Published in PS I Love You on 1 June

Lie under a blue sunset and look down on Earth to see it as the Martian does — blue, green and perfect.

I get it. Humans prefer Humans. But I prefer the Martian to the Human.

For Mars I feel is a more preferable planet than Earth and the Martian more preferable to the Human. No more human politic for me. No more human love for me. I want to go to a place where they really know what love is.

I want to go to a place where there has never been a war, where there has never been a crime, where there has never been a broken heart. A place that has never had a religion and has never damaged itself. A place where you never have to wander a Home Depot with a hangover looking for a toilet plunger. A place where you never have to eat a four-day old sandwich standing up in a crowded airport terminal with all flights cancelled for 24 hours.

A place where you never have to answer to the Man or wear a silly uniform or speak to people in stock corporate, faux friendly, sales patois. I want to got to a place where they have never pored through lonely hearts clubs, have never had their soul smudged from the cattle mart that is Tinder. I want to go to a place where we don’t have to live in a world of fools, breaking us down when they all should let us be.

1893 ad from a Chicago newspaper for “Kirk’s Soap”. Public Domain

I find the Martian infinitely more fascinating than the Human. Humans are so first millennia. The Martian has mystery. Humans are spattered palimpsests. John Lennon never wrote a song about a Martian. Shakespeare never wrote a sonnet about a Martian, he could have written one, just one of his 154 sonnets about a Martian rather than blathering on about Humans seeking soppy love on summer days and glorious mornings.

Every haiku, every limerick, every elegy, every ballad are about Humans. Man, it has become so tedious. I feel like the girl in Bowie’s Life on Mars, you know the one with the mousy hair for whom the film is a saddening bore, for she’s lived it ten times or more wailing, Is there life on Mars? Of course, there is, I just know there is a Martian out there for me. A beautiful Martian, unlike any of the grossly misleading depictions that the film industry has appropriated upon the mysterious inhabitants of the red planet.

Ridley Scott’s movie The Martian was not shot on location. It was not even shot on the same planet. The external scenes were shot in Wadi Rum in Jordan. And that wasn’t the first time that Wadi Rum posed as Mars. The same occurred in Mission to Mars, Red Planet and The Last Days on Mars. In The Martian, not one Martian is depicted. Indeed, the lead character is played by Matt Damon! A human is the eponymous Martian! There are no Martians in it, and none of the movie was shot on Mars, so how can it be called The Martian?

Henri Alvin Correa, 1906 drawing for the novel The War of the Worlds, showing a Martian fighting-machine battling with the warship Thunder Child. Public Domain

Similarly, HG Wells was grossly unfair depicting them as octopus-like creatures in his War of the Worlds. Everyone knows that octopuses live in oceans and there are no oceans on Mars. So, they can’t look like octopuses.

Don’t be feeling sorry for me. Don’t think me a fool for thinking that there are Martians, of course there are. Sure, our unmanned rovers have never encountered signs of life. But, I mean, would you wait around for us? I mean they can see us coming. You think with our history of vile behaviour when we discovered the Americas and Australia that they are going to welcome us? Man, they are going to hideout on Venus or Uranus and wait for us to leave.

And yet even after all the horrible stuff Humans have said about Martians, the Martian judges us not. Indeed, the Martian sees us better than we see ourselves. They see us as one people rather than many. The Martian doesn’t see colour, or race, or religion, or culture, or gender. Martians see us all as simply Human.

I want to go to Mars. I want to meet my Martian in Garden City. Take a trip together in our dune buggy through Pahrump Hills, gazing up at Mount Sharp, over the Murray Buttes and the Bagnold Dunes to Ogunquit Beach on Yellowknife Bay to lay under a blue sunset and look down on Earth and see it as the Martian does — blue, green and perfect.

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