How small are we?

Monologue from Wener Herzog’s film ‘The Wild Blue Yonder’ performed by the Alien from Andromeda, Brad Dourif. This movie examines just how small and alone we are and this monologue illustrates it perfectly.

“I could have told them, I know all about it.

We traveled all the way from the outreaches of the Andromeda galaxy.

Do you have any clue of how far that is?

No you don’t.


Let’s get this clear from the start, the closest star to this planet

or should I say spec of dust, is only four and a half light years from

here. And may I say that Alpha Centuari is a couple million degrees hot,

which I don’t want to exaggerate, could be unpleasant.


Now, how fast is the speed of light? Using conventional fuel and I mean

rocket fuel to accelerate to 30% the speed of light wouldn’t take all the fuel tanks on planet earth or say the equivalent to the rocky mountains, it would take all the mass in the universe  visible to the naked eye.

That’s the earth, the sun, the solar system the milky way, all the stars in our galaxy, all the stars in the surrounding



Now how fast have you gone so far? the fastest speed achieved to date

was by your voyager space probe which was accelerated to about 55,000 mph

and is currently headed out of your solar system and into deep space.

Now let’s suppose that that is a space ship and you are an astronaught on that

ship and you are headed towards alpha centuari, which I will remind you is

4.5 light years from here.


Now Lets assume you started your voyage 20,000 years ago, this is the time of

Cro-Magnon man paelilithica, cave paintings in the south of france, they’re

hunting bison, rhino, wooly mammoths. And you’re speeding along at 55,000 mph

for another 10,000 years, now you’re at neolithic, mankind begins agriculture,

domesticated animals, sheep, horses, goats and pigs, now when I say pigs I mean

domesticated pigs, this was mankind’s first arch sin, do you know why, because in order

to domesticate and breed animals you need to become sedentary, this begat settlements

which begat towns which begat cities which begat all the problems which will

become mankind’s destruction.

Breeding dogs is not a sin because they’ll go with you on your nomadic hunts,

but pigs, that was a sin. I have diverted.


The ship continues on its way for another 6,000 years, ancient Egypt, pharos

pyramids, a few thousand years more past ancient Greece, ancient Rome and into

the middle ages and more arch sin, an Italian poet decides it would be fun to

climb a mountain, just for the fun of it, the Swiss didn’t do it the sherpas didn’t

do it till bored 19th century Englishman paid them and then they robbed the mountains of their dignity, that was a sin.


The ship moves on, the declaration of independence, world war one, communism, world

war two, Marylyn Monroe, Elvis Presley to the present day. Now how far have you come?

You’ve accomplished just 15% of your journey to Alpha Centuari.

You have in pro-creating gone through 500 generations, how could you have avoided

in-breeding, rebellions, murders, would you not just become grotesquely mal-deformed freaks with no idea where you came from or why you began the journey to begin with ?

and might I add that the closest star which might be considered non-lethal is not 4.5 light years from here, it’s more like 200,000.”


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