Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

It would be awesome if Neil DeGrasse Tyson would shut it

Photo: Cindy Ord (Getty Images)

Billions of years ago, within the great cosmic crucible that was the wellspring of all life in the universe, matter and energy danced in a joyous pas de deux as electrons, photons, and neutrons cheered them on, this vast whirling dervish expanding and contracting with the very breath of being before finally exploding in an ecstatic celestial ejaculation all over the void that left the panting starfield absolutely drenched in carbon, which it then spent the next several millennia mopping up with volcanoes and dinosaurs and platypuses and Mickey Rourke.

This impersonal lifeforce breathed and moved over the rocks and the waters, until at last their primordial orgy produced a species capable of wresting that original, reverberating spark and bending it to its will, using it to create wondrous technologies that erased time, distance, and loneliness itself with a form of communication so instantaneous that, no sooner had those hominids stood erect and gazed into the mystical night air to utter their amazement at its ineffable depths, then Neil DeGrasse Tyson popped up to ACTUALLY all over it—the astonishing, unlikely chain of events that birthed our very existence, all leading to a guy telling you to stop liking stuff incorrectly. Awesome.


ACTUALLY, this isn’t the first time Tyson has taken issue with overuse of the word “awesome,” or reminded everyone that polio vaccines are objectively much better than Breaking Bad, or generally been the stabilizing nuclear force that keeps the galaxies from spinning dangerously out of control and enjoying things.

ACTUALLY, Tyson wields his dislike for inaccurate colloquialisms and his hard-on for the Moon like a cudgel against the devolution of language, in the medium where such lessons are most appreciated—Twitter—even as he is hoisted with his own pedantic petard for abusing it himself. Even as the self-appointed guardians of that field gently, firmly suggest he knock it off.


But ACTUALLY, if you were to look at spacetime as a four-dimensional block in which past, present, and future simultaneously coexist, then you will realize that Tyson didn’t tweet these today, or several times prior, or will surely tweet it again next year, but that he is always tweeting them—that Neil DeGrasse Tyson being annoying is a fixed state that cannot be changed, as permanent today as it is 1,000 years from now, when cyborgs will handle all of our tweets and Tyson is, as we speak, reminding them that the word “cyborg” inherently implies the presence of organic matter and ACTUALLY what you really mean is “android.”



ACTUALLY, one day soon—a relative blip in the lifespan of the universe, in fact, the metaphorical blink of an eye that is ACTUALLY just the inactivation of the levator palpebrae superioris and the activation of the palpebral portion of the orbicularis oculi—we will all be dead, our atoms finally dissipating and rejoining those that make up the invisible, interstellar fabric that even now connects us to one another, and then Neil DeGrasse Tyson will no longer be able to tell us what we’re wrong about. It will be awesome.

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