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Planet of the Beautiful People
Last weekend was one of the stranger experiences I've ever had - I went to a seminar
in Las Vegas of people who believe that aliens created humans as a genetic experiment.
A very nice bunch of folks. Several years ago I had a dream in which a higher being came to teach me, and it told me that humans were ape/alien hybrids - and I've read Zachariah Stitchin's books on the subject, so the idea wasn't new to me. Besides, I scored high on the "Are You an Alien?" quiz (see below) and I'll believe anything - it's the opposite of being cynical. This particular group of alien watchers - The Raelian Religon, call our alien "parents" the Elohim and set themselves apart by being big supporters of human cloning, creating an embassy for the Elohim, and oddly enough - free love. "Free love - don't bank on it baby..." as the song by Morphine goes. I've found that most "swingers" lack integrity and have rarely seen poly amorous relationships that do work - they're about as rare as lasting monogamous relationships. My personal dislike for the jealous, proprietary nature of monogamy has yet to see a viable alternative - other than my fantasy derived from reading Stranger in a Strange Land one too many times. The Raelians emphasize pleasure - apparently the Elohim don't work, sleep around without consequence and are immortal. It makes converting followers easy, that's for certain. Half the Raelians I met were the usual suspects - Star Trek, alien watcher types. The other half were totally hot chicks that looked like Jennifer Lopez and big, muscled Black and Hispanic men.
The dividing line between the unattractive and attractive Raelians became apparent "What's your name? Dave? I guess you can be in group 5" distain dripping from the Raelian's well-lipsticked mouth. This was on the way to an outreach event to convert the masses on Vegas strip - they're *evangelical* cloners to top it off. During this parade down the strip, the muscled men played drums
and the MTV babes danced in their matching outfits and handed out flyers,
while the Star Trekkie Raelians wore sandwich boards that said "Say YES to Human Cloning!" Ummm, ok - yes.
My friend and I politely declined to hand out literature and became entranced by a hobo playing a kazoo - the juxtaposition of him to our group was surreal. In the end, I found both camps of the group - the genetic haves and have-nots - to be incredibly warm, open, loving people who were attempting to live the values of the Raelian teachings and have a good time. But I did feel a palpable sense of disenfranchisement from the less than lovely, and an "A-list" vibe from the lovely. Pretty typical behavior - not really free love. Besides, I was one of the less than lovely.
Three times during the weekend I was told I was too masculine. (me being masculine by the lake)
I looked around and realized that the women of the Raelian Religion were childlike, charming and dressed like call girls - or they were mothers. Virgin/whore/mother were obviously the accepted expressions of female energy. They wore lots of makeup, tight clothes and very high heels - I started calling it "The Cult of Excruciating Shoes". The men were incredibly butch - the girls incredibly femme. I was told that I should behave more feminine "for the good of the world" by a person who told me he used to be gay. Hmmmm... Very strange considering that in all the descriptions of our genetic parents - the Elohim - are totally androgynous. Most higher beings - aliens or angels - are sexless, or so similar it's impossible to tell. I've always felt that the goal of spiritual evolution is integration - the male and female energies of yin and yang, the mind and body... my energy work school calls it "personality/soul fusion". I'm feeling integrated, thankyouverymuch. I have a Jenny Holzer plaque that says "Raise boys and girls the same way" and because that's how I was raised, I find girly girls just as annoying as testosterone driven men. The idea of devolving into traditional sex roles was as alien as the Elohim to me. I didn't delve into the Raelian cosmology enough to find out what the gender polarization was about - but I knew that I would never fit in - despite my closet full of heels, dresses and makeup. I can drive a 24 foot truck, break up a street fight, climb a 30 foot ladder, and I'm not about to pull psychological punches. I do admit to being aggressive and arrogant - I've been working on these painful lessons a lot in the last year - but at least I'm doing the work. My friends who have heard this story reacted with "You're too masculine? On what planet? You're a balanced human being! Because you're independent, capable and self-actualized?" and my favorite from my roommate of 6 years - "Jen, you're part of a balanced breakfast."
You may ask why I went to this seminar of evangelical, free love, alien, genetic
cloners with XY issues ... a dear friend of mine has the same name as the prophet
of this religion - and so he wanted to check it out. I went along for the adventure
of it. Imagine finding out that there is a international club named after you, containing
hot MTV babes willing to sleep with you (no strings attached!), the
camaraderie and acceptance of muscle bound men of color, the respect of every
science geek, and they're all loving, open people seeking to save humanity through
pleasure and not working.....
