7 things at 11 o’clock (6.24)

1. Goodbye, Mr. Chips (or, in this case, Mr. Boddie). Look at the love and gratitude on display in this middle school and file that image away in your brain. This is what fundamentalist Christians are condemning when they rail against evil public schools, what Randian narcissists are condemning when they sneer at public schools as “government” schools, what anti-public public servants are destroying when they demonize teachers and teachers unions, and what the homeschooling cult is denying its children by choosing total control over community.

2. Related to that, I finally watched that awful “The Thaw” video, in which homeschooled kids from Idaho are coached to repeat the nightmares they have been taught about public school. They love America. They hate the “public.” Both of those things can’t be true.

3. Rick Perlstein on Glenn Greenwald. I think Greenwald is to civil liberties what PETA is to animal rights. I mean that precisely.

4. Sheila O’Malley has a lovely rave review of Joss Whedon’s Much Ado About Nothing posted at RogerEbert.com. One quibble: O’Malley repeats a Very Old Mistake that has become part of the conventional wisdom about Shakespeare. She refers, unironically, to “the melancholy Jacques in As You Like It.” Jacques says he is “melancholy” and that his melancholy is unrivaled by anyone else’s. If you think this means that Jacques actually is superlatively melancholy, then you don’t know Jacques.

5. Hemant Mehta relays a terrific story: “Kansas City Atheists Will Battle Local Christians in a Volleyball Game With Proceeds Going to Charity.” This seems like a good example of what Uncle Frank meant when he said, “If we, each doing our own part, if we do good to others, if we meet there, doing good, and we go slowly, gently, little by little, we will make that culture of encounter.” Religion News Service has a nice video story on the big game and the people involved.

(A warning to KC atheists, though: Bible Belt Baptists tend to be pretty good at volleyball, softball and roller skating. If you want an edge, challenge ‘em to a pool tournament.)

6. John Fugelsang quotes Billy Wilder: “If you’re gonna tell people the truth, make it funny or they’ll kill you.” The bit from Fugelsang starting at 5:50 in that video is excellent:

You can’t attack down. If you’re in a comedy club and someone makes fun of homeless people, or developmentally disabled people, and calls them “retards.” The audience might laugh for a minute or two. And then it starts to feel dirty. It doesn’t feel good to attack down. No one admires it. And also, if there’s no element of truth in the point you’re making, it won’t be funny. … There’s a reason why, by the end of the play, the only guy King Lear trusts is the fool.

7.Call it what it is — MALE violence against women.”


I do not care for primary season
This generation has far too many 'Ezras' already, thanks
Sunday favorites
NRA: The most trusted name in news (is not 'Global Weekly')
  • Alix

    Secularism =/= atheism. Atheism is the position that no gods exist, as I understand it; sometimes it’s phrased differently, and I’m sure someone out there’s going to argue the semantics here, but that’s the basis.

    Secularism is the position that it doesn’t matter.

    Secularism allows people to hold whatever wacky beliefs they like, whether or not they can prove it; it just says that (when talking about the government) those beliefs need to take a backseat to the common ground of non-religious beliefs*. Anyone can participate, religious or otherwise, as long as they leave those beliefs out of the secular square. That’s what “leaving one’s religion at the door” is.

    Official atheism would be taking a definite position, and an alienating one.

    *Let’s not argue the semantics of “belief” here, okay?

  • Worthless Beast

    I thought both logos were baaadass. I liked the goat, a lot. It’s very Metal. The atheists are lucky – they get to wear the heavy metal poster logo that looks like it wants to kick ass while the sheep looks merely ” a tad miffed.”
    I’m not an atheist, myself, so if I were there, I couldn’t wear the Metal Goat. I think my personal logo would be more like… a cat.

  • http://againstjebelallawz.wordpress.com/ Enopoletus Harding

    Secularism allows people to hold whatever wacky beliefs they like, whether or not they can prove it; it just says that (when talking about the government) those beliefs need to take a backseat to the common ground of non-religious beliefs*.

    -There is almost no “common ground of non-religious beliefs” between PZ Myers and a geocentrist flat-earther jinn-believing YEC who believes prayer can cure any illness.

  • Carstonio

    One can lack belief in the existence of gods and hold no opinion as to whether others should have or lack that belief. Or one can lack belief and insist that everyone should also lack it. The former is secularist in principle and the latter isn’t.

  • Lori

    Oh hell yeah I have. I’m not going to play J’s game by bringing up my many criticisms of the government in order to prove myself. I’ll just say that anyone who thinks I’m an apologist for the US government doesn’t know me at all. Straw Lori may be a “Christian spy” for Big Brother. Actual Lori, not hardly.

  • Carstonio

    Of course it’s metal – Venom used it for their debut album.

