Matt Taylor's Shirt: What Really Happened

Matt Taylor's Shirt: What Really Happened

November 12th 2014, 5.30 pm, European Space Agency (ESA) headquarters.

“POP” The sound of a champagne bottle is followed by shouts of joy. The lander “Philae” has just landed, despite some malfunctioning, on the comet P67, only 318 million miles away from Earth.
An unprecedented scientific expedition, extraordinary, sensational: it's basically like throwing a paper airplane, hitting the center of the turbines of a Boeing 747 flying at 20 000 feet of altitude, and making it go through them undamaged.
A tiny bit of prosecco and everybody back to work: they are scientists, not businessmen. Those, by now, would have been celebrating with rivers of vintage Champagne as long as it costs a fourth of the GDP, with S & M prostitutes coming out of cakes entirely garnished with 100% pure Colombian cocaine, and  with an occasional Mubarak's nephew paid for not being a prostitute.

The boss at ESA rings the glass:

“Gentlemen, I know that we would all want to drop the drink and get so drunk that we wouldn't be able to tell the difference between integration by substitution and integration by parts... but out there is full of journalists who want to know something more”.

Stunned silence. Journalists aren't well seen at the headquarters of a scientific organization: normally they appear only when a spaceship explodes... what to do?
From the back of the room, you can hear a deep voice: “Boss, if you don't mind, I can go”.

Who spoke is Matt Taylor, one of the heroes of the day: he has been working at the Rosetta mission for 10 years and he is a physics genius. But with respect to his colleagues he is rather atypical: he is a huge man, his arms and legs are covered with tattoos and he dresses in an extravagant manner. But most importantly, he spends time on social networks, he takes funny pictures of himself, he has sense of humor and a social life.

The director of ESA shivers.

“Are you sure Matt? Remember that those guys are professionals at screwing people... half a wrong word and you'll find yourself crying on Oprah Winfrey's shoulder”.

“Don't worry boss. I have just landed a robot on a comet, how could a couple of dudes with a microphone be a problem?”

“Matt, perhaps we should send someone with a more normal attitu...”

“SLAM!” The door closes: Matt is gone.

 

November 12th 2014, 10.05 pm, headquarters of “The Guardian”.

The managing editor is fuming, his heart beat is like the one of a mouse that just took a shot of adrenaline.

“Those sons of a bitch! THOSE GREAT SONS OF A BITCH!”

An employee: “Excuse me boss, what's wrong?”

“What's wrong?? Here is what's wrong!”

A photo of Matt Taylor appears on the screen, while he was at the press conference of a few hours before.
“We asked them to send us a scientist! A SCIENTIST, damned jewels of the crown! Does it look like a scientist this one?”.

“Ehm...to tell the truth, doctor Taylor is a scientist...”

The director, reaching out to the others in the room:
“Where the fuck have you found this idiot? Is he the one we found 26 years ago and abandoned when still in diapers in the rough-copies trash can?”

Then turning back to the employee:
“Listen to me carefully, moron. A scientist is someone tall, anorexic and gangling, wearing glasses and a white overall, someone who in life gets as much melanin as pussy, that is ZERO! A scientist doesn't get laid, jerks off watching blackboards filled with mathematical formulas and comes when it all adds up. Twice a year he gets a blowjob in exchange for a D in a final. He doesn't have a social life and he's as boring to watch as to listen to. This is what our readers are expecting, what they want. What they sent us is not a scientist, he's a damn cool dude with a degree in astrophysics”.

 

The head director intervenes:'
What could be the consequences?”

The managing editor in a more respectful tone addresses his boss:
“Devastating sir, devastating. Our readers won't stand the weight of the news. We are a liberal newspaper, our average reader is a frustrated bank employee, who during high school was fascinated by the paradoxes of relativity but was told that by studying physics the only hole one could find is a space-time singularity. And then we have a bunch of old retired right-minded people who have a respiratory collapse every time that one of their stereotypes fails”.

The phone rings, the managing editor answers. Eyes wide open, he turns to the head director:
“Boss...it's the CEO at the phone”.

“On the screen please”.

The young face of a yuppie appears on the screen. He has the angry expression that a AC-Milan supporter had after the 2005 Champions League final.

