Do Humans Recognise Themselves in a Mirror?

vanityArtwork: “Be Your Selfie” by The PPC Spectrophonic Studio ©

“Ugly is as ugly does.”  – General Paniscus

Ever since an Earth ape looked at its reflection and thought “Hang on a minute… that’s not Dave.” they have been obsessed by their appearance.

It’s interesting to note just how trivial the whole judgemental, stigmatic and social preoccupation with it all appears to everyone else in the galaxy. Particularly as Earth apes look so ridiculous to begin with.

That’s not to say the rest of the universe doesn’t enjoy altering their features too. Many species partake in several cosmic fads.

This year – are big lips or thin lips the trend? Should our antennae be curved, wavy or straight? Descale or not to descale? Will blue skin be the in-thing… or green?

On Aldebaran 6, a fuller figure is considered attractive, whereas on Rana 4, a tall slender figure is more appealing.

On Giedi Prime, there is no distinction between the male and female form, and on Omicron Ceti 3, the very idea of changing one’s appearance is absurd. (Possibly due to the fact that they are the galaxy’s only transparent species, and so any artificial pigmentation would have alerted them to predators long ago and therefore seen them fail to evolve past the invention of the atomic lightbulb.)

The physical modifications which Earth apes apply to their bodies are just as diverse – this is noticeably evident with the female of the species.

For example, yesterday whilst I was waiting for my ape-friend, Trudy, to have her hair trimmed, straightened, plaited, coloured and then fashioned into an elaborate arrangement, I decided to flick through the pages of a magazine.

As a zoetrope of painted and artificially altered apes span through my hands, I happened to stop at an extremely odd feature.

The author had selected images of a range of different apes in which she found it necessary to highlight what she considered little imperfections. In her semi-evolved opinion, some of the apes were of the ‘wrong’ width or the ‘wrong’ shape, some of the apes had failed to disguise their natural blemishes and some of the apes had failed completely to keep their natural biological features hidden at all!

After complementing Trudy for choosing such a hilarious hairdo, I couldn’t help but reflect on the bizarre social attitudes that the human apes gave to their appearance.

I noticed that the advertisements, magazine covers, posters and television screens all appeared to portray the same synthetically tanned, waxed and painted apes – It is very rare to see a natural one used in such media.

Some apes will remove their eyebrows entirely and draw on straight, curly or wavy ones. Some apes will starve themselves to become thinner. Some apes will cover their entire face with an amalgamation of colour, some are pierced and some will even undergo surgical operations to reshape their features all together.

I know some apes who find it difficult to go outdoors without their “Face on.”

It is then horrifying and totally outrageous to witness some apes being ridiculed, harassed, insulted and socially excluded by the way they look (It is a common misconception with these apes that the way one appears is linked to one’s emotional and intellectual capacity.)

Furthermore, I have known some apes to develop loss of self-esteem, confidence and suffer great anxiety over this social denigration and some become dangerously unhealthy due to the pressure to reconfigure their bodies accordingly.

It becomes even more concerning when these images and attitudes are mimicked by pre-adolescent apes.

Additionally, male apes also display signs of insecurity and some can be observed attempting to shiftily evaluate themselves in passing reflections whilst others will holler insults freely. Shamefully, between grunts, they can be heard to make derogatory quips about the females form, reinforcing the negative attitude.

Unfortunately, this truly repulsive and ugly nature of the Earth ape is plain to see – none more so than down the line of a selfie stick.

As Trudy and I parted ways, I was amused to see a whole flange of apes franticly scatter as a gust of wind threatened to displace their hair.

Until next time, keep evolving!

Little Green Men

Little Green Men EMW Artwork: “Little Green Men” by The PPC Spectrophonic Studio ©

“If it looks like a human, walks like a human, and talks like a human, then it probably is a human.”  – Ambassador Spork

I watched with intrigue as a line of Earth apes gradually assembled together in one spot. Many kinds were present; a mother with her two offspring – which obediently remained by her side, and next to her, a bearded ape, who stood perfectly still as it navigated its tiny mind through the display of an electronic device. Further along the line, an elderly ape, perched upon a walking frame, politely smiled as two school-age apes appeared to become excitable about what was to soon occur.

Others joined the line; a smartly dressed ape with a suitcase, a bald ape, and an ape with an unnecessarily large hat.

All gathered together at this one point, they looked up… and waited.

And then it happened… it was the moment they had all been waiting for.

Above, a little green man appeared before them, and in unison… they all crossed the road together.

Unfortunately, not all of Earth’s apes have evolved to this level. Only a few feet down the road, I had witnessed a distressing, but all too common, occurrence on this little planet, involving one of Earth’s adolescent apes.

The young ape was clearly very distraught. Puffing out its chest, whooping and waving its arms, it adopted an aggressive posture in an attempt to intimidate the passers-by.

Only moments earlier, the adolescent ape – so desperate to cross the road at this particular place – had risked its life as it scurried and darted in front of a lorry, before safely making it into the middle of the lanes. Now, it found itself in a perilous situation, unable to return to the safety of the pavement.

Either unsympathetic or ignorant to its quest, automobiles continued to whizz by. Pedestrians gawped at the pathetic figure cast alone on the central white lines. Subsequently, the ape had become ensnarled by stupidity and exposed in ignominy.

The ape, apparently unaware of the damage its body would cause to a speeding automobile, again stepped slightly further into the road. As a Ford Fiesta descended upon it, the ape quickly leapt back whilst waving its fists in disbelief!

Undeterred, the ruddy-faced ape attempted to cross the road again, and again it had to rapidly make its way back to the safety of the middle of the road as a Renault Clio raced inches past.

It is not fully understood why some of the Earth’s apes decide to cross at this particular point. However, records show that year upon year, many risk their lives in doing so. The spot is a fraught with danger and is notorious for being a heavily congested carriageway used by countless automobiles such as Audis, BMWs and Landrovers.

Unfortunately, this is not the only instance of a primitive Earth ape struggling to grasp the fundamental principles of a road.

Only yesterday, I was horrified to witness a female ape shoving her infant ape’s pushchair into the path of oncoming traffic in an attempt dissuade the divers in continuing along the route, and last week, I happened to witness a fat ape mindlessly wander into the path of an indicating Vauxhall Astra.

I am reminded of the Algolian Pedestrian Safety Campaign’s public information films – which were once extremely popular in this quadrant of the Galaxy. “Stop, look, listen and think! Don’t become another splatter on the windscreen!

For the adolescent ape, by chance, and just a short few feet down the road, the traffic signals changed. Within seconds, a clear path presented itself to the ape. Whilst its mind was too primitive to make the simple connection, its instinct led it across the road and to the safety of the pavement. For now, this ape will survive.

Will humans learn to adapt to their environment – both natural and artificial? Or are they doomed to extinction by their own ignorance and stupidity? The national statistics for road traffic accidents may be an indication. Until then, it is advisable to keep an eye out for the little green men. They are here to help and guide you.

Until next time, keep evolving!