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Shirtstorm/Shirtgate/Shitfest

November 17, 2014

shirtgate

We landed a thing on a COMET!

You probably know that already, and you probably know why I have a ‘Gunner Girl’ shirt affixed to the top of this post — it’s the same shirt worn by Matt Taylor, a tattooed dude who also happened to be a member of the European Space Agency (ESA) team that piloted little Philae onto that dirty hunk of space rock.

Cue the usual suspects: the SJWs went apeshit, with that furry rodent PZ Myers leading the charge, while Right-wingnuts and the GamerGaters got themselves in a huff for completely different reasons. This would have been forgotten about by now, but Taylor’s tearful apology has given this pointless fracas a new lease of life — Matt Taylor is now a martyr to radical feminism, and an unwitting poster boy in the twenty-first century culture wars.

In a way, Taylor has been ‘slut-shamed’ — a person put some sexy cartoons on their clothing, and a hate squad of Puritans descended like starving vultures on this helpless hipster. Some of the more frantic commentators have claimed that this has overshadowed the achievement of landing a probe on a comet, which is world record hyperbole even for the internet.

Look, I think Taylor erred in wearing that shirt for a TV interview — it’s sort of awesome in its own way, but it’s not the sort of thing I’d wear in front of millions — and the boffins at ESA should have pointed this out to Matt. But it’s only a shirt, and, by modern standards, pretty tame in its perviness. And no-one can take away the achievement of landing on a comet.

Matt Taylor, we salute you.

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