Neil deGrasse Tyson: Aliens May Be Watching The Honeymooners
In a recent discussion with CBS News about space and whether or not we should be trying to communicate with intelligent life forms not of this planet, astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson pointed out that we have actually been "telegraphing our presence to the universe" for decades. According to Tyson, some of the signals currently moving away from Earth at the speed of light are old television shows, including the 1950s sitcom, The Honeymooners.
"They may be able to decode our culture, and learn how men and women treat each other," Tyson quipped. In a 2009 book titled simply The Honeymooners, film critic David Sterritt describes the relationship of the show's main couple, explaining why it was unlike any other on television:
"Central to this interest are the emotional dynamics between Ralph and Alice, which navigate across, and just barely mask, any number of psychological hazards. These are exacerbated by situational pressures (their apartment is the pressure cooker) and sustained by ego needs that their clashing personalities are unable to fulfill for each other or for themselves. While their lives are not altogether bleak, their marriage is marked by recurrent surges of resentment, rivalry, stress, and strain."
Tyson went on to say that people who are worried about what aliens would do to Earth are, in fact, worried that whoever (or whatever) we encounter may be uncomfortably similar to us:
"Anytime one civilization that is more advanced comes across another one that is less advanced, it never bodes well for the less-advanced civilization. This fear is not derived from the actual evidence of the conduct of aliens, it is derived from the actual evidence of the conduct of humans."
Check out the clip below: