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Emma Goldman: A Biography for Space Aliens

Marissa Lingen is a freelance writer living in the Minneapolis suburbs with two large men and one small dog. She has sold over one hundred works of short fiction, including some documents for other Earthlings to read at Daily Science Fiction.
The Notable Earthlings series is brought to you by Gronklorf and Fizzoom. Gronklorf and Fizzoom's Notable Earthlings! Buy the whole set for your spawn!
Emma Goldman was born in one imperial Old Earth unit and moved to another before the imperial Old Earth units began their variable temperature conflicts of the period before they managed to personally exit the orbit of their own satellite. Goldman personally did not leave the surface of the planet or meet with any non-Earthlings. Of the dominant Earthling species and genders, she is primarily identified with human and female (young-bearer; mammalian).
Humans are not a species that enjoy feffelwormp. Life without feffelwormp allowed her to focus completely on balardun, when she was not distracted by kin group mediation, which Earthlings also call politics. Kin group mediation took up much of her time, ending the career of this promising balardunist.
Galactically, Goldman's most famous contribution to Earth civilization was her articulation of a principle which Earthlings had not previously known: "If your overdue violent change of kin group mediation does not involve healthful artistic motion, I wish for a different violent change of kin group mediation." This elementary principle, akin to the basic energy-mass radiation articulated on Earth by Albert Einstein, was the first point of understanding with the Iffledoopers when first contact was made in 8877 (Earth year 2178 CE). The Iffledoopers, with some relief, could see that the focus on healthful artistic motion was shared by the violent and disturbing Earth races, and progress was made toward Galactic Accord B64D23 (Regarding Earth: The Goldman Conjectures).
In her own time, Goldman was not nearly so well regarded, many times being deprived of movement and property acquisition temporarily due to her kin group behavior. Kin group leaders of her time referred to her as an individual with the hypothetical potential to bear young and cause great social changes in many directions, which is so self-evident that one wonders why Earthlings bother to make many of the noises they make. She was also deemed to make a religion of not being bound by traditional kin-group mediation strictures, which again seems self-evident.
Among her social change vectors were the idea that bearers of young should be able to make affirmative decisions regarding number of young, including declining the role and choosing female-non-bearer gender socialization, which almost did not exist at the time. We must bear in mind that Earthlings now regard these decisions as trivial! At the time, however, it was a source of great controversy that Goldman believed young-bearers rather than fertilizers, random chance, or Theo-philosophical constructs [SEE ALSO: Gronklorf and Fizzoom's guide to Theo-philosophical constructs of the Centauri-Proximate Systems! Inform your spawn today!] should determine number of young. At the time, however, females were somewhat deprecated. While Goldman herself had mates towards whom she felt apparently strong affection, inasmuch as Earthlings can ever be said to feel such a thing, she despaired of other females finding similar partnership, with or without spawn, in ways that would not involve deletion of character elements. (Note that this is metaphorical or interpersonal as the Yang-Gutierrez Process was not perfected until 117 years after Goldman's death.)
Other deprivations of movement were caused by Goldman informing other Earthlings that their kin groups could not put them in proximate danger of death or hideous dismemberment. This was not technically true; at the time, kin groups had exactly such power. However, she indicated that such power could be thwarted. Kin groups did not wish their affines to behave in such a way and deprived Goldman of movement to prevent this. Eventually affines discovered that this was indeed true and formed larger movements, in which more Earthlings also became deprived of movement.
Given these things, it will surprise no contemporary Galactic reader that in her lifetime, Goldman opined, "The most violent element in interactions of Earthlings is ignorance," and "An Earthling said that our brains function more optimally smashing others without analysis than analyzing." This last statement should be taken as one of frustration and not as a literal neurological diagnosis of Earthling behavior; no prejudice against Earthling brains should accrue based on their own history. Spawn of other races should consider that Earthlings very rarely, for example, ate the brains of their compatriots or sneezed deliberately on their ancestors' corpses before they judge the foibles the Earthlings did engage in.
Goldman also spent time composing documents for other Earthlings to read and engaging in healing activities within the limitations of medicine on Earth at that time and place. She promoted the education of spawn, not only in her own kin group but in others also. While her ancient birth place and time limited what she could accomplish to kin group or planetary rather than galactic scale, her insights are a valuable contributor to heirloom Earth culture and even to intergalactic culture to this day.
Indeed, the statement, "I would rather have pleasant mildly scented plants to accompany a meal than adorn my person with the tips of mining tools," is wisdom that, while eccentric, is hard to dispute.
Gronklorf and Fizzoom! Illuminating the many races of the galaxy for young minds!
The End
This story was first published on Monday, October 20th, 2014


One of my favorite facets of writing alien cultures is how they would regard ours differently. Emma Goldman is a fascinating and currently underregarded figure, and I got to thinking about an entire biographical series from a perspective very much askew from ours. My father and I had a habit of rewording songs and aphorisms on the fly when I was a kid, and these aliens grew from that old game.

- Marissa Lingen

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