Finally after reading Humans Are Space Orcs posts for weeks, I’ve thought of something applicable. So: you know how humans celebrate bad creative works? I’m not talking popular vs. “high-brow” culture, I’m talking media that is recognized as and is sometimes intentionally created to be sub-standard, campy, or otherwise ridiculous. What if we’re the only species that does that? The only species with the concept of “so bad, it’s good.” Like, while we’re getting together in groups to experience the chainsaw-wielding beauty that is Sharknado, all other species only broadcast and consume the best of what they can create.
And then imagine what would happen when another species is confronted with what they think is human “art.”
T’Dahx’s feelers clicked nervously as the names of humans began rolling up the screen. They very much wanted to make a good impression on Human Laura. She had been so kind to invite them into her home and they had been excited to experience this example of Human “motion pictures.” But T’Dahx had also been expecting…more.
“So?” Human Laura asked, her face contorting into that teeth-bared expression T’Dahx had begun to recognize as joy. “What did you think?”
Oxygen rushed through T’Dahx’s tracheae as they tried to formulate a response. Their wings fluttered.
“The Human Joe Marshall…” they started. “He is both a cop…and a samurai?”
Human Laura had explained that “cop” was a colloquialism for a civil crime-prevention officer and a “samurai” was a member of a warrior caste from the region of Japan.
Human Laura resonated her vocal chords in that odd way that humans did when they were amused.
“Yeah, he is,” she said. “I mean, it’s so stupid, right?”
T’Dahx had been thinking a similar thought several moments earlier, but it did not stop them from recoiling in shock.
“Human Laura!” they said, “You speak so, about your art?”
The two stripes of hair on Human Laura’s brow moved closer to each other, but she did not stop her resonations.
“Art?” she said. “Samurai Cop is not - well, I guess it is art. In a way. But it’s not good art.”
T’Dahx cocked their head, feelers clicking in confusion now.
“I do not understand. Good art?”
“Well, it’s not Shakespeare, or Langston Hughes or anything,” Human Laura said. “They’re quality. Samurai Cop is just kind of terrible.”
“You…intentionally consume subpar art?” T’Dahx asked. “You do not dispose of it?”
Human Laura shook her head.
“Oh, hell no,” she said. “I mean, there’s something glorious about something as ridiculous as Samurai Cop or Plan 9 or Sharknado. They’re so…” she thought for a moment. “Good at being bad.”
T’Dahx stared at their host. “You are saying you preserve art such as this because it…excels at its mediocrity?”
Human Laura nodded. “That’s a good way of putting it.”
“I have never heard of such a thing.” T’Dahx was still confused, but suddenly relieved as well. They would evidently not insult their host by discussing the faults of Samurai Cop. “Fascinating.”
“Want to see the sequel?”
“They made two?”