Michel de Montaigne’s Apologia for the Xenomorph

/ /

As the Cannibal was once misunderstood and gave us fright, so the Xenomorph with its armored body, ramrod tongue, acid blood. Are they monsters, horrible creatures to exterminate as Ripley the Amazon does with her bombs and bullets? Greed is more a sin than their instinct to reproduce, their calling to populate any planet they encounter. They are creatures beyond our understanding but not beyond the nature of another world, also created by God. Just as the wasp needs a caterpillar to reproduce, we are the Xenomorph’s host, womb, cocoon as its face hugger, born of egg, like a chicken’s or a crocodile’s, impregnates us in the mouth then gestates to be born from our chests, parturition, from the Latin partus, to give birth, but also partiri, to cleave, to split apart as our own young tear through the mother, such suffering caused by the Fall. To burst into life is immanent as sunlight and God’s love. The Xenomorph is innocent, a creature of instinct whose violence cannot be cruel, but our own violence is willful and evil. We call execution justice or war holy if done in God’s name. We kill our fellow animals to devour as something we call food, pull out their skin for clothes and shoes, cull their organs for aphrodisiacs. All living things in the universe have recourse to God.