The internet seems to have just about had it with astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson’s incessant “well actually” tweets. On Friday the 13th in the year of our lord 2018, Tyson pulled up the ol’ Twitter and shot off a word cluster essentially calling the date insignificant.
“If you do the full calculation you will find that Friday the 13th is no less rare on the calendar than Thursday the 12th,” Tyson tweeted. Neil, guy, you are why we can’t have nice things like arbitrary superstitions.
The tweet sent science Twitter and beyond into something of a frenzy. Data scientist Emily Gorcenski tweeted: “Neil deGrasse Tyson’s bullshit is worth criticizing because he popularizes a rhetoric which he can promote factually, objectively wrong things from a faulty basis. This pattern has been weaponized in online rhetoric.” Another user responded: “I swear to god this twitter account is just a fucking meme at this point.” And one microbiologist said: “Your bio should say, ‘Special skills: Ability to suck the fun out of any room.’”
Friday’s tweet is but the most recent incident of a years-long pattern of Tyson seemingly dunking on things that are intrinsically good, like Star Wars. In 2015, Tyson went on a truther tour of The Force Awakens in an apparent attempt to highlight the film’s “science” holes. The Force Awakens, I needn’t remind readers, is a science fiction film — fiction being the operative word.
All this is to say, Neil deGrasse Tyson must be stopped. We have been This Is Fine Dog for far too long while Tyson burns down every nice in this world with his “science” and unbridled nihilism. Even Netflix is sick of his shit. Resurfacing a 2013 tweet grievance by Tyson that Armageddon wasn’t on Netflix, the company responded Friday: “well its on there now if u wanna ruin it for everyone, neil [sic].”
The Picasso of pedantry, as Inverse science reporter Peter Hess has dubbed him, will undoubtedly continue to foist his unsolicited hot takes on us for as long Twitter exists. Perhaps the only thing to say about that is hold onto your butts because he’s probably drafting another as you read this.