Bill Nye the pseudo-science guy

bill nye

“Remember, either I’m right or you go to jail.”

Recently America dealt with yet another social justice haemorrhoid in the form of the “March for Science”, in which far-left ideologues try to convince ordinary people that if you like science, you must be anti-Trump, and of course they failed miserably because no sane person wants anything to do with social justice anymore. The face of that endeavour was Bill Nye, the so-called “science guy” who most people only remember for a PBS children’s show back in the 1990’s, but the March for Science isn’t why I’m talking about him.

On Saturday, Netflix put out a TV show entitled “Bill Nye Saves the World”, a late night talk show in which he talks about how sciences supposedly “intersects with politics, pop culture and society”. In other words, it’s Nye’s own entry in an overcrowded market dominated by the likes of fellow propagandists like John Oliver and Trevor Noah. One of the episodes (which were all released at the same time) focused on promoting myth of “sexuality is a spectrum” as hard science, and he even summoned a barely known actress Rachel Bloom to do one of the worst musical numbers of all time (don’t believe me? click here if you dare).

Picture this for a moment. Bill Nye, a man who the establishment media in America has proclaimed to be the one of the go-to scientific experts, is on the “sexuality is a spectrum” bandwagon, even though the only “evidence” for it is on Tumblr, a site with as much scientific credibility as a crazy cat lady. He’s also the same person who apparently is such a fervent apostle of the cult of global warming that he believes climate skeptics should be jailed for their heresy, a sentiment also shared by Bernie Sanders and, of all people, Eric Idle.

Of course, the thing you need remember is that the so-called “science guy” isn’t even an actual scientist. His bachelor degree is in mechanical engineering, though his main trade seems to be a science educator, and before his TV show was even conceived, he was a comedian. Of course, the only reason people treat him as a scientist is because his mere presence fuels people’s nostalgia for his PBS series, which I presume works well for the editors of Buzzfeed, a fake news site that practically runs on a constant 90’s boner.

The reason why he’s so keen on promoting Tumblrisms as credible science is obvious – it’s in vogue. You see, Bill Nye is pretty much a shyster. He appeals to the left’s proclaimed love of science (except when it goes against their narrative of course) by branding himself as “the science guy” and presenting himself as a cheerleader of scientific inquiry. That’s how he managed to become a celebrity, and appealing to the left-wing establishment has gotten him rich. It’s a sham, and all around the world leftists will for it because they’ve bought into the idea that all conservatives are just science hating nutjobs who suck the cock of the oil industry all the time. People like Bill Nye and Neil deGrasse Tyson know that.

The problem, however, is that Bill Nye believes that science is political, and he practically confesses this in a CNN panel discussion on climate change, wherein his facade is broken by William Happer, an actual scientist whose findings contradict Nye’s agenda-driven fearmongering. It’s generally not hard to pick apart Bill Nye’s positions. In fact, the only debate that I’m sure he won was the debate he had with Ken Ham, the famous peddler of Young Earth Creationism. Of course he would win, though doesn’t it sound rather odd that he decided to take on Ken Ham in 2014, long after creationists already lost the culture war? On the other hand it’s not surprising. After all, creationists are ridiculously easy targets for people who would just as easily be ripped apart anyone whose actually done even so much as cursory research on climate science.

Personally, I think the rise of Bill Nye can be attributed to the left’s years of elevating the prestige of the scientist, which they only did in order to make themselves look like the smart ones when compared to the religious right, who in the olden days were busy demanding that creationism should be taught as fact in schools. As a result, the scientist became sort of a priestly class within the left, someone no leftist is allowed to question, particularly if they’re talking about “global warming. When scientists are treated as people who are beyond criticism, you inevitably get flashy conmen who come to take advantage of people’s good faith. In that regard, people like Bill Nye and Neil deGrasse Tyson (whose proposed government I explored in a previous post here) are no different to the likes of Ching Hai or Al Gore, and yet they garner more respect because they have the correct political views.

That Nye enjoys this prestige is dangerous because he uses this to peddle pseudo-science, and whenever he argues with an opponent who actually calls him out for his nonsense, he reveals his true nature as a shill for the green lobby. This is a guy who wants people to believe that man-made global warming is settled science, even though any idiot can point out that the ice caps haven’t completely melted, and that the Antarctic ice sheets are actually growing (though that’s not the only thing they got wrong). The alarmists have time and time again been proven wrong, and yet people like Bill Nye, with his clear leftist agenda, want us to ignore the skeptics and submit to big government climate regulations that will do far more harm to society than could ever help the planet.

