November 15, 2014

Rocket man picks a shirt.

And I think it's gonna be a long long time
Until they let Matt Taylor forget his crime
Wearing a shirt decorated with sexy gals
And let him be just what he is, a rocket man
Rocket man — crying contriteness with his science pals
Rocket man!

Science is not a place to express your id
In fact, it's not a place at all
And it's not like they'd really get you, if you did
And all this science, he can understand
It's just his job, five days a week
A rocket man!

So here's the shirt, it looked a little something like this, I think:



Rocket man, you can't redo real life and pick a shirt again
Rocket man, if you only could, pick this one and see what they say



And I think it's gonna be a long long time, until they let Matt Taylor forget his crime....

(Here's the Elton John song.)

P.S. TO THE PEOPLE WHO DON'T WANT TO TALK ABOUT IT: Don't talk about it!

67 comments:

Ann Althouse said...

Note that Meade found that studly cowboy shirt first.

Ann Althouse said...

Meade, here: "Step #1: Go to closet and pick a shirt."

Original Mike said...

"It's just his job, five days a week"

More like 6 to 7.

Lauderdale Vet said...

I like the way Instapundit put it:

"Rose Eveleth of The Atlantic is a horrible person, who took what should have been one of the best days of a man’s life, a day of doing something no human beings had ever done before, and ruined it in order to feel important. She should be apologizing, not taking Twitter victory laps."

I agree completely.

#ShirtStorm

Ann Althouse said...

""It's just his job, five days a week" More like 6 to 7."

Oh, but he's obviously found plenty of time to spend in the tattoo parlor.

Ann Althouse said...

""It's just his job, five days a week" More like 6 to 7."

Oh, but he's obviously found plenty of time to spend in the tattoo parlor.

rcocean said...

Sorry, I don't see anything wrong with the shirt. A little boobage showing but nothing too risque.

I have a feeling sexy shirt guy is a leftist who was destroyed by the fact he had strayed from the party line.

Ann Althouse said...

"I like the way Instapundit put it: "Rose Eveleth of The Atlantic is a horrible person'..."

A "horrible person"? That sounds awfully emotive.

Some kind of gender-flip is occurring.

The males are stamping their feet and calling women meanies.

Original Mike said...

"Oh, but he's obviously found plenty of time to spend in the tattoo parlor."

Yeah, that's pretty gross IMO.

Ann Althouse said...

Maybe his fellow scientists are pissed that he pulled a stunt and took all the attention for himself. He showboated. He sought fame and he got it. Fame is a bitch. Fame is a dog.

D.D. Driver said...

It's sad that this guy is somehow being shamed as being some type of alpha-male oppressor of women. All that shirt tells you is that this guy is a nerd. He likes comic books and PK Dick novels. He has a favorite LINUX distro. He has attended at least one Comicon, and probably speaks at least one fictional language like Klingon or elvish.

Who knows why he selected that shirt, but here is my theory: he is trying to communicate to young people, both boys and girls, that its okay to be a weird outcast that likes anime and dungeons and dragons. It gets better. Remember that?

Ann Althouse said...

"Yeah, that's pretty gross IMO."

I don't know if it's gross. I assume you're spoofing women and attributing the opinion of grossness to me, but you have no basis for that. You are missing my point. The man did some superficial things, literally superficial. He spent hours getting pictures inked into his epidermis, his surface, and he wore a shirt that shouted about he physical appearance of the human body. It's hypocritical to turn around and complain that people are being superficial. The purported defense of the man is a concession of the soundness of the attack.

Just saying said...

Where can I buy a “rocket man” shirt?

Tyrone Slothrop said...

Feminists have jumped the shirt.

Laslo Spatula said...

Althouse missed another applicable song reference. From David Bowie's "Space Oddity":

This is Ground Control to Major Tom
You've really made the grade
And the papers want to know whose shirts you wear...

Original Mike said...

No Althouse. I'm making no statement. I just think his tattoos are gross.

LilyBart said...


I can't believe this is such a big thing. I thought we already knew scientists were socially obtuse. Big deal - move on.


Bob Boyd said...

"This is Ground Control to Major Tom
You’ve really made the grade
And the papers want to know whose shirts you wear
Now it’s time to leave the capsule if you dare"

Actual lyrics from another space exploration song 'Major Tom' by David Bowie

LilyBart said...

Feminists have jumped the shirt.

One can hope that this politically correct shaming of people has reached such a ridiculous level that people of good will refuse to have anything to do with it, and we can go back to living with more tolerance and common sense.

