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Oct 23 2013

Pseudo-Fame & sour grapes

 

It figures, don’t it?  When I saw this photo (taken of me during an argument at the Reason Rally) I thought, “this is the worst picture that has ever been taken of me.”  So of course that’s the one that gets shown on CNN.

CNNaron

It’s not like I was really on CNN.  If I was, I would have explained what a god is, so that believing Neilsons would have a clear understanding of what atheists don’t believe in, and why.  But someone on their staff saw fit to put my picture there, as if I had anything to do with Oprah.  Well boys, at least now I can say that I’ve sorta been on CNN, …kinda.

Today Matt Dillahunty tweeted that Oprah Winfrey should have an atheist show, which is a great idea that ought to happen.  He suggested a number of appropriate guests, but that list does not include me.  They want pretty-boys like David Silverman, Zack Kopplin, and Jerry DeWitt, all friends of mine.  They’ve already been in People magazine, Faux News, CNN, Bill Maher, and so on.  They’ll never put me on TV.  But the news channels will post the worst pic they can find of me when they want atheists to look counter-culture.  That’s why I’m on the Dogma Debate; because I have the face for radio.

Some of my old friends from back in the day think I’m famous now, but I’m really not.  A lot of my new friends are on Wikipedia, but not me.  Well, there is one reference to me when you look up Learning Hebrew: A Gothsploitation Movie.  In the ‘review’ section, it mentions how I referred to that film as “the weird kind of strange”.  It’s not a movie I’m actually in, just one I promoted.  The only cinematic film I’m in is The Zombie Christ, and it’s so bad, even the cast doesn’t want to see it.  This is amusing, but I am probably the most famous person in that movie, but I was only an extra, and they didn’t even put my name on IMDB.  They just gave me tee-shirt promoting the film, along with a copy of the movie …recorded on a used VHS tape.

I’m happy that Lawrence Krauss lists me as one of his friends, and Dawkins usually seems pleased to see me too.  They’re in a documentary film together, The Unbelievers which is currently being released in Hollywood.  I’m in maybe seven different documentaries, most of which were released direct to YouTube.  The only one that ever made it to TV was only aired in Canada, and I wasn’t even interviewed in that one; I just appear in the background.  Oh well.

If I had more fame, I’d probably have more money too, and I can just imagine how many problems that might cause in my life!  So it’s probably just as well that I’m not really famous. Still, I can’t believe I fought zombies for Jesus, and all I got was this lousy tee-shirt.

27 comments

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  1. 1
    beardymcviking

    Face for radio? Nah, I think you look cool!

    More importantly, I think what you say is cool, sensible and important. Keep it up :)

  2. 2
    chigau (違う)

    You have very nice hair.

  3. 3
    Sean Lynch

    I think you’re famous. Hope that helps. More importantly I believe you are being of service in the greater good of education aronra. You set a good example. Thanks for your service to you fellow creatures.

  4. 4
    michaelfisher

    I recognise that you’re somewhat tongue in cheek here Aron, but you are under-rewarded for what you do & if anything you have a VOICE for radio ~ a very good voice

    Perhaps you could update your worthy Foundational Falsehoods series & turn it into a DVD ~ there’s a market out there for it.

    Another option is a book ~ a self published ebook with links to streaming videos
    I would purchase an AronRa audio book ~ I’m one of those people who enjoy those while cooking, gardening or driving

    Just a thought

  5. 5
    Callinectes

    If you dressed as a Klingon more often they might start using a different picture.

  6. 6
    Acolyte of Sagan

    But someone on their staff saw fit to put my picture there [...........] But the news channels will post the worst pic they can find of me when they want atheists to look counter-culture.

    Because nothing says ‘atheism is a religion too’ like a picture of the puritanical Witchfinder General Matthew Hopkins’ living double? I’m just surprised they didn’t go the whole hog and photoshop a silver cross in one hand, and a flaming brand in the other.

