Wednesday, December 28, 2022

Bruce Moon: Satire - A great opportunity to do some real science!!

Thoughtful readers will be delighted, I am sure, to know that after many months of arduous preparation, I am about to submit to the Marsden Fund my application for $720,000 for a study entitled “The Social, Environmental and Sexual Impact of the Unicorn in the Southern Hemisphere.” This will be, I am sure, groundbreaking research in a wholly new field and I am confident that its impact will be dramatic. Moreover, I am excited to announce that I have the full backing of Father Christmas who is considering unicorns as successors to his ageing team of reindeer.

There will inevitably be those dismal characters, as in any field of human endeavour, who suggest that that is a considerable sum and who ask why I consider it appropriate. My answer is of course, that grants from the Marsden are subject to the highest scrutiny and applications subjected to intense competition from those so-called scientists who, reactionary though it may be, continue to follow the decadent, racist, colonialist practices of so-called “Western” science.

If therefore I, being pale, male and stale, receive a grant of just one half of that for which I have nominally applied – and which I am confident will be awarded to me – then that, just $360,000 I reflect, is exactly the same amount as was awarded recently to a bright young part-Maori lady for a similar study of taniwhas.

I shall of course, be observing the well-established practices of matauranga maori in this exciting study, though stark realism compels me to admit that I shall be utilising some, inevitably offensive, European cultural practices such as reading and writing, photography and, reluctant though I am to admit it, using a computer to record, retrieve and analyse what I am sure will, in due course, amount to a massive amount of exciting information to Father Christmas, scientists and members of the lay community alike.

Equally again, there will be dismal and negative characters who point out that no such data exist as this time. The answer, almost to trivial to mention, is that hitherto, nobody, simply nobody of whom I am aware has thought to observe and record any. That is of course a glaring vacuum in scientific knowledge which is a major goal of my project to remedy. And then I note that such people overlook the significant amount of folklore passed down by word of mouth for many generations and scrupulously recorded by the celebrated Waitangi Tribunal. This will surely be a rich source of supplementary information of the highest quality.

I am particularly interested in the role of the unicorn’s horn in sexual foreplay and indeed in subsequent activities. Is this role any different when these procedures are being undertaken between a pair of unicorns of the same sex or between a pair of two different sexes or when more than two participate? I mention that one of the objectives of this research is to establish beyond reasonable doubt just how many sexes exist amongst unicorns and whether this varies between sub-species. Compatibility will of course be of prime importance to Father Christmas should he proceed to select a team.

All in all, I am sure that there will be widespread interest in progress reports on this ground-breaking project, particularly amongst the great, rich panjandrums of our part-maori tribes who will in all fairness be able to recognize on national news media in ‘te reo’ (today’s dialect of their own language) which is of course particularly well-suited to scientific discourse, just what an important contribution prehistoric maori practices have to play in our dear little country of “aotearoa” (small ‘a’ for a small country) today!

Bruce Moon (Irish, Scots, Cornish, English, Jèrriais, Guernesias, and since 1868, New Zealanders) ~ Nelson

Christmas Day 2022 © Copyright

Postscript: I can well imagine the acute interest this prestigious project will arouse amongst the Vice-Chancellors of all New Zealand universities and almost inevitably, how there will be intense competition amongst them to offer facilities, accommodation and auxiliary services to assist in its accomplishment. There will be little else in any of them today in any way comparable. B

Bruce Moon is a retired computer pioneer who wrote "Real Treaty; False Treaty - The True Waitangi Story".


DeeM said...

I fully support your application, Bruce,
Can I direct you to the Harry Potter franchise, where unicorns featured in at least one of the movies. Also My Little Pony, where at least 3 of the subjects have horns on the front of their heads.
I have watched both, although often in the capacity of a responsible parent, rather than a fan.

I don't recall any sexual foreplay in either of my references but they could certainly be a valuable resource in observing social and environmental interaction between unicorns, wizards and other mythical creatures.

Good luck!

Anonymous said...

Move over Einstein. Your Nobel Prize is surely in sight...

(Unless the Woke abolish this first.)

Anonymous said...

Of course, your study on the sexes will in itself require great care, for you will first have to determine what (if any) is an appropriate age to record such? After all, while animals(?) presumably they will still have feelings and there will likely be those amongst them that may wish to identify with another gender from their biological one, assuming they are not hermaphrodites and/or gender fluid? On that score, assuming you can find one or more, I can well foresee that you have grossly underestimated the time and cost of your proposed endeavour, and that you may have to narrow your inquiry and expand your funding request to compensate?

That said, there may well be some assistance available should you seek out the observations and understandings on that matter passed down through the generations to create that vast knowledge system known as Matauranga Maori. So vast is that cache of understanding, it appears no-one knows quite where to start in the recording and conveyance of it all - for while a great deal has been said regarding it, to date it would seem very few (if any) would be able to cite even a single instance of something that it alone had discovered and passed on for the benefit of wider humanity? Accordingly, if you should mention that as an intended inquiry source in your funding application, your project could prove to be something of an information watershed and, most assuredly, is will be more likely to attract the desired Marsden funding.

I wish you all the best in your endeavours Bruce and, not unlike matauranga, I look forward to hearing of some of your ground-breaking findings. Keep up the good work.

EP said...

Better get cracking with your application Bruce, as you'll have noticed the Government has been trying to pull back on anything likely to scare the voters come election year. They so naively think we will have failed to notice all their chicanery, but 'fingers crossed' (a very old superstition from the north) their chickens will come home to roost.

Robert Arthur said...

There was and probably still is several clubs catering for Poms. Certainly for Irish. And some maypole dancing or bell ringing groups etc. Whilst none receive vast govt grants to refurbish their premises and garnish with expensive paid member executed carvings of St George and his dragon etc, if you roll up with several crates of free cider it is likely some previously only subconscious recollections of unicorns will emerge. The amount of cider critical; there is always the risk they will pull the UN declaration and insist that such info is exclusive to them and they therefore cannot risk committing to written record. If you can work unicorn studies up to an industry so many university staff will become involved a complete takeover of the system by unicornists will be inevitable. They will likely capture RNZ, TV, nursing, teaching, public service, council staff, the legal fraternity. Likely even legislate for it to be included in boardroom considerations. None other than a few independent and thus cancellation resistant old men will dare attempt to counter.
I have just endured my first bus trip to town for 5 years. Next time I expect all stops to be announced in unicornese and all port facilities to be co named with unicornese first and in heaviest script, despite unicornese being about 1/8 letter efficient.

Unknown said...

I agree with EP, you need to pull your finger out. While your second name has mysterious, ethereal connotations and may help with your project, I would suggest you change your name to Mahooter. This will ensure unlimited funds and connect you to the ancient cannibal's extraordinary connection with the heavenly bodies. Somewhere in their folklore, there is a mention of a large, horse-like creature with a horn on its nose.

Ewan McGregor said...

You should be a sitter for your $360,000 funding application, Bruce. The Marsden Fund dishes out some really big dollops of funding. What their merit is I am not qualified to say, except in one case of which I am familiar. A few years ago, the fund contributed $603,000 over three years to eight South Island academics to write a book on an environmental subject. It was, in my view at least, entirely lightweight both intellectually and in its physical production. (I’ve got books printed before WW1 which are of superior quality.) Few libraries stock it – I’ve checked - and I’ve asked the Fund how many copies have been sold. The Answer? We don’t do that kind of follow-up.
Ewan McGregor.