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For his comments made in the wake of the El Paso shooting, Twitter has decided to delete Neil deGrasse Tyson. They now prefer the clued-in diatribes of Smash Mouth.
When faced with near-universal avarice, violence and ignorance, one must look to the finer points in order to soothe the awful awful pain of being alive in 2019. This morning, the internet’s premier science man, Neil deGrasse Tyson got dragged for daring to bring more deaths into the “killed by guns” margin, noting the following:
In the past 48hrs, the USA horrifically lost 34 people to mass shootings.
On average, across any 48hrs, we also lose…
500 to Medical errors
300 to the Flu
250 to Suicide
200 to Car Accidents
40 to Homicide via Handgun
Often our emotions respond more to spectacle than to data.
— Neil deGrasse Tyson (@neiltyson) August 4, 2019
I see his point, but as far as takes go, nah.
Simply put, even if his data is squiffy, the US is attempting to solve the issues of medical errors, the flu, suicide and automobile accidents. They’re not doing diddly for gun control.
But, that’s an obvious point to make.
No, what we’re examining is far beyond the realms of sense and logic, as Neil’s tweet gave us something far worse. Today, we can utter the cursed words, in that we can readily agree with Smash Mouth over the words of science.
The internet is the great leveller. More than death, more than baseball, more than erectile dysfunction. Neil deGrasse Tyson is the golden god of internetdom. He’s a dork. He’s made us understand complex things in a casual repartee, and he’s given us memes and GIF reactions in the process. All hail our moustachio’d overlord.
Yet, while Tyson is one of the faces of our internet Rushmore, he’s also illuminated the golden truth of the internet. Your previous achievements (or life’s work) can be cast into the bin at any moment. Shout out to Elon Musk who gave us flamethrowers (cool) and then called a rescuer of children a paedophile (not cool). The same goes for the Dalai Lama, who has lived through 14th regenerations but didn’t survive Twitter’s latest update.
Twitter’s backward logic also works in reverse. Using what I’m labelling as the Smash Mouth Paradox, those who have not achieved (or have, and have long continued riding atop their outdated gravy train) are a mere popular opinion away from renewed relevance. Thusly, immortality can be gained from a tweet that will age quickly.
I realise that Tyson isn’t a climatologist, but he does know what he’s talking about. As the man himself repeatedly opines, we motherfuckers need science. This is especially relevant in a time where the normative course of ignoring science will see us either a) uncomfortably hot or b) comfortably dead, I suggest that we don’t be this fickle.
To use internet slang, this certainly ain’t it, chief.