I rather enjoy it when the Left demonstrates that when it comes to tolerance, the Puritans of yore were free thinking hedonists compared to most of them. Case in point:
Seemingly everyone on Earth watched in astonishment as humanity landed a research probe on a small comet speeding 84,000 miles per hour towards the sun. Well, everyone on Earth except Ms. Rose Eveleth of Brooklyn, N.Y.
The acting technology editor for The Atlantic couldn’t pay attention to the history being made right in front of her eyes. She was too busy screen-capping and zooming-in on a scientist’s shirt to see if it offended her. And, boy, did it ever.
“The dude” is Rosetta Project astrophysicist Matt Taylor, who wore an intentionally kitschy bowling shirt covered with cartoons of ’80s-era pin-up girls holding sci-fi guns. It’s basically a parody of the tacky artwork that adorned everything from Duran Duran cassette covers to Trans Am hoods. Taylor is also covered shoulder-to-ankle in garish tattoos, has the requisite ironic hipster beard and holds international press conferences in surf shorts, purple socks and skater shoes.
Granted, I prefer my rocket scientists with crewcuts, skinny black ties and thick-rimmed glasses, but culture has devolved in the decades since the Mercury missions. That being said, what kind of a buzzkill would deny a brilliant physicist a silly, celebratory wardrobe on the greatest day of his professional life?
Several miserable harpies joined Ms. Eveleth on the public shaming, turning a staggering scientific achievement into a colloquy on restoring Victorian dress codes. For the record, the shirt was made by a woman named Elly Prizeman as a fun gift for her physicist friend. No doubt, she shall be placed in the village stockade for her grievous sin of consorting with a male and having her cartoon ladies show too much ankle. Her repentance will only be accepted when she covers them up in burkas.
Mr. Taylor then made the bad situation worse. Instead of telling these progressive puritans to go pound silicon dioxide, he issued a sobbing public confession straight out of a Maoist show trial. This guy just dropped a dishwasher on an ice cube 300 million miles from home and he’s groveling to a coven of D-list bloggers?
The guy is a brilliant scientist and a modern slob. The only way I would be caught dead wearing his shirt is if I were dead and it was placed on my cold corpse. Ironically it was made for him by a female friend, who either has bad taste or a very keenly developed sense of humor.
However, it is the Left that has promoted the concept of people being free to mock sartorial standards and to treat the world as if it is their living room or bed room. Offend the PC Gods, however, and they begin searching for stocks and dunking stools to enforce their notions of propriety and morality. The idea of criticizing this guy for his dress while he is discussing this amazing feat of engineering and science is risible. “Well, Madame Curie, your discovery of radium is of note, but really, did you have to wear that dowdy frock while doing so?” The modern world increasingly resembles a live action, nonstop Monty Python skit.