  • Amtep

    Agnosticism isn’t “Maybe”, it’s “We can never know”. At least that’s how it was coined in 1869 and I’m a traditionalist :)

  • Alix

    I strongly disagree with that statement, and I think assuming that to be true causes a lot of problems.

    Here are some things they might have in common: a belief that people ought to receive fair pay for their work. A belief that they have the right to vote. A desire for their children to have a decent life. Etc.

    Sometimes I think we focus too often on labels instead of digging beneath to find the person. The only way your statement is true is if we’re only talking about those people’s views on religion and particular kinds of science – that’s hardly all there is to someone.

  • Alix

    Thank you for clarifying.

  • http://againstjebelallawz.wordpress.com/ Enopoletus Harding

    You are right I forgot a whole category of beliefs in my previous comment. However, you still didn’t address the questions I posed at http://www.patheos.com/blogs/slacktivist/2013/06/24/7-things-at-11-oclock-2/#comment-940707835

  • Panda Rosa

    “Are certain words creeping into their conversation? Words like–Swell?”
    “Shit, yeah!”

    My mother remembers getting in trouble for using “swell” as an expression.

  • AnonaMiss

    And “The Avengers Part 6″ will be coming out with the super-cool scene where Iron Man and Thor kiss

    Friggin FINALLY!

  • Alix

    1. Would you please just copy and paste the comment, instead of fucking up my internet with Disqus links?

    2. I thought I had addressed those questions, and I really honestly don’t know what you feel wasn’t addressed.

    Whether god/s exist – doesn’t matter from a policy/governance standpoint.
    Efficacy of prayer – likewise.
    Age of the earth – matters only under certain circumstances; a secular position allows for actual science over religion and is not a statement of position on religion.
    Whether god/s control/s weather – likewise.

    There will always be a handful of religious extremists – of extremists generally – who will find anything not explicitly favoring them a position against them. But there are more religious people than that – a lot more – and it seems to me that secularism by its very nature is the most inclusive governing philosophy possible; explicit positions in favor of atheism would not be inclusive at all.

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    It seems to me that the definitions are basically the same with varying degrees of enthusiasm, although one’s bearing can definitely alter the way the message is conveyed. You know, some people answer the question with pencil, some people answer it in pen, and some people took a paper cutter to the stack of answer sheets lest someone give the “wrong” response…

  • Fanraeth

    Meh. I ship Tony and Bruce.

  • Fanraeth

    Calling it now, J is actually a robot with some bugs in the dialogue tree.

  • Lori

    There was obviously chem there in the after the credits scene in IM3 :)

  • The_L1985

    See, pedantic arrogance like that is what makes people around here not like you very much.

    Also, I’m pretty sure your name is not Jesus.

  • The_L1985

    Fred isn’t talking about good homeschoolers here. By “homeschooling cult” he is referring to the specific subset of Christian fundamentalist homeschoolers who keep their kids at home for the explicit purpose of “protecting” them from “evil” secular culture. Those sorts of people do, in fact, behave in a cult-like manner. SEe also: http://homeschoolersanonymous.wordpress.com/

  • The_L1985

    Get over yourself, beanpole.

  • The_L1985

    How surprisingly eloquent. It’s like you don’t care that skinny Christians exist, that fat non-Christians exist, or even that body weight isn’t something shameful.

    I wear a size 6, and I’m a Wiccan. Come at me, bro.

  • J_Enigma32

    Well you’ve got nothing to worry about, then.

    Between your head and your “facts”, there’s no space in there for rectal implants.

  • The_L1985

    Good fucking luck with that. My brain, like that of many other people, is wired to believe that gods exist, and no amount of coercion will be capable of making me not believe that gods exist. Just as no amount of coercion will be capable of making you believe that gods do exist.

    …Seriously, down-voters? Some people’s brains are just wired up to sort of force theism or atheism on them. I’m not trying to say that theism or atheism is better.

  • The_L1985

    …what the fucking Hel?

    By the way, did you know that many commenters and regular readers here are not Christian? :)

  • The_L1985

    LORI. IS. AN. ATHEIST, you stupid fuck.

  • The_L1985

    “Only apologists for power do that sort of thing.”

    Only a Sith deals in absolutes.

    Criticizing people you support is called helping them improve, and sane people do this. Have you honestly never fucking heard of constructive criticism?

  • The_L1985

    I dunno, I prefer some incestuous ThorXLoki myself. Mmmm…. :3

  • http://algol.wordpress.com/ SororAyin

    The Church of Satan is an atheistic organization, so the association of Satanism and atheism already exists. I wonder if atheists are bothered by this.

  • hidden_urchin

    …if you try and prevent bullying, you cause a greater disruption than letting the bullying take place unhindered.

    Huh. I now wonder if that was the approach one of my HS teachers was taking when she witnessed one student bully another in the middle of class. What ended up happening was that I stepped in and stopped the bully, because she didn’t, and lost a huge amount of respect for my school in the process.

