The alien is a monster, but in my reading of it, I think the first time I saw it, I realised that I was that alien. You’ve got a company that’s out there mining, or whatever they’re supposed to be doing in space, and you’ve got two… it’s funny using this term in mixed company, but I have to because it’s the appropriate term – it’s two niggers. There’s the good nigger and the bad nigger. The good nigger is Yaphet Kotto, who works for the company, and the bad nigger is the alien. When they first start to confront this xenomorph, is when John Hurt is at the dinner table, eating, and he’s like, ‘I’m feeling fine’, and then suddenly he starts having this seizure until the alien, in its first permutated state, pops out of his chest. If you look closely, there’s this moment where the whole crew is pulling back, except for Yaphet Kotto, who’s pushing forward with a knife in his hand. I always felt that that moment, where the baby version of the alien and Yaphet Kotto are facing each other, is a moment of recognition. This was the brother who couldn’t be reasoned with; the brother who said, ‘No, I come to rape and pillage and procreate with you whether you want to or not.’ It’s a sort of primordial vision of Black people in a way.
actually @DannyL i got this answer completely wrong the first time around - here's what he actually says:Weird title though. What's that about? - "Love is the message" I get but don't know about the final sentence.
The title is a conflation of two things. On the one hand, it’s a conflation of this song, ‘Love Is the Message’, which is a house music anthem by MFSB (Mothers Fathers Sisters Brothers), and a story by James Tiptree, who was really a woman: Alice Sheldon. I like to say she was the Jimi Hendrix of science fiction, because in the early ’70s, when James Tiptree’s first stories appeared, it just rocked everybody, but nobody knew her. She wrote a story called ‘Love is the Plan, the Plan is Death’, and in my mind, I enjoyed collapsing those two together. The story itself is told from the perspective of a male member of an alien species, who, while fulfilling his cultural prerogative, is consumed by his progeny. He gets eaten at the end of the story. The title is therefore bound up with certain ideas I have around sacrifice. If you think of Martin Luther King, people treat his death as if it was an accident; they don’t contend with the degree to which he knew it was likely he was going to die. He made a profound sacrifice. I’m very curious about this idea of what it means to sacrifice oneself to a notion, to an idea, particularly when that idea is bound up with Black people’s survival.