Many many moons ago, when Earth and I were younger,
They said I had the gift of gab, and should plan to be a lawyer.
I said â€œResearch scientistâ€! They said, â€œWe canâ€™t relate;
With that you canâ€™t bring cash to hand, o you of poor estate;
â€˜Twould waste the power you have with words to do any thing but make
All that can be had in courtroom theatre debate!â€
â€œYou meanâ€, I gasped, â€œjust like the man who all in town call Flea?â€
â€œYouâ€™re in a tiny house. He has a mansion. Just come see.â€
The scientist who wished to be sneered, â€œThis is all a lie.â€
The empty bank account snarled back, â€œYou know nothing â€™til you try.â€
To debating club I went and said, â€œIâ€™ll make with you a pact;
Teach me how to win my case through best display of fact.â€
They howled and laughed, for on and on, and when at last they breathed,
They dried their eyes, shook heads and said, â€œWe think it’s best you leave;
â€œWe score you not upon the facts but on how you plead against them.
Better still, if the case you win, yourself would be protestinâ€™.â€
The scientist lost all respect for law and polity,
And now, with alternative facts in charge, for all humanity.
– Neil Degrasse Graham
(The Cope poem in the image, in variously corrupted versions, has been making the Facebook rounds lately, usually to decry â€œmansplainingâ€ and otherwise conduct thoroughly deserved assaults on the pitiful remnants of maleness in the USA. The version posted is the original, as presented in The Guardian newspaper on 26 May 2001, shortly after its publication.)