    I despise bullies and refuse to respect the people who enable them.

  • LoneWolf343

    What does that mean? Are you saying that he derailed a security apology, and that is a bad thing?

  • http://againstjebelallawz.wordpress.com/ Enopoletus Harding

    Would you please just copy and paste the comment, instead of fucking up my internet with Disqus links?


    Efficacy of prayer – likewise.

    -I completely disagree. If prayer worked, then students could use it to improve their test scores and grades. Also, some medical intervention would be made unnecessary.

    a secular position allows for actual science over religion and is not a statement of position on religion.

    -Yes it is. It’s a position that religion is false in some circumstances.

    Whether god/s control/s weather – likewise.

    -Again, completely disagree. If gods could control the weather, we might convince them not to kill people with it.

  • http://estneillaamata.blogspot.com/ JulianaSundry

    It is probably equivalent in meaning to the first fifteen seconds of this video: http://youtu.be/-aVgjvQKW1g

  • LoneWolf343

    I was going to make up some pithy comeback, but nothing I could think of would top this.

  • LoneWolf343

    “You won’t like it when it’s angry.”

  • http://againstjebelallawz.wordpress.com/ Enopoletus Harding

    All p are q.
    Lori is q.
    Therefore, Lori is p.
    Logic fail.

  • http://shadsie.deviantart.com/ Shadsie

    In fact, from someone who is still marginally so (Christian), I feel like a stark minority on the threads here, but am glad that most of the time, we can still discuss things without wanting each other to kill ourselves. People have lots of reasons for reading here. I came for the ripping apart of bad books originally…

  • LoneWolf343

    “No Gods, No Kings, Only Men?”

  • http://againstjebelallawz.wordpress.com/ Enopoletus Harding

    I came for the ripping apart of bad books originally…

    -Me, too. Then I decided to argue against Fred’s support for the minimum wage.

  • http://againstjebelallawz.wordpress.com/ Enopoletus Harding

    Might be a little sexist.

  • http://againstjebelallawz.wordpress.com/ Enopoletus Harding

    I am bothered by this!

  • http://againstjebelallawz.wordpress.com/ Enopoletus Harding

    You still haven’t answered my question about the Ukrainian pronunciation of the word pronounced in Russian as “Ookrayeena”.

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    That’s what brought many of us, originally. For what it’s worth, I often feel closer to the Christians here than I do to atheists elsewhere, because so many of them resemble J here.

  • Alix

    Why? Because it’s just as easy, if not easier, than searching out the comment link and c/p-ing that; because as I just said Disqus links fuck up my internet; because it makes the comments much easier to follow.

    Seriously – people’ve asked you repeatedly to please do this. Refusing at this point is just plain rude.

    On prayer: that’s based on your views of prayer. It’s not like everyone thinks the same thing.

    On science and religion: again, that’s based on your views of religion and science. My religion is entirely compatible with what we know of science; the same is true of many other’s. You don’t get to sit there and pick and choose which religious beliefs count, and then use them to smack down all religions.

    Note I did point out that some extremists will absolutely agree with you and see any attempt at anything not explicitly their religion as legislating against them. But a) that’s not nearly all religious folks, b) that doesn’t make promoting one particular position on religion acceptable, and c) doesn’t mean they’re right, either.

  • http://againstjebelallawz.wordpress.com/ Enopoletus Harding

    Where did J say “all religion should be outlawed”?

  • themunck


    Because Disqus is a temperamental fiend, who only works when fueled by the blood of innocence*. I cannot begin to tell you how many I’ve clicked a link for a specific comment, only to be sent to the top of the comments. Because not everyone is reading this with a fast connection, and Disqus is slow enough as it is. Why make us all hunt 2 extra min for a comment when you can just repost here and now, where it’s relevant?

    Pick a reason. -.-
    * Not a typo
    EDIT: Also, it seems I was ninja’d.

  • J_Enigma32

    Given this is J, probably several times across multiple different threads.

    He’s a broken record. And as kids on the Intrawebz say these days, “Broken record is broken.”

  • http://againstjebelallawz.wordpress.com/ Enopoletus Harding

    Link to comment, please?

  • J_Enigma32

    Clearly. He can’t be busy putting those in; tinfoil hats get tight, y’know. They need to be adjusted every so often.

  • Alix

    Yeah, Disqus frequently refuses to load the actual comment linked for me. It also often borks the whole page, forcing repeated reloads.

  • themunck

    No more than so many other people claiming a label they probably shouldn’t.
    See “National socialism” (By most definitions, including my own, not socialist), “The People’s Republic of North Korea” (a monarchy if I ever saw one), or any time people describe cabbage as “food” (…there might be some personal bias in that one).