Monday, June 18, 2012

Pricks in space

Among those booked on Virgin Galactic's first mission are Branson, his son Sam and daughter Holly. Angelina Jolie is scheduled for an early flight, as is her partner, Brad Pitt. Others booking the £125,000 journey include Ashton Kutcher, Formula 1 drivers Rubens Barrichello and Niki Lauda, and scientists James Lovelock and Stephen Hawking; Princess Beatrice and Paris Hilton also make appearances on early flight schedules.
Oh. I had thought... oh, never mind. I should have realised that this is a British venture so it is guaranteed to be pompous and full of celebrities. It is not too late to get a refund, is it?

Brad 'n' Ange I could bear, so long as they don't bring along their child (whose name really ought to be Cockney rhyming slang by now - "you're just a Shiloh Pitt, mate") but Ashton Kutcher would induce lockjaw. Although there are exceptions, Formula 1 drivers are mostly arrogant pricks; they probably would be fighting over who gets to sit in the front with the driver. Princess Beatrice and Paris Hilton might raise a laugh with their silly hats and empty heads, but then they might just make you feel sick.

Then there are the celebrity scientists. Lovelock and Hawking would be fine, but what if Dawkins came along for the ride? He would just make it miserable for everyone else:
Look at all this. Isn't nature marvelous? Who needs God to explain it all? We have Science. Who needs religion, when you can have experiences like this and learn that you are just a tiny part of a vast and magnificent universe, which only we scientists can understand? Haven't you read my books?
And so on. And who else might be there? There would probably be some smart-alec from the Guardian  (am I the only middle-class male who does not find David Mitchell in the slightest bit funny?  It seems I am. I'll get my coat). There might be a famous writer on board but it wouldn't be anyone fun like Marty or Self; it would probably be Cormac McCarthy or China Meiville. Then there would be a hyperactive television presenter, fresh out of rehab. And there would be a digital entrepreneur who made a really amazing presentation at TED where he showed conclusively that the planet could be saved only if we did exactly as he said. The cheap seats would be filled by Perez Hilton and a minor Kardashian.

Not surprisingly, people on the ground would be praying for disaster. As onlookers watch a Virgin Galactic craft being lifted into the air, they will be hoping that it might contain One Direction and that the flight will end in a fireball. Were that to eventuate, no commentator will be wailing "oh, the celebrities."

Pity anyone with the misfortune to be on a flight with these people. Surely there must be some part of the booking system that would allow the sensitive passenger to make decisions on this matter, an Anyone but Jedward clause. If not, there must be insurance.

After all, these people are bad enough on regular flights. Seemingly incapable of traveling for a few hours in the lap of luxury without getting drunk, angry or laid, celebrities are an air transport menace. Remember, if you will, Peter Buck's attack of "non-insane automatism"or Gerard Depardieu, the elephant  in the cabin. First Class still exists only because nobody in Business would put up with these creatures. Imagine sharing a spaceship with any of the ghastlies on this list or this one. And it is not just the obviously awful: here are some more, including hip people like Dr Dre - woman beater with attitude.

So what is to be done? Maybe Lynx is the answer; no, not the adolescent camouflage deodorant, silly, the spaceship. It works like this: there is a pilot and there is you. Or, to put it another way, you fly with a trained professional and nobody else. No grinning Branson, no Ant, no Bieber, no Cher, no Dec, nobody whose name begins with E and so on, all the way to no Ziggy Marley; yes, that's right: a wanker-free space experience.

Unless, of course, the pilot wants to spend the flight telling you what he thought of Prometheus.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Sounds to me like a really great plot for a disaster movie. All the elements are there: a maiden flight, chock full of celebs... Irwin Allen would be creaming his jeans.