MANHATTAN, NY — This week, 60 Minutes host Scott Pelley held a sit-down interview on the universe's ecological sustainability with a figure who has been both dismissed as a doomsdayer and celebrated as humanity's best hope for longevity on earth: Thanos.
"Little one, it's simple calculus. The universe is finite, its resources finite. If life is left unchecked, life will cease to exist. It needs correcting." Thanos spoke to CBS's Scott Pelley in an interview that many onlookers called "ominous" and "awkward." When Pelley pressed the hulking purple figure on "who would do the correcting," Thanos demurred, opting to rub his knuckles and gaze wistfully into the distance, mumbling about "a grateful universe."
In the video, Pelley attempts to ease the tension with light jokes, but is met with sharp glances, outbursts, and declamations. One specific moment has already gone viral for eliciting cringes: Thanos overturned his chair when leaping to his feet to proclaim "I could simply snap my fingers, and they would all cease to exist – I call that mercy!" Scott Pelley chuckled uncomfortably when Thanos drove his point home with a theatrical "snap," eliciting a growl: "You have my respect, Pelley. When I'm done, half of humanity will still be alive. I hope they remember you."
Thanos had agreed to come on the show to promote his book "Cursed With Knowledge: A Small Price To Pay For Salvation," which has drawn criticism as its predictions failed to materialize. The book is famous for quotes including "The battle to feed all of humanity is over…the world will undergo famines," "hundreds of millions of people are going to starve to death," and "The hardest choices require the strongest wills."
At publishing time, Thanos had been awarded chairmanship of Stanford University's biology department, a visiting Professorship at the prestigious UC Berkeley, and a visiting editorship at the New York Times.
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