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edge staff writer


Celebrity Slam (09/27/2017)

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Flat Earth fundraising

Obviously, we enjoy celebrity beefs and cutesy couple portmanteaus here at Celebrity Slam – they are our bread and butter, after all – but sometimes, we’re given something that far surpasses our wildest imaginations as far as weirdo mockability. It’s a rare and precious gift when one of those moments comes along.

We received one such gift last year when the rapper B.o.B. got into a Twitter beef with, among others, Neil deGrasse Tyson about the shape of the Earth. Namely, that it was flat. Oh, wasn’t that sweet – your standard dips—t rapper getting into a science-off with pop culture’s favorite astronomer. Just delightful.

In the months since, we’ve gotten to enjoy a few additions to the Flat Earth train out there on the lunatic fringe. Perhaps the most notable was NBA star Kyrie Irving, then of the Cleveland Cavaliers and now (sigh) a member of the Boston Celtics. But we hadn’t heard a ton from pop culture’s Flat Earth OG for a while.

Turns out that B.o.B. was just biding his time.

The rapper’s pseudoscientific idiocy has been thrust back into the spotlight thanks to the rapper’s new endeavor. Basically, he’s decided to crowdfund an effort to procure proof that the Earth is flat.

Yes. That is something that is actually happening.

He has started a GoFundMe campaign built around finding the Earth’s curve and finding out for sure whether our planet is round or a flat disc hanging in space. This plan apparently consists of launching multiple satellites into space in order to, you know, disprove what has been an accepted scientific fact for hundreds of years. All he needs is $200,000 to make this happen.

(Oh, and permission to launch things into space and any number of completely ignored logistical realities that are a necessary part of sending anything up into orbit, but whatever.)

The mission bears the clever title of “Show BoB The Curve” and has been racking up literally tens of dollars in support since it went live a few days ago.

So where shall we begin?

Look, there have been Flat Earth truthers out there since long before we even knew that the Earth wasn’t flat. And there will always be a segment of the population that is utterly convinced that the powers that be are lying to them about everything, which leads them to attach significance to utter nonsense and invest their belief in lunatic tripe. However, what was once a collection of isolated nutbars can now coalesce via the internet. And when famous people hop onto that crazy, crazy bandwagon, well … things get really weird.

There’s nothing wrong with this belief system per se. It’s not as though thinking the Earth is flat does any active harm; it’s lunatic babble, of course, but it’s not hurtful like some other fringe beliefs. However, when someone like B.o.B. uses the platform their talents have given them as a means to more widely disseminate this junk, it’s a different story. Once you start proselytizing for fringy ideas like this, you’re making a greater impact – an unwelcome impact.

And when you start asking those people you’re trying to convert for money, then you’ve definitely crossed a line. Leaving aside the obvious lunacy of the whole deal, there are a lot of questions here even if you take B.o.B. at his word.

For instance – where did this $200K figure come from? Does he have any idea how much it costs to get something up into space, let along multiple somethings? Is he at all prepared for the bureaucratic red tape necessary to even be allowed to launch stuff? And how does he plan to equip these satellites? How is this going to be any different than the sorts of experiments that helped show us the planet was round in the first place?

And the biggest question of all – does he have any idea whatsoever of what he’s doing?

(In case you’re wondering, our best guesses to the answers are as follows: His butt. No. No. He has no plan. By being way crazier. Not in the least.)

Again, we can’t thank B.o.B. enough – the guy is the gift that keeps on giving. As for the people out there, what can we say? If you believe in this Flat Earth nonsense, you’re kind of a crazy person. But if you give some rapper money to prove it?

Well, then you’re just plain stupid.


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