It’s obviously very helpful that Neil Degrasse Tyson’s speeches about space are about space because that way they can be illustrated with pictures of space and/or Glorious Earth, and that’s always pretty incredible and awe-inspiring. But there is a more basic truth to Neil Degrasse Tyson’s animated speeches, which is that it is just exciting and inspirational to hear ANYONE talk about ANYTHING if they clearly CARE ABOUT IT VERY MUCH. If you actually stop to think about it, it is crazy how rare of a thing that is. We hear people talking all day long: on the news, on the floor of Congress, on their phones in line at the grocery store, at school, at work, and almost none of them give a shit about what they’re actually saying. It’s all teleprompter this, and how do I get you to do what I want that. But to hear someone expounding on something meaningful that they themselves have a deep appreciation for and understanding of is both rare and exhilarating. (Not to mention that there’s, at least for me, this kind of deep-seated paternal aspect to someone talking who actually KNOWS SOMETHING ABOUT THE WORLD because most people don’t know anything about anything. Please, Mr. Degrasse Tyson, how does it all go?!) Neil Degrasse Tyson could talk about the importance of the phone book if he actually thought it was important and I would be moved by it. Anyone could. But no one does. Because who gives a shit about the phone book? Or anything really? Caring is for dorks!

Comments (13)
  1. What with this and just hearing about Ray Bradbury dying, it’s all a bit TOO moving? Here: ://

  2. Sorry.
    Bye, Ray. I’ll probably never know how much you shaped what I loved. Here’s to grown-ups who know their stuff!

  3. this makes me want to go to space camp

  4. Neil Degrasse Tyson always makes me feel so happy/sad. I get excited when I hear him talk, but then I get sad because I remember the kind of people we have making budget decisions.

  5. You know he’s rebooting “Cosmos”, right? I am ancient so remember the Carl Sagan original but it’s all up online somewhere. That is very exciting news. I am very excited.

  6. My junior year of college I took an Ancient Greek Philosophy class, not because I had any interest in the subject, but because everyone said I had to take a class with the professor who taught it, and he would be retiring at the end of the year. It ended up being one of the most memorable classes I ever took. He was so excited when he lectured he would literally jump up and down. This was a 70+ year old man who’d been teaching the same stuff for 40 years, and still would get giddy when talking about Plato. I remember almost nothing from the classes I took in my major, but I still remember so much of what he talked about. The world needs more educators like him.

  7. Ok, well right off the bat, anyone who speaks in an inspiring manner over a Sigur Ros song already has a good shot of winning people over. Not a bad thing, it’s a good musical choice. I’m just saying.

  8. There were times when people cared about stuff. Actually, I suspect Charlie Brooker cares about stuff now. His special on why we should watch The Wire is especially effective. At the same time he is aware that he’s just a big goof compared to guys like Jacob Bronowski, whom he sites for the exact reasons Gabe so rightly gives for why Degrasse Tyson matters so much.

    The Ascent of Man is pretty moving. Bronowski knows from what he speaks. He was a big wig mathematician but quotes William Blake to eulogize a brilliant physicist. Others like James Burke of Connections, Desmond Morris with The Human Animal and David Suzuki with The Nature of Things are also quite compelling.

  9. I’d like to see Fuck NASA guy post a rebuttal video.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post, reply to, or rate a comment.