National Review / Digital
Plan 9 from Turtle Bay


War of the Worlds, original version: Three guys with a white flag approach the aliens are vaporized by a screechy ray. This sets the tone for the rest of the encounter. Eventually, however, the Martians catch cold and die. U.N.-approved alterations: As the doomed ambassadors approach the Martian craft, one of them lobs a bottle of Purell into the hatch and shouts, “Cough into your elbow, if possible.”

War of the Worlds, remake: The alien tripod uses a death ray to turn everyone into ash except Tom Cruise, who escapes because he is better looking. Eventually the invaders get laid low by germs, too. U.N.-approved alterations: Mayor Bloomberg sent in to lecture the Martians that when they smoke everyone and turn them into fine dust, they’re creating “second-hand neighbors,” which violate EPA standards on airborne particulates. Martians adjust their behavior and vow to eliminate humanity with organic pesticides.

Independence Day: Enormous spaceships appear and blow up our landmarks. Eventually we beat them when Jeff Goldblum uploads a computer virus, since the aliens are apparently running Mac OS 9.2. The Air Force attacks the ship and it blows up. U.N.-approved alterations: Goldblum is strongly condemned for what some are already calling “the Jenin in the clouds,” and there are calls for an investigation as to whether he took alien body parts and baked them into matzo.

Contact: Jodie Foster is sent in a small container through hyperspace to meet an alien in the form of her dead dad on an imaginary beach, where he gives her vague wisdom and no evidence of her experience, so no one will listen to her. U.N.-approved alteration: Father changed to Mohamed ElBaradei, who could never find any evidence lying around, either.

Star Trek: First Contact: The Vulcans, having detected humanity’s first warp-drive experiment, show up to establish relations and supervise our attempts to build a new society. U.N.-approved alteration: Complete denial of all sexual-abuse allegations lodged against Vulcans will appear in the credits.

Did we miss any? Well, there was District 9, which showed invading aliens put in barrios; that should be revised so they’re housed someplace nice and tropical, with full attention paid to their cultural and dietary needs. BUT NOT GITMO! There’s also a movie coming up next year based on the board game Battleship. Yes. The “You sunk my battleship!” Battleship. The Navy fights an alien invasion. The script should be changed so the Navy waits until the aliens are within territorial waters, then boards their ship and learns they simply want to ferry humanitarian supplies to the aliens from District 9. It would send the wrong message if we boarded the aliens when they were in interstellar waters.

Othman later told the Guardian she wasn’t really in line for the ambassador job, but it’s unlikely we’ll need one anyway — scientists note that any alien life we discover might be a microbe. But that doesn’t mean that something very small and hideously toxic to humanity couldn’t address the U.N. Ahmadinejad proves that every year. 

October 18, 2010    |     Volume LXI I , No. 19

  • The pope called a nation back to greatness.
  • In the California Senate race, Republican Carly Fiorina tries to replace a heroine of the Left.
  • Gender discrimination does not explain the male-female pay gap.
  • Will the U.S. remain dominant in the Asia-Pacific region?
  • They are the enemy of federalism.
  • How Marco Rubio became the conservative frontrunner in Florida’s Senate race.
  • Paul Krugman’s destructive and self-destructive quest for the great white stimulus.
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