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The 411 Dumpster Fire of the Week: Neil deGrasse Tyson

August 5, 2019 | Posted by Bryan Kristopowitz
Neil deGrasse Tyson

The 411mania Dumpster Fire of the Week

Hello, everyone, and welcome to The 411 Dumpster Fire of the Week. I’m Bryan Kristopowitz.


So who saw Hobbs & Shaw this past weekend? I didn’t, but it is a movie that I am interested in seeing. I’ve never been a big fan of the Fast and Furious franchise, but this spin-off, featuring The Rock and Jason Statham, with Idris Elba as some sort of super bad guy (is Elba’s character basically a cyborg in the movie? The trailers seemed to suggest that he sort of is), looked insane.

Director David Leitch has shown in the past, via Atomic Blonde and Deadpool 2 and John Wick that he knows how to shoot action. Sure, his stories may not be the greatest (Atomic Blonde, outside of the movie’s fight scenes, was horrendous), but Leitch knows how to stage cinematic ass kicking. And the trailers that I’ve seen for the movie show that Leitch is trying to outdo himself here in terms of fighting and stunt spectacle. Who wouldn’t want to see that?

I’ve read several reviews stating that Hobbs & Shaw is like a i>Tango & Cash remake, but that’s meant to be a negative, not a positive. Is the comparison apt? And what the hell is wrong with Tango & Cash?

I’ve missed way too many movies this summer. I really don’t want to miss Hobbs & Shaw, even if it is stupid. So is it? Is Hobbs & Shaw stupid? Please, those of you that have seen it, let me know.

And now onto this week’s Dumpster Fire of the Week.



This week, the 411 Dumpster Fire of the Week goes to noted scientist and celebrity Neil deGrasse Tyson, for his recent tweet about the two gun massacres over the weekend. Tyson, who is an astrophysicist and serves as a director of the Hayden Planetarium in New York City, among other things (I believe he still hosts a radio show of some sort and pops up on TV all of the time), decided to use his Twitter account to, I guess, put the recent massacres in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio into some sort of “proper perspective.” In the tweet, Tyson put out the following:

“In the past 48hrs, the USA horrifically lost 34 people to mass shootings.
On average, across any 48hrs, we also lose…
500 to Medical errors
300 to the Flu
250 to Suicide
200 to Car Accidents
40 to Homicide via Handgun

Often our emotions respond more to spectacle than to data.”

So, you know, when you look at the recent massacres in the big scheme of things, they’re not that big of a deal, especially when all of this other stuff happens. Is that what Tyson is saying here? It sure seems like it. At the same time, it sure as hell seems like the esteemed Tyson revels in being a callous, know-it-all prick. What other sort of conclusion can one come to when you look at the tweet and then think about what it is he seems to be saying (for the record, as of me writing this Sunday night, Tyson hasn’t elaborated on the tweet).

Medical errors are caused by stupidity and accidents. The flu kills people who are not immune/can’t fight off the flu. Suicides are a deliberate, personal act. Car accidents are caused by various reasons. Homicides via handgun are, well, deaths via handguns (I’m just going to assume that he means something like 40 incidents of death via handguns on a daily basis). And what are things like mass shootings/massacres caused by?

Hatred. Ideology. Cruelty. Rage. And mass shootings are not accidents. No one walks into a Walmart with an AK-47 and “accidentally” shoots and kills 20 people and wounds God knows how many more. No one “accidentally” adorns themselves with body armor and a gun and “accidentally” kills nine people at random. A mass shooting is an act that is usually planned out, meaning the perpetrator thought about what he wanted to do, scrounged up the necessary materials to accomplish the task, came up with a plan of attack, and then carried it out. And the victims are, by and large, people who were in the wrong place at the wrong time. The victims just happened to be there at the time of the massacre. But the killer? He wanted to do this. He planned it out.

So what’s the difference here? Some medical errors, dying from the flu, and car accidents are things that can happen. A mass shooting just doesn’t happen.

See the difference, Neil?

So why tweet something like this? Again, as I’m writing this, Tyson hasn’t elaborated on what the tweet is supposed to mean or what it is he thinks he’s advocating. His statistics may be right, but so what? At some point soon, is Tyson going to just come out and say “the Universe is generally indifferent to humans and life in general, so nothing really matters?” At this point, would anyone be surprised?

Neil deGrasse Tyson is, obviously, a very smart guy. His science advocacy is to be commended. But even super smart and well-meaning people can say incredibly stupid fucking things, and this Tyson tweet is a good example of that.

Remember what Dr. Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum) said in Jurassic Park? This is paraphrasing here but, just because you can do something doesn’t mean that you should. And it applies to speech, too. Just because you can say something doesn’t mean that you should.

The world really is a lost place, isn’t it?


And now for this week’s honorable mentions…

– Dumpster Fire Hall of Famer, 2018 Dumpster Fire of the Year, and (Jesus Christ) 45th President of the United States Donald Trump, for his ongoing war of words with Democratic Congressperson Elijah Cummings. It’s this kind of nonsense that gets the President all of the bad press that he receives day in and day out. He just doesn’t seem to understand that what the President says matters, and that it might not be a good idea to get into a war of words with an opposition Congressperson that ends with the President gloating that the Congressperson’s house was burglarized.

That’s never going to happen, though, so I’m not sure why I’m even talking about it.

Jesus Christ, this is never going to stop, is it?

-Retired NASCAR star and current travelling sprint car driver Tony Stewart, for recently punching a fan in the pits at the Jackson Motorplex in Minnesota. The incident, which was recorded, features a fan badmouthing Stewart for whatever reason, Stewart shouting back at the fan, more words from the fan, and then Stewart running after the fan and punching him. You would think that after everything Stewart has been through/put himself through the last few years, he would just let things go and move on. Some asshole fan talking shit to you in the pits? Why respond at all? Why not get track security to remove the fan if the fan is causing an issue? You’re an international, multi-millionaire sports celebrity. Why do you give a shit was some guy in the pits in Minnesota says to you? Figure out how to let shit go, Tony.

The ultra-right wing assholes who lost their mind because Congressperson Tim Ryan didn’t put his hand over his heart during the national anthem at the first CNN Democratic debate, for losing their mind over Congressperson Tim Ryan not putting his hand over his heart during the national anthem at the first CNN Democratic debate. Yes, people, it was a signal that Representative Ryan wanted to send to the ultra-leftist cabal that’s run by Colin Kaepernick and big, fat Michael Moore and the Venezuelan government. It just wasn’t a guy not putting his hand on his heart during the national anthem. Is this really that important?

CNN, for its horrible two-night Democratic debate. From the wasting time at the beginning of the debate each night (it was fifteen minutes before someone asked one of the candidates a question) to the horrible questions to the moderator strategy to get the candidates to fight, the whole endeavor was excruciating. MSNBC didn’t do much better with the first set of debates, and I have a feeling that the next set of debates, set for CBS in September, are going to be more of the same.

Should politics be a TV show?


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