A state of con-fusion

SIMON GEVERS is an artist, writer and nuclear physicalist working on a speech writing book called CELEBRANTING, from which this SPEAKER’S CORNER is taken.

I’D like to welcome you all to the launch of this Top Notch Nuclear Facility; TNNF.

I don’t know a lot about science, but I do know a little bit about a lot of other things, which is obviously why I have been invited to launch you all.

We may all be aware that science at the moment is not as popular as The Bachelorette and certainly does not pay as well.

In fact, TNNF is giving me a fraction of what I get at the Coal Institute but I am here; a testament to reality.

And, what’s more, you are there.

So this is science; illuminating all that is here and there.

And what better way to illuminate than by exploding molecules at TNNF.

They’re so small that nobody’s even going to notice them blowing up.

What’s more, the mess is invisible. Truly a no brainer.

So why science? Why nuclear? Why energy? Why bother? Why so many questions?

The truth, as any scientist will tell you, is that it is a lot easier to ask questions than to give answers.

My three-year-old asked; “What is God, daddy?”

As an educator, I turned the question around and asked him; “What is God, daddy?”, to which he replied “ga ga”.

He got it right that time. Usually he just dribbles in reply. Though come to think of it, that would be the right answer as well.

I jest of course.

I would never offend the esteemed TNNF scientists among us who might believe.

Cynics cry; “As a scientist, how can you believe in an invisible person in the sky?”

I say to them; “How can you believe in an invisible molecule everywhere?”

I’ve never seen a molecule. Never smelt one. I wouldn’t know a molecule if I fell over it. I challenge you to show me a molecule right now. You must have one to spare. They are so everywhere. Bring it to me. Throw it at me. Knock me over with it…I didn’t think so.

Therein lies the great science PR failure. I call it SciPRfail.

You are the font of wisdom.

You font all these things but don’t prove them to us in a pre-digested format.

How are we supposed to believe them if they are not on commercial TV?

How dare you presume that we would watch the ABC? There’s hardly any sport on it.

Next you’ll be saying; “Listen to the Science Show on Radio National”. That guy is the biggest font of them all.

A mob of climate alarming, propagandistising free radicalising lefty agitatorisors.

How does climate change even relate to football?

You say it is getting hotter but have you not heard of night games?

Am I ranting? Sure, but somebody has to tell you.

You’re obsessed with facts. Facts for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Some of you probably have your hands in your pockets right now, playing with your facts. And they’re probably tiny little facts.

Well, my facts are bigger than yours and here they are:

1. Facts aren’t everything – everything is infinite and facts are limited. Boom!

2. Science doesn’t know everything – I know heaps of things and people that science hasn’t even heard of.

3. Science won’t save the planet – scientists are too busy hanging out in their labs comparing their tiny facts. Let the real men save the planet, like Batman and other people I know.

4. Scientists gorge on our taxes – where do they think the money comes from? Hypothesis: Money grows on trees. Prediction: There will be no trees. Conclusion: Scientists will have to get real jobs.

5. Chillax – Take a bath. Do your nails. Be like Strontium 90 and decay a little.

The world is not going to end in our lifetime. Why worry?

I am detecting some tension in the room. I would like you all to close your eyes while I take you on a guided relaxation that will blow your socks off. Relax…take a deep breath…breathe in oxygen. Breathe out carbon dioxide.

You are wet, floating in ooze, free as slime, joyfully extending your tiny mycelium through the miasma until you find another protozoan.

His/her name is Bruce/Brucette and he/she whispers in your ear, “Hey shapey, you look like my prototype. Wanna come to my place and flagellate?”

You arise together from the primordial slime, attuned to the unlimited possibilities before you when Bruce/Brucette says,”Would you like to dehydrate or evolve into a primate?”

You have heard that dehydrated protozoans can go for millennia between roots so you choose to be a primate.

You get more action than you bargained for as a primate.

The Bonobo baboons are insatiable, so you hightail it out of there into modern homo sapien where the food, the fun and the fornicating are quite fabulous.

You are still not quite satisfied, so you slightly alter your environment to accord with your tastes.

This leads to the planet’s rapid decline, which is where you are now.

You look around to see if there is anybody you know but the Bonobos are extinct. Serves them right.

It couldn’t be any more peaceful. Take another deep breath…breathe in carbon dioxide…breathe out carbon dioxide…I declare Top Notch Nuclear Facility open for explosion.

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