I was invited to a Halloween party on October 31 but couldn’t attend. I went to Goodwill for a costume, intending to go as 650 thousand emails; but there wasn’t anything suitable. There was nothing ready-made, and no time to be creative. So I stayed home and listened to the ambulances and police cars sounding in the distance. It was probably better that way. No risk of poisoned candy.

G. Sallust[1]

OK, we admit it. The recent blog, called “Halloween,” was a spoof. The Angel Brrknk did not contact us; no outside Consortium took control of Elemental Zoo Two; and G. Sallust did not rescue us, because, among other things, we don’t know how to reach him. So don’t worry; it was all a joke, and a pretty good one at that. For those of you who don’t agree, say, for example, the ones who think that Satan is all too active these days[2], and capable of anything, let me assure you: He’s not here, at least not today. I checked for the standard indicia of demonic possession[3]and our staff don’t show any of those. Trust me on that.

This is Fred, by the way. So what inspired the goofy style of the Angel’s lectures? Well, it was a really bad movie I watched once in the long-ago, the second-worst sci-fi movie ever, Plan Nine from Outer Space.[4]  I think of it as second worst, mostly because I know that there were lots of really bad ones, and thought that one might be even worse, but surely not more than one! A really bad movie squanders valuable resources, and  Plan Nine had the immortal Bela Lugosi, in his last movie role ever; what other piece of film crud could say that?

The script was breathtakingly stupid. Aliens from outer space were upset with us because we ignored them and they wanted to talk. It was important. Later we shot at their flying saucers, with no effect. So they raised our dead from their graves, to march them on the Earth’s capitals. Today we might say they created an army of zombies. For a plot summary, see the film clip at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gK4olkFGJrw .

The acting – except for Lugosi’s, and he didn’t talk – was deplorable. Vampira rose from the dead, created a zombie with Bela, and then mostly posed in a cemetery for the rest of the film. And when others tried to act, oh my! If you watch this thing, take a close look at the scene where local detectives un-holster their guns. One of them uses a revolver to scratch his head, points it at other cops for emphasis, and then points it off camera to show the way to the next scene. Apparently the cop actors were told to do all of that. Definitely not NRA sanctioned, even then!

Surely, I thought, no movie could be much worse than Plan Nine! So I used it as my paradigm for Angel Brrknk’s dialog. But sadly I was wrong. A later YouTube survey turned up a boatload of dreck, some of it even more dreadful[5] than Plan Nine. I won’t go into the ugly details, but if you search Plan Nine on You Tube, you’ll see lots of other recommendations. Go to them at your own risk!

Anyway, I didn’t change over to one of the even worse models because I was already committed to the style of Plan Nine and most of Brrknk’s part was written. So Brrknk continued to talk like a human narcissist in a bad movie, even though he [or she] is supposed to an insect or a lobster, or whatever. Perhaps next time I’ll try something different.

But enough of that! Let’s talk politics. We all know Donald Trump is President-Elect of the United States. But have you ever thought about how closely the campaigns that led to this mirrored the plot line of Plan 9? Of course, neither Party was controlled by space aliens, I hope; but both were fascinated by the prospect of reanimating things long dead. Some Republicans, for example, were hell bent on reviving the sex scandals, real or imagined, of Bill Clinton. He left the Presidency 16 years ago. Democrats, on the other hand, put their microscopes on the sayings and alleged antics of Donald Trump, a famous admirer of women, to prove that, back in the day, he was really a dis-respecter of the opposite sex.[6]

We’ve touched on this in the past. Bill Clinton’s alleged peccadillos aren’t important today; the transgressions are old, his and not his wife’s, and she was the one running for office this time; and in any case were unlikely to affect her ability to be President today. The various allegations against Donald Trump are just that – allegations; they’re not proved, but implicate events of many years ago; mostly involve talk, not action; and don’t affect his ability to solve today’s problems. For you who forget, our current problems involve war and peace, economic stagnation, foreign trade and treaties, plagues, global warming, diplomacy in some very tough neighborhoods, and so forth.

