Chris Johnson is now in the final five days of his Kickstarter campaign for A Better Life, a purty sniny kawfe-table photobook featuring a lot of atheists discussing how we all don’t really suck, thank you very much. I’ve really been plugging this hard, not just because myself and Matt and Beth and Tracie and Lynnea (as well as Dawkins, Dennett, PZed, Jessica Ahlquist and so many others) are slated to appear in it, but because, as a creative individual myself, it saddens me to think that I might live in a world where a book like this…
…might not see print for lack of funding, while this…
…is flooding Barnes and Nobles around the country and making its way onto bestseller lists.
It’s true, 95 grand isn’t chump change, but Chris isn’t making bank on all this. In addition to the expense of printing such a tome, Chris’s work in assembling all of his photos and interviews will involve extensive global travel. And he’s spelled out his personal philosophy behind his inspiration for the book on his Facebook page.
We as an atheist community need to show not just the problems with religion, but how atheists or the non-religious can lead great, rich, and full lives. I feel like we focus a lot on the former and sometimes forget about the latter. That’s why I’m doing this project. It’s not an atheist bible, or instruction manual that we all agree on how to live our lives. I’m not out to make a quick buck. There is no doctrine I’m pushing. I’m doing this because I care and I want to make a difference and show a variety of lives and experiences of people who get joy and meaning from THIS life and THIS world. We need to fight the important battles, counter injustice, and stand up for the values that we live by, but we also need to set an example and show how we live lives of peace, love, compassion, integrity, honesty, and purpose.
To be fair and honest, so far the godless community has been wildly supportive of the project, and now that Chris is in his final week, pledges have been flying in at an increased rate. Last Wednesday, he was at just over $32K in pledges, and as I’m typing this he’s shot up to $54,068 from over 520 people! Four grand of that has happened in the last 12 hours. Still, it’d be great to pick up the pace in the final stretch. According to math, before 11:37 PM Eastern time this coming Sunday, Chris needs 819 people to pledge $50. That’s the pledge tier that gets you the hardcover book. If that seems like a lot for a book, have a look next time you’re out at the kinds of photo and art books similar to what Chris is planning, and you’ll see they often retail for between $50 and $90, easily.
Here’s how Kickstarter works, for those of you unaware. As a pledger, all you need is an existing Amazon account. Make your pledge now, and your card will not be charged until the aforementioned deadline date/time, and that’s only if Chris makes his goal. This is the important part to remember: if he falls short of the total, he isn’t just given the 54 g’s he’s raised so far. He gets none of it, and the project vanishes into mist unless he can think of an alternate funding plan. As Kickstarter is the best there is, that may be hard in coming.
So really, please kick in. Because while a photo book may seem a trivial thing in a world where we’re constantly battling creationism in schools, anti-choice demagogues, in which imams strap bombs to kids and a goofball whose only agenda seems to be to ban porn and condoms is actually taken seriously as a contender for the presidency, it’s still a non-trivial fact that the public still sees those of us in the world who are fighting for reason and reality as evil people. AXP is about spreading the message of positive atheism, and a book that you can show your friends and family that puts a positive, human face on the godless could go a long way towards lessening some of ignorant, hateful bigotry poisoning the minds of the godly.
Click this. Make your pledge. Tell two friends, and so on. Thanks and over and out.
6:20 PM Tuesday update: Up to $55,288.
10:00 AM Wednesday update: Up to $56,733.
2:15 PM Wednesday update: Up to $57,618.
11:00 PM Wednesday update: Up to $62,029. You’re doing us proud, gang!
2:30 PM Thursday update: Up to $65,007.
12:00 noon Friday update: Chris is stunningly up to $78,322. And he now has a pledge from one of his backers to match any $50 pledge up to $10,000! That means that as of this moment, only 167 $50 backers will be needed to take him over the top. Please spread the word on Facebook and elsewhere…this can happen!
3:15 PM Friday update: Up to $80,333.
9:55 PM Friday update: Up to $82,465. 48 hours to go.
10:30 AM Saturday update: Up to $88,872. 36 hours to go.