You might want to sit down

Here are the articles in the Scientists: series so far:


Sunday Sermon

Yes, science has some very scary things to say. But if you are brave and face up to them, the truth will set you free.

Adobe Images

I understand why there are so many climate science deniers and religious fanatics and new age numb skulls and pseudo-medical practitioners, charlatans, snake charmers and basic delusional cases in our world who seem to have not attended science class when they were young.

The truth is, they did attend science class. How come they deny science?

Science is horrible.

Science has said some pretty awful things. It hasn’t come right out and said them, mind you, but anybody that tips their toe into science’s icy water has felt this chill. Science, I’m very sorry to say, has at least “inferred” that:

— There…


Are Simone Biles, Naomi Osaka, The Afghan Army, Harry & Meghan and Keven McCarthy perfect emblems of our pusillanimous times, or shining examples of the new bravery?

The horrors of World War II and the subsequent prospect of Cold War nuclear destruction created what was known as the Age of Existential Courage.

Yes, there was an embrace of the doom, a philosophy that life was absurd or meaningless and there was very little hope, but the doctrine of the age was for the existentially courageous man to embrace his freedom, face the fact that he probably should kill himself, but to choose to live instead, since that is in fact the most courageous choice. It was called existential courage.

It was recently pointed out in a brilliant


So I can name it The Sturgeon General

Photo by Oxa Roxa on Unsplash

I can just picture the logo — too bad I can’t draw. There would be this fish in uniform, of course, with medals on his lapels. He’s the Sturgeon General, get it?

Yes, this is what I do with my free time (and also some of my not-free time when I am being paid to be thinking of something else, but there you have it.)

For instance:

I want to start a space rock band…

…so I can call it “Galactic Bulge”

(Picture this rocker sporting quite a package, a la Spinal Tap. Yep, that’s the galactic bulge.)

I want to start a tampon company…

…called “There Will Be Blood”

(I guess I would use the same bearded guy from the movie as the logo for this.)

I want to start a tattoo parlor that only services hitmen

…so I can call it “Murder Ink”


And that’s where I come in

Photo by Max Kleinen on Unsplash

Poor old Yorick. Hamlet, that first modern human being, was quite capable of conceiving of Yorick’s death. He knew him well, after all. But his own death? Hamlet seemed a little wishy washy about it. “To sleep, perchance to dream.” Um…good luck with that Hamlet. I mean, Yorick isn’t dreaming, is he? So how the hell are you going to dream after you’re just a skull?

Neurologists recently did an experiment that showed the human being is programmed to ignore the fact of its own death. The brain seems to regard death as something that happens to people less fortunate…


Sunday Sermon

So what the hell is your therapist talking about exactly?

Psyche and Mercury Photo by Christian Paul Stobbe on Unsplash

I am happy that you are being helped by psychotherapy, don’t get me wrong. I just think that you should know, psychology is not a science. It is a collection of opinions about what might make people feel better.

At no time ever has psychotherapy or psychiatry impressively outperformed a placebo. …


I think I might have COVID

Photo by Helena Lopes on Unsplash

Whatever horse dewormer you have is fine. You don’t have any horse dewormer? No, that’s alright, I know you would share it with me if you had it, neighbor.

Huh?

What do you mean, “You are not a horse.” I’m not a dummy, neighbor. I know I’m not a horse. But I heard through the grapevine, and by the grapevine I mean the insane conspiracy Qanon Trumpy internet sites I go on, that horse dewormer fights COVID. Do you have any?

No?

What about bleach? Do you have a cup of bleach I could drink?

What do you mean, “You…


Guess I was right — he won’t get vaccinated!

Photo by whereslugo on Unsplash

My mother used to say, “You don’t choose your friends.” I think it’s kind of true. This friend kind of joined our friend group years ago and de facto became my friend.

It’s not like dating, where you have a few coffees together before you “seal the deal.” Male friendship just sort of happens without much reflection.

As long as a dude can crack a few jokes and make me laugh, I will for sure be his friend.

We men are seriously not complicated.

I don’t actually expect a lot from male friendship.

I have much higher expectations and standards for females. Sexism? Maybe, but probably just an Oedipal…


Wednesday Sermon

No wonder your room is such a mess!

Photo by Charge The Globe on Unsplash

Go easy on yourself, big guy. I know, I know, your Mom and Dad expected such big things out of you.

But newsflash: your mom and dad are apes too!

Just in case you doubted the scientists' assertion that you and all the rest of the population are in fact apes, take a look at the news this week.

Yep, over in Afghanistan apparently, some marauding Taliban have been gang-raping dead female corpses. …


Sunday Sermon

It has simply helped stop us from dying young

A very old sea turtle. Photo by Will Turner on Unsplash

On what exactly are futurists like the much mentioned Ray Kurzweil basing their optimistic forecasts about science beating death? Surely not medical science’s lousy history of improving human longevity. Maybe Kurzweil should have stuck to making awesome electronic keyboards — that Kurzweil sound is the only thing that will live forever, sorry, Ray.

In all the years since Hippocrates became the first hypocrite, the longevity of humans has remained almost exactly the same — despite vitamins, minerals and hyperbaric oxygen chambers.

As Yuval Harari points out in Homo Deus, the focus on “living forever” is a scam invented to help…

Clem Samson

Essayist, humorist, satirist, funny-ist, poetist, fictionalist, fabulist, quizzist, journalist. Creative Writing Prof at Harvard College, Duluth, Minnesota.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store