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  • kjoannerixon

This Way to Paradise

This Way to Paradise did not light me on fire, to be honest. Aliens come to earth, disappear a large set of humans in an ineffable way, girl and family travel on foot in the mountains, there are some soldiers, girl talks with the aliens and gains some hope that the disappeared might still be alive and happy and waiting for her, on some other planet. Cute, but not a super surprising story in any way.

It reminded me of two interesting things, though: Fred Clark's takedown of the Left Behind books, and all of Rapture theology. Clark taught me that, "They're in a better place now," is what we say about dead people--there is no such thing as getting to heaven without dying. There is no functional difference between the Rapture and mass murder. So, that principle probably colored my feelings about this story.

The other thing I thought about in response to this story is the tactic of disappearing certain members of a population in order to control the whole population. In Argentina, they call these people los desaparecidos, the disappeared. Here in the US, ICE tells lawyers for the detained that they have no obligation to inform them when ICE moves a detainee. In the story, the aliens mean well? maybe? At least they don't seem to be trying to control the population with threats of further disappearances. At least our alien overlords are ineffable.



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