I was reading She-Hulk (the sensational) and there was one point where an alien had been speaking to Jen Walters (She-Hulk) and attempted some spooky space-spell to get them out of a jam. The spell backfired and he was all “Oh jeeze I thought you were a Skrull!” and Jen was like “No, dude I’m a human, I’m just green because my idiot cousin Bruce Banner gave me a blood transfusion well after it was established that he was an irradiated gamma-monster!”
And the other person they were with raised her hand and said to the alien “Hey, what gives, you’ve already called Jen a human like five times this issue!” And the alien said “Well yeah, but all species basically call themselves ‘human’ in their own language.”
And it sort of got me thinking about all the indigenous people who have words for themselves that translate as “the people.” So our words to describe ourselves are as vague as our understanding of ourselves. We know what man’s inhumanity to man means, even though at face value the phrase is ridiculous.
Seriously, think about it. Is man even capable of being inhuman? Yes, but only because we have these odd connotations that fit into those letters that far outweigh all the words we have to describe them.
I’ve been working on a story concerning a woman who has been (heavily) modified to live on another planet, and whether or not she should still be considered human. Especially as she has never seen earth, and does not consider herself to be human. She has another word for herself, and of course, like that silly alien in She-Hulk, it basically means human, but not human like you.
I’m attempting to establish a committee to decide the meaning of humanity. It is flawed. It is a political monster that has other reasoning behind its decisions; that has made its decision before the hearing because there is too much to lose if humanity is defined. This story will not really be about defining humanity. I don’t really have it in me.
Also, I’m like, 27. Dude, I really don’t need to go setting down terms like that at 27. Yeah, I know I just wrote about writing beyond your reach, but… I’m already doing that by impersonating Jose Saramago in parts of this.
Anyway, stories are written to dance around the undefinable. No one is really right in this story. She is human and not. The committee is human and monster. I am for something and against it. The second I start to write to take a stand it ceases to be a story and becomes philosophy. There is nothing wrong with philosophy, I quite like it, but I’d rather be a story teller.
Alright, enough time wasted. Back to telling stories. (And reading She-Hulk.)