History, literature, and the daily headlines are filled with examples of noble people being corrupted by power. Julius Caesar, Napoleon, Moe Howard – the list is long and depressing. Recently, many voices have expressed concern over a perceived tipping of the scales of power, over one entity acting unilaterally to achieve controversial objectives, over a dangerous concentration of authority where it was never meant to be. I am referring, of course, to the International Astronomical Union (IAU).
Several years ago, the IAU reclassified the once proud planet of Pluto as a dwarf planet. Every citizen of planet Earth should be concerned. If they can demote Pluto out of its planethood, what else can they do? Deciding the fate of astronomical bodies smacks of tyranny and megalomania. Do these despots reside on Mt. Olympus? Do they hang out with IRS commissioners?
Prior to the IAU’s action in 2006, the only known way of removing a planet from the universe was by using the Death Star. The IAU is, therefore, the only known superpower to have Death Star capability, surpassing the destructive capability of the U.S., Russia, China, and Godzilla combined, and with no radioactivity.
A wiser mind than mine (Lord Acton, in this case) once said that power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. If that be true, then surely no more corrupt act has ever been committed than planet stripping. And what’s the deal with this insulting term, “dwarf planet?” Are we even allowed to call it a dwarf? Can it sue us for defamation of character? For degradation of stature? For celestial slander?
Having as much power as the solar system-plundering IAU has is unnatural. What next for these fiends? Will the sun be demoted to a moon? Will Jupiter be demoted to Mars? Will the Pope be demoted to Popeye?
Is the IAU sharpening the guillotine, searching for whoever classified Pluto as a planet in the first place? That would presumably be astronomer Clyde Tombaugh, who discovered Pluto in 1930. However, the IAU has missed their chance, as Clyde has already passed on.
Poor Clyde died thinking he had discovered the ninth planet. Rumors persist that the more bellicose wing of the IAU is planning a séance to make sure Mr. Tombaugh is not under the misconception that he discovered a full-fledged planet. Plans are also afoot to shorten the name from Pluto to Plu, as dwarf planets are not deemed worthy of five letters.
The price of liberty is eternal vigilance. Who knows what the ignominious IAU is plotting next? Let this be our rallying cry:
The IAU are dirty swine,
The number of planets should be nine.
What did Pluto ever do to you?
I hope the next asteroid lands on the IAU!
It is only with rational, clear-headed discussion such as this that the true dilemmas of our age will be solved.