Bob Boyd said...

Dammit Laslo!

Laslo Spatula said...

Bob Boyd (12:04) on the same mental plane as Laslo (12:03): I call this "The Laslo Effect".

Bob Boyd said...

Its intoxicating.

Deirdre Mundy said...

Pretty sure he picked the shirt because the boss said "it's a big day. Wear something with buttons and a collar" and this was his only non-T-shirt.

After all, in his apology, he was wearing a crummy blue hoody.

This is clearly a man who hasn't owned an oxford shirt since 8th grade when his mom made him wear one to Great-aunt Bessie's funeral.

He doesn't need 'consciousness raising', he needs 'What not to wear- engineering edition'

Oso Negro said...

I would say that the shirt he actually wore appealed to a much wider audience.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Ann Althouse said...A "horrible person"? That sounds awfully emotive.

Some kind of gender-flip is occurring.

The males are stamping their feet and calling women meanies.


Is this cis-gendered heteronormative prejudice in action or not? What are the fucking rules of this game?! If it's wrong to stereotype by gender, fine. But it's only wrong sometimes, I guess, and really only wrong when the wrong people do it. If I said "Prof. A is being emotive, just like a typical woman" I'd be pilloried. Prof A says in essence that the men are being emotive, like women are (stereotypically) supposed to be, and that's supposed to shame the men into acting differently (by embracing their masculinity and not emoting/whining). Is Prof A being sexist by buying into (and enforcing) patriarchal gender norms? IF not why not?!

Gahrie said...


The males are stamping their feet and calling women meanies.


No we're not. We're thumbing our noses and calling women self-important, feminist harridans.

Birches said...

Ha ha. Everyone knows that if he wore sexy cowboy shirt there would be crickets.

One of my favorite comments from this whole thing went something like this:

"I've been out of the loop. Who's complaining about the shirt, the Jesus freaks or the thought police?"

Reply: "Thought police. That's why it's getting so much attention."

Original Mike said...

"But this was a case of someone who chose to make a major statement through clothing."

I keep thinking about this (from the first post) and about my own choice of clothes. I don't doubt that there are people who choose their clothes to make a statement. But not everybody does this. I choose clothes because I like them. I'm not trying to say anything. I acknowledge that my clothes do say something about me (primarily that I'm boring) but it is not my intention to communicate that statement. My primary goal is to think as little about clothing as possible. It does not interest me.

Now, the flamboyance of this shirt may indicate that Taylor was trying to make a "statement". If so, he brought this on himself. But it may be that he choose it simply because he liked it. In either case, it was an unfortunate choice, IMO, because it was a distraction from what was important that day.

Paco Wové said...

Always interesting to see what Althouse chooses to be bitchy about.

Birches said...

Let's be honest. If Michele Bachmann had clutched her pearls and said, "Think of the children!" when she saw that shirt, all of the "feminists" would be gnashing, "Because Science mouthbreather!" as loud as they could.

At least the men are being consistent about it.

n.n said...

The heterophobic response was over the top.

Is it because the women depicted are wearing bras or bra-like clothing? Hefner, Flynt, and other progressive moralists are turning over in their hot tubs.

Is it because the women are depicted carrying firearms? The feminists advocating for women to serve in combat are outraged.

Is it because none of the women are depicted using their firearm to abort their child in a planned parenthood ritual? The libertines demand equality.

Was his violation of decorum so great or habitual that two adults could not discuss and resolve the matter in private? Is this how disputes are settled in political domains?

It seems that Feltman is engaged in playground journalism. The "adults" set a wonderful example for surviving children.

Anyway, welcome to our world, Euros. It's pandemic confusion.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Man about woman: "act more ladylike, be a proper woman." Feminist response: "Sexist pig, how dare you impose your backward values on others; to the stocks with him, 2 minutes hate!"

Woman about a man: "suck it up, act like a real man, stop whining you baby." Feminist response: "yeah, pussy, be a man."

Sexist use of gender roles: how do they work?

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Data point: Check the shirt Dr. Taylor wore/approved for his official picture on the NASA Rosetta project website

Clearly bro is too punk rock for you squares. I wish I could find it but there was a standup bit about how different sports have "the bad boy" (I think the one he used as an example was Elvis Stojko) and how silly that trope is. To me it looks a bit like Dr. Taylor is the bad boy of astrophysics.

Sam L. said...

OK, women with guns says "empowered women" to me.

Steve said...

