Sunday, December 23, 2007

The Year of the Political UFOs: The Japanese Cabinet Minister UFO Flap vs. American UFO Politics vs. American Separation of Church and State

As you may have heard, Japan's government has become something of a laughing stock this week, after chief cabinet minister Nobutaka Machimura answered a question about UFOs at a press conference with an answer that he believes in them. After an initial 24 hours of excited stories and posts, it became clear that no one in the "debate" was being very serious. The eventual insertion of Godzilla into the dialogue was not the first clue.

Nonetheless, this has been the year of politicians talking about UFOs. As I noted in an update on my post concerning US presidents and UFOs, Democratic presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich says he saw a Black Triangle years ago, and in his discussion of that incident joked about Exeter, a location with a link to UFOs that is not common knowledge. I wonder if that's how he won over his wife.

When Kucinich's UFO story hit the press, Bill Richardson also noted that he considers the Roswell Incident and UFOs serious business, at least as tourism. He has promoted Roswell in the past, including providing a foreword for the book The Roswell Dig Diaries.

Earlier this year, Wonkette visited the issue, at least historically, concerning George Bush I, the CIA, Jimmy Carter, and UFOs.

I suspect some of this is of course chance and happenstance. But since the O'Hare case last year, UFOs have gotten more credibility in the large mainstream media than the issue has had since probably the 1960s, pre-Condon. All without, and I think not coincidentally, a major presence in the entertainment media. The more divorced the issue is from fantasy and entertainment, the more credibility it has.

Once again, I am reminded of George Carlin's take on this, with his comparison of the media portrayal of Christianity vs., for example, UFOs. Nifty.

And what reminded me of this? Mike Huckabee, a major contender for the Presidency of the United States (AKA the commander of the most powerful and planet-annhilating military in human history) and his conversation with his God in 2004.

Update: Looks like Hillary Clinton has followed in the footsteps of Ronald Reagan and her husband in invoking the (fictional) threat of alien invasion to promote global unity.

Inspired by Pharyngula

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