Yes, technically this Wednesday is November. Halloween will be over. But who are we to let the holiday go in a timely fashion when we could haul out a terrible, timely movie instead? So this month, mock William Shatner with us in Kingdom of the Spiders. Tarantulas won’t actually hurt you, but the overacting might be deadly.
I’ve been a bad guest. A bunch of great podcasters have had me on their shows recently, and I’ve been just boosting their social media posts instead of linking them here. So if you want to hear me talk about various topics, here’s where you can do that.
Bi Any Means with Trav Mamone, “‘Divisiveness’ in the Atheist Movement”
Today we’re going to talk about a recent blog post she wrote about “divisiveness” in the atheist movement.
The post was written in response to Dogma Debate host David Smalley’s recent talk at this year’s Gateway to Reason conference (the link to which I’ll put in the show notes). As I tell Stephanie in the interview, at first I thought he did a good job talking about how not to let different opinions divide the movement. But as Stephanie explained, when people in the atheist movement talk about divisiveness, they’re not talking about the “Everyone I don’t like is Hitler” meme.
Serious Inquiries Only with Thomas Smith, “Stephanie Zvan on Anti-Harassment Policies and More”
Stephanie was on the ground floor in terms of trying to get anti-harassment policies into the codes of conduct for skeptic and atheist conferences. We talk about the history of that, and then we discuss whether the atheist movement is worth saving or if we ought to abandon it altogether and start something new.
I recall going on at least one rant about the conceptual penis “hoax” as well.
The Inciting Incident with Marissa Alexa McCool, “Outrage Brigade”
This week, Rissy is joined by activist Stephanie Zvan in studio to discuss the Outrage Brigade, among other things, and Bethany and Rissy reflect on what’s transpired since the interview was recorded afterward.
We touched on a lot of issues in this one: Mythinformation Con, who gets to have their concerns heard, the problems of celebrity in movements that are supposed to be about truth.
Brainstorm Podcast with Cory Johnston, “Sexual Harassment in the Atheist Community”
There’s something troubling going on in the atheist and skeptic community, and apparently it’s been happening for awhile. People are getting away with sexual harassment and sometimes assault because they have standing in the community and people want to hear them speak at their conferences and have them as guests on their shows. I talk with Stephanie Zvan about this, how long it’s been going on, and what we can do about it.
This is very different than my interview with Thomas. There’s a lot less history and a lot more practical details, including evaluating allegations as a skeptic. I turned an awful lot of these questions on their heads and was perhaps not at my most diplomatic. Cory handled it all with very good grace.
After last weekend’s debacle at Mythicist Milwaukee’s conference, which included the audience cheering on harassment of a rape victim and victim’s advocate, Mythinformation Con speaker Melissa Chen has decided she knows what really happened. It was impressive enough that I had to share. My comments are included.
Now that #MythCon is over, I see the entire tempest in a teapot that resulted in a very different light. This was more than just an attempt by a radical faction of atheist activists who are fully aligned with the political machinations of ANTIFA to deplatform speakers they didn’t want to hear.
This was presumably Chen’s original position on those objecting to having a professional harasser there. I’m half giggling over “We show up where those we believe to be fascist are engaging in organized action and disrupt or protect those who do” being rendered as “political machinations” and half wondering when the self-appointed hyperbole police are going to show up. Chen posted this several days ago. Dan Arel identifies as antifa (no capital letters required), but to the best of my knowledge, Steve Shives and Kristi Winters have mostly refuted anti-antifa nonsense. If that makes people politically dangerous in Chen’s mind, there are an awful lot of us she’s eyeing as enemies.
Also, this has never been about not wanting to hear people. Winters spearheaded the effort to get Mythicist Milwaukee to remove Sargon as a speaker. She’s listened to more nonsense from Sargon than anyone but his most undying fans. She documented his behavior. She debated him. If Chen ever believed this was about anyone objecting to hearing him personally, she might want to spend more time checking her assumptions about people with differing politics.
It was more than just a campaign to be a thorn in the side of organizers (Mythicist Milwaukee) by driving up security costs with audacious claims to local police and media with no basis in truth.
You can tell me the fans of Gamergater shitlords aren’t dangerous when their targets stop being doxxed and swatted. When their targets’ events stop being cancelled because of shooting threats. When their “ironazi” flags stop showing up at rallies where people die. Then I’ll listen.
Until then, you’re just telling me you’re either not paying attention or not being honest.
This was ultimately about keeping atheism activism within the bounds of “Atheism Plus.”
2012 YouTube called. It wants its authoritarian bogeyman back. Continue reading “Retconning Mythinformation Con”
No, not hackers. If only. Larceny isn’t even that. It’s a bad Dolph Lundgren film. No, not a bad film that has Dolph Lundgren in it. I mean a film on the bottom end of the Dolph Lundgren oeuvre. Yeah, that bad. We’re watching it anyway.