I have not been watching Children in Need because it is illegal in the UK to view images of children or to think of them in any way. Now if they called it Children in Need of Being Swatted with a Badger, I might be tempted. But that’s not even on the agenda, apparently.
Tonight I have finally watched the works’ fridge cleaning DVD (there really is one) because the Secret Ninja Cleaners have decided we must be trained in at least one of the things we’ve been doing for the last couple of years. It is the funniest DVD I have seen in a long time, not least because the two actors pretending to clean what looks like a brand new fridge look like Father Ted and Father Dougal. They work in exactly the way you’d expect those two to work, slowly, with Dougal spending a lot of time looking lost. If we did it that way we’d take all night.
They are very big fridges (the tall open-front kind) and while taking them apart is easy, putting them back together is not so easy. Even so, when you have a fridge with six columns of shelves it is not necessary for the DVD actors to act out the dismantling and reassembly of every single column. One will do. The rest are all the same. Thank Heaven for the fast-forward button.
There is also a little test. Boss offered help but I think I’ll do okay. I’ve passed somewhat harder exams than this. Oh well, homework gets marked tomorrow and here’s hoping she doesn’t give me detention.
I hope there is one on ‘how to clean an electric bread slicer and finish with the same number of fingers’ because we have one now and it is seriously full of blades! I start with ‘Is it plugged in? Yes?-Unplug it. No?-Check again’. My first go at it was on Halloween and I was tempted to bring some fake blood along but… you can cry wolf once too often.
Tonight is the early-to bed night. I had planned to fisk the latest ‘smoking in cars kills nonsmokers but not smokers‘ crap but it’s too easy. Stationary car, windows open four inches, I’m betting it was in a garage so there wasn’t even a breeze and there is no mention of a control. All the chemicals could have leached out of the plastics. Nobody sat in an identical stationary car for an hour without the smoker. Would the result have been the same?
Perhaps they tried it, and it was, which is why it’s not mentioned.
So instead of pretend science pushed as fact by a bunch of authoritarian tosspots, tonight I am (finally getting around to) writing about real science being debased by a bunch of authoritarian tosspots.
Nobody could possibly have missed the spectacular achievement of landing a little probe on a tiny, speeding comet millions of miles away and getting it all to work perfectly. That is a first for the whole of humanity. It is the sort of thing that makes other scientists shut up and pay attention (real scientists, I mean, not the sort who sit in cars for an hour and go nowhere). It worked! First time!
Yet when the genius who made it possible appeared on TV to announce this absolutely amazing result, he was roundly lambasted for… wearing the wrong shirt. That, to the morons who think second hand smoke and global warming are real science, is what they consider a priority here.
Scientists do not care about fashion. Clothes are there to stop us feeling cold or catching sensitive bits on sharp equipment. That is what they are for. The colour and design are not relevant as long as they do not affect our ability to think. Some scientists like loud shirts. Others, like me, end up with wardrobes containing prety much the same thing over and over. We do not care what other people wear and we do not care what you think about what we wear.
(Twitter just came up with a promoted tweet from @thread – ‘Guys there’s no longer any excuse not to dress well’. Good timing – but there is always an excuse).
It comes as quite a shock to find that people can be upset by a shirt. We cannot understand it. It’s a shirt. Just a shirt.
The authoritarian tosspots pretended that the shirt was the hugely important news and that landing a little spaceship on a speeding comet millions of miles away was the irrelevance. They claim that women will not become scientists because of a shirt. I have personally trained quite a few women to M.Sc.and Ph.D level and none of them mentioned shirts. Not even once. It was not a factor in their career decisions.
Yet it is deemed to be a major factor in their career decisions by a bunch of self-important twats who couldn’t land an onion ring on a plate even if they had a fork stuck through it.
Oh wait – ‘fork stuck through onion ring’ is surely a metaphor for the sexual dominance of the male. Now I’ll be all over Twitter as ‘Onion Ring Impalement Man’ and the police will be urged to check my freezer for onion rings. I have some and it gets worse – they are battered onion rings. Best scoff them all right now.
With a fork.
They really will take offence at that but then few of them have the attention span required to read this far. The one that makes it will take it out of context because I’ve changed subject twice so they are way out of their depth by now.
So they hounded the man who managed to do something no human has ever managed to do before, something almost all of us couldn’t even imagine doing, until they reduced him to a shaking apology.
Was that enough? The utter destruction of the pinnacle of a great man’s career? The humiliation of someone who should be hailed a hero? Enough?
Of course, I personally hope that one day (when he’s a little less busy) Taylor will say a bit more on the subject, and show that he understands why the shirt wasn’t okay.
They aren’t finished with him yet. The man who made the greatest acheivement so far in the history of humanity must be brought down to their pitiful level. He must be re-educated and he must understand that the authoritarian tosspots are the superior species because they say so.
They cannot and will never see that they have done anything wrong here. They are the victims, always the victims. They will stamp on your head and shriek that you are getting blood on their boots. How dare you object? How dare you suggest that they might not be Righteous in all things? How dare you do something they could never do? How dare you let the world think you have achieved something? You must be brought to heel.
There is no point discussing their shortcomings with them, whether rationally or in rage. They don’t believe they have any.
If they come for you, do not apologise. No matter what. Never apologise to them. You can be certain that they will never apologise to you.
The apology is only the first step. It gives them power over you. It’s the first smackdown in the fight and if you let them win that round they will keep coming back for more. Keep fighting that first round – don’t apologise – and they can get no further.
Oh they’ll keep trying for that smackdown. Possibly forever. You might be tempted to let them win so the constant harassment will stop. Do not be tempted because if you give in, it will not stop.
That’s when it will start.