SF/F Saturday: Mystery Science Theater 3000

MST3K-2

The whole East Coast is snowed in after last night's blizzard. If you're feeling a touch of cabin fever, I've got a suggestion for how to while away the time.Mystery Science Theater 3000 is a cult-classic TV show that came out of Minnesota in the late 1980s. It's about a mild-mannered janitor named Joel (series creator Joel Hodgson), who had the misfortune of being employed by two mad scientists. As part of their evil, never-fully-specified plan to conquer the world, they kidnap him, shoot … [Read more...]

Open Thread: Star Wars

I saw The Force Awakens last night, and I have thoughts, so here's an open thread to discuss the movie. Warning: spoilers ahead!As Lore Sjoberg once said, the best Star Wars will always be the one that reverts you to the wide-eyed 8-year-old you were when you saw it for the first time. By that standard, this movie delivers the goods. It doesn't just hit all the nostalgia buttons, it plays them like a symphony: the scavenged, used-future technology, the desert and ice planets, the colorful … [Read more...]

The Sci-Fi Fans Who Fear Change

The Hugos, one of the most prestigious awards for sci-fi and fantasy writing, have been hijacked. After several years in which the awardees had become increasingly diverse, reflecting the broader reach and appeal of SF/F, readers discovered that this year's nominees were dominated by a ballot-stuffing campaign organized by a right-wing faction that calls itself, no joke, the Sad Puppies.The SPs' slate includes works by Vox Day, a.k.a Theodore Beale, a loathsome right-wing polycrank who … [Read more...]

#Gamergate: The New Face of Misogynist Terrorism

Gargoyle

Last month, in "The Mabus Problem", I mentioned the violent threats against feminist media critic Anita Sarkeesian. The threat campaign hasn't let up, and as she continues to speak out, it's gotten even worse. Last month, there was a bomb threat against an awards ceremony that planned to honor her. Sarkeesian didn't blink at the threat, and the event went on as planned (with some extra police protection). But now, for the first time, she's had to cancel a talk.The talk in question was going … [Read more...]

Atheists in Music & Art

BarcelonaFountain

[Editor's Note: This is a guest post by AJ Johnson. Raised Baptist in the Bible Belt, she became an atheist after learning about evolution and the immoral verses in the Bible. She's a former development director of American Atheists and currently serves on the board of Recovering from Religion and as the development adviser for Black Atheists of America, as well as playing bass guitar in her spare time. Follow her on Twitter, or read her blog, Happiest Atheist.]Completing the MovementI t … [Read more...]

Why Atheists Should Fight Anti-Muslim Bigotry

Last month, the TLC television channel premiered All-American Muslim, a reality show which follows several, from what I can see, fairly normal American families who happen to be Muslims. On any other planet this shouldn't have been in any way controversial - but the Florida Family Association, a Christian-right hate group, has been pressuring advertisers to drop their support on the astounding basis that the stars of the show are too normal:The Learning Channel's new show All-American Muslim … [Read more...]

The Foo Fighters Outsmart Fred Phelps

Last week, the Westboro Baptist Church (which is choosing increasingly random and bizarre protest targets, including a Swedish vacuum cleaner store) decided to picket a Foo Fighters concert in Kansas City, Missouri. As is their usual strategy, they were no doubt hoping to provoke police or counterprotesters into assaulting them or otherwise violating their constitutional rights, so that they can win a legal settlement to support their continued spreading of hate.But instead, the WBC was on … [Read more...]

The Rapture of Charlie Sheen

This is a guest post by Leah of Unequally Yoked. Adam is on vacation.I'm sure this is just one blog post among many in your feed to reference the Rapture predictions of Harold Camping. His apocalyptic forecast for this weekend is all over the news cycle and even snagged front page coverage in The New York Times. And why is everyone telling this story? Because it's fun to laugh at stupid people.No one outside this small group of zealots gives their claims the slightest bit of credence; they … [Read more...]

The Contributions of Freethinkers: Gene Roddenberry

As a wedding present to ourselves, my wife and I bought the DVDs of the original Star Trek, and these past few months, we've been working our way through them. For myself, it was a test: I hadn't seen most of these episodes since my childhood, and I was curious to see if they held up. I'm pleased to say that, for the most part, they more than hold their own. There's plenty to criticize, but after all this time, it hasn't lost its charm.Despite everything that makes me roll my eyes about Star … [Read more...]

The Contributions of Freethinkers: Pearl Jam

(Editor's Note: Thanks to DA reader Alan Waldron for suggesting this post!)I've written about famous atheist composers before, but not all the great nonbelieving musicians belong to the past. Some are still living, working, and performing - like the subjects of today's post on the contributions of freethinkers.The band Pearl Jam was founded in Seattle, Washington in 1990, a part of the emerging grunge-rock movement that would also produce bands like Nirvana, Alice in Chains, and Soundgarden. … [Read more...]


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