Archive for the ‘atheism’ Category

(I’m going to be talking about atheism and maybe Dawkins and perhaps some SJW stuff.  Here’s your warning: Read my comment policy and yes, it applies to you.

Come at me with anything trying to defend Dawkin’s fuck ups, and your comment won’t even make it through moderation.  Come at me with anything accusing SJWs or whatever of trying to take over atheism or forcibly turn everyone into feminists or whatever conspiracy theory you pulled out of your ass, and your comment won’t make it out of moderation. Try to tell me how you don’t see a ‘movement’ or a reason for a movement, and you see where this is going.

Who knows, I might let it through just to mock you…and block you.  Depends on my mood.

Your arguments are boring, have been heard before, and I don’t care to entertain them here.  Take your Frozen Peaches elsewhere.)

Ahem.

The irony of Dawkin’s smug ass face on featured image of this article is overwhelming as fuck.  And people have been sharing it so much on Facebook that it makes me ill.

Now let me let some of you in on what is apparently a secret in the atheism movement: A lot of us managed to figure out this whole ‘no gods’ thing and/or the evolution thing without touching a single one of this man’s books or hearing him talk. We owe him nothing.

I would bet you good money that a lot of those people are poor, not college educated, racial minorities, queer and/or women. Again, we owe the fucker NOTHING, so in my particular case, I feel no qualms about calling him out when he done fucked up.

(and before anyone mentions it, I hope he recovers from his recent stroke.  He’s still a fucker, doubly so for trying to blame it on the stress by ‘fellow’ left leaning feminist who he deliberately stirred up recently.  So fuck him.)

You know, in light of the re-invite by NECSS, I think the folks in organized atheism really ought to be trying to get involved with actual inclusivity instead of pushing away some of us away by constantly licking the taint of their “Horsemen” because money and/or media exposure. No matter how shit their opinions are or have become about things that also matter, you know, like feminism and racism.

And the exclusion of most marginalized people has been so obvious that it’s breathtaking. Why should conferences have to be told to provide childcare like it’s some kind of gift instead of just a fucking given? Why do people saying stuff like “It sure would be nice to not have all of our gatherings in a bar late at night somewhere where transit doesn’t run or run well” such a radical thing to ask for? Why are big name conventions completely out of the realm for anyone below a certain income? Why do these conventions keep inviting accused rapists and known Islamophobes and anti-feminists? Don’t they know how unwelcoming that really is?

(and at this point, someone may mention that there are people in those categories that I listed above who are perfectly okay with how things are. Good for them. I’m talking about what needs to be done to make organized atheism more welcoming to others like them. So you don’t have to mention it.)

That’s why I support smaller, more social justice oriented secular conferences. Ones that allow talk about social justice issues, ones who have accommodations like gender neutral bathrooms and childcare and quiet rooms – as a given. Ones who take direct responsibility when there’s a fuck up. Ones run by people who try and succeed in having as much of a diverse panel as they can. Ones that give a fuck about actually making atheism inclusive, rather than some special club that you have to adjust yourself to fit in, or have read the right books, or what the fuck ever.

Ones that the big boys probably don’t even know exist.

And on one hand, that’s fucking sad. They should.  It’s where the young folks are, you know, the future our of movement?

On the other hand, it’s the sort of atheism that we need so badly. An atheism that goes beyond “I don’t believe in gods”. One that goes past the dictionary definition and into “Now what do I do about it?”.

That’s the atheism I’m interested in. The one that tries to make the world a better place without god. If that’s not yours, fine (okay, not fine, but I’m not going to waste time arguing with you), but get the fuck out of my way.

 

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So, Skepticon 8

Posted: November 17, 2015 in atheism, fuckery, race, skeptic
Tags: , , , ,

(First Disclaimer: Because I know trolls don’t respect boundaries, I’ll just make this clear – try to add trash to my comments section, no one will ever see your shit and you’ll be shown the door.)

(Second Disclaimer: It’s 4AM after my return from con, I’m sore in all of the places – thanks fibro – I’m exhausted -thanks fibro – and my patience for bullshit is damn near zero – thanks anxiety. I am not hosting a debate. That is your only warning)

 

Skepticon 8 Round Up!

Okay, so I went to Skepticon 8, and boy oh boy did I have a blast!  My workshop, Abortion Mythbustin’, was well attended, got some great audience participation and lots of good feedback afterwards.  The workshops and talk I managed to attend – again, thanks fibro, anxiety and good ol’ impostor syndrome – were mostly awesome.  I want to attend next year sooo freakin’ badly.

