Who would you choose to represent the human race

Lottie Limb 5 May 2015

The year is 2015. The month is May. The day of the month is the 7th. Earth finds itself in a War of the Worlds-style apocalyptic conflict with an infinitely more advanced alien species. These aliens are demanding our total surrender, the royal princess, all of the iPhones.

As part of the arbitration process we’ve offered them Princess Beatrice, along with the hat she wore at the royal wedding, all of the Samsung Galaxy phones, and Scotland. They appear temporarily appeased and have agreed to grant us a peace conference. We must urgently decide upon a representative for the human race, preferably by ballot system on a first-past-the-post basis, in a manner no way reminiscent of any kind of “general election”.

This is the serious question that the TCS features section is pondering this week. Whatever your suggestions might be, here are a few of our deeply-considered ideas, followed by the dubious, human-race endangering candidates proposed by our friends.

1. Richard Ayoade.

Pros: An obvious candidate. As anyone who’s seen that interview on Channel 4 news will know, Ayoade is an abrasive presence in 1-on-1 negotiation-like situations. Perfect. He charmed the hearts of our nation with his portrayal of Maurice Moss in the I.T. Crowd. Maybe the aliens could be persuaded to peruse a few episodes, laugh themselves into a state of vulnerability, giving the St. Catz alumnus the opportunity to strike in a carefully planned assassination attempt.

Cons: He may prove so endearing they take him from us indefinitely: a fate worse than total planetary destruction.

2. Michael Collins (the astronaut)

Pros: The third member of the Apollo 11 mission. Collins went all the way to the moon and then stayed in the spacecraft whilst Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin disembarked. He’s been waiting a long time for a second chance to seize the universal limelight; no one wants this slice of dangerous intergalactic diplomacy more than Michael Collins.

With all this considered, if Paxman were to proffer the question: “Michael Collins, are you tough enough?” his answer would most likely be: “Let me tell you, okay, let me tell you. Am I tough enous…enough? Hell yes I’m tough enough."

Humans would break out into rapturous applause as the aliens tremble.

Cons: When he arrives at the peace summit, instinct might kick in causing him to wait in his vehicle until proceedings are over. The driver has to step up, who turns out to be the psychotic serial killer from Season 1 of Sherlock. The aliens get cocky and lose in his twisted battle of wits. Earth is saved!

3. Mary Berry.

Pros: She has the appearance of a delightful grandmother, but in reality is a canny businesswoman and media personality who will crush their hopes and dreams of becoming amateur bakers by introducing them to the concept of the “soggy bottom”. She’ll manipulate them like she’s manipulated the entire of middle-class Britain into buying all of her shit.

Cons: She might be too busy promoting her latest book / TV show / homeware range in John Lewis / iPhone app / food product / movie to concern herself with the fate of our planet. Each PA contacted bounces you to another PA. You never get to Berry. Or she insists on bringing Paul along – all is lost.

4. King Joffrey Baratheon.

Pros: Heart-stoppingly handsome. A thoughtful, wise and brave leader of the Seven Kingdoms. The kind of guy you’d invite over for lunch and would make witty tea-table conversation.

Cons: Fictional.

Image credit: Mock Censorship via YouTube. The face to relaunch a thousand spaceships.

Ok, so those are just a few of our excellent ideas. In the interests of fairness and democracy, we decided to listen to the opinions of some ‘real, hard-working people’, who live ‘real’ lives and are definitely ‘real’, in a very real sense. I mean, yes, it looks like we really have things covered already, but a few suggestions couldn’t hurt. Here’s what they said, followed by our measured analysis of the pros and cons involved in their selection.

A. Stephen Hawking.

Pros: Extremely intelligent, world-renowned physicist, academic, author, sitcom actor. 

Cons: Are you kidding us? What does this guy know? Joffrey for the win.

B. Emma Thompson.

Pros: Excellent communicator. Highly intelligent Cambridge graduate. Well-known for extensive charity work.

Cons: Nanny McPhee vs. the aliens? Sounds like a great summer blockbuster, sure, but this is gritty politics. Joffrey’s got this.

C. Jacques Derrida.

Pros: Profoundly influential philosopher who could deconstruct the alien army into submission. Also, as real person (and 4th year MML student) Adam Patel points out, this perilous mission would in fact be a kindness to Derrida, allowing him to realize his own personal dream of meeting ‘the Other’.

Cons: Nice one Adam, but we've got no idea what you're talking about. What's Derrida? And who's the Other? The Other what? That doesn't make any sense.

D. Angela Merkel.

Pros: World leader who guided Europe through international financial crisis.

Cons: Not Joffrey.

I think what we've decided is that crowd-sourcing our ideas was a terrible waste of everyone's time.

But what's the real moral of this tale? We're not entirely sure, but we think it has something to do with democracy and voting.

Figure it out for yourself.