Radio signals could be signs of extraterrestrial life. But, with Brexit and Trump, could they have chosen a worse time to call?
Earlier this week, astronomers announced that they had observed repeated bursts of radio waves coming from deep space, with some experts suggesting this could be evidence of alien life. Is this it? Could extraterrestrials finally be trying to contact us? I hope not.
Let me provide an analogy, and I think you’ll see what I mean.
A few years ago I was celebrating landing a new job. After a long string of terrible events, this was to be a glorious new chapter in my life. I rang my girlfriend and told her I had a surprise for her when she got home. I started to cook a celebratory curry.
At some point I forgot that I had just been chopping chillies and went to the toilet without washing my hands first. This involved the transfer of chilli to what a medical professional would later describe as the remains of my genitals. Drunk on success and alcohol, I’d made a poor decision, and now my penis and balls were on fire.
The next bad decision came moments later, when I remembered that yoghurt helps cool down your mouth when you’ve been eating hot food. I was urgently easing the affected area into a family-sized tub of natural yoghurt when my girlfriend and several of her colleagues walked in. This was supposed to be my night of triumph, and now here was my girlfriend giving me that withering “I left you alone for 10 minutes, why are your balls in the Yeo Valley” look.
Reader, that is what it would be like for humanity if aliens, thus far the aloof bastards of the universe, chose the current moment to get “chatty”. There’s Brexit, there’s Trump, there’s Ed Sheeran.
Couldn’t they have shown up during the 2012 Olympics or when Britpop was at its height? Better yet, when Shrek 2 was first released. Apparently not. They want a chinwag with humanity right when we’ve collectively decided to dip our testicles in the Müller Light.
Humanity is at its lowest, most embarrassing ebb. Sure, it’s not like we’ve got a brilliant track record. War. Pollution. Finding a new species of exotic animal and twatting it to death on the off chance that it’s tasty. But right now we’re in a place where we’ve reviewed all those past mistakes, learned from them, and decided to do a live-action remake of every last pratfall on humanity’s blooper reel. We’re a species that has realised we’re going to die of global warming – and have decided to burn the old fossil fuels more than ever.
Radio waves take time to travel through space, I understand. Who knows, maybe watchful aliens did see us turn a corner during the 1950s and decided to send out a message of friendship, not realising that the message would be answered 70 years later by President Trump: a man we can’t trust not to try and phone-bang the aliens during first contact.
Here’s hoping those mysterious bursts are just noise. Even so, we need to figure a way out of our various messes pronto, before aliens do contact us for real. Because at some point they’re going to ask scientists to “take me to your leader”, and there’s only so many times we can pretend we’ve lost the signal because Jupiter’s in the way.
If they end up talking to Trump they’ll think they’ve found a planet devoid of intelligent life; if it’s Theresa May, there’s a risk they’ll do whatever the alien equivalent of nuking the crap out of us is, in an attempt to destroy the most patently evil artificial intelligence they’ve ever seen.
The timing of this potential message is so suspiciously bad, in fact, that if it is aliens I’m questioning their motives. It’s pretty obvious at this point their only aim is to point and laugh at the Earthlings during our worst moment of humiliation in some sort of horrible interdimensional version of You’ve Been Framed.
In short: if they have shown up , then as far as I’m concerned, they can sod off again. Sorry lads, you’re breaking up.
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