Posted by on Sep 30, 2012 in Blog |

Early on the morning of Aug 6th — Western Hemisphere Planet Earth time — NASA’s Curiosity rover landed on Mars.

Within hours Jay Bushman had launched a Twitter account called The Surface of Mars @surfaceofmars that had as its first tweet: “Whoa? What the hell just happened?” (Surface of Mars full story)

I was inspired to imagine the hapless commander of the remote martian army base in whose jurisdiction the rover had landed.

Thus was born Martian Commander, the netprov. I was joined in the composition by Catherine Winter and Liz Hughes (nice work, you two!). (Martian Commander on Twitter) It was a delight to tune in to the Twitter feed and try to figure out who was co-writing. Pure pleasure of netprov!

You can find the text below. (As always with Twitter archives, read from the bottom upwards.)

15 Aug martian commander @martiancomander
Why don’t they come out? Why don’t they SPEAK??
15 Aug martian commander @martiancomander
Worried. Do you think these army standard issues make my bolbalusa look fat?
15 Aug martian commander @martiancomander
I have to justify my leaving the office somehow. I know. I’ll tell ‘em it took a shot at me.
10 Aug martian commander @martiancomander
I think it’s seen me.
9 Aug martian commander @martiancomander
In case my “superiors” think I’m “paranoid”: http://www.theverge.com/2012/8/8/3228288/researchers-creating-hell-cell-microbe-that-could-survive-on-mars …
8 Aug martian commander @martiancomander
Speaking of parks, is that a park beyond Gale crater beside the Borges sea?
8 Aug martian commander @martiancomander
Geez, where did they learn to park?
8 Aug martian commander @martiancomander
So scared. Gonna fleem fleem my army-standard-issues.
8 Aug martian commander @martiancomander
Either I’m gonna be the first casualty or the Saviour of Mars. Look for me in yr kids’ history textbook…at their school named after me.
8 Aug martian commander @martiancomander
Vehicle’s out of the shop. Zipping out to Gale crater to try to make some personal contact with Earthcraft.
8 Aug martian commander @martiancomander
Hero’s notebook: Taking diplomatic initiative about this invasion, even tho superiors scoff! Just sent funding code to Earth Ambassador. FTW
8 Aug martian commander @martiancomander
Wait, a message! Are they trying to communicate?? Must contact HQ, it’s from the widow of a Nigerian ambassador!
8 Aug martian commander @martiancomander
Everything’s going to pieces, but wow, since that thing landed, my cell phone coverage’s never been better!
7 Aug martian commander @martiancomander
I enlisted for the free education credits and unlimited paltkwag!! Who knew the Earths would finally get it together??!
7 Aug martian commander @martiancomander
Sorry I lost my temper. But seriously, now I have to be the hero? Take on the invaders on my own? I got a D+ in Strat & Tactics. X%t!!
7 Aug martian commander @martiancomander
Yeah, I’m gender 4 and my first love was a gender 1!!!! And there’s a fricking Earth craft sitting in Gale Crater! Now I gotta b the hero?!
7 Aug martian commander @martiancomander
What? I can’t be a Commander in the Martian Army because I’m gender 4, muthax%r??! I recorded our call, dipwad! See ya @ yr court martial!!
7 Aug martian commander @martiancomander
Finally got someone at HQ to talk to me. They didn’t believe me abt the Earthcraft! I detected that dismissive attitude bcs I’m gender 4!!
7 Aug martian commander @martiancomander
Still on hold with HQ!?! What the x%k!?! Should I call again? Possibly lose my place in queue? I HATE this hold music!!
7 Aug martian commander @martiancomander
Still on hold. I’m ready w/full description of earth craft: ugly lil’ wheels, terrifying long neck and beady little head.
7 Aug martian commander @martiancomander
They’re probly getting a top general to talk with me. Can you say “promotion?” Still on hold.
7 Aug martian commander @martiancomander
Still on hold with HQ!! Did I not say “emergency?” Did I not say “BLUE alert”?? Did I not say “invading battle craft from earth”??? Hello?!
7 Aug martian commander @martiancomander
Finally back at base. Starving. On the blower with HQ to report the invasion from Earth. Still only 1 craft so far. They put me on hold!!
6 Aug martian commander @martiancomander
Just hoping the earth unit can’t smell blood.
6 Aug martian commander @martiancomander
Tripped and skinned three of my knees. Worst. Day. Ever.
6 Aug martian commander @martiancomander
Thank gnar for all the rocks. I found a private spot. But I don’t begin to grok what this little invader is up to
6 Aug martian commander @martiancomander
Need to go fleem fleem but feel observed by earthcraft. Suggestions?
6 Aug martian commander @martiancomander
Needless to say I’ve begun the long hike back to base. With no eats. Please don’t shoot me in the back, cowardly Earth craft! Why today?!
6 Aug martian commander @martiancomander
This is SO TYPICAL. Here I am looking at an invading space craft (which my ONLY JOB is to watch for) and my BLUE alert button is broken.
6 Aug martian commander @martiancomander
OK I am calmer now. It’s definitely not me. I remember how to use it. My BLUE alert button is x%ng BRO_KEN!!
6 Aug martian commander @martiancomander
I am SO regretting I slept through the BLUE ALERT training! How do I use this thing?! x%t! x%t! x%t! It probably saw me already i am screw%d
6 Aug martian commander @martiancomander
Oh, no! Oh, no! Oh, No! There’s there is a an ENEMY CRAFT in Gale x%ing crater! Wheels, head, it loks angry! Where’s my BLUE alert button?
6 Aug martian commander @martiancomander
Were there a “real” emergency back at the base right now, I’m quite a long walk away, you realize! THAT would be just my luck!
6 Aug martian commander @martiancomander
Look at me . . . “pursuing” my “mission” . . . whoop-de-paltkwag-do! Sandwich gone. still hungry.
6 Aug martian commander @martiancomander
And speaking of paltkwag what gives with this army issue stuff?! It’s fragisteem! No brown spots. No crunchy bits. It sux.
6 Aug martian commander @martiancomander
Long walk. I’ll need lunch and I’m entirely out of f*$% cheese for my paltkwag sandwich. Ideas??
6 Aug martian commander @martiancomander
You realize this means I’m missing Earth Olympics for about 5 hours! Why be an officer when you have no subordinates?! “Here” I “go!” Happy?
6 Aug martian commander @martiancomander
OK, alright! I’ll go out into Gale crater ‘w/out A VEHICLE’ and reassure everybody that there’s nothing there! Jeeminy Gnarmas!
6 Aug martian commander @martiancomander
Why do I always have to take care fo these things!!
6 Aug martian commander @martiancomander
Oh, dickschtick, I’ll bet it’s that imbecile spilling hot nawmuck on his controls again…
6 Aug martian commander @martiancomander
It’s monday morning for gnarsake! Can’t I at least finish my game of solitaire before I have to go out to fix the Gale crater false alarm?
6 Aug martian commander @martiancomander
Can you believe this!? My x%ng surface vehicle is in the shop for annual mandatory service. Gotta stop this Gale crater false alarm somehow
6 Aug martian commander @martiancomander
Note to self: In the future don’t p% off superiors and get stationed to gnarforsaken Gale Crater. False alarm bell drilling into brain!
6 Aug martian commander @martiancomander
Another f%ing false alarm out in Gale crater! Typical martian army equipment! I have so much paperwork to do this morning!