New Token Skeptic Podcast! Catherine Deveny On Atheism And What Trolls Can Do With Themselves

I’ve recently documented several years of activism – because, clearly, there’s only one narrowly defined way to do activism properly that should forgo all things such as communicating in ways that you’re good at, or comfortable with, or have the funding, or live in a place where it’s easy to do, or even just the time or even mobility to do so…or even avoid raising a family, volunteering for other kinds of charities, talking to interesting people, photography, dance classes, studies in unrelated fields, careers and basically having a life for a cause.

Well, I needed a pick-me-up from the online trolls out there who seem to think those things, or pretend that they do for no good reasons.

So, I talked to Catherine Deveny. And after you’ve seen this video:

You can have a listen to Catherine Deveny over on the Token Skeptic Podcast: Episode One Hundred And Eighty Three – On The Atheist Alphabet And Trollhunter – Interview With Catherine Deveny. I’m uploading it now.

She’s someone I don’t agree with on all issues that we discuss on the show – even though we have plenty in common as atheist women – but she’s undeniably one hell of an inspiration when it comes to living life to the full, being passionate, seeing areas of need and doing something about it – in her own way.

Whenever I think I’ve got more to do and contribute, it’s people like her I think of. And not just because she looks better in dresses than me too.

I’m sure not going to ignore what work she’s done, even if I may not have done or think about things in the same way she does. I don’t think it’s even physically possible to ignore her work, quite frankly:

Catherine Deveny is a writer, comedian, author, social commentator and speaker well known for her work as a columnist with The Age newspaper, as a Melbourne International Comedy Festival favourite and as an ABC regular. Wedged between her busy speaking schedule and working on two books for Black Inc Books, contributed to the recently published Destroying the Joint and is a columnist for The Guardian. Collections of Deveny’s column It’s Not My Fault They Print Them (2007) Say When (2008) and Free To A Good Home (2009) are published by Black Inc. Her long awaited first novel and seventh book, The Happiness Show was published in November 2012 by Black Inc Books.

She performs regularly on radio and television and is widely considered one of the most gifted, versatile and prolific writers in Australia. Her voice ranges from polemic to compassionate, stand up to sermon, joke writer to speech writer and from cultural terrorist to cultural therapist. In August 2012 she appeared in the Emmy award winning Go Back To Where You Came From on SBS television with Angry Anderson and Peter Reith.

Catherine is the creator of the Gunnas Writing Masterclass, and her extensive charity and community work includes Asylum Seeker’s Resource Centre,Homeless Women and Broken Rites, amongst many others. A self appointed commuter cyclist ambassador, Deveny is the creator and curator of Pushy Women - women speaking about their life on bikes as part of Melbourne Bike Fest.

She opened the 2010 Global Atheist Convention Melbourne, Australia with Richard Dawkins, Peter Singer, Philip Adams, Dan Barker and PZ Myers and returned as a headline performer for the  2012 Global Atheist Convention.

Her Melbourne International Comedy Festival one woman show God Is Bullshit; That’s The Good News, which sold out in 2010 and 2011. Her highly acclaimed 2013 Melbourne Comedy Festival how Curvy Crumpet is the first in a series of ten one woman shows over the next ten years.

Catherine’s  2014 show The Trollhunter - a collaboration with star Guardian columnist and theatre maker Van Badham - is about trolls, haters, misogyny and online morons suffering relevance deprivation. She lives in an atheist kibbutz with her partner, gay husband, various housemates and sons.

Thanks to Catherine for agreeing to the interview and to all of my friends who have put things into perspective!

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About Kylie Sturgess

Kylie Sturgess is a Philosophy teacher, media and psychology student, blogger at Patheos and podcaster at Token Skeptic. She has conducted over a hundred interviews including artists, scientists, politicians and activists, worldwide.
She’s the author of the ‘Curiouser and Curiouser‘ column at the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry website and travels internationally lecturing on feminism, skepticism, and science.


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