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No, I Will Not Surrender My Nerd Membership Badge

Posted by Sunday on Oct 13, 2008 at 1:18 pm in Daily Space, Gross Morphology

I keep my dislike of Stephen Hawking under wraps, most of the time, much like an otherwise kind mother keeps her dislike of Jews a secret¹.

Years ago while reading A Brief History of Time, I grew to dislike Hawking.  I didn’t like his pedantic style, his use of absolutes.   While the media gushed about how he made science accessible, I grumbled; it wasn’t accessible.  It was muddled and often contradictory.  These were subjects I already knew about, already understood, and after reading Hawking’s description of them I often emerged doubting my own understanding.  Had he really just sucked knowledge out of my head?

It was years later that I read about his being a bit of a twat in his private life as well.  He divorced the mother of his three children and wife of many years (publicly siting the pressures of fame and his illness as a reason) and promptly married his nurse, much to the then-estrangement of his three children.

On the occasion that I first groused about Hawking to Leesa – I believe I said, “He’s an ass” – she gasped and looked around and hissed, “He’s disabled!”  to which I said, “So?”  And I stand by my position.   Like many geniuses I applaud his luck at having so many brain folds while I still openly acknowledge that geniuses are often jerks.

Regardless, an article in The Telegraph had me laughing.  Young man gets tattoo of Stephen Hawking, and to top it off, “didn’t undestand a word” of A Brief History of Time.  AND got the Monty Python quote “He’s not the messiah. He’s a very naughty boy.” written beneath.  It’s like a joke crafted just for me!

Science fan has Stephen Hawking tattooed on leg, from The Telegraph.  Via Neatorama.

¹This is a long-running joke for me: for years my sister and I slowly convinced my mother that she was a bigot by taking  her truly innocent statements and telling her that she was being bigoted.  For example, she might say, “Let’s not eat Thai today, it gives me heartburn,” and we’d say, “Jesus, mom!  Keep it down!  I can’t believe how racist you are!”  And then she’s tisk and say, “Stop it!” and then look worried for a while.  While she’s a smart woman, she’s also very sweet which universally trumps the smartness.

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October 13th, 2008 | Daily Space, Gross Morphology

4 Responses to “No, I Will Not Surrender My Nerd Membership Badge”

  1. quagmire Says:

    Me and Stevie are kindred spirits. I know too well what it is to be a genius and resultant asshole … le sigh

  2. Aaron Says:

    i always got the impression that he enjoyed being a science celebrity more than a scientist. he is an ass.

  3. Leesa Says:

    dood. i’m always such a pc little twerp in your recollections… i believe it went like this:

    you: hawking is such a fucking douchebag.
    me: yup. we’re just not supposed to say it out loud, on account of him being gimpertronic.
    you: well.

  4. Sunday Says:

    I’ve told you time and time again, in my mind you are a fragile little butterfly. You can’t lift anything heavier than a mocha squishy and you cry when people emulate E.T.

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