Plan 9 Live and Undead

I have mentioned this before on my blog, but I am going to talk about it again.  Because I’m damn excited, so you can deal with it.

Last night we had our first tech rehearsal for Plan 9, the live theatre production.  Wednesday, as in tomorrow yikes, is our preview show for special donors.  Then, the show runs Thursday through Saturday night.  If you’re in or near Columbia, SC, you should make an effort to attend.  It is insanely weird, funny, and fun.

This will be my acting debut.  The stage is not really my thing, I am definitely more of a film and TV person.  It’s so strange to me, because in multicam TV you’d get the script at the end of the week and then perform it live in front of a studio audience later that week.  Rehearsing for months is crazy!

So, I’ve been rehearsing for months, people had better come watch me.  I don’t ever do anything for months.  And I’m the makeup artist.  That’s a lot of work, I tell you, someone had better appreciate it.  Have some photos.

We are insane... ly awesome

Someday, I will be Endora, just you wait

Reason Rally VIP

So, I sent my blog post yesterday to the Reason Rally essay contest and won two seats in the VIP section. Because I got here early, I actually got a seat in the front row.  If you’d like to follow me, I will probably posting mostly on facebook, which you can follow, or twitter.

The essay also got posted on RichardDawkins.net.  I am so stoked I might explode.

image

image

Eeeeeeeeee!

Why Reason Rally?

I have posted so much about the Reason Rally in the last few weeks, but I have one last thing I want to talk about: why I care so much about this event.

Many of my friends talk about this event as a rallying of the troops, a way to build morale and group identity among secular America.  Plus, it’s a big party with others like us!  This is important, absolutely, and I wouldn’t want to take anything away from those who are going for this reason, but it is not why I am going.  I am going to demand a voice.

I came to the atheist movement in a somewhat circuitous fashion.  I’ve been a non-believer since I was eight.  I found my teeth in my mother’s jewelry box and, having already been quite suspicious of the entire thing, concluded that there was no Tooth Fairy and, therefore, no Easter Bunny, no Santa Claus, no Jesus, and no God.

I didn’t become vocal about my atheism until after reading Hitchens’ “God is Not Great”, but even though I cared deeply about secularism, it was not my primary cause.  I was more interested in being an activist, and I didn’t see any opportunities for activism for secular causes.  Instead, I spent my time fighting for civil rights for LGBT, women, and minorities.  When I lived in California and campaigned against Prop 8, the gay marriage ban, I finally met atheists and skeptics who were fighting, actively, for political change.

Secularists need to join one another, not only to create community and acceptance, but to demand it.  I am incredibly lucky that, despite being from South Carolina and the Bible Belt, my family tolerates my non-belief — mostly in the hope that I’ll get over it, but still.  There are so many people I know, including those who are active locally, who cannot speak publically about their lack of belief for fear of losing their families and their jobs.  There are so many people I know who have been mistreated by the religious, so many children hurt and abused because the law gives special rights to religion, and many others who feel they can never make an impact politically unless they kowtow to the Christian Fundamentalist majority in our state and our country.

Change is started, yes, by coming out of the closet, and this is a national coming out day for the non-religious, but change also comes from demanding your voice be heard politically.  The public attitude towards women, minorities, and gay people has been changed by individuals demanding a voice AND by the movements demanding legislative change and support.

I could not be more excited to see Tim Minchin and Eddie Izzard, two of my favorite performers, but I am also excited to see Sean Faircloth and Herb Silverman, who have made significant legislative impacts, and to see two brave men who serve in Congress and are willing to risk the political stigma of associating with atheists.  I am excited that we are not just speaking to ourselves anymore, we are speaking to the world, to the country, to the government that should be serving us.

We are going to Washington not just for ourselves, but because we absolutely have to.  We have a voice and we refuse to be ignored any longer.

Religious Child Abuse — Special Rights for Religion means sexual, physical, and mental abuse

Sean Faircloth is the writer of the excellent book that I am currently reading on my kindle, “Attack of the Theocrats! How the Religious Right Harms Us All“.  He also has some very impressive speeches that he’s given over the past several years working with the Secular Coalition of America and the Richard Dawkins Foundation; and he’ll be at the Reason Rally this weekend.

The following is a speech about child abuse at the hands of the religious.

THIS IS WHY

This is why it’s absolutely necessary for secular people to make their voice heard, because it is not being heard by the government.  The government is so overwhelmingly controlled by the religious that they have carved out special rights that destroy people’s lives.  If adults want to throw their lives into the nonsense, that’s one thing, but harm perpetrated against children should be an offense to everyone.

So, I will see you at the Reason Rally.  This is our opportunity to demand a voice.  To speak for those who cannot speak for themselves.

(Another excellent resource about religious child abuse is “Breaking Their Will” by Janet Heimlich.  I read it last year and it was not only a very fair book, in terms of its approach to mainstream faith, but also a very disturbing and necessary book about child abuse and how cults and religions lead to it.)

I love Daylight Savings Time

My only problem with DST is that we don’t stay on it all year.  DST is the best — it stays light later so that when I get off work, I actually have hours of daylight left to use.  I can go for a walk!  I want permanent Daylight Savings Time.