First off, let me disappoint any of you Disney fans who think this column might be about Pluto the adorable dog. You’ll be seeing none of him in this column.
This isn’t about cartoons. This isn’t any Mickey Mouse stuff. This is serious business. Today, dear reader, we are here to talk about science.
So as many of you may know, I have a child. That child, Addie, is 11 months old now and she has started to find interest in one television show.
Addie loves this show that we found on NETFLIX called “Mother Goose Club.” It’s this show where a bunch of people dress up like different nursery rhyme characters and sing songs like “Row Row Row Your Boat” and “Wheels on the Bus” together.
I actually enjoy Mother Goose Club. I mean, there’s way worse shows she could be watching. (At least she doesn’t like that dreadful show, “The Big Bang Theory.”) And it’s really the only thing that makes her stop running around and playing when it comes on TV.
Mother Goose Club has some pretty catchy songs, I have to admit. They’ve got some talented actors on that show. (Shoutout Jack Be Nimble and Bo Peep!) But there is one tune that always irks me. It’s called “Eight planets.”
The words go like this: “There are eight planets. Eight planets, in our solar system.” There are eight planets. Eight planets, something blah blah something.” I can never get past the first couple of sentences.
I became very reasonably infuriated when I first heard this song. Not only were they teaching my daughter something that I know in my heart is wrong, but they were actually insulting my intelligence and my education by claiming that there are only eight planets.
The year was 2006 when some stupid science head decided to try and ruin America by deciding that Pluto, which was one of everyone’s top three favorite planets, was no longer classified as a planet, and is rather a “dwarf planet.”
There are dwarf humans too, but they’re still classified as humans. Seems like pretty stupid logic to rip on Pluto just because it’s a little small, but the “International Astronomical Union,” which sounds like a made-up club that I’m probably somehow giving money to through taxation, thought it’d be a good idea to size-shame Pluto anyway.
The year 2006 brought a lot of terrible things to this world. The St. Louis Cardinals won the World Series. North Korea conducted its first nuclear test. “Borat” was the most popular movie of the year. A lot of messed up stuff. But nothing more messed up than what the IAU did to the biggest little planet on earth.
The IAU officially changed their definition of “planet” in their 26th General Assembly in August. I’m guessing they didn’t get the kind of press they wanted in their first 25 general assemblies so they decided to do something that would make a splash. Bums.
It has now been 12 1/2 years since these posers abused their powers and totally ruined the Animaniacs’ planet song. A lot of messed up stuff has happened since then (The Cardinals won again in 2011; North Korea accidentally bombed the ocean; Borat guy made like five more movies), and people have basically just forgotten about poor old Pluto. Well, Andy never forgets.
I think it’s time to start a revolution. I know I probably say that line in too many of my columns, but this one is important. We need to reinstate Pluto into the Legion of Planets. We need to finally make this right.
Now, I’m not suggesting we march upon the IAU headquarters in Paris, France (A couple other guys have invaded Paris before and none of them have a great reputation), but I think we could do something.
It’s 2018 now so there is GoFundMe and Change.org. People complain on those sites and ask for money all the time. Also, we could do a flash mob or something to spread awareness. Flash mobs may be out of style, but scientists are usually a few years behind on style and culture anyway, so maybe it’d speak to those snooty snoots in France.
I want my child to grow up in the same world I did. I don’t want her bringing home drawings of the universe that only have eight planets. I don’t want to have to make the decision whether to lie to her or lie to myself. We need unity in this world, and this is one thing I think any sane person would agree on.
And if we continue to shun Pluto and make it feel unwanted, us earthlings will get ours. I hope this place becomes uninhabitable and we have to go to Pluto for help, and I hope the Plutonians look us right in the face and say no. They’d probably tell us to go burn up in Venus or something.
So who’s with me? Are you in? If so, hashtag “SavePluto” on Twitter, and we’ll get a club or something going. Oh, and if those “scientists” at the IAU want to fight us over it, we can just ship their butts to one of Pluto’s five moons.