Hey gang. My girlfriend and I spent our Earth Day in downtown Washington D.C. at the March For Science.
Our foray into activism did not get off to an auspicious start. Getting to the march meant surviving a train ride surrounded by kids from the University of Maryland. Normally this would be a problem because I think its awesome that young people (younger than myself that is) are getting involved and standing up for their beliefs. The problem was the group sitting in proximity to us were especially pretentious and insufferable.
I have no idea how old these kids were but they very young. They weren’t quite dripping with amniotic fluid but they were still talking about their AP tests so think I can assume they were in their first or second year of school. When we first sat down they were talking about adderall and they best route to the march. I tried to offer advice about the Metro but was rebuffed. Their loss.
The next topic of discussion was their majors and this is when I almost lost it. There were six of them and most were studying STEM subjects. One kid was taking kiniesology courses and his compatriot responded “yeah, I guess that counts.”
One of the girls in the group said she was a marketing major, and her friend interjected that she just liked going to protests.
I was taken aback because this was the most condescending thing I had heard in a long while. It took everything I had not to open my mouth and take this person down a peg but I managed to contain myself. I don’t think they meant to sound like an elitist uber-asshole but I also don’t think they understood that reading one fucking textbook doesn’t equate to a distinguished scientific career either. The Wright brothers were bicycle mechanics and they invented aviation for Christ’s sake.
I would also argue that someone participating in a march for a cause that doesn’t affect them directly makes more of a statement (although science denial certain affects everyone regardless of whether they are in a STEM field or not).
In all fairness I’m sure I was an insufferable shit when I was at their point in life. However, like everyone else who gets older I have taken up the mantle of talking shit about younger generations.
Anyhoo…by the time we departed the intelligentsia we were at the starting point for the march. The weather was shit and as someone who is a total weenie about getting wet I was a bit apprehensive about my participation. I persevered and I’m glad I did because the march was really a lot of fun. It felt good to be around a bunch of people who were rallying around a similar cause. From what I saw it was peaceful as well. No one was getting rowdy or destroying property.
I don’t know if our participation will make a difference but I do know our participation didn’t go unnoticed. I made an amazing sign. Actually sign may not be the write word because I carried an enormous pair of underpants with the words written “I’ll be brief…don’t ignore science.” They were a…big…hit, and I was photographed all day.
This coming weekend is the climate change march, and I think we shall be participating. I have another pair of big underwear and a clever saying, and it would be a shame if they went to…waist.