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What the world needs now is not peace, love, and prayer vigils – it needs a good kick in the ass.

What the World Needs Now – A Real ‘The Day the Earth Stood Still’

 

After the latest terrorist attack in France, the nations of the world need to stand together and say, “Enough is enough!” Unfortunately, that scenario seems unattainable due to the fractured nature of leadership across the globe, of people who don’t want things to change, and some who support the insanity that terror brings to the innocent people of this planet.

nice cnnUsing a truck as a weapon of mass destruction, the terrorist drove through a crowd of people celebrating Bastille Day, slaughtering and maiming them as he went along. He also fired a weapon into the crowd. This attack seems to be a game changer – we can all debate about making guns harder to get, but are we now going to say the same thing about trucks? The truth is that it’s not just about what weapon is used but rather the state of mind that would foster such hatred, such disregard for human life no matter how death is delivered.

People can all say the world needs love; we want to give peace a chance, and all the other stuff about coming together to stop the carnage that seems to keep occurring. Of course, it is an equal opportunity carnage – consider Orlando, Paris, Brussels, Istanbul, Iraq, Syria, and Saudi Arabia as all suffering recent terrorist attacks. What the world needs now is not peace, love, and prayer vigils – it needs a good kick in the ass.

It is time for an intervention – one of an extra-terrestrial kind similar to what happens in the classic film The Day the Earth Stood Still. We all need to know – and that includes presidents, prime ministers, kings, and terrorist leaders – that our clock is in danger of getting cleaned. The only power that can accomplish this is one that is greater than all the combined nations on earth.

gort amazonIn the film a spaceship lands in Washington D.C. and human looking alien Klaatu (Michael Rennie) comes to earth to present a token of peace to the President of the United States, promptly getting shot by a nervous soldier. This could have been a disaster straightaway because Klaatu’s sidekick, an eight-foot robot named Gort, annihilates all weapons in the vicinity and could have easily taken out the people too; however, Klaatu is a forgiving soul and wants to bring an important message to the people of earth.

To prove his power, the alien makes the earth stand still – all power is shut off all across the planet. The implications in 1951 when the film was made were dramatic, but can you imagine what would occur if this happened on 2016 earth, a world so reliant on devices and technology?

Klaatu’s experiment was a demonstration of power to make all the saber-rattling leaders of the world realize that they had to put down their swords. At the time of the film’s premiere, the Cold War was in full swing and the possibility of mutual destruction seemed very real. At the dramatic climax of the film, Klaatu is wounded again by soldiers and the robot Gort prepares to destroy the planet. An earth woman (Patricia Neal) had been told by Klaatu how to stop the robot with a specific phrase, and she is able to save the world from destruction by uttering “Klaatu Barada Nikto.”

Eventually revived by Gort, Klaatu’s final message to the leaders of the world is most ominous – the world needed to get its act together and live in peace with other planets. Failure to do so, and any attempt to extend the earth’s destructive capabilities into space, would result in the earth being “reduced to a burned out cinder.”

All these years later Klaatu’s words in this film reverberate as something necessary and compelling right now. An overwhelmingly more powerful alien race (any visitors from a distant planet would have to have exceedingly more technology and weaponry than what we have currently) would not care about our petty territorial disputes or our antiquated allegiances to boundaries forged long ago. They would assess our danger to one another as unacceptable, and an ultimatum similar to the one in the film would shake the foundations of all we thought about our invulnerability – making us realize we are like insects susceptible to being crushed underfoot by a much greater power.

It is a shame that it would have to come to this, but there seems to be nothing else to stop our downward spiral. On our planet now there are too many divisions, too many so-called good guys who see everyone else as bad. There are all kinds of weapons of mass destruction that can kill everyone on this planet ten times over, but perhaps the most pernicious WMD is the human mind, the one that can descend to a place dark enough to think it is okay to fly a plane into a building, drop bombs on cities, or drive a truck through a crowd.

Sgort virgin mediao, calling all aliens, please stop hiding during your visits to earth. There have been enough UFO sightings – we know you are out there. Please help us; please help save us from ourselves. Make yourselves known now! Land your vehicles in Moscow, Washington, London, and Beijing. Take over our airwaves, rob us of the Internet, and shake us down to every fiber of our beings – in short, scare the crap out of us and warn us to get our acts together fast or else we will suffer the consequences.

We can only hope that would be enough to get us to really change; however, if the aliens go away as Klaatu did at the end of the film, it may not be enough. We might revert back to our stupidity, back to the behavior that inspired the aliens to come and warn us, and then we could be in for the punishment we would deserve – annihilation, and then no promises will be accepted, no “Klaatu Barada Nikto” will be able to save us. All our arrogance, all our posturing of human superiority in a vast universe where our planet is just a speck of dust, will be reduced to ashes. What a sad but perhaps a fitting end for a people who were born into a beautiful world but took it for granted, abused it and each other, and then ultimately faded to oblivion.

About Victor Lana

Victor Lana's stories, articles, and poems have been published in literary magazines and online. His books 'A Death in Prague' (2002), 'Move' (2003), 'The Savage Quiet September Sun: A Collection of 9/11 Stories' (2005), and 'Like a Passing Shadow' (2009) are available in print, online, and as e-books. His latest books 'Heartbeat and Other Poems,' 'If the Fates Allow: New York Christmas Stories,' 'Garden of Ghosts,' and 'Flashes in the Pan' are available exclusively on Amazon. After winning the National Arts Club Award for Poetry while attending Queens College, he concentrated on writing mostly fiction and non-fiction prose until the recent publication of his new book of poetry, 'Heartbeat and Other Poems' (now available on Amazon). He has worked as a faculty advisor to school literary magazines and enjoys the creative process as a writer, editor, and collaborator. He has been with 'Blogcritics Magazine' since July 2005 and has written many articles on a variety of topics; previously co-head sports editor, he now is a Culture and Society and Flash Ficition editor. Having traveled extensively, Victor has visited six continents and intends to get to Antarctica someday where he figures a few ideas for new stories await him.

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