Bill Nye Saves the World for Vulgarity and Stupidity

By David Klinghoffer Published on April 25, 2017

This past weekend’s March for Science on the National Mall was like many things in life. What you saw in it reflected the view of the world you bring to bear. Some of us see science as a no-holds-barred search for truth about the natural world. For us, the March with its mostly political and ideological agenda offered little to love.

For others, though, science is largely a collection of political and ideological certainties. What certainties? Well, you saw those in the signs the marchers carried. This signage reflected, more than anything else, hostility to the Trump Administration.

But there was a larger cultural — perhaps psychological — agenda as well.

The choice of “Science Guy” Bill Nye as honorary co-chair of the March tells you almost all you need to know. Nye speaks for himself pretty clearly. He doesn’t hide his own view of the world. It’s on display in a new Netflix series, Bill Nye Saves the World, a segment of which was released online the day after the March. It’s a beauty. Not literally, but for the welcome light it sheds on where this thing hailed as “Science” is trending.

The Troubling Performance by Rachel Bloom

The video, a song-and-dance number, is NOT family friendly. You are welcome to see it for yourself on YouTube. However, remember that the 2 minutes and 48 seconds you devote to the experience cannot be recovered in your lifetime.

“So, you guys, seriously,” says Mr. Nye, in introducing it, “this next thing I feel is very special. This is a cool little segment. You know this woman from Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. Please, give it up for Rachel Bloom.”

Even in a Reddit discussion devoted to “adult content,” some viewers of this “scientific” video were troubled by it.

Miss Bloom and several other incompletely dressed dancers then take the stage. The theme is how sexuality is a spectrum. Their point in praise of trangenderism could be argued in an intelligent way. However, that would not be on the same planet, not in the same galaxy as this. Sample lyric, “It’s evolution, ain’t nothin’ new. There’s nothing taboo about a sex stew.”

Much of the rest could not be quoted here.

Beyond the vulgarity and bad taste, it is excruciatingly dumb and, in musical terms, highly grating to listen to. “Very special”? Yes, if you define “special” as encompassing the extremes of what is stupid and ugly.

This is “Science,” don’t forget. According to the description of Bill Nye Saves the World on IMDb, the program “Explores science and its impact on politics, society and pop culture. Each episode of the series will tackle a topic from a scientific point of view…” (emphasis added).

The Daily Caller notes that even in a Reddit discussion devoted to “adult content,” some viewers of this “scientific” video were troubled by it. There and in comments on YouTube, amid further vulgarity likewise unquotable here, viewers expressed the opinion that this was going too far.

“I want to just move to the forest and become a monk,” said one. “I can’t take this degeneracy anymore.”

Another, “I know TV has become a circus but this is taking it overboard. Also why does the push for LGBT awareness always take this extreme hyper sexual edge? Wouldn’t people under that label find this offensive since it’s basically making a bizarre mockery of their lifestyle?”

A Bizarre Way to Advance Your Case

After the performers have done their worst, Nye wraps up by congratulating them: “That’s exactly the right message, Rachel.”

Christian blogger Rod Dreher comments that Mr. Nye “thereby outs himself as a dirty old man.” But I disagree about that. You will not find anything titillating in the video. It’s not pornographic, despite the gyrating and the references to sex and body parts. What is the purpose, then?

It’s as if these folks want to provoke a response against their own interests.

First, to shock the relatively straight-laced viewer. Second, to make the viewer who is not shocked feel special and superior by virtue of that fact.

Third, there may a subterranean suicidal dynamic going on here. As the one viewer notes, if you were really trying to “push for LGBT awareness,” would you do so in terms that cast the intended beneficiaries of your effort in such a “bizarre” light?

Any rational perspective would counsel doing otherwise. It is as if these folks want to rub the rest of the population’s nose in it, to provoke a response against their own interests as they themselves define those interests. That is why I say it’s suicidal.

The March for Science Should Take a Seat

The video came to my attention via a tweet from Jason C., who observed, “I know it’s a cliché now but my god, this is why Trump won.” There is an undeniable element of truth to that.

This, in a nutshell, is the March for Science. First, attack the rest of the country by advertising what you take to be your own superior smarts and towering sophistication. Second, feel very special as a result. Third, thereby retard, rather than advance, your own cause by aggressively alienating the people you’re supposedly trying to persuade.

And we’re supposed to applaud this as “Science,” the vision of a better tomorrow through rational investigation of natural phenomena? More like a case suited for the psychiatrist’s couch.

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