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Category Archives: Rant


Detourned image, courtesy Misha.

bOING bOING sprinkled holy water on my blog (I Am Not Worthy), and now faithful and godless alike are weighing in, with the usual signal-to-noise ratio: a handful of closely reasoned, well-argued responses and a farrago of spittle-flecked invective, Alpha Mensa threat-posturing, and off-topic maunderings from the flying snark monkeys. Like Dawkins, I have a day job (albeit a far less exalted one!), so I’m going to address the points raised by the more substantive commenters—whose insightful critiques leave me very much in their debt—sometime in the next few days, perhaps as late as this weekend. Until then…
…watch this space.

Devil’s Advocacy


Image: Christian tract, Jack. T. Chick.

I heartily endorse the New Atheists’ strategy of taking the firefight to the enemy’s doorstep. As someone who is truly soul-sick of his fundie relatives’ condescending, culturally arrogant prayers that he find The Light© before he’s cast into the lake of everlasting fire, I’m thrilled by the new strain of what might be called “evangelical” atheism. Watching Dawkins or Harris or Hitchens hand Christian apologists their heads is my idea of fun for the whole secular-humanist family, a popcorn-friendly bloodsport that’s as entertaining for the little ones as it is edifying. It’s high time those proselytizing god-botherers who materialize on my doorstep every Sunday morning understand what it’s like to have their beliefs treated as self-evidently absurd, the foundations of their world-view vigorously challenged by a devil’s advocate who gives no quarter. Spread the love, I say.

But Dawkins and Hitchens (both of whom I admire immensely as vorpal swordsmen in the Enlightenment cause, Hitchens’s intellectual glaucoma regarding the Iraq question notwithstanding) reveal an almost willful ignorance about religion as a social construction and American evangelical Christianity as a subculture.


Axles of Evil


Courtesy Propaganda Remix Project; all rights reserved..

What with pound-of-flesh gas prices; Bush’s tax incentive to stimulate SUV sales, unbelievably; an anti-terrorist driving school offering tips on high-impact ramming techniques and high-speed evasive maneuvers for dealing with death-racing terrorists (or just garden-variety road ragers); and the cheese monkeys’ recent eco-vigilantism against our gas-slurping behemoths, my 2004 essay on the relationship between America’s love affair with monster cars and its oil-dependent foreign policy seems more relevant than ever…


Canon Fodder


Reading is FUN-damental! Everybody’s talking about the Ann Coulter Great Books Program©, “Reading for Right-Wingers,” a tastes-great, less-filling curriculum hand-picked by our favorite intellectual ectomorph.


Dimed Out

Today is “Not One More Damn Dime Day,” when conscientious objectors to four more years of our fratboy-in-chief’s Excellent Adventure are supposed to rage, rage against the machine by participating in “a 24-hour national boycott of all forms of consumer spending.”

(As opposed to, like, non-consumer spending. You know, consuming without spending, like those supermarket shoppers who discreetly graze their body weight in grapes or those income-challenged art students who subsist entirely on gallery-opening canap├ęs and Concha y Toro.)

By refusing to underwrite the permanent war economy, even for a day, NOMDD refuseniks hope to monkeywrench the machinery of consumer capitalism and give Dubya the malocchio, into the bargain.