It says a lot about our life on Earth that when Mars One announced in April 2013 nearly 200,000 meat-sacks decided that their futile existence of toil, eczema and club-points would be infinitely improved if blasted millions of miles away from the rest of society and into space. Clearly anyone who's travelled through Clapham Junction before 8am could be forgiven for subscribing to this belief, but life on Mars will be equally shite, if not worse than life on this dirt-ball, primarily because it will all be televised.
Entrepreneurial space exploration project Mars One may as well be called Earth Two. This space invasion scheme is the brainwave of Bas Lansdorp, a man who is in almost every way the Netherlands answer to Grand Design's Kevin McCloud. Not only do they share the same face, but Bas has actually outdone Kevin in terms of lunatic dream-chasing ambition - instead of building a preposterously arrogant 4000ft translucent architectural dream-box powered by your own smug sense of self-worth and satisfaction from the imagination of M.C Escher, Lansdorp sets the bar higher by proposing to do this in space, specifically on Mars.
Firstly, my suspicion was aroused by the involvement of Lockheed Martin - a company who having long since perfected the art of decimating mankind with the ruthlessly efficient innovation of high powered death machines and are now taking time out from their regular schedule of being a real-life version of ACME from Looney Tunes to assist Big Brother in Space (as I'm sure it'll be renamed before liftoff) in propelling the next generation of humanity into another fruitless existence on an even more barren and inhospitable planet than Staines could ever aspire to. Much like when McDonalds sponsored the Olympics or when Tony Blair became a Peace Envoy to the Middle East, the word appropriate was gradually cut from the dictionary.
What with the Mars One mission statement consisting of barely a single paragraph, namely extolling the virtues of "inspiring future generations," but chiefly aiming to establish a human settlement on Mars, it's hard to see what the point of all this interstellar butt-fuckery is. It's already proclaimed that applicants don't need a background in science - just the rather vague catchall terminology of mental and physical ability to withstand the infinite emptiness of space. So essentially, those human-shaped amoebas that inhabit the Big Brother house at present may actually be humanity's best hope for life on another planet. Too dense and vapid to fully grasp what's happening to them, they might not even recognise they've left Earth until one of the blank-eyed poltroons steps outside to shake their ass and wave to the cheering fans before having their thick little head imploded by irradiated space-wind.
Not content with the declining quality of reality TV here on Terra firma, Mars One is actually the majority shareholder of Interplanetary Media Group, whose primary purpose is to sell the broadcasting rights of Mars One's mission; from the recruitment process to the first year of colonising the red planet, replete with audience participation. Giving the general public any sense of judicial power in the matter of determining who will be sent to Mars to die seems to me a bit like giving a shark a submachine gun "press the red button to send this idiot to the red planet." The problem this presents is that those who may actually be able to work for the betterment of mankind and science might not hold enough audience sway to make the final cut. Instead we'll have the swaggering imbeciles that currently reign as the plutocratic emperors of reality television bumbling along through space wondering why they can't get a boob job or tweet their dick to the world anymore.
The insipid nature of reality TV having been defined by that nightmarish decade spanning between 2000 and 2010, so can things really be expected to improve by escaping our atmosphere? It would only have worked better had we all had the power to condemn each other to space travel millions of miles away into an oxygen-starved environment devoid of light, gravity or hope. That spandex-clad twat at work who loudly munches kale crisps and boasts about bench-pressing things, well he can kiss his finely chiselled ass goodbye as we unanimously vote to blast the square-jawed buffoon into the void, the useless turd of a tool.
I think the first week of Mars One's broadcasts will be like the build-up to an inanely technical sci-fi film - like the boring bit of Armageddon that predominantly features Ben Affleck pawing at Liz Tyler like a housebroken kitten mauling its young in the hope of an orgasm. Hopefully as the show progresses and we see a parade of unskilled astronauts shit themselves on live television during takeoff, the pace will really pick up. Perhaps we'll be treated to classic Big Brother style arguments, but with grimmer repercussions instead of bibbling over hairdryers or cava.
"Day 43 on Mars and Helga has stashed all the remaining oxygen canisters in the airlock, where she now sits giggling like a rabid hyena as she manually dismantles the unlock mechanism."
"Day 57 on Mars and only Helga and James remain as the rest of the contestants were bludgeoned to death following a heated debate over the dish-washing rota."
"Day 82 on Mars and only James remains. He outlived Helga after firing her and the remaining oxygen supplies out of the blast-door into the vast empty cavern of space. Now he is seeing how long he can survive by ejaculating into his own mouth."
Considering what an awful, money-grubbing, bastard society of shit-gobs we've crafted down here on Earth, what little hope can be reserved for our colonising cousins - especially when the Mars One website compares its batch of space-monkeys to "Vikings and famed explorers of Old World Europe." So in essence they're going to go and introduce credit-lending financial systems to whatever resides out there in the black and crush any resistance they meet with an iron fist, presumably before subjugating any extraterrestrial existence under a brutal regime of rape and murder all in the name of televised entertainment.