(My friend and a raelian babe, the daughter of the cloning scientist). It's like winning the socio-cultural lottery. A reversal of all the alienation of junior high school. However, having had the built-in cult experience myself (through my dad's religion, and my immediate acceptance into the upper echelons of the cult of Burning Man. Yes, Burning Man is a cult), I know that the feelings of alienation left over from being the weird kid (or the white kid if you went to school in Oakland) is always just around the corner... and since I was the butch chick among the Raelian femme-bots, I felt that old wound itch. The only acceptance worth having is your own. "I wouldn't want to belong to any club that would have me as a member" - Grucho Marx
Upon my return to this planet - I geared up for the Planet magazine party last night. This time the beautiful people were more genetically and culturally diverse - the definitions of beauty in San Francisco are wider and deeper. It was a gorgeous event - art installations, groovy DJs, an Oxygen bar, and all that the hipster SF scene has to offer. It was held at Club Six -a 2 story nightclub on the most squalid block of San Francisco - 6th between Market and Mission. The squalor of 6th St. is uniquely American - it's not just the poverty - it's the insanity, addiction, gluttony, lust and anger. I saw 3 fist fights (2 instigated by women) amongst the locals last night. The sheer number of wild eyed crazies on 6th St. is distressing - and the pervasive atmosphere of drugs, disease, alcohol and prostitution was impossible to sidestep. I could see how difficult it would be to escape. But there we were - the beautiful people - young, healthy, well dressed... sipping free vodka and eating sushi, waiting in line for a whiff of flavored oxygen and checking out each other's genetic code. And at the end of the night when I heard a woman (a beautiful person) who helped us organize whine "I don't want to help clean up" I mentally threw my hands in the air - I changed from my fancy outfit into my work clothes and started working. The two guys who ran the magazine had to stay with me to finish the job - but the club manager and I were the only ones really ready to work. There is a work avoidance technique called "Looking for the thing." It's a way of not jumping in and getting your hands dirty. That came from the AIDS Ride where I truly learned how to work. Anyone who has attended an AIDS Ride will testify - if we need to work until 3am unloading 3,000 tents out of a 24 ft truck - then that's what we do, no whining allowed. I love that kind of physical labor - no thought, no bullshit. The Elohim may not have to work on their planet - but on this planet that's what we do. Work. And as we were loading the truck, one of the 6th St. crazies came to help us - he spent the whole time speaking in rhyme and he carried what looked like a shaman's walking stick. He was not one of the Beautiful People. He was one of the genetic, economic Have Nots - the crazy, the ugly, the poor. And he was there to work. Just like me. My gratitude to him was boundless and the joy of working - being strong and capable and willing - washed over me in a wave of pleasure. Whether we have or have not, are beautiful or ugly, sane or crazy, healthy or diseased, male or female - to feel solidarity as we labor together - that's free love. It certainly isn't about sleeping around.
To find out if you're an alien, take the quiz below - you might get laid by a hot Raelian femmebot! Oddly enough I've been craving tapioca all this week...
This is like the 21st century version of the Meyers-Briggs test - I'm an ENTP and according to this test - an alien. Most of the questions are pretty standard - but some are so specific (yes - I have always been fascinated by willow trees!) Every "yes" answer counts as one point. High scores indicate alien ancestry. This originally appeared in the July issue of Magical Blend Magazine. I lifted it from the March issue of Harper's Magazine
Do you enjoy thunderstorms?
Do you have lower than average blood pressure?
Are you especially sensitive to humidity/heat?
Have you noted an unexplainable attraction to certain people?
Have you noted an unexplainable attraction to certain animals?
Have you noted an unexplainable attraction to certain felines?
Do you take special pleasure in touching materials, such as fur?
Are your feet more narrow than average?
Do you see colored lights when you close your eyes?
Does water hold a unique fascination for you?
Do you like tapioca?
Do you have an above average urge to travel?
Do you sometimes know how things work without prior knowledge?
Do you have a special fascination for willow trees?
Do you have a special fascination for hummingbirds? Mushrooms? Owls?
Does the word "Atlantis" ring a bell?
Does the word "Pleiades" ring a bell?
Does the image of Stonehenge ring a bell?
Does the Amer-indian concept of deity as Mother Nature seem acceptable to you?
Is green one of your favorite colors?
Does the current trend of society worry you?
As a costume, or mental image, would you derive pleasure from wearing a toga?
Do you enjoy being barefoot?
Do you occasionally (or more often) sleep in the nude?
When alone and indoors, have to ever worked or studied in the nude?
Have you ever swum in the nude?
Do you take special pleasure in eating scallops?
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