Like a dog on a bone you continue to gnaw. Most people are laughing at how you have your panties in such a twist about this situation. Torn between your largely male following and the desire to be one of the home girls, you are alienating everyone.

The biggest problem with women in STEM is that so many women are ignorant of the challenges of a STEM education and career. "It's his job, five days a week" makes me cringe and laugh at your ignorance.

It isn't art or being a law professor this is hard work where you are judged on your results. No one on his team cares a bit about his shirt. Anyone that does or thinks that someone should doesn't possess the intellectual capabilities necessary to work in the field.

Ann Althouse said...

"No one on his team cares a bit about his shirt."

How do you know? Maybe they are pissed at him for showboating on what was their big day too.

Gahrie said...

Maybe they are pissed at him for showboating on what was their big day too.

And just maybe they're pissed at a bunch of feminist harridans upstaging their accomplishment....

Steve said...

"How do you know? Maybe they are pissed at him for showboating on what was their big day too."

Because they are on a team with far, far, more important things to do. You seem to thing that these folks just woke up and decided to be on a team of elite scientist working a multiyear project. Petty people just don't make the grade in this environment. But thanks to leaping to the defense of people you don't know and I suspect don't care about.

Decent people don't use strangers as props to make political points.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Data point: Dr Parker's sister says he lacks common sense about little things
The brilliant scientist with no common sense/social graces is a well established trope. It seems like certain eccentricities are ok, but any that can be construed as sexist (in their effect) are not.

Ron said...

Althouse should stick a crowbar in the Althouse wallet and liberate some of that Amazonian Booty ([Butthead voice]"He said Booty."), and get both shirts for you and the Meadester, and then pose with them on!

Post Ideas From Mighty Fish

furious_a said...

Ahem, ladies, the Puritans want their judgmentalism back.

furious_a said...

Sorry, but a J.D. kinda pales by comparison (thanks for the link, HD):

Matt Taylor was born in London, gained his undergraduate Physics degree at the University of Liverpool, and a PhD from Imperial College London. His career has focused on the space plasma measurements, working in Europe and the US on the four spacecraft ESA Cluster mission, leading to a post at ESA which started in 2005 working as the project scientist for Cluster and the ESA-China Double star mission. His studies have focused on energetic particle dynamics in near-Earth space and in the interaction of the Sun’s solar wind with the Earths magnetic field, particularly focusing on how boundary layer interactions evolve, leading to 70 first or co-authored papers. Most recently he was appointed the Project Scientist on the Rosetta mission.

George said...

Was it an inappropriate shirt? Sure.

What's beyond the pale is arguing that it somehow the shirt--and his decision to wear it--is somehow complicit in some patriarchial conspiracy to keep women out of STEM.

Rae said...

As a straight, white Catholic male, and therefore an example of all that's wrong in the world, that shirt doesn't offend me.

What does give me pause is the fact that is thinks this is appropriate work apparel.

Insufficiently Sensitive said...

Crying contrition was exactly the wrong thing to do. He should have told the self-appointed 'feminist' that the shirt was an art object made to stimulate discussion, that he was raising consciousness by prominently displaying it, and that those who couldn't grasp the concept were at no higher level than Tea-baggers.

Insufficiently Sensitive said...

What does give me pause is the fact that is thinks this is appropriate work apparel.

Who's supposed to dictate his choice of appropriate work apparel, if not himself? If the feel of that shirt helps the mental processes for which he's properly paid, it's creating great new steps for humanity.

Todd Grimson said...

I don't understand what Althouse is doing here, or with the other postst about Matt Taylor's shirt. Fooling around with some godawful Elton John is an aesthetic crime of sorts all on its lonesome.

And why the animus against tattoos? Some look better than others, but so what? Who cares? I've known enough scientist/engineer/research types
to be unsurprised that any of them might wear something stupid but have other things in the front of their mind.

George said...

Tats are a huge generational divide between Boomers and everyone else. Xers won't generally have many (if any) but aren't stressed by them. Millenials love 'em.

David said...

I see this more like "The Man Who Fell to Earth."

Alien in a puzzling environment stuff.

David said...

Remember also. This guy is part of the nearly all male team that drove the spacecraft 340 million miles to its destination and then messed up the parking job so badly they have run out of electricity. Guys finally ask for directions and then mess up the parking. Typical.

Gahrie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
rhhardin said...

Here's my dress shirts.

They're kept colorful in a dark closet.

J.C.Penny, Honolulu.

