Science Versus Art


Science and Art were arguing about their relative merits,
In fact, they’d been arguing on and off for the past few millenia,
And Science always won.
Well, he didn’t win exactly
Because their arguments, or rather their perennial bickering, never actually came to a climax.
Whenever Science got the upper land (as inevitably he did), and was about to make an irrefutable point,
Art would stamp his foot, and storm off in a huff.
And when the argument was recommenced at a later date,
Science would begin to belabour the point he had made in their prevous encounter, and Art would blithely ignore it, or else simply pretend he’d forgotten what they’d been arguing about.
Anyway, after about four thousand years, Science was beginning to get a bit cheesed off with all this;
A typical argument would go:

ART: I paint, I give you beauty, look at the Mona Lisa for example.
SCIENCE: Notwithstanding the fact that the Mona Lisa was painted by a man who was, first and foremost, a scientist,
And, notwithstanding the fact that she’s an ugly cow anyway,
It was a scientist who invented paints, so you couldn’t have painted her in the first place, if it hadn’t been for me.
ART: Shakespeare was a great artist: playwright extraordinaire, poet without peer...
SCIENCE: Yes, granted,
But how would he have written his plays and his sonnets without ink and paper; and who invented both? You?
ART: I’ve had enough of this! (Stomp).
And off he’d go, slamming the door behind him.

Science realised this could, and very likely would, go on until Armageddon.
He realised also that had an irrefutable argument,
AND that he was much bigger, and more muscular by far than his
adversary, so, one day he challenged Art to a duel, to settle their differences once and for all.
Good idea, said Art, (fool that he was), and, in less than five minutes, the argument that had raged since civilisation began was all over.
Science hacked at Art with a sword, battered him with a mace, shot at him with a blunderbuss and a bazooka, fired napalm at him, let off an H-bomb, and finished him off with germ warfare.
Even then he hadn’t used up but a tenth of his arsenal. Probably a good punch up the bracket would have been sufficient, because Art had always been somewhat delicate, (if not effeminate), and anyway, all he’d had to fend off Science’s vicious onslaught was a paintbrush and a hard pencil.
So Science stood victorious over the body of his hapless adversary,and raised his arms in the air in triumph.
Alas, his celebrations were short lived,
Because three weeks later,
The whole world died of boredom.

[The above was first published in the 1987 anthology We’re Coming For Your Telecom Shares.]

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