I miss Chris Farley.
His stint on Saturday Night Live is still memorable. There’s that opening number with Patrick Swayze where he and Swayze were competing for a spot in the Chippendale dancers. Then there’s Matt Foley, a motivational speaker who lives “in a van down by the river.”
But my favorite Chris Farley performance was not on SNL; it was in the iconic comedic movie Tommy Boy. I know, not classical cinema, but it was funny. And the one-liners!
One particular quote stands out more than others. It’s when Tommy Boy is trying to sell enough brake pads to save his family’s business. A potential contract hinges on his ability to convince the client he himself has faith in the quality of the product. Tommy Boy says,
“You can stick your head up the bull’s ass, but I’ll take the butcher’s word for it.”
Tommy Boy wins the contract because the client takes his word for it. The client listens to someone who knows more about the situation, albeit in a comical way. Everything turns out well. Tommy Boy saves the family business from the corporate takeover from Dan Ackroyd’s character, Zalinski.
It is also an apropos way to describe how so many people who really do not know or choose not to listen to the experts in science when dealing with this current epidemic we are facing.
Listening to the President of the United States talk about flippantly using hydroxychloroquine or the governor in my home state of Georgia “opening up the state” this Friday and Monday against the advice from experts is simply listening to people who ignore what the science says.
AND WHEN SCIENCE SAYS THAT MORE NEEDS TO BE TESTED BEFORE WE COME TO CONCLUSIONS IT MIGHT MEAN THAT POLITICIANS SHOULD NOT ACT AS IF THEY DO HAVE THE INFORMATION. Consider this:
Sciencemag.com just released this post this past week:
Look at that last line of the first paragraph up there – “But the first batch of results has generated more controversy than clarity.”
We need more time to find the answers. We need more resources to help science find the answers. Then politicians can make wiser decisions.
On this Earth Day, I am reminded of how much I do not know about how things work and how much more of a student I need to be in these times.
Neil deGrasse Tyson had one of the quotes about the role of science in our world.
I’m going to take the butcher’s word for it.
And the scientists’ word for it.
Oh, by the way, have you seen the air in Los Angeles lately?