Then they all say sorry a lot
November 27, 2017 1:23 PM   Subscribe

The Martians Claim Canada - a short satire of settler-colonialism written and illustrated by Margaret Atwood.
posted by Rumple (10 comments total) 46 users marked this as a favorite
"Then, after a while, they turn the wars into musicals. It’s just how they are."

Often they don't wait.
posted by Quindar Beep at 1:35 PM on November 27, 2017

that was great
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 1:37 PM on November 27, 2017

Neat! It's a sequel to an earlier piece in which Atwood fields the Martians' questions about literature and feeds them marshmallows and popcorn.
The Martians riffled through Moby-Dick at top speed. Then they consulted™ for an expression that would best convey their reaction. “Holy crap!” they said. “Does this mean what we think it means?” they said.

“What do you think it means?” I said. [...]

“'Moby-Dick’ is about the oil industry,” they said. “And the Ship of American State. The owners of the Pequod are rapacious and stingy religious hypocrites. The ship’s business is to butcher whales and turn them into an industrial energy product. The mates are the middle management. The harpooners, who are from races colonized by America one way or another, are supplying the expert tech labor. Elijah the prophet — from the American artist caste — foretells the Pequod’s doom, which comes about because the chief executive, Ahab, is a megalomaniac who wants to annihilate nature.

“Nature is symbolized by a big white whale, which has interfered with Ahab’s personal freedom by biting off his leg and refusing to be slaughtered and boiled. The narrator, Ishmael, represents journalists; his job is to warn America that it’s controlled by psychotics who will destroy it, because they hate the natural world and don’t grasp the fact that without it they will die. That’s enough literature for now. Can we have popcorn?”
posted by Iridic at 1:39 PM on November 27, 2017 [28 favorites]

"What's all this 'anti-mushroom' nonsense? Why, right here on my bookshelf, I have How to Serve Mushrooms... oh. Um. Awk-ward!"
posted by Halloween Jack at 1:50 PM on November 27, 2017 [3 favorites]

Ha. This is great! Thanks for posting it.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 2:48 PM on November 27, 2017

ha i thought this was gonna be about The Expanse
posted by numaner at 3:29 PM on November 27, 2017 [1 favorite]

Charming and pointed, as Atwood is. Loved it.
posted by MovableBookLady at 4:25 PM on November 27, 2017 [1 favorite]

It's all going to be ok. Two hundred years from now they'll have a fungus and reconciliation commission (they're traditional Canadian pass-times) and all will be forgiven.
posted by bonehead at 5:52 PM on November 27, 2017

Reminds me a bit of the story Take Us to Your Chief by Drew Hayden Taylor which explores the similar "alien invasion as settler-colonialism" theme.
posted by Ashwagandha at 10:24 AM on November 28, 2017

Before I saw "Atwood" I was expecting the Twitter thread that I believe was posted on the @IndigenousXca account, along the lines of:

Imagine space aliens arrive, and at first they make contact, negotiate and trade. Then they declare they own Earth because it is un-governed, begin to set up colonies on earth, introduce diseases that kill half the people you know, begin shipping resources off-world, take everyone's kids and send them to alien school, etc. etc. etc.

What would 'reconciliation' after this look like?
posted by anthill at 1:21 PM on November 29, 2017 [1 favorite]

« Older BREAKING: Successful actress Meghan Markle to wed...   |   "Kentucky contains multitudes, our people contain... Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments