The Presumptions Of Idiots
Whenever Brian is on telly he gets inundated with emails from every type of whackjob imaginable. There are the people with bizarre theories about some scientific topic or another – they are never scientists, just people with bizarre theories. Then there are the typical anti-science or religious people who scream at him that he’s evil and he’s going to destroy the planet/universe/Europe. There are the New Age people who tell him he’s evil because he refuted their claims that their necklace/magic box/cream can protect people from electromagnetic radiation. There are the unthinking people who tell him he’s evil because he supports nuclear power and knows that their beliefs don’t stand up to fact. He’s had everything from common abuse to threats of lawsuits.
He shows me only a few of them cos, well, I get upset. How would you feel if someone said shitty things about someone you loved? “I think your mother/girlfriend/son is EVIL!!” You’d kinda want to tear them apart, right? Well, that’s me with Brian. I’m a fricken lioness protecting my family.
Then there are the emails from people who are pro-science but HATE the fact that he’s working to popularise it in order to inspire the population generally and younger people specifically in order to get more people ‘doing’ science. These people are never working scientists. They tend to be ‘older’ – if not biologically, then psychologically (ie dull as hell). They seem to hate the general public. Some even sign their emails with their qualifications ie Joe Bloggs, BSc., Dr. Joseph Bloggs (retired)- They always complain about how simplistic the programme was, how Brian’s an idiot for ‘dumbing down’ science, how he has no right to explain things in a way that a non-scientist can understand.
They seem to want science to remain ‘complicated’, ‘difficult’ and ‘mysterious’. They don’t WANT the average person to understand it. They believe because they understand it, they are part of an exclusive club which is somehow more important than the rest and that Brian is bashing down the door to that club and letting just any old person in. Which, of course, is exactly what he’s trying to do.
Again, Brian tends not to show me many of these, nor does he answer these people that often. Sometimes, however- when he’s not too busy with his actual job of BEING A SCIENTIST – he’ll engage them in a discussion about why people need to learn more about and understand science. They tend to just slip away or back down within an email or two.
Last night, after a fab night out when Sizemore and LondonFilmGeek, Claire and her friend Bruce, Charlie, ‘Annie Mole’ and I were out at the Coach and Horses, both Brian and I received the following email, yet it was addressed only to me:
Subject: Worst Horizon Program For Years
Your comments are typical of the lightweight epidemic which demands that Science should be dumbed down to look cool for media types who have absolute-zero attention spans. Maybe that explains why the “Sunshine” film was such a load of parp. Science is about dedication, not limelight. Please stay away until you understand this!
The Horizon program with Brian Cox was largely bloody awful and seemed at times more about showing a road trip and teaching baby physics, rather than taking it as read that those who have watched Horizon for over 20 years, watch it because they are beyond the basic baby-book science. 40 mins before it even got close to the real cutting edge. Sadly, I never thought I would see a Horizon program so suitable for broadcasting on CBBC.
I have no idea who Brian Cox is, but it seems we should be impressed by his media background. WTF?
One of my old friends is a CERN scientist, and I should think he would find the program laughable too.
If Dr Cox is as intelligent as I am sure we are to believe, he has done nothing to assure his credibility – so, on the undertsanding that paradox has not escaped you, just what are we to believe?
First off I have to say that I was castigated by Ralph in the comments for outing the (vague) location of a commenter – I accepted his criticism and removed my comment. Ralph and Jim have been unfortunate victims of my lack of patience with the willfully ignorant. It’s not their fault that I don’t have patience for those types of people any more and they probably think I’m a bitch. Whatever. It *is* their fault, however, that they choose to remain ignorant. (*ahem*)… I understand that the above is an email sent to me and that the sender’s details *should* remain private, but I am THIS CLOSE to publishing his name, company details, phone number and email address. He is the president of a company which works with very high profile blue-chip companies and I feel he should EITHER be far more grown up than to send petty and abusive emails to the WIFE of the presenter of a programme he didn’t like OR he should be able to publicly take responsibility for the abusive remarks he makes whilst signing off his emails with his title and company details from his work email address. I am using ALL of my willpower to not type his name…D. E. N… Ok. I can control myself… *and breathe*
Now, Brian is my husband, the man I love and want to be with for the rest of my life. The man who makes my heart swell when I look at him even after 7 years together. We’ve seen each other at our best and our worst- happy, sad, angry, excited, with messy morning hair and bad morning breath, laughing til we cry with friends, vomiting in the toilet after drinking too much beer… We’ve had screaming rows and delicious make-ups. And I love him more and more as the days and weeks and years go by and hope that love continues to grow until we are old, gray and rickety. He. Is. My. Husband.
Why the fuck does that idiot think that it is remotely appropriate to send that email to me? Seriously. Brian wrote and presented a programme that this person didn’t like. That’s it. I mean, why does he feel the correct thing to do after watching a programme he didn’t like is to send an insulting email to the wife of the person in that programme?! Seriously. As he so eruditely said: WTF?
My first thought was that perhaps he didn’t realise that Brian and I are married and that he was just being a wanker with an opinion…but then he CCed Brian on the email! Surely, he would only do that if he realised there was some kind of connection and wanted Brian to see his remarks, right? He went through the process of finding both of us on the web, getting our email addresses and writing a nasty email directed to me about my husband.
Then I wondered why the hell he felt the need to say anything to either of us at all? What kind of tiny little man must he be?
Anyway, Brian wrote a short and snarky reply back to him and he’s replied back. Just like all of these science fundie wankers, he’s backed down really quickly and is trying to be reasonable. Backtracking like a weaselly little fool.
He says in his second email: “Science is not politically correct or a democracy. It has no friends. Only devotees. To such extent, Science-discovery demands a apartheid in favour of those who understand this. Touchy feely types should keep out.” Which put his “Sunshine was parp” comment into context. I’m afraid I worked out long ago that anyone who professes an interest in science and doesn’t like ‘Sunshine’ is, in reality, a dull, tiny-minded and emotionless twat.
I am now holding myself back from sending *my* reply to him.