[This post has been updated with some really brilliant insight from the author.]
Mars One, the pseudo-pyramid scheme that pretends to be sending astronauts to Mars in the next decade, has inspired a fashion show.
Björn Borg, who I assume is very important in the fashion world, showed off a collection of what is said to be sportswear the serves as “a tribute to the courage and the faith that these people show by going out to the unknown for the evolution of mankind.”
That’s all fine. The idea of human beings risking everything for the longshot chance to live out their days on another planet is, in fact, deeply inspiring. The problem, readers of this blog will already know, is that Mars One is, at best, just shy of a scam. Far too many of its core claims have been shown to be either outright false or gross exaggerations, its stated aims have been declared utterly implausible by even the most optimistic experts, and former would-be candidates for the big trip have revealed the shoddy and ethically dubious process for choosing candidates.
But the idea in abstract? Totally compelling. That, with a heaping dose of laziness, must be why outlets like Space.com and others still repeat the press releases of the Mars One company, complete with references to the alleged 200,000 applicants, which is complete bullshit.
And how perfect a metaphor is this kind of high-end fashion show for the Mars One concept? The Borg collection of clothing is lofty and future-looking, but also entirely impractical and more than a little absurd. The clothes are aspirational, but of course will never be worn by anyone.
Forget the boondoggle. How does the Björn Borg “Training for Mars” sportswear look?
I know nothing about the fashion world, so I’ll leave you to be the judge of that. The show was held about a week ago in Stockholm, with Mars One candidates in attendance. Here’s the official promo video from after the fact:
This is clearly not the kind of merchandising Mars One needs to fund their adventure. They need to find some product to be “the official nacho cheese sauce of Mars One” or something.
As a side note, Engadget is going to begin a video series profiling five of the Mars One candidates, and I hope they are going to approach the project with an appropriately skeptical eye. I will be watching with interest. The trailer alone with the wide-eyed, hopeful candidates, and with the parents pained at the idea of their kids disappearing into space, thinking it could actually happen, only makes me more irritated at the scheme.
Here are my previous posts on Mars One: