Mailvox: the difference between pico and nano

One would require the ability to detect interest measured in these units in order to discern my level of interest in what apparently has been an unhappy atheist outing on a television show. Nevertheless, DoCD writes:

I know you don’t write much about popular culture but have you caught any of the general atheist reaction to last night’s episode of Glee? Most of the observant ones are annoyed that their worldview wasn’t fairly and objectively represented and was defined by two prototypical angry atheists, one of whom ended up asking their sister to pray for them by the end of the episode, and another who is angry that he’s the subject of ridicule because of his sexuality and because of his mother’s death.

I watched the episode with my girlfriend — try not to judge — and I think the episode was pretty fair, even though I had to stomach through ridiculous lines of dialogue about the spaghetti monster and Russell’s teapot. I think the “religious side” ultimately won out, but I don’t think the atheists were presented nearly as unfairly as they seem to claim. In fact, most atheists I know arrived at their worldview due to an emotional reaction, not an intellectual one, but seek intellectual arguments to justify their atheism.

I’m not really sure what they expected to see, guest appearances by Dawkins and Hitchens mebbe? A soda cracker being defiled? I suppose the fact that the creator of the show is a former Catholic who still goes to church and is openly gay might be swaying their perceptions, but the truth is that I just don’t get what they’re whining about.

Now, I have seen part of one episode of a show in which twenty-somethings attempting to look like high school students dressed up like Lady Gaga in order to perform an improbably professional cover of an exceedingly banal pop song. It struck me as MTV meets the Donny and Marie show; no doubt it will be popular with the vacuous set. Needless to say, it takes considerably more than that to draw my attention away from my technotopian existence, so no, I was not aware of this dramatic little – if you will excuse it – tempest in Mr. Russell’s teapot. But KE enlightened me when he sent subsequent email.

“My wife revealed to me that the TV show Glee had an episode dealing with atheism this week, where the two characters were (this is what made me laugh since the stereotype fit perfectly), a self-righteous, uncaring, feminist coach and a flamboyant, gay kid.”

Because the New Atheists are explicitly working off the lavender model as per Richard Dawkins’s strategery, it shouldn’t be surprising that they are upset that they are not being given the conventional Saint Gay treatment on television, where every stand-in for the community is happy, healthy, handsome, popular, and behaves in a manner almost exactly opposite to the way the vast majority of the represented community is known to behave.

Anyhow, there is little of interest on the religion/atheism front these days; as I expected, the New Atheists are already a spent intellectual force. The only real point of interest in that area for me at the moment is to learn how heavily Sam Harris leaned on Marc Hauser’s fraudulent morality research in what is sure to be a philosophical trainwreck of a book on science-based morality. While I am well-disposed to skeptics and contrarians in general, it is unfortunate that Sam hasn’t yet learned that taking contrary positions to established and easily verifiable facts instead of consensus opinion founded on false assumptions is a sure means of rendering your arguments not only ridiculous, but ineffectual. So, without further ado, I shall return with some relief to Cicero, Divine Right, and the technotopia.

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