If you want to read it before the review, you have till then do so. I’m putting below here the preamble from the review itself, since it makes the case why this book is worth reading. Randall Collins has probably influenced me more than any other writer. A sociologist who concentrated on theory, with an encyclopedic […]
Well, that didn’t last long. My car is making unpleasant noises and is hard to steer. Not sure what’s going on but I know who’s going to make it right so off I go back to the garage this morning.
In the meantime, Seth Andrews of The Thinking Atheist, is setting out to prove that secular people can be as generous and caring and humanitarian as religious people. He has found two charities that are worthy of your attention. You *can* do good without God. Take a look:
The Question: In less than a year, we have seen marches for the 99% by Occupy Wall Street, Rallies on the Mall for Secular people and even vigils of hoodied people for Trayvon Martin.
Where the f^&* are the women??? Why isn’t NOW, NARAL, the Feminist Majority, etc, planning a massive jillion woman march in Washington? I am completely baffled by our lack of a presence. We should be out there with big signs that say, “I’m female and I vote”. The best I’ve seen so far is the protest in Virginia, while well attended, is hardly the national presence we need sitting down in Washington. Yeah, they’re tearing up the Mall right now for renovations but c’mon, this is just inexcusable.
Side question: has anyone other than me noticed that NOW seems to have mission creep? I know that marriage equality, racism and Trayvon Martin are important issues but maybe it would be better to just stick to the basics for awhile and stop trying to be all things to all people. The site is starting to remind me too much of the all suffering, sacrificing mother who can’t say no to all the demands on her and neglects her own interests.
Although this video of activist Greta Christina is primarily about atheism, this post is not really about atheism. She gets the “Why are you so angry?” question from religious people all the time. It’s a trick question, really, because it’s not like she’s a raving lunatic jumping up and down screaming about the religious right’s war on Solstice or anything. It’s more like *anything* that remotely in the teeny tiniest way calls into question the believer’s faith in the existence of god is deliberately misinterpreted as an aggressive act.
But what I like about Greta Christina’s talk the most is that what she says about how to use anger can- and MUST- be adopted by the reawakened feminist movement.
Smart lady. The best moment comes at about the 20:50 minute mark. Priceless.
I’ve got some stuff to do today and will be checking in periodically. In the meantime, here are two videoclips by Australian writer, Jane Caro. I’ve been checking out a lot of freethinker videos lately, particularly because the speakers represent the other end of the religio-socio spectrum. Most people fall into the middle of a gaussian distribution when it comes to religion. At one end of the spectrum, let’s call it the “right” end, there are people who feel religion very intensely. The fundamentalists are a subset of this group. The other end of the spectrum is composed of people who look at everyone to the right of them and say, “Um, I don’t get it”. These people just put a lot more emphasis on logic and reason. Those people are starting to come out of the closet. They now have global conferences, they write books and they’re speaking out. Dan Barker, who I mentioned the other day, says he thinks that American culture is evolving to become more like European culture. Europe burned itself out on religious wars and now most Europeans do not profess a faith. What we’re seeing in American is the last shrieks of a group that is losing its fight with modernity.
By the way, after I watched some of these clips and the way people all around the world make fun of super religious Americans, I find it enormously embarrassing. There is a perception out there that Americans are all religious freaks who joyfully embrace ignorance and aren’t afraid to stuff it down your throat. That’s the way the world sees us. Next time you go to Europe on vacation (I’m assuming that’s something everyone has on their bucket lists whether they’ve gotten there yet or not), just remember that everytime you open your mouth, the rest of the continent is going to immediately think you’re the equivalent of Tammy Faye Baker without the dripping eyeliner who doesn’t understand something as simple and elegant as evolution. We have a lot of work to do to reclaim our reputations as an enlightened, modern people.
Anyway, Jane Caro says feminism is more important than atheism and she makes a couple of very compelling arguments. She skewers everyone, even Buddhists. Enjoy the humor and insight of these two videos and ask yourself how female Obama voters got it so wrong. *Real* feminists do not vote for guys like Obama. That would be like being a female suicide bomber for Al Qaeda. No matter how much you do for the cause, your paradise is not going to involve deflowering 72 virgins.
Real feminists look after their own sex first.
Jane Caro- Intelligence Squared Debate clip
Jane Caro- Global Atheist Convention 2010, Melbourne, Australia
What a speech! Many tears were shed, as we were again touched by the most Presidential, brilliant candidate of our lifetime. For us, “it’s been a privilege.” Here at Puma Headquarters for hours afterward: lots of happy partying — is there another kind? The mood was extremely upbeat and festive, and we are so proud of our true Democratic candidate.
Your determination to keep going, often in the face of enormous obstacles . . . you taught me so much.
To my supporters, to my champions, to my sisterhood of the traveling pantsuits, from the bottom of my heart, thank you, because you never gave in, and you never gave up. Together we made history. . . .
And even in the darkest moments, that is what Americans have done: we have found the faith to keep going. . . .
My mother was born before women could vote, my daughter got to vote for her mother for President. This is the story of America, of women and men who defy the odds and never give up.
So how do we give this country back to them? By following the example of a brave New Yorker, a woman who risked her lives to bring slaves to freedom along the underground railroad.
On that path to freedom, Harriet Tubman had one piece of advice:
‘If you hear the dogs, keep going. If you see the torches in the woods, keep going. If they’re shouting after you, keep going. Don’t ever stop, keep going. If you want a taste of freedom, keep going.’
And even in the darkest moments. That is what Americans have done. We have found the faith to keep going.
We do not yet know the results of the floor vote petition. Word is that the ballots went out to the delegations on Tuesday night. In the face of enormous odds, from our hearts, we can do no less. We keep going.
Body: Last week I went down to Washington, D.C. to deliver a paper at a conference in the technical field where I worked, ten years or so and two or three careers ago, before the dot.com trash. The trip was solely an exercise in merit-making, since I doubt very much I'll get work in the field, but reconnecting with old friends was really great -- even […]
Recent events have really gotten away from me and I can't bring myself to write about the shootings and the truck bomb and all the killing or Turkey right now. So for the moment, I will just post these: * "Police Shouldn't Ask If a Shooting Is Justified, But If It's Avoidable." * "How the Police See Us, and How They Train Us to […]