To Steal the Sun

By Betsy Bradford

I hate the John Frieda sun thief commercial. Its unrelenting stupidity kills a few of my brain cells every time I watch it. I can't fully explain the depth of my ire, but let's explore some of the problems I have with it:

How, pray tell, does one steal the sun?

I mean, it's the effing sun, for the love of Pete! To paraphrase TMBG, the sun is a mass of incandescent gas where hydrogen is built into helium at a temperature of millions of degrees. You couldn't just walk away with it. If the sun has gone missing, then you probably don't need to be looking for a human thief, since no human could pull off that heist.

If the sun were stolen, what would happen to the earth?

If you want a real answer to this question, ask a scientist. Truthfully, I don't know, but I imagine it would be worse than a little darkness. For one thing, there would be the cooling. Then, there would be the loss of the center of gravity holding our solar system together. Would the Earth spin wildly off into space? Or would Jupiter's gravitational pull suck it in, raking the cooling planet right through the asteroid belt? Either way, it can't be good.

Don't send a cop to do an astronomer's job.

Setting all that aside, let's say for a moment that the sun were to disappear from the sky. Who would we call to fix it? My vote would be for someone at NASA, not Lennie Briscoe. Add to that, these two particular detectives don't seem to have two brain cells to rub together. So dumb are they that, instead of looking for clues, they arrest a woman with exceptionally blond hair. How does that make any sense? When The Scream was stolen in 2004, did the police look for clues, or did they wander the streets looking for people with existential angst?

And what's up with that reaction?

If you were accused of the biggest crime in history, one that would doom humanity to extinction, how would you react? Would you be shocked? Outraged? Maybe you'd demand a lawyer, or tell the cops to get out there and find the real culprit. You probably wouldn't flash them a smug and slightly annoyed pout. This is not the right way to react to this scenario! Seriously, sweetie, I'm glad that you're happy that you can dupe these two (obviously idiotic) police officers using your bottle blonde hair, but maybe you should be worried a) about yourself and b) about the whole stinking planet! I mean, if Mulder and Scully there can't find the sun, then we're all fucked!

Okay, I confess, this ad may make me angrier than is actually warranted. Still, the sci-fi/crime procedural nerd in me goes nuts over it. In only 20 seconds, they violate the rules of both genres. The science should be believable. Your detectives should seek out clues to solve the mystery, progressing logically from point to point until they apprehend the true culprit. And, of course, send the find the right people for the job, typically someone who isn't brain dead.

All that being said, I don't think I'll try John Frieda any time soon.