So in my view a great deal of energy was spent discussing matters that weren’t relevant to today.[7] Well, “what about the emails?” you might ask. No doubt you would be referring to Hillary Clinton’s emails, some of which were kept on a private server, or on various other devices, and part of which are known to have been destroyed by her or people who worked for her. The problem is that while emails can be destroyed, they also exhibit zombie behavior. They can rise from the dead, or emerge from nooks and crannies throughout the Clinton Operation, at the most embarrassing times. This, of course, is exactly what happened when 650 thousand of them were found on a computer owned by the husband of one of Mrs. Clinton’s key aides.

So what’s in those emails? Who knows? We’re told[8] that, based on a computerized review of the data, none of them seem to imply a connection between the Clintons and violations of the Federal Espionage Act.[9] So are there other federal criminal statutes that might come into play? Basically we haven’t been told – officially – and so we don’t know. But I’m sure we’ll find out at one point or another.

Why are there so many emails, zombie or otherwise, still out there? G. Sallust answered that a while back. In a nutshell, he said, Washington DC, inside the Beltway is a multi-ring circus, but not a complicated one. It’s a flea circus[10]. And there’s one thing about fleas that you can always depend on. They’re predictable[11] and prolific. And where fleas live there is also flea dirt. It’s a natural by-product of the flea’s existence.

In human bureaucracy the organization is the metaphorical equivalent of a large animal, say a dog or large cat, ready to pounce. And the bureaucratic equivalent of the flea is, naturally, the loyal [or disloyal] staff. As fleas produce flea dirt, staff create emails. They have to communicate with one another, impress one another, or the boss, and so forth. The larger the staff the more emails they produce. It’s a law of nature. And once staff begin to write each other, who knows what they will say?

So that’s why last Halloween G. Sallust wanted to dress up as 650 thousand emails. It was the scariest costume he could think of in a political year. But if he wanted to do it right, he should have made a further refinement. He should have asked Goodwill, or whatever source he chose, to separate the zombie emails from the ones that were still supposed to be alive. That would have been really scary!

[1] G. Sallust cannot be reached. This is my translation of a phone conversation we had the other day. He called me.

[2] See, e.g., rtv6 (abc), Pelton, Brownsburg priest who performs exorcisms says the number of people requesting them is on the rise (November 1, 2016) available at http://www.theindychannel.com/news/local-news/brownsburg-priest-who-performs-exorcisms-says-the-number-of-people-requesting-them-is-on-the-rise

[3] I’m not a real theologian, so I used Wikipedia as my reference. See the Wikipedia entry on Demonic possession, available at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demonic_possession .

[4] Lucky you, today it’s available (for free!) on YouTube, at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6QX0txX4F4E .

[5] See, e.g., The Wizard of Mars (1965), available at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pQIuqg-WCyA ; there’s a version with better production values, known as Horrors of the Red Planet (1965), available at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wjRWVpA60h4. Both starring John Carradine and the plot is pretty much the same. Also, for a change of pace take a look at The Revenge of the Teenage Vixens from Outer Space (1985), available at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YAaQm9HXs2U

[6] Let’s not get into the difference between sex and gender, and how many genders there might be; that’s beyond the scope of this little piece. Perhaps somebody will get into it at a later date.

[7] See the blog of 10/16/2016, The Horserace, available at https://opsrus.wordpress.com/2016/10/16/the-horse-race/

[8] See Fox News/Politics, FBI’s Comey tells Congress email review completed, decision not to prosecute Clinton stands (November 6, 2016), at http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2016/11/06/fbi-sends-letter-to-congress-saying-email-review-completed-decision-not-to-prosecute-clinton-stands.html

[9] See 18 U.S.C. § 792 et seq. We’re not dealing with it, so for a quick reference take a look at the Wikipedia entry at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Espionage_Act_of_1917

[10] See the blog of 08/28/2016, A Note on Fleas and Old Blogs, available at https://opsrus.wordpress.com/2016/08/28/a-note-on-fleas-and-old-blogs/

[11] See the blog of 11/04/2016, Bribery, at https://opsrus.wordpress.com/2016/11/04/1352/