Demons or Aliens?

The Wrong Cocktail Bar (detail)
The Wrong Cocktail Bar (detail)

There’s a blog which claims:
“In 1985, engineer and inventor George R. Simpson was visited by extraterrestrial presence. He was told that there was a hidden language embedded in the English Language, and it was his job to discover the decoding structure (rules) and tell it to the world.” And that, more or less, is what the site is about. It’s a bit odd:

I had an email from George, he said the same thing, and very politely and enthusiastically asked permission to use one of my drawings at the top of his blog. Permission which I granted. Now, the funny thing is that lately a couple of people have alerted me to the fact that he is using my image on his blog – It’s very easy to trace me – it has my name in the corner of the image. Curiously, though, the people were both under the impression that I would not want my pictures associated with the content of this site.

My picture on this site is of demons in a bar, drinking cocktails. In the centre an elderly gent sits and drinks his pint, and pretends he hasn’t noticed that he’s surrounded by demons drinking cocktails, and tries in vain to give every impression that he meant to be here all along and that he’s definitely in the right bar and hasn’t made a mistake. It is, in a way, a picture about the futility of such face-saving gestures: in reality, the man knows the demons aren’t fooled. He is quite aware that the demons think that it is highly amusing that he continues to sit there, but to leave without finishing his pint would be to have to admit these things to himself.

George may or may not have been visited by aliens, I may or may not believe a word of it. However, I am curious as to why people are concerned that I should not want my drawing associated with such a strange website.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I am grateful to people who are concerned for infringement of copyright, and I mean no offence to those who emailed :-), but I actually think that the picture is rather appropriate to the blog.

Is there really much difference between demons and aliens? Back in the mists of time things that could not be explained: strange appearances and happenings, were put down to the doings of demons… or angels or fairies and so on. Now we are brought up with less religion and more science (speaking for my own society here), and we also know that we inhabit one small round rock in a universe of round rocks, fiery things, big blobs of gas, and a shed load of particles that ought to be there but we can’t seem to find. So it is unsurprising that we begin to see aliens instead of demons. Aliens are in fact our modern day demons, angels and fairies.

Now, I’m an atheist. On this basis, messages from aliens are far more plausible than messages from demons. I find it reasonable to believe that of course there are aliens, somewhere, but I’m not going to make any judgements over whether anyone has actually met them. In my pictures I make things up all the time, backed up by no evidence weirder than the behaviour of actual people. You could ask why I don’t paint aliens. The thing is, demons have style and a nice gloss of antiquity, and occasionally better dress-sense. And I never claimed to be a modern artist!

Postscript: In checking with George Simpson that he was ok that I wrote about this, I find that he no longer believes the messages are from aliens anymore. Apparently they are from God. Well, that’s disappointing. Perhaps George has been upsetting people, and that is why people email me, however, he still has permission to show my picture and he was still very nice about my artwork!

Of course it’s always possible that the aliens are just messing with George’s mind…

The Wrong Cocktail Bar
The Wrong Cocktail Bar

One Comment

  1. lori gomez

    can i buy this one?

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