Saturday, September 02, 2006

RIP Pluto & Don

Sadly, this week marked the passing of two Great Bodies of the Universe - Australian Democrat's Founder, Don Chipp, and the planet Pluto. Don Chipp was one of the brightest lights in the Australian political scene throughout his career, with his catch-phrase "Let's keep the bastards honest". In fact, as the tributes flowed at his funeral, it's fairly certain that never before has St Paul's Cathedral heard so much laughter. Comedian Andrew Denton apologised in advance before reading a bawdy poem that Mr Chipp wrote for his 80th birthday last year, then described Mr Chipp's impression of government censors and what they might do with pornography magazines, his lust for the Queen and the similarities between former prime minister Malcolm Fraser and an Easter Island statue "with a poker up its a%s".

A more solemn reaction around the world, though, for Pluto, now demoted officially from "planet" to "dirty annoying spot on the lens". Poor Pluto, always bullied for being so small and deftly kept out of the inner solar system by the big bully Gas Giants, has now had to suffer the ultimate shunning by a group of scientists who said years ago they had discovered every single planet and there was no possiblity of more being found; only to now say they have found hundreds, including a bunch bigger than Puny Pluto. These are the professionals who can't find where most of the matter in the universe is hiding, and who see a big area of nothing at all, and call it an object with the unlikely name of "Black Hole". Not so many years ago these same so-called learned men were seeing great big animals floating around the sky, and men with bows and arrows.

We can't do anything for Don Chipp now, but we can certainly "Protest for Pluto". I urge you to write to your Parliamentary Member today.

Honey, I shrunk the solar system

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