by Ty Tuin
I’ll say it, I’m not ashamed: I love sci fi movies, especially the “Alien Invasion” sub-genre. Your brain is subconsciously telling you to disregard any of the following information because you’ve always associated sci fi with high-waisted jeans, white tennis shoes and an inability to effectively communicate with one’s fellow humans. Suspend judgement for a moment longer:
The extra-terrestrial invasion film centers on the same basic ideas each time: aliens are coming to destroy a densely populated area…New York, LA, Tokyo (with the exception of some fantastic spins on the genre like District 9 – 2009 and Attack the Block – 2011). Oftentimes the goal is to reduce a large, beautiful, highly sought-after metropolis to rubble and send it’s pampered inhabitants into chaos, leveling the scores of the “haves” and the “have nots” (I think if the Old Testament prophets were alive today they would be sci fi film makers). The trend seems to indicate that aliens have a knack for attacking nice places to live.
Based on Mercer’s Quality of Living Survey as well as the UN’s Development Program we can identify possible danger zones for foreign invasion by looking at the most desirable places to live in the world. With the US ranking 18th, their likelihood of alien invasion has drastically gone down (a real positive movement in a safe, low profile direction). The UK also has found itself out of the intergalactic hot seat by nodding off to 20th place. Countries such as China, Venezuela, Peru and France made the largest strides towards absolute destruction by moving up by 3 or more place rankings. Iceland, home to one of the most unique and fragile ecosystems on the planet have irresponsibly moved to 3rd place (possibly making an attempt to unseat their Northern Germanic rivals from across the Norwegian Sea who now sit in 1st place) dangerously jeopardizing the rare Euphrasia calida, a native herbaceous flowering plant only found in Iceland. However, possibly the most surprising death-wish is that of Australia. With a seeming comfort for national obscurity, the 2nd place ranking seems to come out of nowhere. 20 years ago belligerent other-worldly species would never have noticed the dusty patch of earth sitting just above the south pole, but now the nations affluent cities and large, target-red ground make it tantalizing prey for the most hostile of alien hordes.
The ranking comes from a compilation of data ranging from per-capita-GDP to education and life expectancy. I trust Australian military officials are trying their best to secure the nation’s safety against foreign invaders, but the sun-soaked beaches, friendly people, surprising life-expectancy and high interest rate savings accounts present real obstacles.
Despite the heightened danger the Australia Studies Centre will continue to operate with every intention of guaranteeing a safe and successful global study experience. And luckily, there’s a large chance alien craft will land in the vast reaches of arid land that separate sparsely populated communities. They will most likely burn to a crisp before anyone even knows they’re there.