Fortunately there may be a silver lining. Eventually frauds like him are eventually exposed for the liars they are, and that shouldn’t be too far away in this case because more and more people are being skeptical of him. It also helps that most people aren’t even buying the global warming scam anymore, especially in America, where most Americans don’t even trust the “consensus of scientists” that believe in man made global warming. The green gravy train is grinding to halt, and people like Bill Nye hate that, and tasteless, degenerate stunts like what we saw on Netflix won’t change people’s attitudes towards him. If anything, it’ll only make it worse.

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Why Sonic should get off the nostalgia train

sonic 2017

Oh where, oh where have I seen this before?

Even though this year marks the 25th anniversary of the first Sonic the Hedgehog game, I’ve heard startlingly little about Sega’s upcoming plans for the Sonic series until now. At this year’s San Diego Comic Con, Sega showed some of the more jaded fans of the series (myself included) that they haven’t quite given up on the blue blur. After the failure of Sonic Boom, you’d think that they haven’t got anything left, but they have, though you might not be totally thrilled.

They unveiled two games, both intended for release in 2017, which is rather odd if you consider that this is meant to celebrate Sonic’s 25th anniversary. The first of these is by far the most exciting prospect – Sonic Mania. That game is basically a love letter to fans of the older Sonic games, with remixed levels from past games alongside new levels, complete with the style of the classic games. It’s basically what Sonic 4 should have been, and I want to get my hands on it. The other game, which so far has no title other than “Project Sonic 2017”, is somewhat less encouraging. It’s presented as a far more serious foil to Sonic Mania, and it worked until Classic Sonic showed up again. It’s like Sonic Generations all over again, as if Sega really had run out of ideas.

Both of those games have one key thing in common – they appear to be milking nostalgia once again. With Sonic Mania, I totally understand, because at least they want to introduce elements to the classic formula (the “drop dash” being a new addition), but with the other game, I can’t exactly stand by that. Of course, we’re told that “Project Sonic 2017” isn’t a sequel to Sonic Generations, but figuratively speaking, it might as well be. It’s made by the very same development team, and will probably have the same kind of gameplay, but saying that, with the game’s darker and visibly more serious approach, I may be inclined to doubt that it’s a Sonic Generations rehash. Indeed, the head of team, Takashi Iizuka, was keen to state that this is not a sequel to Sonic Generations. If it isn’t that, is it the Sonic Adventure 3 I’ve been waiting for?

As for nostalgia, it feels to me like the Sonic series has been riding on nostalgia for the past five years, all in an obvious attempt to preserve the market value of the series. Due to how badly the brand had been badly damaged over the past decade, I’m not surprised. I’m a lifelong Sonic fanboy who’s played most of the games (though I stayed away from Sonic Boom, partly because I don’t have a Wii U, and I knew it was going to be disaster). I’ve lived to see Sega make one mistake after the other, and like much of the fanbase, I’ve been disappointed more times than I can count. From my experience, the fanbase is only really satisfied by games that are as close to the classics as possible. We all love the original Mega Drive games, along with Sonic Adventure and its sequel. Those games (particularly the oldest Sonic games) are considered the benchmark, and Sega always tries to match that, and they end up being very averse to risk.

For me, “Project Sonic 2017” also comes across as an attempt to once again reform the series, but I doubt it will go down very well. I remember a decade ago when Sonic ’06 was announced, and how that game was supposed to modernise the series and take it into a radical new direction, and we all know how that turned out. Every time Sega tried to radicalise the franchise, it nearly destroys it, tarnishing the brand with one inferior product after another. For example, Sonic Unleashed was bad, Sonic 4 was a minuscule and ultimately pointless disappointment, and Sonic Lost World could have been good but was ultimately a failure. Sonic Boom also tried a radical new direction, but Sega was so scared of a fan backlash that they relegated it to a lowly status as a spin-off cartoon with tie-in games, and they still managed to screw it up.

