So, the United Nations has taken upon itself the duty of greeting our extraterrestrial friends, should they ever show up. And they’ve already selected the perfect Earthling to handle the task: Malaysian astrophysicist Mazlan Othman.
Dr. Othman herself had this to say: “When we do [receive signals from extraterrestrials], we should have in place a coordinated response that takes into account all the sensitivities related to the subject. The UN is a ready-made mechanism for such coordination.”
Coordinated, sensitivities, mechanism. Gotcha.
In actuality, the office is probably more of a think tank than anything else. A sort of ‘if flying saucers land on your territory, here’s what we suggest you do,’ not a ‘shut up and let us handle it, dumbass.’
Still, one can’t be blamed for assuming the latter, can one?
The UN has been getting too big for its britches for quite a while now. I’d offer examples, but then I’d feel obligated to provide links, and I don’t have time right now. Just take my word for it. The UN should be a place where nations can get together and talk about stuff, or where people like Othman use their expertise to provide guidance (not orders) to members who need it.
But it isn’t that. It has very gradually claimed increasing powers over member states (again, examples later, perhaps). Rosett has chronicled some of this. A cynical reaction to this latest news is to be expected.
In short, we’ve been conditioned to expect the UN to choose it’s own prerogatives, and then to insist upon them. Shall we assume they aren’t doing the same thing now?
Let’s just hope it doesn’t work out like this:
I love that movie. Will the UN ban hippies? Signs point to no.
[*Full disclosure: I am predisposed to believe every single word Claudia Rosett says. If she looked me in the eye and told me that “A Boy And His Dog” was the greatest movie ever, I would rethink the matter.]