James Pawlak said...

I wonder if anyone remembers the women in the attic who protected her children and herself by shooting an armed home invader with the six rounds in her pistol--Only wounding him.

Where can I get such a shirt?

Gahrie said...

Who's supposed to dictate his choice of appropriate work apparel, if not himself?

Why the nearest woman of course......

Original Mike said...

"And why the animus against tattoos? Some look better than others, but so what? Who cares?"

I think they're ugly. I said so. What I did not say is that Taylor should conform to what I think. (I guess that means I can't be a feminist.)

Douglas said...

Ann,
Not meanies but Harpies.

Paul said...

I think every red blooded male should by one of the shirts like Matt Taylor and were it. Were it every day till those feminist puke.

Be said...

Would be interesting to see how many Moon Landings featured folks wearing Hawaiian shirts with or without any naked people on them.

I know that in the STEM department I worked in, someone would have been given a stern talking to, in addition to being gently hauled off to make a choice between coats and ties, like one saw in Nice Restaurants, back in the day. (Shrug.)

Be said...

(One of my non-job description requirements was to be able to tie a Windsor knot. I consider it a Portable Skill.)

Michael said...

Exactly. If there had been a woman on the team and she showed up in the studly farmer shirt, would anyone have said anything other than "You go, girl!?" I don't think so. Actually, the women on Taylor's shirt look pretty empowered - they've got guns, they're cleared for action, and they look like they could put a probe on a comet if they put their mind to it.

That said, I wouldn't wear that shirt. But then, I'm not a rocket man.

Be said...

I'm pretty sure, Michael, that no woman on that team was wearing a "This is what a Feminist Looks Like" shirt. (Draw your conclusions as you would like to do. I never had to deal with grooming/wardrobe issues among the women.)

As for the "Rocket Men," back in my tech days, found that the worst people to deal with at NASA were the admins. The actual Rocket Scientists I'd worked with were absolutely lovely, well-dressed, and largely (snort!) Christian in their morals.

Work in Pharmtech nowadays. Am finding that the young kids, though largely irreverent, are wonderfully respectful and know how to dress. (Shrug.)

chickelit said...

Althouse wrote: Rocket man, if you only could, pick this one and see what they say

They'd say he was gay. Why would he want people to think that?

stlcdr said...

I thought the idea was to not fit into the norms and it is ok to be who you are. This seemed like a good time to impress on the public that rocket science isn't all about dweebs and pocket protectors.

But no, he now has to apologize for not fitting the stereotype.

But no, we have pathetic bitches who have to bring down every human achievement to the ground and shit all over it.

jr565 said...

Earth aint the kind of place
to wear your shirt
If there are naked girls on it that offend
And they'll be people there who'll scream sexist if you do
And all this science
They don't understand
It's all about my shirt five days a week
Pain in the ass, pain in the ass.

jr565 said...

I'm going to get the shirt and then go as that scientist next year for Halloween. Just to offend feminists.

Riot Nrrrd™ said...

[I was going to comment on the other post (but I already did that) since I'm posting about what Ann was referring to at the top of it (namely Glenn Harlan Reynolds' post on the USA Today site), but since this post is actually showing the shirt(s) in question, I'll comment here instead.]

I'm incredulous that a Law professor (Reynolds) would make this statement:

"Yes, feminists have been telling us for years that women can wear whatever they want, and for men to comment in any way is sexism. But that's obviously a double standard, since they evidently feel no compunction whatsoever in criticizing what men wear. "

Is't this a clear example of "false equivalence"? The male equivalent of "women can wear whatever they want" is more like "I can wear tight clothes if I want" or "I can wear assless chaps if I want" (if that's what floats yer boat) - not "I can wear clothing that depicts the other sex in a sexual manner".

To me the equivalent in this particular case would be if a woman Project Scientist or Lead got up wearing that other "Wrangler" Hawaiian shirt pictured in this post, the one with all the Tom of Finland-esque shirtless cowboys on it.

You can bet if any woman did that, all the PUAs, MRAs and a healthy cross-section of men in general would rise up and howl, calling for blood as the Feministas are doing to Dr. Taylor.

Riot Nrrrd™ said...

Ann Althouse said...
"No one on his team cares a bit about his shirt."

How do you know? Maybe they are pissed at him for showboating on what was their big day too.
11/15/14, 1:35 PM


Ann,

Since you require direct evidence from a female team member that works with Matt, here you go:

https://twitter.com/Zanderinn/status/533270705681760256