I rode down with some great traveling buddies who took care of me when the ride was getting too much, and the accommodations offered at the con were kinda surprising for me.  Closed captioning for the talks, a place where those who couldn’t afford to eat could grab actual food, a quiet room, ASL interpretation, gender neutral bathrooms and they really took care of their speakers.

Heh, speakers, I’ll get to that in a minute.

Could they have done better with that? Well yeah.  Maybe the dance didn’t needs the flashing lights they warned about, for example. But every convention has their ups and downs. All in all, I’m giving it up to the staff and volunteers.  Good job.

 

Me, A Speaker? Holy Shit!

So yeah, Sunday morning came around and something was wrong.  The scheduled speaker, Teka-Lark Fleming, hadn’t even checked into her hotel room (hope she’s alright and they found out what happened to her). They needed someone to fill in the 10 am spot.

“Hey, I have that Clinic Escort talk Brianne and I do on my laptop,” my mouth said before my brain realized what the fuck it just done.

They were delighted and before I knew it, I was on stage, running my mouth without my Partner in Crime.

MeTalking

Thank you, Jashin Lin, for taking such an awesome shot!

People liked it.  They really did.  I got so many questions afterwards and I didn’t throw up.  Well, I got shaky as all fuck, which is normal after I do shit after that – thanks anxiety!  Big ups to Stephanie Zvan for helping me cope.

The staff were so supportive and nice and grateful and really I should be the grateful one that they gave me this moment…given what had happened the day before.

 

The Day Before

Ugh.

We had some great talks this weekend.  Let me make that clear.  We had some GREAT fucking talks. I was excited as all hell to hear from Dr. Sikivu Hutchinson, who minced not one single damn word (ending with a slam against ‘Dawkins dude-bros’ which got hella applause).  I bounced in my seat when Fallon Fox got on stage.

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I felt 10 times more awesome in this pose.

…and then it was question time.

Straight up, cis people, y’all gotta learn how to speak to/about trans people and their issues without sounding like a damn fool.  So many people, mostly white cis dudes, were just fucking up. “Transgenders”, “When you were a man”, shit that made my eyes roll so far.

There was one very awesome question by a sweet looking older woman who asked what martial art should she try.  Fallon suggested Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, and was straight up sincere about it.  Applause!

Then some asshole, in a Tap Out shirt no less, came up and tried to claim that he had knowledge about genetics and hormones and stuff because he was a former bodybuilder…

…in a room where I could count the biologists I knew…

The question was incoherent, but trying to find out if Fallon’s hormones level were the same as a cis woman’s (my term, not his), and when he got to the phrase “kept your manhood”, Lauren Ann Lane, head of this con and moderator of the talk, shut that shit down and told him to leave.

Which, because cis white dude, he didn’t.  He kept arguing.  Pro-tip: If con staff tells you to do something, you fucking do it.

He was escorted out to applause, and a few fools – behind me – argued that he was in the right.  Ugh.

Fallon actually answered what she thought the question was anyway.

Seriously, cis people, use the Google box.  Do the work!

 

The Mizzou Issue

Oh, this one gets a different section.

After the Fallon Fox interview, it was announced that there would be a surprise Q&A with a Mizzou student and journalist Mark Schierbecker during the lunch break.  The understanding of the staff (which I talked to afterwards) was according to the press release:

“It’s important that college campuses are a safe and welcoming environment so students can learn,” Schierbecker clarified. “Racism needs to be the main issue here. Fighting racism versus advocating freedom of the press is a false dichotomy, and some people are hijacking what happened to me and other journalists to talk about freedom of the press instead of racism. I want to answer questions about what happened to me, and about speech codes, to make sure at the end of the day, we are working on addressing racism.”

Sounded okay.  I didn’t even read the press release until later, but it was the understanding of those around me that this would be some sort of update or information about Concerned Student 1950 and/or Mizzou.

Boy were we wrong.

It started off okay.  Danielle Muscato gave a short timeline of the issue, and they showed an edited video of journalists being ‘assaulted’ by the protesters who were enforcing an “Press-Free Zone”.

The assault? Having a camera blocked and slightly pushed. No really.  We saw a 6 minute edit, but apparently the footage was 22 minutes long and had more context.

It became clear that this was more about Mark complaining about his assault and hoping that the professor who touched his camera is fired than any actual concern about race or media.  Like “Let’s handle my problem so we can get back to dealing with racism on my campus”.

I walked.  I couldn’t deal with any more white cis nonsense. I was fresh out of fucks.

Thankfully, I had friends who stayed and we compared notes over drinks.  Angry, emotional drinks. The Q&A was more of a press event with this person trying to get sympathy for his issue.  Thankfully, Diane from Kansas City Freethinkers got up at the supposed end and started the questions from the audience.  Who then proceeded to put his feet to the fucking fire, explain the issues between white media and black experience, having him talk to black journalists.  Dude had interviews from Fox News and Brietbart.  The short video he put up has been shown on Stormfront. And it was like he didn’t give a shit.

