If I saw a UFO coming in to land just outside my house I'd experience a complex mixture of emotions. Maybe it's because I'm English but having thought about this a lot recently I know one of them would be a unique and profound sense of embarrassment. I guess it'd be the sort of feeling you might get if some unexpected guests popped round to your house when you were sat in watching Celebrity Big Brother in your underpants. Only much, much, worse.
Imagine the sheer number of things you'd be ashamed of on planet earth if another group intelligent lifeforms popped round to visit. Nuclear war, global warming, Michael Jackson, social inequality, religion... the list goes on and on and on.
How could you explain Sept 11th? What would you tell them about the holocaust? Like it or not all of these are ideas which members of our species thought were genuinely good ones. I have a real difficulty processing that but those people in those planes thought they were doing a good thing. So did the Nazis. They thought they were the good guys*!
Not to mention all those films we've made about these 'not so unexpected' arrivals. how would you explain things like War Of The Worlds, Independance Day, Invasion Of The Bodysnatchers and E.T.? Not without blushing a little bit I'd expect.
Imagine our appointed representative being sent on board their "mothership" with his list of questions:
"Erm, right, first off The Pyramids, we thought maybe you lot had built these. I know, that all sort of seems a bit silly now but I have to ask. Also, this is a bit embarrassing but, in your spare time like, you lot haven't been secretly popping down here making crop circles and/or b*ggering cattle have you? No? Right. Finally, did you abduct the following nutjobs..."
Obviously this scenario is going to happen at some point. Intelligent life must exist outside the confines of this planet. I honestly am not sure that I want to be around when it makes contact though. I'm not sure I could stand the awkward silences.
*Or did they? This sketch made me laugh because I've though exactly the same thing. Why would people not notice the inhuman iconography of the Nazis?