 

“Gentlemen, I come from talking with the shareholders. We don't give a shit anymore about the comet. We gotta destroy this Taylor”.

The director, puzzled:

“Sir, we are talking about a historic scientific event. Every newspaper will publish about it”.

“I don't care, overshadow them, make more noise than them. This is what I pay you for”.

“But sir...”

“Listen to me carefully: our shareholders are companies who survive employing in call centers underpaid philosophy graduates. Above them there are the same frustrated employees with a degree in economics who read us, and above these the prancing lawyers that at night go back home to their right-minded wives who chose them because being with a guy who studies law was cool. They raise their children with bread and commonplaces, making of them the next generation of frustrated employees.
Do you have a fucking idea of what happens to all these people if we pass the message that you can be cool with bad-boy tattoos, a hefty body and  nonetheless a Nobel prize brain?”

“No sir, what could happen?”

“Social breakdown! Suburbs bumpkins would start thinking that studying is not necessary a thing losers do, right-minded would stop thinking right, the elite of intelligent people that until now has been contained by its own poor reproduction skills would become progressively more dominant.
But mostly if this message goes through, I can guarantee you that your jobs will be given to a dugong and a pelican, and you'll be sent reporting live ISIS beheadings and shootings among narcs in Mexico City”.

The screen turns off, and the image of Matt Taylor reappears. The directors look at each other, appalled. The journalists are scratching their heads. A girl at one end of the table raises her hand.

“Perhaps we could attack him about his tattoos?”

The head director shakes his head.
“Impossible... Lombroso's theories are long no more fashionable. Also, look at the star system: they're all tattooed, from Britney Spears to Miley Cyrus to Rihanna. All those pop stars that keep teenagers closed in their bathrooms for weeks are full of ink: going against them is not a good idea”.

Minutes of silence, deeper and deeper. Then suddenly a young man jumps up from his chair:

“Eureka! I got it! The shirt!”

The managing editor looks at the screen.

“It's a bit extravagant with those pin-up girls, yes, but I don't think you can write a piece on this”.

“Are you kidding boss? Half-naked women playing with guns, sexualization, objectification, commodification of the body of a woman...”

“Son, we already had pin-ups in the twenties. There are girls who take pictures of themselves dressed like pin-ups even among my facebook contacts”. 

“Feminist associations will help us building up some more mess!”

"Feminists? Those of the He4She campaign launched by Emma Watson at the UN?”

“No sir, those are serious people. The other feminists, those who send a big bootie around the streets of New York mistaking every kind of interaction with male individuals for sexual harassment”.

The head director intervenes: 
"How are we going to involve them?”

The young man all excited answers:
“This is the awesome part, we don't need to. We write a piece about the fact that that shirt maybe is a bit inopportune, although we add that we are talking about the person who succeeded in carrying out a scientific endeavor that will make history.
The feminist wakes up in the morning in the grip of hydrophobia because she repudiated as male chauvinists all those who gave her attention in the past two years. She opens the newspaper looking for a reason to live: something to be outraged at. She finds this news: she discovers that there is a man that can park a spaceship onto a rock at 318 million miles from Earth, while she can't fit put her Smart in the parking that has just been left by a truck with a trailer. She is overwhelmed by envy, tries to find a reason to rationalize her hatred, that's when she finds the SHIRT.
She calls her friend denouncing this horrible episode of machismo, and the friend barely realizes that there is a comet in the middle. Two days later no one would talk about science anymore”.

He takes a breath. The directors look at each other, smile and nod. This can work.

 

November 16th 2014, 09.30 am, Emma Watson's house.

The pretty actress is calmly having breakfast on the terrace. Of course, it is November, but she has enough money to afford an artificial microclimate that makes of her house a tropical paradise.
A day full of appointments is ahead, but she finds some time to open the newspaper. She finds out that the night before a scientist broke into tears while excusing himself on TV for his T-shirt, rather than receiving an applause for his outstanding accomplishments.

She turns pale. She gets her phone, calls her colleague who is following the campaign of the project He4She: a serious feminist project, important, to which she committed receiving an equal measure of appreciation and scorn. 

“Hello darling, have you read today's newspaper?”

“Uhm... yes, why?”

