Sometime in the late 70s I remember watching Alien at a West End cinema. A space crew receives a distress call, and as they sit down to eat their no doubt well-earned grub they’re unexpectedly joined by a testy little monster bursting out of John Hurt’s chest.
The shit really rains down when the Facehuggers show up. Prising them off someone’s face just delays the inevitable and the only sensible solution, as Ripley so eloquently put it, was to the nuke the shit out of planet LV-426, just to be sure, and by Alien version 2, 4 or 81 they did. The Weyland-Yutani Corporation’s ‘perfect creation’ was lost.
Only it wasn’t, at least not to Earth. Facehuggers are everywhere. Digital Facehuggers.
They lurk in your bag, in your pocket, in your car and in your home. But mostly they are on selfie sticks, pointing at people’s gurning faces while standing in front of some tourist attraction, at nights out with their same vacuous, selfie-loving friends or just used to ramp up their karma or like scores.
On the whole, my attitude is this: if your ego is so fragile that it needs regular selfie injections then please crawl back into your safe space and keep dreaming about unicorns, snowflakes and your next ‘like’ moment. But there comes a point where my angerlocator starts pinging at an alarming rate. This usually happens when, for some prat, it is really, really important to share their selfie image with their imbecile selfie-sharing pals. Why look and admire the works in the Uffizi when you can selfie yourself instead? Here’s looking at me, kid.
Look Mum, here’s one of my arse pointing at the Birth of Venus. And speaking of art, who can forget DomDebastioGate? The need of a 24-year-old moron to hug a 16th century statue for a selfie. Way to go. Except it didn’t. It toppled and smashed into pieces. Mr Selfie was alright though, more’s the pity. But this pales into insignificance when compared to Parsons Green and Heidenheim. So, please be my guest as I lead you down the selfie rabbit hole.
Parsons Green Underground station, where some of the victims of a terrorist bomb, which thankfully failed to explode properly, just had to take in-carriage selfies. Yes, that’s right, next to a bomb. Which had failed to explode properly. Think about it, what is the first thing that would run through your mind? Take a selfie or run like fuck?
The mind really boggles, but the Heidenheim biker accident takes it to another level. For one nutter it was more important to obstruct an ambulance crew to film a dying biker than render any sort of help. No doubt selfie aficionados are already able to watch the footage on some ghastly it’s in the public interest-type website. And then like it, because sharing is after all caring. And in the interest of karma, I hope when they apprehend the appalling shit they ram what is left of the bike up his arse. Selfie this, you fuckwit.
I recently scrolled through a Reddit picture forum and it brought up an iPhone Facehugger image as a joke about Apple fanboys and girls. Clever, I thought, and scrolled on. But it got me thinking about the total hold that mobile phones have over us. Unlike Jacob Rees-Mogg, most people use their phone as a phone, camera, web surfing, for emails or to send texts. It’s highly likely that their comforting little hugger, comfortably hugged to their face, ear or hand dominates their life 24/7.
What the fuck happened? They are everywhere. Every time I use public transport almost everybody is desperately checking their feeds, texts, faecesbook or twitterati just in case something has happened over the last 30 seconds they may have missed. And as for eating and phone surfing? But I’m straying off course and icebergs are just so 1912.
There’s an addendum to my first Alien film experience. I watched it a second time. With my new girlfriend. That pesky little monster scene did not go down well with her. But worse was to come. When I fessed up that I had seen the film before she turned from calm into Alien Queen, because “you should have warned me”. It was not a pretty sight. Nor is the future.
Evolution is a fact, unless you are in Kentucky, where Ark building is the new whittling. I can imagine a future where babies emerging into life will be birth selfie-ing, that is a word right?, and sharing it with the day’s maternity output, before the midwife has even chopped off their placentas. And after that? That first breast experience, the first shoulder vomit, the first shit filled nappy selfie and so on, ad infinitum, until selfie death do us part.
Welcome to the future.
I know I am muddling up my films, but be afraid, be very afraid.