Listening to the Scientists


Dr. Scott Atlas, a neuroradiologist with no credentials in the public health field, has found favor with the current president because as a member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force he says what the Egoist-in-Chief wants to hear when he listens to scientists. Dr. Atlas is not an idiot, in other words – he’s an ego masseuse, an important qualification as far as the current president is concerned.


White House Press Briefing (50352466736)
White House medical advisor Dr. Scott Atlas delivers his remarks during a press conference on September 16, 2020, in the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House. Official White House photo by Tia Dufour.

What follows is a very short list of doctors and scientists, some better than others, to be sure, but all more or less qualified for the Man Baby’s pandemic science team.

Bill Nye 2017
Bill Nye, better known as Bill Nye the Science Guy, at the May, 2017, Montclair Film Festival in Montclair, New Jersey. Photo from the Montclair Film Festival.

Prince Avenue Mascot
Phil McGraw, better known as Dr. Phil, in a stock photo.

Mehmet Oz - World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2012
Mehmet Oz, better known as Dr. Oz, at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, on January 27, 2012. Photo from World Economic Forum.

Robert Young Marcus Welby 1973
Robert Young as Dr. Marcus Welby in the television program Marcus Welby, M.D.. 1973 publicity photo from ABC Television.

DeForest Kelley, Dr. McCoy, Star Trek
DeForest Kelly as Dr. Leonard ‘Bones” McCoy in the television program Star Trek. 1970 publicity photo from NBC Television.

Ted Geisel NYWTS 2 crop
Ted Geisel, better known as Dr. Seuss, seated at a desk covered with his books. 1957 photo by Al Ravenna for the New York World Telegram and Sun newspaper.

Lost in Space Jonathan Harris & Robot 1967
Jonathan Harris as Dr. Zachary Smith poses next to the Robot in the television program Lost in Space. 1967 publicity photo from CBS Television.

Color lobby card for the 1931 black and white film Frankenstein, directed by James Whale and featuring Colin Clive as Dr. Victor Frankenstein and Boris Karloff as the Monster. Card from Universal Studios.

A Dr. Evil impersonator at a Dell Computers presentation in January, 2007. Photo by Flickr user Edans.

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The Muppet Show characters Dr. Bunsen Honeydew and his laboratory assistant, Beaker, at a March, 2007, event for the Muppet Mobile Lab. photo by Flickr user Dawn Endico.

Groucho Marx A Day at the Races
Groucho Marx as Dr. Hugo Z. Hackenbush in the 1937 film A Day at the Races, directed by Sam Wood and starring the Marx Brothers. Publicity photo by Ted Allan for MGM Studios.

In this scene from the 1964 film Dr. Strangelove, directed by Stanley Kubrick, Peter Sellers plays both Dr. Strangelove and President Merkin Muffley, and George C. Scott plays General Buck Turgidson. The current president is not at all like President Muffley in his reasoned assessment of the options available to him in a crisis, but more closely resembles General Turgidson, whose simple-minded grasp of issues is limited to his primal and self-serving interests.
— Techly


They Can’t Help It


Price Waterhouse Cooper accountant Brian Cullinan has possibly tweeted himself out of a job after his distraction from handing out the correct envelopes to the presenters at the Oscars ceremony on Sunday evening caused an embarrassing mixup announcing the best picture winner. The kerfuffle that ensued amounts to something less than a tempest in a thimble in the scope of world problems, but it does serve to illustrate how far the obsession some people have with social media overrides their common sense. Here is a man who has built a career over thirty years with the same company, a rarity nowadays, and has been elevated to partner status, which means he not only must be pulling down six figures per year, but possibly seven, and he blows it all off because of a lack of self-control when it comes to his social media habits.


Before we shed any tears for Mr. Cullinan, we should remember that considering his position within a prestigious, wealthy company such as Price Waterhouse Cooper, he will most likely receive a golden parachute before they toss him off the balcony of the executive penthouse, if they ever do. After a major foul up, being frog marched out the door and booted onto the street without a severance package or even a thank you for years of service is reserved for lower echelon types. In the Executive Club, however, membership has its privileges.

The Muppets always help with retaining a light, proportional perspective.

Cranial rectumitis. Don’t do this!


Does the compulsion to engage social media even when doing so can be self-destructive amount to a psychological disorder? Not according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, for which it is not heavy duty enough to meet the criteria. The compulsion Mr. Cullinan shares with so many others, infamously including Supreme Leader, is a lesser tier of disorder related to lack of self-control, or poor willpower, or even to cranial rectumitis. Whatever the cause, overcoming the compulsion starts with personal accountability and recognition of priorities. In other words, do you really need to be doing that now?


Throughout history, spiritual leaders like Jesus Christ, Moses, Buddha, Mohammed, and a select number of their followers have been an example for the rest of us of the difficulty in exercising willpower and the ultimate reward for doing so. The majority of us muddle along as best we can, quitting smoking and fatty foods and a hectic pace when it becomes absolutely necessary to our well-being or it just seems the sensible thing to do before it’s too late. We don’t usually call on the help of a twelve step recovery program for these things. Instead we perform a fairly simple cost/benefit analysis and then bring our willpower to bear on the goal, calling on our reserves of self-control to see us through day by day. Whether you’re an executive accountant, the Chief Executive of the nation, or a person struggling with difficulties that affect only yourself and maybe a small circle of friends and family, the demands of willpower, self-control, and thoughtful deliberation are the same. The social media sharing buttons are at the bottom of this post: Please tweet responsibly.
― Vita

Just because some folks are “loons,” doesn’t mean loons aren’t interesting birds worthy of our respect.