I have resisted charging an honorarium when I speak for so long it has annoyed many people close to me (I now have a suggested honorarium of $100, but I’ll waive it if asked). I’ve done this because, for one, I’m happy to speak. I’m flattered for the chance and that people are keen to have me. For another, I’d feel pretentious for charging money for the chance to contribute to a cause I love. For a third, I recall trying to get speakers I wanted to come to the first couple of Skepticons and running into insurmountably high price tags, and I don’t want to do that to groups trying to give events like that to their communities.
I’m told that charging will help mitigate the amount of speaking requests I get (I have to say “no” to a fair amount of people as it is), but I’d rather the mitigating factor be who needs me most, where I haven’t been before, etc., not who has money and who doesn’t.
Anyway, last year when I spoke at the University of Minnesota they forced money on me. I immediately recycled it into their group. This year, knowing I didn’t want their money, they gave me something else: a stuffed bear.
Well yesterday was the travel day from hell (might blog about it later), and the bear was with me the whole time. Every other person I passed commented on him and almost everybody smiled.
Some names Michaelyn and I like are Bruno, Brutus, Rupert, and Franklin. One person even suggested “Richard Bearrier“, which I really like. Another suggested Conan the Bar-bear-ian, which we also like.
Possible postfixes are the badass bear, the debauchery bear, the atheist bear.
If this bear’s going to be a part of the family, he needs a proper name. Submit your votes below, but Michaelyn’s vote counts for several.
Also, I’m still the meanest atheist alive.