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July 11, 2005

Now that we've seen WOW...

Anyone slightly literate has a good chance of knowing the classic surprise twist H.G. Wells uses to end his book War of the Worlds.  Don't read any further if you haven't read the book/seen the movie.  Today's message is for folks who have seen the movies or read the book.

We were disappointed that Spielberg didn't deviate more from the original 1893 book and 1953 movie conclusions. The scene where the Martian hand protrudes from the tripod is lifted almost directly from the 50's film, although Spielberg did tone down Well's idea that the Microbes were part of creationist message of "God's wisdom."

In another moment I had scrambled up the earthen rampart and stood upon its crest, and the interior of the redoubt was below me. A mighty space it was, with gigantic machines here and there within it, huge mounds of material and strange shelter places. And scattered about it, some in their overturned war-machines, some in the now rigid handling-machines, and a dozen of them stark and silent and laid in a row, were the Martians--dead!--slain by the putrefactive and disease bacteria against which their systems were unprepared; slain as the red weed was being slain; slain, after all man's devices had failed, by the humblest things that God, in his wisdom, has put upon this earth.

The whole Martian use for blood thing did seem to be a great excuse to bring the story into the 21st century. Real missed opportunity that must have occurred to Spielberg and been dismissed. Consider the controversy if AIDS had actually brought down the Martians. Was the AIDS epidemic God's way of preparing Earth for the godless Martian invasion? Of course that would have been too thought provoking, not PC. And, at the end of the day, it would still all be fiction and AIDS still real.


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