I’m Your Moon

You can’t have missed the recent kerfluffle on the status of Pluto in the solar system, right? I think the only media outlets that missed jumping on the Save Our Planet bandwagon were the ones devoted to 24/7 Britney/Lindsay/Paris coverage, and for all I know, even they didn’t pass up the chance to Vociferously Hold Forth on a Science-Adjacent Matter. Even the dumb ones like to feel smart sometimes, and these days, you don’t have to have to have any logic or facts on your side, or make any sense; you can just Feel Strongly About Something and that’s taken by the general public to be the same thing as being informed and intelligent. Thus, the popularity of the Pluto Crisis in the mass media.

The IAU met, argued, discussed, sent out a premature press release, voted, adopted rules that had the opposite effect of what the press release promised, and adjourned for another three years. School children and Scorpios the world over wept and cursed them, talk radio and morning TV show hosts got in their barbs about “flip-flopping, know-nothing scientists,” and then everyone settled down, for now. It’s unlikely the fight is over; Pluto will probably be the hot topic again at the 2009 IAU meeting.

The issue caused some strained relations at my house, too, as my dear Modhran and I took opposing sides of the issue””he felt well enough should be left alone, that whatever rules were eventually adopted, Pluto should be given the respect of being grandfathered in. I was of the opinion that the very soul of science is to reconsider your position when new information comes in, and we’ve gotten a lot of data since Pluto was initially discovered””all of which indicates it shouldn’t be classed with the major planets. There are good and reasonable arguments on both sides; we chased each other through them several times, and none of them made either of us budge an inch from our original positions.

And then Jonathon Coulton weighed in on the matter in his podcast “Thing A Week,” and finally, someone made me reconsider. He put up a song called, “I’m Your Moon”, and I hope he won’t mind that I’m posting the lyrics, because I want you to read this, then RUN right out and subscribe to the podcast, and maybe even buy the full versions of some of his songs, because man, this guy is good. (See his website for more information.)

I’m Your Moon

They invented a reason
That’s why it stings.
They don’t think you matter
Because you don’t have pretty rings.
I keep telling you I don’t care,
I keep saying there’s one thing they can’t change:

I’m your moon, you’re my moon,
We go round and round.
From out here, it’s the rest of the world that looks so small.
Promise me you will always remember who you are.

Let them shuffle the numbers
Watch them come and go;
We’re the ones who are out here,
Out past the edge of what they know.
We can only be who we are,
Doesn’t matter if they don’t understand.

I’m your moon, you’re my moon,
We go round and round.
From out here, it’s the rest of the world that looks so small.
Promise me you will always remember who you are,
Who you were,
Long before they said you were no more.

Sad excuse for a sunrise,
It’s so cold out here.
Ice and silence and dark skies,
As we go “˜round another year.
Let them think what they like, we’re fine.
I will always be right here next to you.

I’m your moon, you’re my moon,
We go “˜round and “˜round.
From out here, it’s the rest of the world that looks so small.
Promise me you will always remember who you are.

Have you ever heard a better love song? I almost cried when I heard it, it’s so sweet and defiant. Don’t we all want someone to love us like that, all “Screw them, they don’t know anything about us! You’re perfect just the way you are!”? So, really, go give Jonathan Coulton some time and attention and, if you’re so inclined, a little money. He deserves it.

Oh, and Pluto? I still don’t think you’re a planet, but now I feel kinda bad about that.

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One Response to I’m Your Moon

  1. modhran says:

    It not that I’m being entirely sentimantal about it… but the arguement I’ve heard most about Pluto’s demotion is that if you look at all the other planets it’s the one that’s different.

    I feel that if they’re going to reclassify pluto because it doesn’t measure up, perhaps they should reclassify the rocky planets from the gassy ones, because if a gas giant is considered a planet, how does earth measure up?

    Are we next to go? Well, I’m sure Mercury and Mars are closer to the chopping block.


    When they took Pluto I did not speak up, because I wasn’t a Kuyper Belt Object…

    When they took Mercury and Mars I did not speak up because I had a full atmosphere…

    When they came for Venus and Me there was no one left to speak up for us.

    And I whole heartedly agree that everyone should support Jonathan Coulton… He’s great.

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