[Lounge #364] »« Carnival of Evolution 51

Comments

  1. Kris says

    I’d about as soon believe that of Carl Sagan as of Bill Nye, even considering that Carl Sagan is dead.

  2. crocswsocks says

    Regardless of which side he was on, it wouldn’t be good for Bill Nye’s reputation among the parents and teachers of third graders to be involved in a public debate about rape.

  3. says

    The site on which this story originates is a satire news website with the tagline “The Global Satirical Newspaper of Accord” at the top right corner of every page. Don’t blame them, blame the uncritical derps who don’t understand the word “satire.”

  4. says

    Jason:

    Don’t blame them, blame the uncritical derps who don’t understand the word “satire.”

    I can blame them for the poor level of satire they provide.

    Effective satire does’t resort to misrepresenting people, which this did. I read the quote on Facebook, as posted by a friend, and didn’t believe it then — all because of the profanity. Not that I mind profanity. Fuck, ask anyone around here.

    But that wasn’t like Bill Nye. And I’ve never had dinner with him. I’ve just heard him speak. He doesn’t need to resort to profanity. The fact the satirical site had to put profanity in his mouth to be funny indicates they were not ready to use Bill Nye as a satirical device.

    So, yeah. I do blame them. I blame them for being un-funny.

  5. WhiteHatLurker says

    I want to take credit for the rant. I think Akin is a fucking idiot. And the stork thing is priceless.

    Why does snopes censor some instances of “fuck”, and let others through?

  6. Brian says

    Not to belabor the obvious, but that is exactly the humor. The real Bill Nye would never resort to such crude profanity, therefore imagining him swearing like a sailor — that Akin had gone so far beyond the pale that even Bill Nye is unable to remain polite — is what makes it funny.

    To the rest of us, anyway. Sorry it didn’t work for you.

  7. says

    Brian:

    Not to belabor the obvious, but that is exactly the humor. The real Bill Nye would never resort to such crude profanity, therefore imagining him swearing like a sailor — that Akin had gone so far beyond the pale that even Bill Nye is unable to remain polite — is what makes it funny.

    It isn’t that Bill Nye is polite. It’s that he’s clever. His lack of swearing is due to his audience, and his developed persona.

    Had they set up the satire in such a way that Nye was both clever and profane, it would’ve worked. But they turned an otherwise eloquent man into a stevedore. It isn’t that they placed the word “fuck” in his mouth. It’s that they did so without any kind of intelligence.

    And that’s what relegates this to the half-price bin of satire.

    It’s also why it didn’t work for me.

  8. kreativekaos says

    When I read it, it actually threw me, since recently my son had said he heard something about Bill Nye being ‘a jerk’ (where he heard that from I’m not sure).

    It didn’t sound like the Bill Nye we both knew and loved on his science show, but then I thought, ‘you never know’.

    The line at the top right revealing the satirical nature of the site was kind of small and my tool bar partially covered it so I didn’t notice that line disclaiming truth. But frankly, I didn’t find it as effectively funny as perhaps it could have been; the creativity behind it seemed a little ‘skin and bones’ to me.

  9. elfsternberg says

    Actually, I could believe that of Bill Nye. I spent a week stuck in a municipal jury pool with him, and while he was a nice guy to his fellow jurors, at one point he was on the phone to an auto body shop and, man, the nice PBS science guy was really swearing up a storm.

  10. says

    First, I do find the piece slightly funny. It’s not brilliantly written–the execution is pretty flat–but the general idea was cute. As pointed out upthread: I figure it was meant as a simple ‘play against type’ joke. There’s a long tradition of those. Point being: c’mon, Nye’s got this geeky, goofy, lovable, bow-tie wearing public persona. Enraged and swearing a blue streak sure as hell doesn’t fit his character, but that’s exactly the point. See also the old SNL routine where they’ve got Reagan wide awake and in control and charging around the Oval Office doing everything himself because his advisors have no clue and are dozing off in the meetings, or any number of actors or actresss made famous for a particular kind of role doing a complete reversal for the same comic purpose in a cameo elsewhere.

