Strange Signals From Another Planet | Letters | Chicago Reader

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Strange Signals From Another Planet

Tuning Into Talkradio



Honored trustees, respected colleagues, distinguished members of the academy. We have been circling the Blue Planet for 365 of what I shall now call "days." Ours has been a difficult mission in a hostile environment; nonetheless, we have persevered, and our task is now almost complete.

Critics of our mission will be disappointed to learn that Xera One has performed as designed, despite an early setback. While the powerful signals we initially received literally fused the circuits of our scanner, we retained the ability to intermittently monitor a single broadcasting station and thus compile the information submitted in this report.

Honored trustees! Respected colleagues! From the signals of WLS, Talkradio 890, we now know that civilization on the Blue Planet is in a state of collapse.

These signals apparently were intended for a group of citizens called "the audience," who communicate by means of an instrument called "the telephone" with a broadcaster, called "the talk show host." The hosts--who answer to such names as "Don" and "Rush"--undoubtedly represent the finest intellects of their race--else why, as Professor Xerat succinctly puts it, would they be entrusted with such awesome powers of communication? With the assistance of their callers--"Southwest Side," "Schaumburg," and "Car Phone"--these leaders have isolated the problem besetting their civilization, taxes, the source of the problem, congress, and the solution, go to war.

Taxes, we believe, are the lifeblood that is squeezed from those who need it most--Southwest Side, Schaumburg, and Car Phone. Congress, a concept somewhat more abstract, seems to be an assembly of wrongly chosen representatives influenced by the most evil breed of all--"Tax and Spend Democrats." War, our signals make clear, is the process whereby a people bands together and destroys its enemies. This is done easily by applying technology.

This Blue Planet, known to the hosts as America or simply "our market," suffers also from the presence of such parasites as "the Homeless," who, encouraged by "Bleeding Hearts," not only refuse to work but refuse to live indoors as well. "Welfare Cheats" and "Environmental Wackos" add to the agony, recklessly consuming the resources of the callers, many of whom are "sick and tired."

Evil hairy-legged creatures known as "Feminists" invade locker rooms, vile individuals who call themselves "gay" openly hold rallies, fools demonstrate for "animal rights," the flag (a sacred symbol) is defiled, and the national hymn is sung publicly without reverence by a female person. "Minorities" demand quotas, thereby depriving Schaumburg and Southwest Side and Car Phone of their right to earn a living. Street crime is common--residents scarcely step from their homes before the very clothing is torn from their bodies by drug-crazed "muggers" who escape unmolested thanks to "the Gun Control Crowd." Meanwhile education, all agree, has been irreparably damaged by the sheer weight of the money thrown at it by "the Tax and Spend Gang."

Art and literature are of course beyond redemption. Oddly, those who struggle against corruption are themselves subject to the most vile attacks by "Wine and Cheese Liberals" and "Pencil Neck Geeks," all in the name of "Artistic Freedom." Incredible as it seems, the taxes squeezed from the innocent Schaumburg, Southwest Side, and Car Phone support the practice of pederasty. Indeed, the entire range of sexual practices on this planet (where females routinely destroy the unborn rather than restrain their appetites) is ill suited for description in a scientific report.

The hosts of WLS, Talkradio 890, fight valiantly, as do Schaumburg, Southwest Side, and Car Phone, who stand ready to "nuke" all their enemies and "get this thing over with."

The present and most immediate enemy, we have deduced, is a race so low we suspect it may represent an entirely different species. These creatures, called "Arabs" or "Towelheads," have, by some form of treachery we as yet cannot specify, seized control of the Blue Planet's supply of "Oil," a substance only slightly less precious than "Taxes." Led by a madman so ruthless he would boil babies for breakfast, so daring he thumbs his nose even at the illustrious Rush, his tiny nation stands ready to topple the entire world.

Perhaps, in view of what we have learned about it, this would be for the best. At this moment, in spite of the best efforts of our talk show hosts and their callers, it seems unlikely that the leader of this land, known as "the President," will be able to overcome the opposition of the "Pinko Peacenik Subversives" who undermined the last great military crusade. And even if he should--in which case the entire "Towelhead" situation would be concluded long before you, honored members of the academy, receive this message--there would still remain the sordid assembly of minorities, feminists, homeless advocates, animal-rights activists, environmental wackos, gun-control grinches, artsy-craftsy do-gooders, flag defilers, limp-wristed perverts, and out-of-control rap groups to carry on.

We feel certain that the Blue Planet will perish soon, of one cause or another. It may seem a pity, but it should be remembered that, to use their own words, these beings are "sick and tired" and perhaps ready to go. How fortunate that our scanner got stuck on WLS, Talkradio 890. Had it not been for Don and Rush and all their callers, we might never have learned of this strange world!

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): illustration/John Zielinski.

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