“The sun is but a morning star.”
I like this Walden quote. Even though it’s a bit anthropocentric (the sun is there all the time and morning is just an experience we share here on rock ball number three from it depending on our positional relationship to it), it’s also cosmologically holistic: it’s just a star. One of many. Our life giving cosmic blob of gases, inconceivable heat, and fire geysers; the thing that gives me a fantastic tan for the small price of carcinoma; the only way my food can eat before I eat my food… Just a star? Just something that sits in the same bucket as one of those twinkling pave pin pricks you see dotting the ebony evenings up above? What a thought. But one that makes sense. Because we all know that stars are made of heated up gas or miscellaneous plasma and definitely something that’s not solid… like, say… the moon. Wait, we do know that right? That the moon is solid and a man landed there and Men In Black have a station hidden up there that they photoshop out of the snaps beamed back to us?
Even a QVC host?
I just rewatched this to see when the good part is (7:23) in and I still choked on mashed banana laughing at it. Did I just witness the ignorance caused by our nation’s main low level focuses (fashion, television, consumerism, famous people) all epitomized into one brief real life exchange? You know, when I watched that movie Idiocracy, I thought it was just that – a movie. Not a documentary directed by Nostradamus. Maybe the revolution won’t be televised, but the devolution of humanity is – and it’s happening in real time!
But I don’t like to wallow in shade throwing….
Let’s look at this to see if we can’t find a solution in the problem:
I see two types of ignorance happening here: First is the kind that’s calm and condescending (Isaac) – but has just enough truth in it for you to almost believe the whole thing. And then there’s the defiant decibel-deafening kind that nobody agrees with (host) because it’s anxious and angry and sounds like a Hitler mixed with the chick who peaked halfway through high school (a time during which she mayhaps got knocked up and never read a book again?). But before we go any further: 1.) Yes, the sun is a star and not a planet 2.) The moon is not a planet or a star, but a natural satellite – earth’s only one.
So, those are the “facts” – the ones we’ve all agreed to believe. It’s helpful to know facts because it allows us to converse with one another within the context of society. Deviate from that, and people get confused – like you’re speaking an alien’s language. (Or – worse yet – an immigrant’s ). Still, they’re just words and terms for things that would go on doing their things without our eyeballs and measuring tools. Like when Einstein said something to the effect of, “I like to think the moon’s still there whether I’m looking at it or not.”
But, shit, for all he knew– maybe it turned into an angry English muffin when free from his gaze.
What matters a little more than all these facts, though (which – incidentally – you don’t hafta yell about; you can table it and Google later when you’re not on live T.V.), is how you interact. That’s the whole reason we agree to use facts and follow proper language rules, right? So we can interact smoothly and sans confusion? (Remember that Maya A.quote “people won’t remember what you said or did – but how you made them feel”?) Fashion and T.V. get a bad rap – and while they’re not on my top priority list – I wouldn’t wanna exclude anyone here in either industry. Whether you’re an FIT grad or a talk show host, let this bad example be inspiration for what to avoid. Whatever your hobby or focus is, you should do it with at least a modicum of humility (and be open minded to learning stuff outside of it). You, your opinions, and what you think you know about the world aren’t what’s most important, though. What is, is the way you interact with others and a dash of humility goes a long way for that. How hard is it to say “I don’t know” or “you’re right” or “Is that right? I’ll have to look it up” instead of machine gunning what you read (misread?) once on Wikipedia? If you’re secure enough in your beliefs, you don’t feel compelled to scream about it like this chick did till she lost control of her whole show. It can’t feel good to give your stupidity a megaphone like this. (I get a showering of shame when I just do it with one person.) Plus, Isaac can’t have felt terribly comfortable. (A note – even though he was half wrong too, he asked someone to look it up, at least.) She’s probably ruined it for the whole show. No one will wanna come on for a while. QVC will need good P.R. ASAP. Losing your cool over anything isn’t just bad for you, but it’s selfish in ways you don’t even consider until you see the consequences of having let yourself go there. (Yes, this is coming from Miss “wrath is my favorite sin”- when it involves others’ feelings, it’s detrimental for all involved.)
So, in sum, my suggestion’s this:
Learn. Learn all you can; but don’t get wrapped up in facts you think you’ve acquired. For three reasons. First, you don’t own what you know. You didn’t discover any planets yourself. Knowing stuff is great but that doesn’t necessarily make you a better person; in fact, it makes you the opposite when you use facts as tools for violently trying to showcase your ego. (Even if you’re right, ask yourself, “how likeable am I gonna be after Hulking out?”) Second: our “facts” come from science – a field that’s constantly changing (I mean, in my life span alone, Pluto’s been a planet, not a planet, and cartoon dog that for some reason is subservient to Goofy who’s also just a dog #insertwaltdisneynazireference). And, finally, reason three: Even language, science, and the sources we all rely on for these tools we’ve agreed to collectively use as climbing hammers while navigating our icy life cliff … have their limits:
So: The sun is a star and not a planet. And the dictionary we love and trust limits the definition of “satellite” to orbiting earth and planets only. And NASA – the people who go up there and put flags in shiz – say earth’s a satellite of the sun. So… we’re a satellite of the sun – even though satellites only orbit planets – which the sun isn’t ’cause stars aren’t planets? Got it. So, who’s right? Oxford or NASA? Science and Language Arts are having a fight! I hope they don’t get divorced. I won’t know who to go and live with. They’ve both raised me and I’m equally attached.
My point is that there’s no sense angrily clutching onto and disseminating information. We can use it peacefully for basic communication, higher learning, and helping others ultimately. And if you know something clever you want to bring up for conversational purposes (on, say, a product-selling show), share it humbly and serenely (this’s good because if you’re wrong, people will just correct – not crucify you virally like the vid above). If you don’t, shut ya damn mouth and carry out your unique mission in life of selling these pastel eye-bominations. But none of it’s worth arguing or competing or ego-sparring over. Not when we have so much to learn from each other. Not when we all share that same wonderful “star” in common for survival. Because knowing “facts” about it doesn’t place you on par with its majesty somehow. Maybe if we remember that said star doesn’t rise and set for us and (poetic though Thoreau is), that’s it’s always out there and that’s it’s still a “star” whether it’s “morning” where we each are or not – that’d be a good start. Because one fact remains even when all the other celestial, dictionary, and poetic semantics clash:
The universe is not your satellite.