Monday, June 30, 2008


I think we can all agree that hypothetical questions, no matter how far fetched, are awesome. When taken pseudo-seriously they demand a variety of thought that we rarely call into use in our daily lives. The responses often elicit shock, awe, confusion and hilarity, but always reveal facets of the mindset and character of those involved.

So, here is one that Michael posed on the way home from Trevor's wedding:

The rapture is upon you and the inhabitants of the earth are being judged. The line to the pearly gates stretches for miles as the righteous wait to be separated from the vile. The Lord appears before you, pulling you from the line of sweaty-palmed sinners, and reveals to you that, inexplicably, you have been chosen to select a group of 20 modern humans to begin a new planet. They cannot be friends, family or acquaintances, and will arrive at your planet at their current age and status. Then, just as the questions begin mounting in your spinning mind, you are transported to a flawlessly white room. The room is completely empty and undecorated, save a wooden table, a notebook, a pencil and a Post-It note. The Post-It explains that you are to write the names of those who will be joining you on your new planet in the notebook and, upon the completion of this task, you will be taken there to begin the process of survival.

So, who goes? Here, in no particular order, is my list:

Michael Griffin - a physicist, aerospace engineer, and the current Administrator of NASA. This dude has more degrees than you would believe, and he will be put to work brainstorming with the intellectuals. He'll also buildus a spaceship to cruise around on.
Hedi Slimane - THE men's designer of our time. Former Yves Saint Laurent director, and creator of Dior Homme. Dr. Gates in skinny jeans will be quite a sight.
Ziad Fazah - As a prominent linguist and the Earth's leading polyglot, He'll be in charge of creating and cataloguing 'how-to' guides for Earth's major languages.
Zadie Smith - An author, essayist, intellect, and paltry attempt at diversity.
I.M. Pei - I'm not sure who will be doing the heavy lifting when it's time to build things, but it's safe to say that they'll be beautifully designed.
Norman Borlaug - Norman is in charge of spearheading sustainable crop production and staying alive long enough to pass along his wisdom.
Robert Gates - Dr. Gates is in charge of keeping everyone safe and will serve as on of the consultants on infrastructure. In his free time he'll be rubbing it in that I don't have an Aggie Ring.
Stephen Breyer - A U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice and the individual in charge of establishing a system of justice.
Ethan Cohen - Again, I'm not quite sure who will be building the cameras, microphones, sets, etc., but he seems like a good guy to have around.
Chandler - Chandler is coming for theological savvy and as a foil to the Dalai Lama. He is also the de facto comedian of the bunch.
Tom Colicchio - The owner and executive chef of both Grammercy Tavern and Craft. He is considered a vital contributor to 'new american' cuisine.
Thom Yorke - Yorke got the nod over David Bowie, Colin Meloy, Herbie Hancock, Jonsi of Sigur Ros, Bob Dylan, Willie Nelson, Garth Brooks, Lauren Hill, and Sufjan.
Mehmet Oz - Dr. Oz is the most likely to be made fun of behind his back, but will be in charge of healthcare and educating the next generation in health & medicine.
Dalai Lama (Tenzin Gyatso) - Why not?
Shawn Johnson - Although I have some concerns that her offspring will create a strong segment of my planet's population who look like chipmunks, she is an Olympic gymnast and I'm banking on her birthing some physically capable children.
Roman Sebrle - Young, seemingly virile and the World Record holder in the decathlon.
Carmen Kass -a Dior, Prada, Chanel, Gucci model as well as the President of the Estonian Chess Association
Mira Aroyo - a well respected DJ and member of Ladytron. Oh, she also has a Ph.D. in Genetics from Oxford.
Severn Cullis-Suzuki -a Yale Grad who has been a political activist and consultant since her teens. She's also athletic, attractive and multi-lingual. She's in. Her accomplishments
Sabrina Houssami - a former Miss World contestant and an accomplished speaker/debater.

Before you begin looking up bruising synonyms for "racist", "sexist", "homophobe", "xenophobe", etc., i ask that you spend a couple of minutes thinking of who you'd bring. This is definitely a list with some very, very obvious holes and drawbacks (e.g. male/femail ratio, cultural/racial diversity, 'too many chiefs-too few indians', etc.). Be that as it is, these are my inhabitants.

Vive la nouveau monde.