“Have you read about the shirt of the scientist? What do you think?”

“Well, I don't think that the topic deserves all those words, but yeah, honestly you must have quite a bad taste to wear that shirt”.

“ARE YOU STUPID?”

 

Silence. Emma's body temperature starts rising dramatically.

“Do you realize that this afternoon I am the guest at a conference about gender stereotypes where I have to explain that while a man was talking about astrophysics, the brain of the majority of the female public hasn't gone past his shirt? How the hell am I supposed to avoid that they look at us as a flock of hens?”

Embarrassed silence... Watson's temperature is at iron fusion level.

“We spent sixteen trillion dollars in information campaigns in order to sensitize the public about the fact that no one has the right to judge a woman for how she dresses, and we put up a mess about how a man dresses?”

“Ehm... But it wasn't us doing that”.

The garden of her neighbors starts combusting, the weather forecast satellite reveals a volcano-like activity in the area.

“No, but it's been those fucking geese who define themselves feminists! Guess who put her face in world-vision while explaining that “feminism” shouldn't be considered as a bad word, that you should have the courage to call yourself feminist if you are fighting for gender equality?”

“Ehm... you?”

“Exactly! And guess who spends a third of her day updating passwords of a laptops and 3 phones because an army of hackers is looking forward to stealing my photos and selling them to the jerks around the world?”

“Ehm... you again?”

“Right! And who is gonna be asked by journalists why, if it had been a woman the protagonist of a scientific accomplishment and people would have noticed her extravagant clothing, why we would have talked about disgusting and retrograde machismo, beating them up more than in Clockwork Orange?”

“Listen Emma, what would you like me to do?”

Various scientists at this point are filling blackboards with formulas to understand if Emma Watson could power up a nuclear plant. In many millions of years the radio-telescope of an alien civilization will detect an anomalous source of heat coming from a peripheral region of the Milky Way.

“I want you to eradicate the Giza Pyramids and use them to fuck in the ass those idiots who made this mess, and without cleaning it from the sand!!! Do the phone calls that you have to do, take people in Europe off their beds even if in the middle of the night, but make sure that every time that one of these girls goes out of the house there is a hot model, dressed exactly like her, who follows her around every day until she emigrates to Fire Earth”.

“Ok, it will be done”.

“And send out a press release in which we distance ourselves from this episode of sexism, harassment and stalking of a respectable member of the scientific community”.

“I agree”.

Emma Watson hangs up the phone, her body temperature is returning progressively to a range where can be expressed without the need of exponential notation, and before turning off her phone she changes again the password, you never know.
She then rests her head on her hand in discomfort... it's hard being ambassadors of an idea of equality, when this idea gets systematically applied in all the possible wrong ways.

From the afterlife, someone agrees with her, completely.

Luca Romano (translated from Italian by Diego Scarabelli)
@twitTagli

ADMINS' DISCLAIMER: As we fed up with the shitstorm falling on us everytime we talk about gender issues in a not totally politically correct way, we add to this massive delirium giving some indications - which in a common-sense provided world should be open and shout. So:
FIRST: everything written above is fictional, didn't really happen, it's like Smurfs and retirement for people born after 1980 in Italy - it does not exist and will never exist. 
SECOND: reading and commenting this article require four things: intellect, open mind, humor and (mostly) self-irony. We know, the author makes bad jokes about women parking inability. And also a lot of other, all tremendous: he did it intentionally
Consider them for what they are: craps, written as craps with the value of craps. 
He makes an attempt to give a comic timing: he can't come home to each of you making you tickle under your feet, so he tries. Maybe will work, maybe not.
But the point - that's our secret hope - should not be "the author is unpolite"; the point is the general meaning of the article - which should be read between the lines. 
We know that: for 99.9% of the people this boring speech is ridiculous and unnecessary. But unfortunately, 0.1% is much seething and sullen, so we'd like to be clear. 

Kisses & hugs, dear readers.
Thanks.

the Admins

Commenti

Well said. My favorite part:

Well said. My favorite part: “We spent sixteen trillion dollars in information campaigns in order to sensitize the public about the fact that no one has the right to judge a woman for how she dresses, and we put up a mess about how a man dresses?”

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