Author: Danny Robertson
Illustration: Mark Smith
Since time immemorial, there has been speculation, news stories, scientific research, literature of the fictional and non-fictional variety and some really bad straight-to-video movies, which all pondered and asked the question…. Are we alone in the universe? Are we, on our spinning blue and green ball of mostly water and spam mail, a biological fluke on a galactic scale, or, in some distant region, are there other planets of equally baffled races, with their own curiousness, their own need to know, their own brands of bad daytime TV?
Whilst I personally, quite reluctantly, would say that we’ll probably never truly know within our lifetimes, I would like to think that there are indeed hundreds, thousands, of other races out there, some making their first tentative steps into the unknown, others more advanced who are already boldly going, and others like us who just quite aren’t ‘there’ yet.
BUT, here’s the thing…. I’m not convinced there’d want to come down here….just yet. What if there are races out there, who are well aware that we’re here, but have decided NOT to come down for a spot of tea and a chat just yet, but have instead decided to wait another century or two (or more?) for us to stop blowing each other up, to stop shouting at each other over fences/radio waves/the internet, to maybe grow up a bit? In essence, we’re on time-out, placed in an intergalactic naughty corner at a safe distance from everyone else until we’ve decided to play nicely with the other children. It’s not bad town planning – we’re remote for a reason, still thinking about what we did.
Imagine being an observer on the other side of the stars – would you want to come down here? I personally would rather wait until a real-life Picard made themselves known. Rather him than Kirk. Shut up, Picard was better…. look see, now they’re never coming down.
That said, if they wait for us to hit ‘puberty’, so to speak, they’ll encounter an entire race of awkward folks with mood swings and strange clothes, listening to angry music that no one gets. Oh wait, has that already happened?
Imagine though, if they’ve been monitoring our ALL our satellite transmissions, film and TV included?
“Trev? Trev! I’m just going for a hover around that Earth place for a bit.”
“Fine, but cover your USB ports; you saw what happened to those other guys. Oh and get some milk.”
There could be aliens named Trev. You don’t know. I could’ve called him Flogglegargen, but that could be a terrible word in their language.
Whilst it’s safe to assume that any alien races out there watching us are already technologically superior, as far as communication and travel is concerned at least, here’s hoping they’ve progressed beyond the need for petty squabbles, one-one-upmanship and bragging rights for the biggest rocket boosters.
I bet they’d be great at Cards Against Humanity though.