  7. 7
    Freethinkin Franklin

    what if i stated that I don’t see Oprah as a black women because she has the hair of a white women? would that fly? is it in any way true or is it just again one persons interpitation of an on going age old debate?
    heres a link to the CNN bit Aronra is talking about.
    http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2013/10/16/what-oprah-gets-wrong-about-atheism/comment-page-31/

  8. 8
    lutzifer

    imho, rhetorically you re on par, if not better, than all the other celebrity atheists and i think that that will pave your way into tv soon as well ;)

    but i also like the picture, so who am i to judge? :D

    keep up the good work!

  9. 9
    Terry Lee

    Of all the folks mentioned above, if I had the chance to meet and hang with just one, my 1st choice would be you sir. You are truly a giant who’s shoulders others will stand upon in the future. As for fame?….. as far as he was concerned, Vincent van Gogh died an unknown artist and had no idea of the impact he would have on those following behind. Keep on keepin’ on Bro!

  10. 10
    Curtis

    When I think of people I’d love to have a beer session with I first think of you, then Dawkins and Coyne.

  11. 11
    Barb's Wire

    Aron Ra, I was deeply moved by your latest video and have shared it and will continue to do so. I also deeply appreciated your recent article about feminism here on your blog.

    I am a bit sad about this latest blog post though; I don’t know if YOU realize how influential and meaningful you are to so many. The quality of your videos and lectures are a testament to a brilliant and noteworthy mind.

    In my Christian grade school, not one word was taught about evolution. I gleaned quite a bit about the natural world on my own but still believed the many Christian myths. Even in public High school, evolution wasn’t taught, and there was nothing to challenge Christian dogma. Even 1st year university bio, we didn’t study it. I suppose they figured we already knew.

    So within just this last year, after a looong multi-year deconversion, with limited knowledge of evolution science, and despite already having a science degree (not in biology), I began to study Evolution beginning with your series of lectures; they were interesting, well researched and expertly delivered.

    Aron, pretty boys are a dime a dozen. You want to know how I found out about you? My very first Skeptics meet-up meeting, I was told by the group, “You HAVE to look up Aron Ra! He is SO cool. He looks just like Warf on Star Trek!” This is HIGH praise, IMO! You have a fantastically unique and interesting face that needs to be on tv.

    I’ve anticipated and watched each new video lecture with keen interest ever since. But it has been your support of feminism that has personally been most impactful. I had to permanently leave an Atheist meet-up group after one of the men started yelling and shaking with anger about “elevatorgate” and feminism. Disheartened, I never went back. I’ve since witnessed the mess on-line and have felt shocked by the venom, misogyny and conflicting messages of the anti-feminist brigade. IMO it’s important to have men like you within the feminist movement.

    You are important to many, but I should only speak for myself. For what it’s worth, I consider you to be one of the more important contemporary voices and minds in both the atheist and feminist movements today, and I’m grateful for it.

    Like others here have said, If I had to choose someone to go out for a beer with and talk about science, it would be you. :)

  12. 12
    Gregory in Seattle

    Would you like to be on Wikipedia? I’d be happy to write up an article, if you could provide some third-party sources I could use as references. I dare say you are notable enough to merit it.

  13. 13
    jerome_f_lawrence

    Be a man. Don’t court compliments or praise.

    You liberated yourself with knowledge, passed that on to many others who used it to liberate themselves, and to confidently proclaim the methods and reasonable conclusions of science.

    Leave the rest to nature, and to history.

  14. 14
    StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return!

    Well, aronra, you’re still a lot more famous than most folks will ever be for whatever that’s worth!

  15. 15
    StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return!

    PS. You mentioned the psuedo-fame but where’s the sour grapes?

