8.24.2006

Universal Half Truths

Very little surprises me anymore. I think it's true that life's experiences teach us not to put our faith too firmly in people or institutions. Just about everyone and everything is fallible, inevitably causing disappointment. For instance, saying "I do" rarely mean forever anymore. It more likely means "I do until I decide I don't want to anymore." Established corporations also break promises when retirees, who believed in guarantees of health benefits during the twilight years, abruptly learn promises can be broken. Many of our sports heroes cheat their way to victory, causing us to look suspiciously at anyone else who achieves athletic excellence. Even religious leaders show their imperfection, if not hypocrisy, when revelations of infidelity or corruption become known.

With all the craziness in the world that exists today, it's easy to become desensitized to the ignorance and evil that is displayed on a daily basis, even by governments that claim to hold themselves to high standards and ideals.

Tell me that a couple married over 20 years is getting divorced, I don't even blink anymore. Tell me a child opened fire on his classmates, and I am not surprised. Tell me a mother killed her child, and I wonder why it even made front page news. Although I sport an optimistic disposition, I have lost my faith in people, institutions, and most of what I once held as fundamental truth.

All of this being said, I was absolutely aghast upon learning that the International Astronomical Union has decided to demote Pluto. It is no longer considered the 9th planet in out solar system.

Is nothing sacred in this universe?

Ever since I was a little girl, I have known only three universal truths--that Columbus discovered America, that there are nine planets in out solar system, and that no one should ever mixes stripes with plaids. Now, after today, I only have two universal truths in which to put my trust.

Why has Pluto been stripped of its planetary status? Apparently scientists have become offended by Pluto's oblong orbit, which overlaps with Neptune's. I hardly understand this distinction. What right do 2,500 astronomers have to determine that an oblong orbit is any less of an orbit? Maybe Neptune needs to get her orbit in gear? Why pick on poor, tiny Pluto?

The last time I felt this sort of outrage was when Princess Diana was stripped of the HRH (Her Royal Highness) designation. Pluto is now only considered a dwarf planet to the other "classical" planets-- Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune.

This is just another example of the bigger and more powerful exerting themselves over the less fortunate, I tell you. I guess there is at least one fundamental truth in which to put our faith in.

7 comments:

Sara said...

It truely is a sad day.. Pluto was always my favorite. Poor little guy.

running42k said...

Excellent post. Be strong and be comforted that with Pluto's distance from us they won't find out for over 400 years.

Senior Advisor said...

Completely unfair! Science teachers have already come up with a new neumonic device to remember the eight "classical" planets:

My Very Eager Mother Just Served Us Noodles

Poor Pluto. :-(

utenzi said...

It's about time, Diane. The other 8 REAL planets were getting tired of carrying that lame ass Pluto.

kenju said...

Diane, just ignore Utenzi. He's a scientist, you know, so he's "one of them".

I agree with you wholeheartedly. It affected me the same way it did when the Catholics demoted St. Christopher (and I'm not even Catholic)!

utenzi said...

Saint Christopher has been de-sainted? I didn't know! Do we just call him Chris now?

David said...

There really used to be a planet named after a Walt Disney character? Where do you come up with this stuff Diane? HILARIOUS!!!