About 6 months ago I heard of a new opera, and it has fascinated me ever since. Based on the short story ‘They’re made out of meat’ by Terry Bisson, this very short story records two aliens having a conversation about whether or not to make contact with the human race. But there is a challenge to overcome.
We are quite the enigma. They have an unthinkable, disgusting, perplexing, fundamental issue with us.
Is it that we’ve trashed the biosphere through overpopulation and over-consumption of the world’s resources, and these aliens have visited us as avenging angels like Klaatu in ‘The Day the Earth Stood Still’? Or is the problem that we wage war against each other? Is it our fundamental selfishness? Or is it maybe that we’ve still got such a long way to go technologically?
No. The great problem they have with us is that we’re made out of meat.
This short film adaptation feels like they’re about to burst into song, with one of the aliens looking like a Beatle from Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.
You’ll see what I mean. Two aliens meat — I mean meet — in a late night diner and discuss the planet they’re visiting. This is a slightly shortened adaptation, and the only grievance I have is an unnecessary F word.
But at least they kept the great line “They can even sing by squirting air through their meat!”
Another adaptation renders the ‘refuse contact’ discussion this way;
It seems harsh, but there is a limit! Do you really want to make contact with meat?
I agree 100% What is there to say!? “Hello meat, how is it going?” — But does this work?
I mentioned an opera? Yes! You can even hear “They’re made out of meat!” to the funky sounds of Broadway Jazz. You can hear a preview at The Fredösphere, or listen to the composer of the ‘Meat Opera’ on the Starship sofa podcast. It’s all good. It’s all meat.