the Space Alien could linger no longer.  With a wave to fellow marchers, the Space Alien took off at tachyonic velocities exceeding the speed of light, and in a fraction of a second had arrived in Washington, D. C., landing at National Airport, taking the Metro Blue Line to the Farragut North station, and transferring to the Red Line to reach the Woodley Park-Adams Morgan Station near the Smithsonian Zoological Park, popularly known as the National Zoo.

The Space Alien quickly reached the National Zoo, and was relieved to find the dedicated staff at work caring for the animals. Nevertheless, the Space Alien pitched right in to visit all the animals and make sure they were all right.

The giant panda was quietly lunching on the bamboo growing nearby, so the Space Alien just shared a few pleasantries and moved on.

A kindly zoo keeper -- staying on the job whatever the pay situation might have been -- was carefully  feeding the smaller red panda.  What a lovely scene.

The Space Alien admired the Grevy's zebras - what handsome pajamas they wore!
Had they just gotten out of bed?

The Space Alien didn't know what to make of the mother okapi and her little one.
Apparently they just slept in pajama bottoms!  A bit too informal, thought the Space Alien.

But the alpacas were nattily dressed in their sweaters!

The Space Alien greeted an alligator and a crocodile who each returned the Space Alien's friendly smile.  What odd looking creatures, thought the Space Alien!

The Space Alien, now satisfied that all the animals in the National Zoo would survive the federal government shutdown, quickly returned to Chicago.  The Women's March to the Polls was still in full swing and even larger than last year as the Space Alien rejoined the enthusiastic crowd!

There were so many wonderful pictures from this march online; we cannot possibly print them all.

But the Space Alien was so pleased to be part of this extraordinary crowd!

However, Your Editor's family and many friends will recognize the speaker who appears about 50 seconds into the following website -- it's less than a minute long but don't miss it! Way to go, Cari!
(Be sure to turn the sound on at the foot of the video just to the right of the "play" arrow!)

Here are a few more links from Chicago with some great photographs and videos of the people who marched and the signs they carried!

The Space Alien (who, as Loyal Readers know, has no birth certificate) is not eligible to vote, but urges Loyal Readers who ARE eligible to vote to do so during the upcoming 2018 Primary Elections.  In Illinois, this will be on Tuesday, March 20, 2018! 

The Space Alien considers this auspicious as it is also the date of the Vernal Equinox, the first day of Spring!  So mark your calendar! 


Wednesday, January 17, 2018

The Space Alien Struggles with Language

Your Editor has been pleased to observe the Space Alien's increased command of the English language over the years.  Except for spelling (still a problem), the articles submitted by the Space Alien are generally ready for print when they reach her desk.

She was therefore alarmed when she saw the latest draft from the Space Alien.  It was full of language unsuitable for these pages, as well as mean slurs and demeaning nicknames.

"What's gotten into you?" she asked the Space Alien?  "Where did you ever learn such language?"

"I took your advice," answered the Space Alien, "and I tried to emulate the speech of our national leaders as examples of fine English prose!"

Your Editor groaned as she sharpened her blue pencil.  

But the Space Alien didn't even notice.

"Look!" cried the Space Alien,  pulling a large book off the shelf. "These words are in the dictionary!  Isn't that where you told me to look for words?"

"Yes," agreed Your Editor, "but look again.  Don't you see that your dictionary calls these words 'vulgar' or 'obscene'?   Do we really need to use them in the Space Alien Gazette?"

"But what if they are direct quotes?" asked the Space Alien.

Your Editor shook her head sadly.  "That is indeed a problem. I know most adults and even children have heard these words, but we still want the Space Alien Gazette to set a good example.  Let's find a way to report the news without sinking to vulgarity or obscenity."  

"OK," said the Space Alien,  thoughtfully, "and could it be that using these words exposes deficiencies in the user's own vocabulary?"

"That is entirely possible," agreed Your Editor.

"Look what I found online!" cried the Space Alien.  "Lists of Shakespearean insults!  Maybe I'll use some of these in the future!"

And you, Loyal Reader, may find these too at:  and and and

"Now about those nicknames..." began Your Editor.

"Yes indeed," chuckled the Space Alien, "I'll start with calling you 'Pointy Blue Pencil Head' and our chief printing press operator can be 'Lead Head' and I think I'll make up lots more names like that for our reporters and editors and delivery crew!  How do you like that?"

"Hmm," answered Your Editor, "would you like it if I called you 'Funny Looking Bug Eyes?'   Do you think that would help us get along better?  Would it improve the working environment here at the Space Alien Gazette?  Would we be able to work together as effectively to put out a first rate newspaper?"

The Space Alien winced remembering painful times on the playground.

"No," said the Space Alien thoughtfully.  "I guess not!  That is what little children sometimes do to each other, but when they grow up they learn how hurtful this is and how it works against mutual understanding."

Your Editor nodded in agreement.

The Space Alien and Your Editor sat quietly for a moment.

Then the Space Alien spoke:  "I would like to see the Space Alien Gazette set the very highest standard for language which unites and does not divide, and I'll do my very best to achieve that."

"Me too," agreed Your Editor.  "Now let's get some lunch!"