Tom Stangl

A disclaimer before we begin. Regular readers of this column know I am a fan of science fiction and movies. I also like to find rather obscure news stories to discuss with you. 

This is one of those columns.

I was reading headlines last week and came across a survey of people in Great Britain. The respondents were asked about who they thought would best deal with an alien invasion. Yes, an alien invasion.

The survey was commissioned by a British television service as part of a campaign to promote “UFO Week.” The survey also asked opinions about alien life.

So, who do you think folks in England believe will give humanity the best shot in defeating the alien hordes? None other than Arnold Schwarzenegger. The former Kalifornia governor and “Terminator” star was the top choice, followed by Will Smith who has “experience” dealing with alien invasions from the movie “Independence Day.”

Rounding out the top 10 were: 3. Sir David Attenborough; 4. Bruce Willis; 5. Tom Cruise; 6. Harrison Ford; 7. Sigourney Weaver; 8. Donald Trump; 9. Gillian Anderson and 10. Nicola Sturgeon, First Minister of Scotland.

There were 20 people cited in the study. The rest of the list included: 11. Chris Pratt; 12. Boris Johnson; 13. Piers Morgan; 14. William Shatner; 15. Simon Pegg; 16. Tommy Lee Jones; 17. David Duchovny; 18. Mel Gibson; 19. Kamala Harris and 20. Joe Biden.

I think it’s interesting that folks in the United Kingdom have more confidence in the First Minister of Scotland than they do in their Prime Minister Boris Johnson. Scottish independence has become a hot topic again since Brexit. 

But let’s be as real as we can be here about an alien invasion. If it’s something we have only heard about in books, films and television series, doesn’t it only make sense (as much sense as something like this can make) that we would turn to movie heroes?

I understand Schwarzenegger as the top choice. He played a killing machine in several movies and even grew to understand the value of human life in the sequels. If he’s a T-800 android, he’s probably your guy. Smith, Bruce Willis, Tom Cruise, Harrison Ford, Sigourney Weaver and even Mel Gibson have all been action stars, so they could kick some alien butt (if they have a butt).

I find it telling politicians are lower on the list. I think we all know they would do worse than the action stars.

So, who do you think could provide the leadership the world would need to beat back the aliens? 

Me? I think I would go with Patrick Stewart, who played Jean-Luc Picard in Star Trek: The Next Generation. He defeated the Borg, among the most nasty and tenacious aliens.

A bit over the top? Sure, but the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has posted guidance about what to do when the zombie apocalypse breaks out. Yes, the same CDC that tells you about how to avoid coronavirus has tips on what to do if the dead come back to life.

It turns out the CDC uses the humor of the zombie apocalypse to encourage people to stock up on their emergency supplies, advice that comes in handy at many different times.

Let’s hope we never have to confront the issue.

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