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Friday, January 27, 2012

Cosmic Cuties


Do you remember Voyager, the probe sent into space in 1977? Thirty-five years have expired since its launch and Voyager has now left our solar system and is traveling through interstellar space, 10.8 billion miles from Earth. The probe carries hundreds of thousands of bits of information stored on a gold disc to promote Earth and human achievement should alien life encounter it. This was all based on the assumption that aliens finding our probe in space would be sophisticated enough to have a bitchin’ sound system capable of playing the recording.


So what was on that gold disc and who put it there? Answer: The Voyager Interstellar Message Committee, which included astronomers, writers and artists, who were tasked with painting as full a portrait of life on earth as possible.


Really?


According to Voyager’s website: “…every part of the record, the music made by crickets, whales, and humans, the pictures, the sounds—each part was chosen to add some additional information about who we are. So, young and old, cultures of east, west, south and north, ancient and modern, night and day, and so forth, all of it is represented by some element of the Voyager Message.”


But something is missing on that disc, and it wasn’t an accident. Did you know that among all of this information on Voyager’s message there is no image of the nude human form? I’ve learned that originally two black and white drawings of naked humans, a male and a female, were included on the list of items to be sent into space, but at some point the committee decided to eliminate them. I’d like to know why.


I find it hard to imagine that writers and artists in the seventies, a time still twitching beneath the spell of Jacqueline Susann, Harold Robbins, Picasso and Andy Warhol, decided that pictures of naked people might be too arousing for aliens. Did the committee believe that an advanced civilization capable of space travel would go berserk, pull their who-knows-whats out of their pants (assuming they wore pants) and start pleasuring themselves? Was the committee saying that nudity is not an important part of life on Earth? If so I beg to differ: I’m practically naked as I write this.


So no nudity on Voyager. Too bad. With our economy in the dumpster, this could have provided a whole new outlet for our porn industry. Think of the jobs that might have been created distributing billions of copies of magazines like Cosmic Cuties to porn-starved aliens.


Submitted to the Great guys at Dude Write.

32 comments:

  1. Perhaps they were afraid that the aliens would mistake the nude human form for some sort of menu.

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  2. Maybe they thought it would scare the aliens away from ever visiting.

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  3. But if they DO visit, how will they recognize us? Although, I guess we'll mostly be wearing clothes if they visit. Mostly. Except you Stephen.

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  4. My first thought was this: how embarrassing that our emissary to potential alien alliances is from the wacked-out culture of 1977!

    Then I gave my head a shake...

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  5. Such a relief to know there are no nasty pictures floating around deep space of us in the 'all-together'... we must be very careful not to pollute the minds of the aliens 'cause they might have impure thoughts they never had before ...

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  6. I think you're onto something. Maybe the liens are lurking just outside our radar ability to detect them and downloading all our nudey pics.

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  7. I dunno -- I've seen my share of naked bodies in the locker room at the gym. Maybe we're doin' those aliens a favor.

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  8. One of my all-time favorite comedy bits concerned Voyager. It was from Saturday Night Live. The anchor on weekend update told how Voyager was sent out with various things from Earth, listing some of those things. The list included many of the things you mention, as well as recordings by Chuck Berry. Then the anchor said, "And we've just received news that the first message from another civilization has reached us! Here's what they say: Send More Chuck Berry!"

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  9. I tweeted yesterday that it's a shame the Voyager spacecraft wasn't loaded down with 99 cent ebooks with bad editing and formatting. That way the million or so authors looking for an audience might one day get the big break they deserve from fans around another solar system.

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  10. They wanted the perfect female figure - but I wasn't available to serve as the model at that time, so they just ditched the idea.

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  11. Actually I thought they had sent that drawing of the guy spread eagled. But maybe not.

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  12. Perhaps earthlings look like lunch!

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  13. What are we, anonymous galactic suitors, unable to send a picture of what we REALLY look like?

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  14. Did we really expect aliens to have record players to play the thing? In another 50 years there won't even be any humans with a record player!

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  15. I'm really enjoying your humor (e.g., "I'm practically naked as I write this), Stephen. It's somewhat subtle and very effective.

    I remember the Voyager. Can't believe it was 35 years ago. At least they didn't include info on the Kardashians.

    xoRobyn

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  16. as a person recently embroiled on a Naked Person Class (or life drawing) i find this hard to comprehend

    I can only remain relieved, however, that we never had any nudity on Star Trek: Voyager. Seven Of Nine, maybe - but Kathryn Janeway, or Tom Paris?

    Aaaaaaaaaa!

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  17. Really? You're naked when you write. That's a visual I could have skipped. Now I can't even look at your blog.

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  18. Aliens need love too. Why not give them some human porn? It might actually save us from mass destruction of our our planet. Sometimes high intelligence does not equal smarts.

    Another good one, Chatterbox.

    Michael A. Walker
    Defying Procrastination

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  19. Maybe we didn't want to give the aliens any ideas of where to stick their probes?

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  20. Thirty-five years and we haven't heard anything yet? Maybe if we put some naked pictures on there, we'd have had contact by now. Great read - come over from Dude Write.

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  21. So do we send out a yearly update to the gold disk? Like World Book Encyclopedia did every year? I mean, how will aliens know of Justin Bieber? I assume since their emissary Michael Jackson has passed on, they will have to send a new one...

    WG

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    1. LOL WG!!! I was reading comments and getting ready to add something about Bieber. I've been outdone before I even started!

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  22. They probably just didn't want to be irresponsible and let it fall into the hands of some teenage alien.

    Plus the fact that the nude male human form is pretty gross anyway.

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  23. Agreed! What an oversight! There's no better way to truly bond with other civilizations than to exchange nude inter-species photos. Next probe, maybe?

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  24. Be glad. In 1977, women still had the gigantic afro-bushes between their legs.

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  25. Good point.

    Also as a follow up, can you put together a list describing what search results bring people to your page ;)

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  26. The culmination of man-kinds achievements all contained on a gold record. That seems a little presumptuous to me? Maybe a 4 album boxed set, but a gold record?

    ......and coincidentally enough, I'm practically naked as I read this.

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  27. Perhaps they thought better of including the pictures because Jimmy Carter and Barbara Streisand were used as models.

    Note: my comment would have been far more clever if Wily Guy hadn't beat me to the Bieber angle.

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  28. I read this article (http://www.wired.com/geekmom/2012/09/voyager-leaving-solar-system/) and thought of your post. The Voyager probes are about to go where no man-mad object has gone before.

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  29. When I read this article (http://www.wired.com/geekmom/2012/09/voyager-leaving-solar-system/) I immediately thought of your post. I figured you might find it interesting that the voyager probes are soon to go where no other man made object has ever gone before.

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