    Second, what scares me a little is the way this thing had the kind of legs it had despite the writers probably thinking, oh, c’mon, it’s ridiculous, completely risibly implausible, and that’s exactly the point…

    Scares me precisely because: I have to wonder if the reason it went wild this way wasn’t just the flat execution. I wonder if maybe it does also fall out of the context: Nye had perfectly reasonably called creationism nonsense (like any honest and competent educator should, frankly), but there’s this whole ugly Goebbels lie woven around people who call religions too unapologetically on their bullshit. We joke about it because we have to (and I think ought to)–and see also the ‘baby eating atheist’ meme–but it’s really not that funny at bottom: there’s people who really do have it in their heads that anyone who’ll call a religious claim too forthrightly false is automatically a bad, nasty–and, germane to this thing specifically: unreasonably angry–person…

    So maybe that’s part of why they don’t see it as risible, don’t at all get the joke. They figure, sure, he’s nasty, evil, probably rife with anger management issues and utterly profane; this just fits the whole thing we hear again and again about the forthrightly skeptical. Soulless, nasty brutes. Anyone who’d call True Believers™ full of it like that and actually make properly clear that you might as well teach the flat earth theory as their bunkum would totally chew out a four year old like that, never mind a senator.

    … granted, yeah, all pretty wild conjecture. And it could just be that it’s so badly written, sure.

  11. harbo says

    What is it with the USA, and the word Fuck?
    You can vilify any minority, espouse any frootloopery, as long as you aren’t profane?
    Weird.

    By the way, remember the yank who once remarked.”you don’t vote and you get fined?” (we have compulsory voting in Australia)
    to which came the response “you don’t vote and you get G W Bush”
    The world is pleading with you to vote in November.

  12. kosk11348 says

    I think it’s supposed to be wish fulfillment. “Wouldn’t it be great if somebody just told it like is?” kind of thing. Just the plain truth devoid of diplomatic language. Creationists are fucking idiots, full stop.

    Why Bill Nye? Presumably because he’s a figure of integrity who is on the right side on these issues. I don’t think it’s satire, exactly, or necessarily trying to be funny. But the author’s unfortunate choice to use the slur “retarded” completely undercuts his own message. The real Nye would never be that thoughtless in his criticisms.

  13. casey says

    @kosk11348

    I think you got it dead on. Everyone that I know who was posting this was super excited, at least the ones who didn’t realize it was satire. I mean, I’d like for it to be true. I’d like for one damn person to finally stand up and call these idiots like Akin what they are and not be nice about it at all.

  14. kraut says

    That shit is called SATIRE?

    Sorry, I grew up with satire that did not smear the reputation of it objects, and that what was done here. Extremely unfunny and potentially harming undeservedly the guys reputation.

    But when I listen to what counts as “humour” today in the US – that is really is (not)funny from a European perspective. Crude, very crude and over the top crude.
    I think it is appropriate the US drowns in a pile of shitty humour as well as in a shitty economy – the citizenry does just not deserve any better.
    And precisely because a sizable portion in the US cannot discern between reality and made up reality any more.
    Just look at the “humour” of Fox News…ah, sorry, that is called “reality”…

  15. McC2lhu saw what you did there. says

    I could have found the story believable if Bill had sometime in recent memory changed his catchphrase to “Change the fuckin’ world!”. He hadn’t so I didn’t.

  16. kraut says

    “You might get a better response here”

    I take it you feel that I don’t love things american – i.e their so called comedians, their foreign policies, their fruitless wars since 1945, their support for all kinds of unsavory clients? And you are right. No apology here, considering that I am worldwide in good company.

    But I know how it feels to be an inhabitant of a hated country – just look at my name, and take into account that I was born shortly after the war that again was supposed to end all wars (second time around).
    So, suck it up and realize that most of what your country does lately really stinks – comedy and satire included, and not ending with your internal policies I only care about as far as it affects the country I live in – Canada.

  17. says

    Nye hung out with the crassest people in Seattle and never, ever did a rumor of him being even sharp ever occur. And that’s before the kid’s show and all.

  18. johnmorgan says

    “…you don’t vote and you get G W Bush”

    My son-in-law voted, but he still got Bush. So what he achieved was to help promote a myth that democracy is alive and well in the USA.

    Are Americans really so ill-informed they think they are obliged to vote either Democrat or Republican?