    (Yeah that last line but, nah, not sour-y or grape-y enough. After all, you did score a T-shirt even if it was one with a louse or two on it! Besides everyone knows zombie sdon’t e .. OOwwww my brains!) ;-)

  16. 16
    Charly

    Aron, for what its worth, to me you are more important than any of the aforementioned famous people. For one simple reason. As far as it can be seen on the internet, you own the mistakes you made in the past. You really own them and work forward to correct them. While they only pay lip service to that ideal and when they make a mistake, at best they do as if it never happened, at worst they double down and dig their heels in.

    I know nothing about “face for radio” but you definitively have a “voice for lecture”. If your Foundational falsehoods of creationism or any other video series you made were publicised on DVD with perhaps a little bit polished video, I would definitively buy it. The way you manage to cram 10 minutes of speech with information is incredible.

  17. 17
    geroche

    The hat, the clothes and the hair are all very cool. It could be argued that it makes you look intimidating, but I don’t think it’s the reason you’re not as high profile as the others. Even David Silverman rocked some devilish facial hair for a while. Your look is more Van Helsing than the devil though.

  18. 18
    Inquiring Skeptic

    First, I’d like to thank you for all the knowledge you’ve spread for the greater good. The main thing I have to say is that I recently watch this (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F3Jli4gUr1s) video on the historicity of Jesus Christ. The speaker fails to cite too many sources on the things he’s saying besides the bible and many scholars. I get the impression that you’re much more knowledgeable about this book than I am and so I’m wondering what kind of arguments you’d put up to refute the video. If you’re not able to or just don’t want to, I’ll understand but it’s just an honest question I have to someone I think should be able to say something about it. Thanks in advance and good luck in your future of teaching people about important things

  19. 19
    Rain

    What’s with the defeatism? Alls you gotta do is keep on promoting yourself. You had zero fame at all a few short years ago.

  20. 20
    left0ver1under

    The choice of photo was undoubtedly deliberate.

    Use of unflattering photos has long been a political campaign tactic. Political campaign ads show pictures of their opponents where they were whispering to an aide, to make them look devious and untrustworthy. And how many times on TV have you seen the Howard Dean “I Have A Scream” photo, instead of one showing him standing in a suit and tie?

  21. 21
    Mr. Dave

    Hey, Aqualung. :)

  22. 22
    Rich Woods

    @Acolyte of Sagan #6:

    I’m just surprised they didn’t go the whole hog and photoshop a silver cross in one hand, and a flaming brand in the other.

    Don’t go giving them ideas!

  23. 23
    Reginald Selkirk

    If ZZ Top won’t accept you, you could try Duck Dynasty.

  24. 24
    Reginald Selkirk

    In response to #18 Inquiring Skeptic: Richard Carrier and Chris Hallquist have both blogged a lot about William Lane Craig. You might check out their stuff. WLC has also participated in debates on that topic, I think one was with Bart Ehrman. A couple quick points: WLC tends to lie about “the historical consensus.” WLC cites one point in a story as support for another point in the story. He doesn’t have any sources outside the Christian New Testament to cite in support for the resurrection.

  25. 25
    michaelhacker

    When I think of “famous atheists” that I would love to meet, you easily top Dawkins, Harris, PZ, Shermer, etc. You would have been topped only by Hitchens if he were still alive, just because he was such a fascinating individual to me.

    I regard you as one of the most intellectually honest and accessible speakers on the subject of atheism and evolution today. Keep doing what you’re doing, and never stop!

  26. 26
    Mugurel Sonea

    Hello Aron,

    I really think that michaelfisher had a fantastic idea. You have a great voice (I enjoy hearing your radio interviews or debates) and I would buy an AronRa audiobook. The material is already there, with your series on youtube, and maybe a debunking of Islam would be like a bonus chapter or even better : a second book that, again, I would buy. I made a pole (sorry for not asking in advance Aron): http://poll.pollcode.com/163119

    Come on people. There are not enough audiobooks for us that are so structured and well documented as AronRas videos so we need that book. Vote and maybe AronRa will find time to do it.

  27. 27
    Mugurel Sonea

    I meant to write : I made a poll .. not a pole…

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