A couple of months ago, I had this dream. [I know this is where most of you will probably tune me out, but I urge you to continue reading since we all know I’m infamous for weaving together profound insights on the human condition. This entry is no exception, despite this poorly constructed introductory paragraph.]
In this dream, I was an omniscient observer who was witnessing the destruction of Earth: think bombs and flames and apocalyptic warfare. At one point, a large airship descended from the heavens and hovered over one particular girl. A door on the ship opened and an alien emerged to address her, claiming that he and his cohorts were destroying the planet because we humans had royally fucked up our opportunity to be a productive species.
In their mercy, however, the aliens had also decided to repopulate a new planet with what they considered to be the human ideal. This girl had been hand-picked to serve as the blueprint for a new race. The aliens intended to manufacture a set number of beings with an identical behavioral/ethical makeup and then set them free to reproduce. These individuals would not have the same genetic code (in terms of appearance), but their predispositions, opinions, and general “ways of being” would all be hard-wired and then passed on to future generations. They did not explain why the girl had been chosen or what characteristics she possessed that made her “ideal.” She was very plain-looking and wore sweats and an oversized hoodie (we’re talking stereotypical WalMart clientele here, folks). She said nothing in response when these foreign beings informed her that she was effectively going to shape the future of the entire human race.
At this point, I of course woke up because my dreams are cruel and rarely allow me to see anything through to fruition. Upon waking, however, I immediately thought two things:
- I could totally pitch this story to Hollywood and make my first million as the writer for what will likely end up being a B movie starring Will Smith.
- How would things on that new planet actually pan out?
It is common knowledge that wars (and disputes in general) are caused by differences of opinion, be they religious, political or otherwise. But what if those differences were entirely eliminated? What if our beliefs were not a personal choice but were instead predetermined? Would we be able to peacefully coexist in a universal utopia?
I have my doubts. Dissention would find a way, if for no other reason than to propel society forward. Isn’t some kind of contention or discomfort necessary to obtain progress? Wouldn’t we just sit still otherwise? I have a hard time believing that the human race can actually maintain any kind of ethical or moral homeostasis. It seems too easy, which usually means that there is at least some room for error.
Regardless, I think it’s important to note that my proclivity for wearing sweats and oversized hoodies might actually make me a candidate for th Human Ideal, should our species receive a reboot designed by aliens. Sadly I think I’m in good company in that regard.