  19. richcon says

    The Daily Currant really should leave the joke news to The Onion. A joke story that isn’t well written becomes deceptive “news” that people fall for. I had a friend fall for it and sent it to me. It confused me for a moment before I spotted that “satire” tag line in the corner.

    People shouldn’t have to read the site’s tagline or know what “satire” means (and it doesn’t actually mean “fiction”), or go read that site’s FAQ, to know that they’re reading a fake. If it’s not immediately obvious to everyone reading that it’s a joke, regardless of how well they know Nye or how good their command of English is, then it’s not really a joke anymore. Then it’s just a poorly- written hoax.

    It’s not funny when people come away thinking it’s true, and it’s really not funny when Bill Nye’s made to look like an ass for something he didn’t do.

  20. tfkreference says

    Why do people buy it? The same reason they believe David Barton: even if it’s not what Bill Nye or the founding fathers said, “it’s what they meant” (their words, not mine).

  21. bodie425 says

    I seemed totally out of character but I didn’t give it much thought at the time (I had other pressing issues–RIP my beautiful Minga). I’m glad it’s getting cleared up though. He is an important spokesperson in the fight to get religion out of the science classroom. It’s too bad that this Onion-wannabe website has besmirched an honorable man.

  22. w00dview says

    I wonder, has anyone on this site fell for a fake story like the Bill Nye one? Because, I am afraid to say, I have. It was about Sarah Palin condemning Santa Claus as a socialist. I got really wound up until I seen the humor tag at the top of the website and then felt like a huge idiot. But looking back, I thought the reason I fell for it is that Palin or some other wingnut WOULD probably say this about Santa! The American right is such a grotesque parody of itself that I would not be surprised if they wanted to ban strawberries because they feel the fruit is a secret form of communist propaganda.

    Here is the “story” for anyone interested:
    http://voices.yahoo.com/sarah-palin-santa-claus-comrade-claus-5107337.html

  23. zmidponk says

    kraut #20:

    That shit is called SATIRE?

    Sorry, I grew up with satire that did not smear the reputation of it objects, and that what was done here. Extremely unfunny and potentially harming undeservedly the guys reputation.

    Erm, what? It’s on a site that is clearly marked, ‘The Global Satirical Newspaper of Record’ on the top right of the very same page as the article, and, if you go to the front page of the site, the current first headline is, ‘Justin Bieber Rushed to Hospital Following First Erection’. It couldn’t be more obviously untrue and supposed to be satirical without having ‘BY THE WAY, THIS IS UNTRUE SATIRE’ inserted between every sentence. So how in the blue fuck could this be ‘smearing’ Bill Nye or ‘potentially harming’ his reputation? I’m surprised Snopes even wasted their time with this, quite frankly.

  24. NitricAcid says

    I got a laugh from the bit where the rape stork drops the babies off directly at the orphanage.

  25. says

    nigel @ 7

    So what? Whether the site is good or bad satire isn’t at issue. This is a matter of clearly-marked fake news being taken as real by uncritical people. You mean to tell me they’re to blame for that? C’mon.

  26. Shplane, Spess Alium says

    I’ll admit that I thought this was real for a few hours. In my defense, it was like 4AM when I read it and I really, really wish someone like Nye would call someone like Akin out on their bullshit in such completely uncompromising terms.

  27. says

    Jason:

    nigel @ 7

    So what?

    So it was poor satire. That’s all I said. I was criticizing the site for their poor level of humor.

    Whether the site is good or bad satire isn’t at issue. This is a matter of clearly-marked fake news being taken as real by uncritical people. You mean to tell me they’re to blame for that? C’mon.

    It is an issue. It’s just not your issue.

    No, they’re not to blame for folks taking it as real. And anyone who thought Bill Nye would talk like that (i.e., like an uncreative dolt) and spread it as truth is also to blame.

  28. says

    I was fooled, briefly, because the “Satire” warning was covered by some popup on my toolbar; but also there was a feeling that it’s about time someone called out the misogynistic nonsense that’s being peddled by some Republicans and Christians. Sure, it was out of character, especially the use of “retard”; but unlikely things do happen. Looking around the site, I realized it must be satire.