skyline vs. plausibility

I wanted to put down a few pre-emptive thoughts on Skyline. Caution: the website is slow. Which is appropriate, because in this day and age slow = bad and (this is a bit like premature ejaculation in terms of the point of this post) Skyline = bad.

Let me just point out that I haven’t actually seen the film. So I am willing to concede that these points may be null and void. This is merely to make some observations based on the trailer.

#1 The In-General Fucking Retarded Nature of the Plot

Remember Cloverfield? Yeah, me too. Sorry for reminding you. I enjoyed the bit in that film where Marcetta (was it?) exploded. That was a good laugh. I may have run around throwing water-balloons filled with Ribena at people and shouting, “We’ve got a bite!” for a couple of days after that.

The rest of the film was on the Jimmy Savile side of the ‘twattishly stupid’ line.

And it looks like Skyline might just be about to make it an idiot threesome. A Savile sandwich. Whatever you want to call it.

#2 Is C Constant? Not According to Skyline

You’re familiar with C. You may not realise it, but you are. It’s the speed of light. And it’s constant. Well, it may not be, according to João Magueijo, who – I’m willing to concede – knows a lot more about this than me.

However, I doubt that the writers of Skyline are familiar with him, or his excellent book Faster Than the Speed of Light. The point is that the general consensus is that C is pretty much constant, at least in this area of the universe at this moment in time.

In August 2009 a message was sent into space farther than we ever thought possible.

Well. Space. We don’t know how big it is, so far as I know, although we do know a minimum value. So it’s already pretty dumb to say “farther than we ever thought possible”. I mean, how far would that be, exactly?

That’s the least of my worries. The maximum rate of the transportation of information is C. Teleportation, you say? Well, there is evidence that even entanglement struggles to allow us to transmit information faster than C. There was a New Scientist article about this that you can go look up if you’re interested. I can’t be bothered.

So how far could this message have got? Let me put it plainly. It was sent about a year ago. So it could only have gone one lightyear.

That’s less than a quarter of the way to the nearest star.

Perhaps the aliens live in our cosmic backyard? They are like giant evil Dyson Backyardigans. That would make it slightly more plausible that they received our message.

Except a) they explicitly live further away than we ever thought possible (Seriously, how far is that? A squibdegillion miles?) and b) if they did live within one lightyear of us they would presumably have noticed our extensive radio-wavelength broadcasting some time ago.

#3 They Eat Humans

So they have the necessary technology to traverse longer distances than we ever fucking well thought possible (Seriously, I can’t get over that one: what about fucking infinity? Infinity to the power of infinity? How fucking far are we talking here?) but they can’t synthesise protein? Also, they can digest and live off Earth’s organic matter, which, need I remind you, has throughout the history of the universe been further away from them than we ever thought God-damned possible?

Come the fuck on.

The only vaguely plausible reason for aliens turning up and being hostile is a) it was all a big misunderstanding (by the way, my money is on this one for being the actual plot-line) or b) they want to nip in the bud the puny threat that we offer. Independence Day style.

And need I remind you that in Independence Day, the aliens were immune to our second-most potent weapon, the nuclear warhead? Although our most potent weapon – the hideous sight of Jeff Goldblum, who frankly looked better as a fly – was just enough to do the trick. Mainly thanks to Apple, might I add.

If aliens with the power to travel distances further than we ever thought possible decide they want to destroy us, they will very much succeed. And they won’t fuck about. They will probably just create a black hole in the middle of the planet, or bathe us in truly vast quantities of gamma-ray radiation, or something even more wondrously destructive.

More to the point, we will not be their primary food-source.

* * *

I would say I look forward to finding out which of my initial worries the film actually deals with, but I don’t. I don’t look forward to it in the slightest. I look forward to it less than we ever thought possible.

a.k.a. I will not be seeing this movie.

Update: I just bothered to check Wikipedia and found out that it was Marlena, not Marcetta, in Cloverfield. La-de-da.

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