With that in mind, I get why Sega is so eager to jump on the nostalgia train. They’ve been doing this for years, but they can’t keep doing it forever. As a lifelong fan, I think that if all future Sonic games were driven by nostalgia, it would be a complete disservice to the fans who want something fresh and exciting. I don’t doubt that Sonic Mania will definitely be good, and I’m somewhat interested in what that mystery game has to offer, but at the same time, I think Sega should listen to the fans. I don’t want Sega to focus on how great Sonic was in the old days, because if they keep doing that, they may as well be saying that there’s nothing left. What Sega should be doing is reminding the fans that Sonic is still great, but in order to do that, they’ve got to convince the public that Sonic isn’t just a relic of Sega’s glory years, and they’ve got to make a truly modern Sonic game that miraculously manages to please both young and old fans. Can “Project Sonic 2017” do that? I can only hope.

Nostalgia blindness

There’s something very weird that happens in popular culture, particularly in the realms of music, films, TV shows and video games. After a certain of period of time passes (perhaps a decade or so), we act as though the cultural objects that emerged during that time are some of the best things to happen to our lives, even though there’s a slim chance that we may not have thought that way at the time. For example, various arcade games released in the 70’s and 80’s would have been taken for what they were during their time (simple entertainment), but are now hailed as iconic relics of their time. Often, this manifests itself as a mentality where people are so consumed by nostalgia that it clouds their judgement to the point that anything new is always bad. This is what’s called “nostalgia blindness”

happy days

Because apparently there used to be a time when this looked good.

Before anybody starts throwing a hissy fit, I am not against nostalgia. In fact, I think nostalgia can be good thing. In fact, I myself sometimes can’t help getting a little stuck in the past. Sometimes it’s good to look back on the past and what we loved, but nostalgia blindness does not refer to this. Nostalgia blindness is when we automatically assume anything newer to be inferior to what we knew in childhood. It’s extremely common in gaming culture, where people’s inability to get over nostalgia ruins sequels to video games that are ostensibly superior than their predecessors, but I can talk about nostalgia blindness in video games any time I want, in any post about video games or indeed gaming culture, so today, I’m not talking about video games. Besides, the way I see it, nostalgia blindness goes way beyond that.

I’ve already mentioned how Buzzfeed spends its time promoting pointless 90’s nostalgia (which I’ll get to talk about later on in this post), so let’s stick to a more basic point. Nostalgia blindness kicks in when you grew up with something and your sense of nostalgia blinds you to the flaws of what you were raised with. For example, a number of films from the 20th century now seem very much outdated (depending on what films you actually watch), but survive based on the nostalgia of an older generation of viewers. Because of this, many people forget about the weaknesses of these films based on pure nostalgia. This also seems to happen whenever we remember anything targeted at a youth audience. Whenever anyone wants to rant about how bad the present day is (and I know I’ve done this before), they bring up examples of things that were marketed to the youth of their day as either “more tolerable”, “good”, or even “classics”. Of course, back then, the older generation would have been the ones deriding that as terrible compared to what they grew up, saying the exact same things as we would be today. It’s a neverending cycle of pointless cynicism from the older generation, and equally pointless sycophancy from the younger generation.

Entire periods of history can become victims of this, especially the latter half of the 20th century, and with that in mind, let’s start by talking about the 1950’s, which is the subject of the famous American sitcom Happy Days. Many who are nostalgic about the 50’s focus on the vibrant optimism of the decade, the golden age of American affluence, and the dawn of rock and roll. However, the 50’s today are famous for the notoriously buttoned-up cultural norms that dominated the American landscape. Because of this, almost everything from the 50’s now seems bland  to anyone who didn’t grow up during that time. Also, let’s not forget that the 50’s was still an era where sexism and racism were institutionalized norms of American society, and anyone who disagreed was branded a “filthy communist” who threatened the “morals of society”.

