Yesterday, like a million other comics on the planet, I rushed to twitter to make the "We just travelled half a billion miles and everyone's looking at Kam Kurd's (Intentionally misspelled for reasons to be made apparent) arse" joke so I could claim it as my own. I opened with it last night and everybody cheered in agreement. Now, before you judge me, understand that I was gigging in the Hard Rock Café in Kuala Lumpur where the bar to my immediate stage left was kept open and the night previous the (literal) content police were in. So please turn a blind eye to my banality, this was about as deep I could delve on the idea.
Or so I thought...
Because then to my surprise I got home and not only had a ton of comics made the observation but many regular folks had arrived there as well.
The Internet was ubiquitously lamenting that while humankind was reaching further out into space than we've ever dared, we were still more self-obsessed, facile and inward-looking than ever. Kam's arse was the epitome of our own navel - capturing our collective gaze.
Only it wasn't.
Whilst science and voyeuristic titillation vie for our souls once more, for the first time that I can remember, science is winning hands down.
For two days straight the ESA and comet 67p have kicked Kam's arse in every sense. There were more articles, the Philae Lander was more googled on Wednesday, it's trending higher on twitter and the hashtag #letsfixtheinternet is thrashing her own paltry hashtag. I'm not repeating it here for the same reason I'm not spelling her name right. I don't want this blog entry to be a tick in the Kam column and nor do you apparently.
It's as if the world's most pointless celebrity (whose reason for fame I refuse to even trace) - this harping, farting, tooting, glistening, Warholian nightmare - made an attention-seeking move so cynical, so staggeringly obvious and in such stark contrast to a scientific breakthrough so dramatic and miraculous and a number so damn sexy (half a billion miles dammit!) that it provided us with a tipping point. A wake up call: that we are so much better than this. And no manner of oil and photo-shopping could distract us from the fact.
500,00,000 miles into space plus Kam's arse still equals 500,000',000 miles into space it would seem.
At times like this I wish I were a more scientifically and/or mathematically minded comedian like Matt Kirshen or Robin Ince. As no doubt they'd have the tenacity and field of reference to deliver a far superior comic equation. It'd have brackets and Kam's arse over something. There'd be some squiggly lines and a small 2 somewhere. It'd be amazing, hilarious, technically apt and probably force us all to brush up on our algebra a bit. Unfortunately here, my comedy comes from ignorance and skewed logic. Facts funk up my funny.
Every sexy scientific headline of the past twenty years has had a similar joke formula - "We just (insert scientific achievement here) and yet we're all worried about (Insert tabloid story here). What's up with people huh? When aliens land, I hope we all die, can't wait for armegeddon" etc etc..
But here the premise, set up and punchline are so perfect it's apparent to everybody. Leading us all to work a bit harder.
Forty eight hours ago, billions of people clicked on their phones for a flicker of a second and thought, "Oh right. There's a really big oily bum."
But then they slid on to discover a really big, borderline flirtatious space number staring back at them.
"Half a billion?" they thought and like them, I too read on and googled more and more about Rosetta the mesmerising. The more we read the more we realised what a miracle this scientific milestone was. And we all drew the parallel, "Wait a sec, why are we all looking at an arse when this is happening?" And for the first time in modern history that I can remember we stopped looking at tits and returned our attention to the stars.
Sensing this and in a panic move, Kam then tweeted, "No wait! Speaking of tits, here's mine! And you can nearly see my vagina."
"Sorry Kam, not interested, not when there's orbital slingshotting to be drummed up on" we yawned and gasped respectively.
"But look at my nipples they're really pink" Kam cried.
"Sorry? What's that? There's some bleating areola at the door? Tell them we're busy, we need to know if Philae's battery will last"
And Atlas, for the first time in a long while, flexed.
You can listen to Brendon's companion travelogue/stand up podcast from Malaysia here.Suggest a correction