If you’ve liked my Short Stack features, you might enjoy the new book coming out in a couple of months. I hope to have it completed and for sale by the end of May.
Draft cover design to the right (click to enlarge). Note the word “draft.” I think the title is pretty much set, but I reserve the right to radically redesign the cover. I’m certainly open to input on that, by the way, so fire away if you have any criticism, suggestions or better ideas
BrainDrops will roll out on Amazon in trade paperback format, and I’ll do my best to get the digital versions online shortly after.
The book is a collection of quick-to-read shorts, mainly about atheism but also including a certain amount of the nonsense from the Short Stacks. The subtle side-point of the book, which I hope will be noticed by readers, is that one of the things accompanying atheism when it takes hold in your head is an enlarged sense of humor. Atheists are, in a word, fun.
I have some other important news in just a day or so, but you’ll have to wait for it.
Meanwhile: Continue reading “Short Stack # 20”
Saw this story on ABCNews.com today:
… and got the shock of my life.
Okay, well, it wasn’t the shock of my life, but it was surprising, and more than a little pleasing.
What would you expect from a story with that headline in any mainstream news medium in America? They wouldn’t dare answer anything but –> YESYESYES!! <–, right?
But this writer, Dr. Richard Besser, sort of DID answer something other than yes. Continue reading “The Infiltration Makes Progress, Comrades”
Got an intense email about a Change.org petition
TSA: DO NOT allow knives on airplanes!
… to stop the TSA from allowing pocketknives on planes.
Ian Funderberg’s petition says:
“I am a flight attendant and this news outrages me: the Transportation Security Administration just announced rollbacks of security rules — allowing pocket knives to be carried on US planes, starting April 25. This policy would affect the safety and well-being of FLIGHT CREWS and PASSENGERS. This decision must be reversed to protect EVERYONE.”
Here’s the money quote from the petition: Continue reading “Sorry, Change.org, I’m Not On Board”
One of the things I have in mind for Beta Culture is a culture-wide focus on – and awareness of – lies.
A quick aside: One of my Wise Old Sayings I Just Made Up is:
“Lies are camouflage for predators, protective coloration for the weak.”
Meaning I separate lies into two broad categories, based on the relative power of the entities involved. In other words, though I have strong feelings about not telling lies – I try to NEVER do it (which doesn’t mean I’ll answer every question asked; some of my shit is none of your business, or anyone’s) – if armed brownshirts came to my door tomorrow and asked me if I was hiding Jews in my attic, I would instantly and convincingly lie my head off, earnestly telling them how much I loved the Fatherland but thinking behind my totally-innocent smile “Screw you, Nazi jackwagons.” Continue reading “Beta Culture: Adrift in an Ocean of Lies”
If you lived with someone who had done EVERYTHING, say a superstar father or mother – a famous author or adventurer or actress or athlete – how would you gain a sense of your own worth and value? How hard would it be to chart your own life course? To find and develop your own talents?
Would you live your whole life feeling inferior and lesser? Knowing that you could never do or be anything unique, that you would always live in the giant shadow of their spectacular accomplishments, that by comparison you were nothing and nobody, and always would be, would you give up even trying to write or act or adventure or compete?
If your father were a world-famous philosopher and and thinker, and you were made to believe over and over that your thoughts were juvenile and empty, that nothing you could think of on your entire best day could equal what went on in your father’s mind in one second, that all the amazing and profound and true thoughts about how to think and live and understand had already been thought, that you would be inevitably wrong in every new and different thing you tried to think, would you bother to try to think on your own? If you knew you could never match the power or understanding of this huge mind in your life, would you place any value AT ALL on your own inner voice?
It occurs to me that this is one of the hidden prices of religion.
Belief in an all-powerful supernatural superbeing might not have a definable effect on any one particular person, but as a statistical force, a steady pressure upon hundreds of generations of children and then the billions of adults they become – squeezing them down into that mindset of hopeless subservience, of creative and inventive futility – I simply can’t imagine it not having a blanket effect upon the people within it.
It would, without question, diminish and retard the progress of the entire civilization in which it took place.