The 60’s was an interesting case. It started out as barely anything different to the 50’s, except that the early part of the decade gave rise to the era of the archetypal jet set playboy. Of course, people today remember the 60’s for the hippie counter-culture, the Beatles, pop art, psychedelic rock, LSD, the civil rights movement, the space race, and the sexual revolution. The 60’s is etched into modern culture, primarily because the people who came out of the decade haven’t stopped going on about how great it was. When they talk about how great the 60’s was, they tend to leave out the negatives. Much of what happened in the 60’s happened in the context of both the Cuban Missile crisis and the Vietnam War. The flower power dream was crushed in the midst of riots, social unrest, government oppression, and Altamont, all of which tended to be ignored by 60’s nostalgia. And then the 70’s was remembered for disco, funk, punk, Space Invaders, classic rock, the golden age of porn, and a wealth of sitcoms and Saturday morning cartoons. That aside, the events of the 70’s helped shape the world into its current form, but was frequently ridiculed as the decade where disco was popular, which makes no sense when you consider that disco was only around for a few years until the decade ended. Also, historically speaking, 70’s was a decade of confusion and disillusionment. The Vietnam war still raged for a time, the energy crisis had the Western world running out of gas for the first time, and crime was going on the rise. Also during the 70’s, people were depserate for something to take their minds off of the bleak landscape of the era, and so Hollywood obliged by introducing a new wave of 50’s nostalgia, and by setting into motion the dawn of blockbuster cinema.

The 80’s is a major target of nostalgia blindness. Everything that was popular about the 80’s is still beloved by anyone who isn’t repulsed by all the neon lights. Even people who weren’t even born in the 80’s can’t stop fawning over the decade of excess. At this point, it’s not so much a question of what the 80’s is remembered for, but what they weren’t remembered for. Popular culture as we know it today was practically born in the 80’s, which brought us Rambo, Nintendo, the moonwalk, VHS, The Karate Kid, New Wave music, and a whole host of other things that we need only to look around for. They’re also remembered for home computers, Hollywood blockbusters, teen movies, and ridiculous hair. We currently live in a time where 80’s nostalgia is still very popular. Pretty much all the clichés of popular culture were created in the 80’s, and there’s a plethora of TV shows, movies, and even video games dedicated to emulating the campiest, cheesiest elements of the decade’s absurdly optimistic neon glow. That being said, there’s currently a major case of nostalgia blindness going on, because all of it ignores everything bad about the decade. Here in Britain, we elected a stern old lady who did about as much damage to the nation as David Cameron is set to do today. Elsewhere, the spread of the AIDS virus created widespread panic, as homophobes treated homosexuality as the modern equivalent of leprosy. Also, America’s political landscape was dominated by the rise of the religious right, as conservative Christians began to gain significant political influence. In a sense, it was almost like it was the 50’s all over again. It’s not as though the culture of the time was much better. In fact, the 80’s popularized a number of horrible teen stereotypes, and brought us the abominable, neon-tinged nightmare of cock rock (better known as glam metal).

cinderella

Thank God we got over that.

Finally, let’s talk about the 90’s, the decade I was actually born into, and also the decade that Facebook doesn’t shut up about. The 90’s is well-remembered by the current generation for the rise of the Internet, Forrest Gump, porn, Bill Clinton (and maybe porn involving him), hip hop music, Kurt Cobain, Disney’s renaissance period, The Simpsons, Cartoon Network, and the birth of reality TV. Frankly, I didn’t care much for the 90’s, primarily because I was a barely intelligent toddler by the time the decade ended. Hence, I get rather annoyed with all this 90’s nostalgia for the following reasons.

  1. The fashion of the 90’s was downright terrible.
  2. The Macarena will instantly bring horrible memories back to my mind.
  3. Everything else that’s horribly wrong here.

The 90’s saw popular culture morphing into its current state, in that movies and TV shows were getting dumber and dumber as time went by. Films began to rely more heavily on CGI, and were often the poorer for it. Meanwhile, rap music became the misogynist, mind-numbing schlock that it is today, with rock music struggling to survive in a time where the mainstream has started to abandon it. The 90’s also brought about the whole “debate” over whether video games cause violent crimes (a topic I will cover another day). It was also the decade when the US and UK started bombing the Middle East in a campaign that eventually culminated in two unjust wars that the people in charge spent the next decade trying to justify. Besides, most of what we choose to remember about the 90’s comes from the aggressive marketing campaigns we may have been exposed to as children. In other words, the 90’s was essentially a drowning pool of jaundiced slogans and committee thinking.

All that being said, I understand that nostalgia can be a good thing. But, as I’ve spent the last six paragraphs illustrating, it’s very easy to allow nostalgia to cloud our judgement to the point that we forget that we could be doing better by moving forward. It’s also important for me to point out that preferring things that were made before you were born isn’t inherently bad so long as you aren’t too closed-minded about it. Yes, we all love reminiscing over the past, but if we allow ourselves to get stuck in the past, then we are less motivated to move forward towards the future, and would be far less happier with life in the present.