UFO Conjectures

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Waiting for Godot or UFOs?

Copyright 2013, InterAmerica, Inc.
The revival of Beckett’s “Waiting for Godot” brought back to mind an earlier suggestion that the wait for a UFO explanation wasn’t far removed from the travails of Vladimir and Estragon in the absurdist play.

Without getting into the philosophical and dramatic ramifications of the play or Godot, those of you familiar with the protract theatrical skit know what I mean.

The two tramps, Vladimir and Estragon, wait longingly for the arrival of someone of something called Godot, who shall provide and answer to something, something that haunts the two men.

But Godot never arrives, and during the course of the wait, the tramps confront, sporadically, a messenger for Godot who is mysteriously circumspect:

“Godot cannot come today, but he will surely come tomorrow.” [Act I]

The tramps decide to leave (or do not):

Estragon: Well, shall we go?
Vladimir: Yes, let’s go.
(They do not move)

They engage in stoic patter:

Estragon: So long as one knows.
Vladimir: One can bide one’s time
Estragon: One knows what to expect.
Vladimir: No further need to worry.

They react as some ufologists do to the UFO phenomenon:

Estragon: I’m asking you if we are tied?
Vladimir: Tied?
Estragon: Ti-ed.
Vladimir: How do you mean tied?
Estragon: Down.
Vladimir: But to whom. By whom?
Estragon: To your man.
Vladimir: To Godot? Tied to Godot? What an idea! No question of it (pause) For the moment

Two characters, Pozzo (blind) and Lucky (dumb) – a slave owner and his slave – remind me of those who follow a UFO name only because it is a name, not because that name has every truly delineated the UFO mystery in any way.

The two show up over the course of Vladimir and Estragon’s wait.

Martin Esslen, in his book, The Theater of the Absurd [Anchor/Doubleday, NY, 1961] recounts Jungian psychologist Eva Metman’s take on the play:

“Godot’s function seems to be to keep his dependents unconscious.” In this view, Esslin writes, Godot (or as I see it, UFOs) “the hope, the habit of hoping (ufology’s mainstay) that Godot might come after all is the last illusion that keeps [the tramps] from facing the human condition and themselves in the harsh light of fully conscious awareness.” [Page 24]

Vladimir and Estragon talk incessantly:

Vladimir: You are right, we’re inexhaustible.
Estragon: It’s so we won’t think.
Vladimir: We have that excuse.
Estragon: It’s so we won’t hear.
Vladimir: WE have our reasons.
Estragon: All the dead voices.
Vladimir: They make noise like wings.
Estragon: Like leaves.
Vladimir: Like sand.
Estragon: Like leaves.
Vladimir: they all speak together.
Estragon: Each one to himself.

Vladimir: Rather, they whisper.
Estragon: They rustle.
Vladimir: They murmur.
Estragon: They rustle.
Vladimir: What do they say?
Estragon: They talk about their lives.
Vladimir: To have lived is not enough for them.
Estragon: They have to talk about it.
Vladimir: To be dead is not enough for them.
Estragon:  It is not sufficient.

(And so on, like UFO dialogues…)

The play is precisely existentialist, in the Jean-Paul Sartre sense.

But it applies as a template for the UFO journey and wait that most, if not all, UFO devotees are immersed in.

A UFO explanation is not forthcoming. Like Godot, the arrival is not to be.

That we, who involve ourselves in the UFO enigma, seem like Vladimir and Estragon, or like Pozzo and Lucky, is obvious to me.

The play, in its simple staging and odd dialogues, is a masterpiece of human folly, and a rubric about the study of UFOs.