Then he started getting all mixed up.  “Everyone is a little bit racist” but “Fuck racists” and “Racists suck”.  When called on it, he proceeded to lose the script.  And there had to be a script at the beginning of this ‘dialogue’.

Now, watch the video.  No one but his PR person Danielle (who promptly quit after this hot mess) mentioned Mark and ‘racist’.

Mark outright said that until this professor is fired, that was when the focus would return to Concerned Student 1950’s concerns.  Holy fucking shit.  His concern is more about this professor and his ‘rights’. Period.

Afterwards, shit just blew right up.  Mark filmed and put up a video, upset and crying about being cast as a racist, said he was autistic and had social anxiety and Danielle told him to say stuff.  He called it Journalists Lives Matter, subtitled “Fuck Skepticon”.

Then Twitter grabbed it and suddenly Skepticon was terrible and made an autistic boy cry and they hated autism and blah, blah, blah.

 

Let’s Get Some Things Straight

Firstly, this isn’t a boy.  This is a grown man.  A grown man claiming to be a journalist (though not a journalism student). Last time I checked, autism doesn’t turn someone into a boundary pushing asshole, and it’s shitty to claim otherwise. Mark isn’t a fucking victim.  If he cared about racism, why the fuck was he on Fox News?  Why was he talking to Breitbart? Didn’t he know how they were going to spin this?

And assault? Please. This guy received an direct apology from the professor who touched his camera, but it wasn’t good enough for him. He wants her fired.  Please.  There are black protesters who get tear gassed and shot with rubber bullets for expressing their right to be in public spaces.  Get out of here with this assault bullshit.

Now, there were new people on the #skepticon hashtag trying to defend the convention and/or teach a thing or two about white media privilege who didn’t realize something very important:

There are some usual suspects who follow certain members of the skeptical movement from convention to convention, hashtag to hashtag, throwing poop and making shitty claims though they themselves aren’t even at the conventions.

Any time PZ Myers, Greta Christina, Stephanie Zvan, pretty much anyone from the Freethought Blogs network attends a convention, time for them to act like jackasses.

“Oh, look at all the empty seats!”

“Oh, something slightly inconvenient happened, it’s the end of this convention!”

“Blah, blah, SJW blah blah”

“Vague gross sexual references!”

And it goes on and on.  There’s no point in trying to argue with them, folks.  They have nothing new or important to say and should probably just be blocked.

They don’t care about Mark.

They don’t care about autism.

They don’t care about racism or diversity.

They don’t care about anything else than slandering people they don’t like and conventions that give more than lip service to making the skeptical movement more diverse and more interesting.

 

Tears?

You want to know about tears? I’ll tell you about tears.

When I walked out of that talk, I fought my own tears.  Tears of frustration that this fucker just wasn’t getting it.  Tears of anger that this was allowed.

I wanted food and a drink to distract me and ended up at the bar.  One frozen grapefruit margarita and a calamari plate later, and I could feel human again and not like I was going to bawl in the middle of the hotel restaurant.

Then I was joined by my friends, Greta, Ingrid, Jason, Stephanie, Benny, Chelsea. And was filled in on the rest of what happened AND the staff reaction.

The staff was horrified.  What was sold to them was NOT what was delivered.  There was panic. There was concern.  Should they let the “Q&A” keep going?  Should they stop it?

And then, action.  They would release the entire video, audience questions included.  And then there was an apology posted (Full disclosure: I was asked to review this apology before it was released). They took responsibly for this shitshow even if they were deceived as to the content.

And that is when I gained respect for this convention, and I didn’t feel like crying anymore.

Good show, Skepticon. I hope to see y’all next year.

 

 

(Trying it again, because I hit the Publish button WAY TOO SOON)

Okay, so I love parodies, and I love writing parodies.  My brain has been busy with dealing with the recent fuckery in the atheoskeptical circles with regards to sexism and accusations of rape and wagon circling that is almost Vatican-like.  I have read posts and comments and a couple of folks have wondered about an appropriate version of Tim Minchin’s The Pope Song:

Fret not, fellow SJWs and feminists and other people who care more about the safety of their fellows over the protection of the reputations of more famous speakers, I’ve got you covered:

(Note: this is an edited version of what I’ve posted privately)

(more…)

Hey all,

I’ve noticed a THING while doing my escorting thang over last weekend.  You know last weekend, with the Easter and the Good Friday and all of the reproductive rights bruhaha that is involved?

