Tuesday, March 17, 2009

He Blinded Me With Science

I didn't have the Reformeisters pegged as 80's music fans, but they're sounding an awful lot like one of those hit radio stations that pander to Generation X. Expanding the Tories' reach among forty-somethings must be Harpoid's latest brilliant strategy.

As their performance over the past couple of days demonstrates, the Reformeisters' repetoire spans the best from the decade that brought us the mullet.

Exhibit A
Here's Preston Manning in today's Globe:

I know, it's a sordid piece of drivel -- even skimming it could harm your brain. So here's one of the best bits from his Hooray for Sciency mission:

A good starting point would be to organize, within the next six weeks, a one-day, high-profile gathering in Ottawa of the country's top science practitioners, administrators, entrepreneurs, investors and communicators. The purpose would be to showcase what they and their peers can contribute to all of the above, especially economic recovery.
This event would be organized by a professional event-planning company, not an agency or company with a vested interest in federal science spending or policy.
Attendees would spend at least half their time in as many meetings as could be arranged with MPs, senators, senior civil servants and media representatives to convey a single, positive, amply illustrated message: Canada's science and technology community stands ready and willing to do its part to assist in coping with the recession if given the direction, opportunity and resources to do so.

Yay! Scienticians can now grab their rightful place alongside the professional scientists in elitist universities. Now what would that gathering look like? Well, Manning is clearly channeling Thomas Dolby:

All you have to do is make Manning's voice an octave lower, and he's a dead ringer for the old dude on the video who exclaims, "Science!!"

Exhibit B
Here's Gary Goodyear in today's Globe:

I'm sure he's at a loss to explain why his evolutionary skepticism is creating such a fuss. Like Manning, he's twitching with excitement about all the sciency learning that will enable us to learn truthy things:
“I do believe that just because you can't see it under a microscope doesn't mean it doesn't exist. It could mean we don't have a powerful enough microscope yet. So I'm not fussy on this business that we already know everything. … I think we need to recognize that we don't know.” Asked to clarify if he was talking about the role of a creator, Mr. Goodyear said that the interview was getting off topic."

But his rhetoric soars even higher than Manning's high-pitched call to arms. For Goodyear, the fate of the free world depends on our scienticians:
“Now I have got a portfolio that I am absolutely passionate about and frankly connected to,” he said, adding that his days of experimenting with engines in high school automotive class gave him an appreciation for what it feels like to come up with something new.
“When I was in high school, we were already tweaking with a coil that would wrap around the upper [radiator] hose and it got an extra five miles to the gallon. … So I've been there on this discovery stuff.”
Commercializing research – the focus of the government's science and technology policy – is an area where Canada needs to make improvements, he says.
If we are going to be serious about saving lives and improving life around this planet, if we are serious about helping the environment, then we are going to have to get some of these technologies out of the labs onto the factory floors. Made. Produced. Sold. And that is going to fulfill that talk. So yes, we have to do all of it, we have to do discovery … but it can't end there.”

Passion, commercialism, engines, saving lives, and a whiff of scientology...if you think that combination sounds familair, you're right. Like Manning, Goodyear is channeling another one-hit wonder from the 80's:

As another pop-culture star who got his start in the 80's once said, "It's funny cause it's true."

But there's no doubt that Goodyear's creationism will take your breath away.

News Cycle Digestion Update:

Well, this news cycle got digested before bedtime. Not sure what's more pathetic: having your Science Minister being forced to say he believes in evolution (did he say what type of evolution?); or having your Industry Minister being forced to say that his research and development includes the humanities.


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