Wednesday, November 19, 2014

What Matt Taylor Should Have Said About His Shirt

A dude lands a probe on a comet zillions of miles away and a pack of harpies goes bananas because he's wearing a shirt with pictures of comic book chicks on it. The story becomes his shirt and not the unbelievable feat of engineering and science.

Why? Why did anyone listen to these shrews in the first place? Because we did, that's why. We choose to listen to them every day, rather than doing what we should ...

Scene: Press conference room. The room is buzzing with reporters awaiting his apology for wearing a sexist shirt. Matt shows up, this time wearing a button-down Playboy-logo shirt with a cigar stuffed in the breast pocket and carrying a big tumbler of bourbon on the rocks. He stops at the podium, takes a big swig from the tumbler and sets it down. He looks at the room in scorn.

"I'd like to start this by saying I despise every one of you in this room. You chose to come here, hoping for me to apologize for wearing a shirt when you could have been chasing down those harridans and asking them what their problem was. I'm going to start with a brief slide show about the mission."

Matt, clearly with a bit of a buzz, proceeds to flash about 3-4 slides up on the screen with massive equations and geometry diagrams. They're inscrutable.

"I know what these mean. The hags that complained about the shirt don't. I doubt any of you have a clue, either. I'll be giving hard copies of them to each of you so you can see what real work looks like."

Matt takes a drag from his drink again, puts it down and pulls out his cigar. As he studiously clips off the ends of the cigar, looking intently at it and not the reporters, he says, "You know, you guys have a choice. You can either report on accomplishments and ingenuity or you can write gossip columns. You have chosen to write gossip columns."

Matt lights the cigar and takes a puff. After a bit of obvious pondering while looking at the smoke rising from his cigar, he takes another drag from the tumbler and says, "For the life of me, I can't figure out why I should care what a pack of whiny, little, spoiled brats has to say about what I wear. I never have before. Why should I start now?"

He puts the tumbler down and stares at the reporters. "Why do you? You need to ask yourselves why you decided that these pipsqueak scolds deserved your attention. I'm beginning to wonder if their ranting is as much as you can comprehend."

There's a long pause as he picks up the tumbler again and turns to leave. "Maybe you should spend a little time studying physics instead."

Matt walks out, never looking at the reporters again.


tim eisele said...

I have a question, KT: Let's say that instead of being on television worldwide, he had walked into your place of work looking for a job, crazy shirt and prominent tattoos and all.

Would you have hired him? Or would you have thought/said a bunch of snarky stuff about his unprofessional attire and his skanky tattoos, and shown him the door?

Based on things you've said in the past, I get the impression that the only reason you are defending him now is because you oppose the people who were angry with him. If nobody else had said anything, would you be complaining about his choice of dress now yourself?

The Curator said...

Interesting take on the post. I read it as an announcement that the Irony Buffet is open:

In a feminist movement that is often fighting simply to hold ground, SlutWalks stand out as a reminder of feminism’s more grass-roots past and point to what the future could look like.
--- WaPo

Trigger Warning said...

Sorry the preceding comment was all mine. Don't rip off The Curator's shirt, please...

K T Cat said...

Tim, we've been doing some interviewing lately. I'm willing to accept the times even though I don't want my kids defacing themselves and if we found a superstar with tats, we'd hire him. I used to work for a video game company with people who wore things like this and had comic book chick posters up in their cubes. They were good at what they did.

I'm not a fan, but I can live with it.

What I can't live with is giving so much power to the craziest members of our college culture. Back in the day, we had the commie nutbags and wacky shrews like this, but it was unthinkable that anyone outside of their tiny, shrill circles would have given them the time of day.

Jeff Burton said...

Hey Tim. I'll have it both ways. Taylor was an idiot for wearing that shirt (and for getting tattoos). And Eveleth was an idiot for claiming his shirt keeps women out of science. Who is the biggest danger to me? Eveleth, hands down. Because she's the kind of McCarthyite Stalinist [love mashing those together] who would love to fire me, fine me, jail me, whatever for double plus ungood thought crime.

K T Cat said...

And when the chicks who get into STEM come in to work on the prowl wearing tight skirts and satin blouses, we say to them ... what?

How about if we all get reacquainted with sexual biology and calm down. Guys love cute. Girls like prowess. It's OK. We don't need to scream at each other over this.

lee said...

I agree with Mr. Burton above. Every place I have ever worked, including a swimming pool and a science research lab, would have allowed someone wearing that shirt you stay that day. They would have been asked to go home and change it.

I also think the forced apology was over the top.

People need to start dressing more professionally.