Yeah, I had a great Easter weekend.

So, right, that thing I noticed.  While I was attending the yearly Planned Parenthood counter-protest on Good Friday. I noticed that a few “protesters” had broken off from the designated area for fetus-worshipers, and had set up shop right behind our designated area for the sane.  It was a group most liberal minded gatherings should be used to: The Big Sign Damning Groups of People to Hell!!

 

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A trio of awesome (with fuckery in the back!)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A couple of people wondered out loud how they could get away with moving their little protest right in the way of our food trucks (yeah, we had food trucks and musical acts to keep our side entertaining).  Who gave them the right to break the simple rules that have been set out for both years for years?

My guess is a little thing I’m calling (with a hat tip to TV Tropes): Screw the Rules: I’ve got Jesus!

Why else would people suddenly assume the rules don’t apply to them? Why else would we have Saturday after Saturday after Saturday of people breaking even the simple rules of politeness by pestering complete strangers, demanding their personal information (names, medical issues, etc), and never taking “fuck off”  for an answer? Why else would they feel it’s okay to try to cross property lines and get into places they are legally not allowed to be in?  Why else would it be considered “taking a stand” for people to rise and recite the Lord’s Prayer in protest of not being able to pray at a government meeting anymore?

Because Screw the Rules: I’ve got Jesus!

Just think about it.  Liberal protests get tons of cops attending. Occupy encampments got busted by the cops for trespassing. Those vested charity folks you see downtown who smile and then ask for money for Amnesty International or Save the Children take “no” for an answer.  They don’t chase you down the sidewalk on some fucked up guilt trip. And if I walked into a church sing “God Is Not Great” I would be rightly asked to leave.

Hell, if I walked into a church singing Solstice Carols, declaring my allegiance to the Old Ones, I’d probably be escorted off the premises by the cops and be on the Six O’Clock news.

The sheer gall of protesters and others who think they are endowed with a special exception baffles me sometimes.

Who Gets to Claim Morality?

Posted: November 19, 2011 in atheism
Tags:

So, there’s a ton of little myths about atheists running about, and JT at WWJTD  asked his readers to amass a whole bunch of them.  There’s some really facepalm-y ones, like “You’re just an atheist because you’re mad at god/just want to sin”, some that set my teeth on edge like “There are no atheists in foxholes” or anything such “you’ll come running when shit gets real”, and others that are just purely insulting.

One of the more insulting ones is my personal bugaboo, usually phrased like “Without God, where do we get our morals?”  I admit, I get really punchy when I hear this claim, mostly because, even if the person saying it is meaning well, they’ve just discounted the majority of the modern world that isn’t Christian, a huge chunk of the ancient world, and societies that existed before this “God” upstart started taking over.  Then again, most people fool enough to say something like this usually also believe that there wasn’t a “pre-Christian” society in existence, and if so, that huge unproved flood took care of them.

So, why is it my bugaboo?  Because I am a moral person.  My lack of belief didn’t strip me of empathy or the of the desire for a better world.  I didn’t suddenly gain the desire to harm others, to steal, to be a nuisance to my community.  Societies have always had rules to run their shit, and some really good ones trump the Ten Commandments by far.  What does minding the Sabbath or not worshiping idols have to do with caring for your fellow humans?  For a list that includes the phrase “Thou shalt not kill,” there’s a metric buttload of cases where someone died due to the influence of the book this list in found in, up to and including a bunch of cases in said book.

Now don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of good moral people who attend church every Sunday, but I respect them as humans enough to say that they are good people in spite of the bloody book that bases their beliefs.  The majority of people in the world are decent people because as a species, we had to give a fuck about each other to survive, just like every other social species on this planet.  It’s the bullshit beliefs, mostly religious, that fuck things up.* It’s religion that says even though your neighbor gives to charity and helps out in the community, he’s a “sinner” because he loves another man.   It’s religion that says the straight A student is an evil murderer because she had an abortion.  It’s religion that says the family that doesn’t attend your church or believe in your god must be made uncomfortable to the point that they must be run out of town.

Religion is just as imperfect as the humans that made it up, and it shouldn’t take the credit anymore for the good in the world (though, ironically, when someone does something immoral in the name of religion, like say, honor killings or throwing out their lesbian daughter, people get to say “they’re not a real *insert reglion here*”, the ultimate in co-opts if I’ve ever seen one, but that’s a whole ‘nother rant all it’s own).  By saying things like “Atheists can have no morals because they have no god”, you’re claiming the market on goodness for you and your religion.  It’s ignorant and it’s wrong.

*Yes, I’m aware that greed and politics and other religion-neutral things also account for the ills of the world, but this rant is about religion.  Deal.