(I saw this because people I like and follow posted it, enjoyed it, agree with it. I want to note right at the outset that many of my best friends adore these sorts of remarks, and that what I’m about to say is about this, not about people who like this, and certainly not about the people who reblogged it and because of whom I saw it. I like those people).
Ricky Gervais is embarrassingly stupid. This is obnoxious, moronic, destructive. “Religion” isn’t a person; “Science” isn’t a person, and it especially isn’t a snarky person who believes in a specious, facile, tit-for-tat reckoning of evils and goods, since —after all— it is science which gives us the laser-guided missile, the atomic bomb, the crematoria gases, the bombers. It was indeed science’s race for ways to kill that gave us NASA —far more important than Neil deGrasse Tyson or even Neil Armstrong is Werner Braun— but the point is that this is not a methodologically sound analysis.
“That’s not what he’s going for!”
True: he is going for RTs, rhetoric-points, the swell of the choir. And he hits his mark, naturally: this pat little homily, as errant in its logic and structure as the worst Sunday sermon in some snake-charm shack in the South, makes his congregation howl with agreement. Yes! Religion kills! Science is awesome!
You all love science so much, it is true; you are all critical rationalists, reductive materialists, no room in your hearts for superstition or romance. You are part of this: you were on Mars with Curiosity, standing firm against George W. Bush’s reactionary medievalism and the Taliban’s hatred of new truths. You followed it on Twitter, wrote breathlessly about it on your very thin gadget —which you relate to the computer on the Apollo ships with analogies and infographics— and now you find yourself allied with it.
But here’s the shit of it: the real basis of most of the mass violence in human history is something even more ubiquitous than religion. It is political-categorical thinking: the subsuming of humans into groups, the stripping from these groups of their “humanity,” the development of oppositional and “othering” rhetoric, etc. etc.
Nothing could be more continuous with the evils Gervais ostensibly deplores than his tweet: “Dear [billions and billions of diversely religious people], This week I [now personally contiguous with the ideological movement with which I merge] safely dropped a man from space while you [you, you, you: he is addressing you, billions of believers! You all shot the girl: there is no difference between the killers of children and praying Native Americans and meditating Buddhists and so on] shot a child in the head for wanting to go to school. Yours, Science.”
Well, no: this was in fact written by noted-non-scientist Ricky Gervais. To sum:
- The nauseating aestheticization of science on the Internet continues. “Nothing is cooler than science,” says everyone all the time. “I bathe myself in the aura of this science video,” implies the cadence of the caption. You’d think there would be more actual scientists, more people working to solve human problems, what with how we all RT it ALL THE FUCKING TIME!
- The more general a thought is, the likelier that it is a lie. Thinking about people in groups is always a kind of dishonesty, of varying severity. Neitzsche: “The will to a system is a lack of integrity.” But Gervais, like us all, needs a system: what is the system that makes me a moral hero and others unworthy?
- “Science” doesn’t do things; neither does “Religion.” People do, but it’s too difficult for hacks like Gervais to work on that scale: the honest scale of human reality. The ideas-scale is way more fun, I know it. That’s where it’s all so clear! And no need to do research, defend your claims, etc.
- Science definitely didn’t drop F. Baumgartner, right? That was Commerce and Media, right?
This week we increased a brand’s notoriety and set some arbitrary records while you continued to fail to cure death, and many diseases besides, as well as most current problems.
Media and Commerce
Dear Media and Commerce,
Your existence is entirely dependent on me. I am humanity’s most significant accomplishment, and I continue to transform the universe. I’ll let you know what you’ll run on next, okay?
(This has been the stupidest post ever. May I reiterate that I like Writer B and Altidude and anyone else who posted this? I just hate Ricky Gervais and the astonishing, literally embarrassing arrogance he evinces).
so my friends have been doing pac man redesign stuff & here’s mine. you can tell i haven’t drawn with ink in a while. Namasté.
sup, /b/ros xD
ive been FOREVERALONE for so long and im trying to find the derpette to my derp :((
i love heavy metal music (disturbed FTW), my little pony (fluttershy is BEST PONY), pokemon, and cuddling. every girl i’ve ever known friendzones me because she’s a BITCH with an asshole for a boyfriend even though i’ve always been there for her
any other single pringles ready to mingle? ;)
We’re all riding in our minivan.