Nov 27 2013

Self-interviewing and “followers”

Ok this is funny. Edwina Rogers is the new Executive Director of the RDF, and the RDF interviewed her for its Secular VIP of Week. So who made that decision? Was it the exec – oh wait. Couldn’t have been.

What if you allied the biggest secular groups in the United States and placed their political goals in the hands of someone who’s worked in the White House? And again in the White House, and for four US senators? This week we interview our very own Edwina Rogers, Executive Director of the Richard Dawkins Foundation, in her other role as head of the Secular Coalition for America.

Good idea! Then next week you can interview Richard Dawkins in his other role as head of All the Atheism. Then the week after that Edwina Rogers and Richard Dawkins can have a dialogue about what it’s like to be the head of everything.

RDF: You run both the Richard Dawkins Foundation and the Secular Coalition for America. Where do you get your energy?

Edwina Rogers: Well, I’m happy to do it.  At the Secular Coalition for America our mission is to facilitate coordination for all secular groups, to unify the movement.   We are perfectly placed to provide back-up office support for any of the non-theist groups.

Bwahahahahahahahahaha – fabulous hard-hitting question there. Let’s continue.

Why are you so fabulous?

Just born that way I guess.

What made you so glorious?

I can’t explain it.

Where is anyone as fine as you?

I’ve looked everywhere and I still don’t know.

No no, for real now:

RDF: I heard you brought Richard Dawkins to Congress.  How did that go?

Edwina Rogers: We were very fortunate to have Richard Dawkins and Stephen Pinker offer a briefing for the House Staff and for the Senate Staff.  Richard did meetings with several members of the Science and Technology Committee, and answered any questions they had about science and gave advice.  It went very well.  A lot of the members knew who Richard was, or their children were big fans.  Some of them brought in books to be signed.

Hahahahahahaha – “I heard you brought Richard Dawkins to Congress” – heard where? On the grapevine? It’s RDF who asks, yet RDF heard Rogers “brought Richard Dawkins to Congress” as if it were gossip or a rumor?

The Secular Coalition for America has a newsletter, Twitter, and Facebook, and a list of 50 state chapters.

Want your secular group or leader to be picked as Secular VIP of the Week and featured to Richard’s 1.7 million followers? Email [email protected].

Ok seriously now – “Richard’s 1.7 million followers”? Followers? What the hell do they mean “followers”?

It’s gone to his head. Badly.

Update: the fan boys react.


Update 2: Oops another fan boy.


Dawkins sure does have classy fan boys.


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  1. 1

    Reminds me of all those shampoos in the 90s that would win awards from beauty institutes that were founded by… the manufacturers of the shampoos winning the awards.

    Are shampoos still marketed like that? I dunno. Not a good way to sell something to free-thinkers, but.

  2. 2

    And by “followers”, I think that’s Twitter language, like (urgghh) “fans” on Facebook. You’re a “fan” of this page that you “liked”.

    I’m sure someone has a shampoo that needs more followers though, so the terminology isn’t universally bad.

  3. 3
    Ophelia Benson

    Good analogy.

    I’m so tempted to set up a Butterflies and Wheels Fabulous Person of the Day award so that I can award it to myself every day.

  4. 4

    You could go into degrees of infinity with this kind of thing. Start a blog called “Turtles All The Way Down”, and declare Turtles All The Way Down’s support for Turtle’s All The Way Down.

    What’s holding it all up? Turtles! Duh!

  5. 5
    UnknownEric the Apostate

    Q: Eric, why are you so cool?
    A: I don’t know, Clyde Frog. I just am.

  6. 6
    Bjarte Foshaug

    …to unify the movement

    Tsk tsk… That’s the third irony-meter broken this week..

  7. 7

    But he has 860K followers on Twitter, not 1.7 million. Where did that figure come from? Also I happen to know a lot of his followers are mainly in it for the honey, not the “following” .

  8. 8
    Anthony K

    All of the Richard Dawkins’ Foundation has fewer Nobel Prizes than Trinity College. He did some good science in the 70s though.

  9. 9
    Raging Bee

    oolon: if they’re in it for the honey, shouldn’t they be following the TSA instead? They took Dawkins’ last little jar…

  10. 10
    Raging Bee

    I guess Edwina Rogers didn’t ask herself to describe her accomplishments as head of the SCA?

  11. 11
    Ophelia Benson

    Also, something I missed on first reading – “What if you allied the biggest secular groups in the United States” – RDF is saying RDF is one of the two biggest secular groups in the US. What the hell? Is that true? Bigger than AA, bigger than CSH, than AU, than FFRF? In what sense is it really a group at all? It’s a foundation; that’s not the same as a group.

    It’s all ridiculously grandiose. Props to Dawkins for the book and for inspiring a lot of people, for sure, but he’s not Our Great Leader.

  12. 12
    Improbable Joe, bearer of the Official SpokesGuitar

    The sad thing is that some of his followers actually act like bootlicking sycophants if you dare criticize(let alone insult) their goddamned pope.

  13. 13
    Al Dente

    If Dawkins is the Pope of Atheism, does that make Rogers the Grand Imam of Secularism? Can I appoint myself the Supreme Head of Inconsequential Thinking?

  14. 14

    But he has 860K followers on Twitter, not 1.7 million.

    It’s a well-known fact that if you double your Twitter followers, you reach the REAL number.

  15. 15
    Marcus Ranum

    It’s RDF who asks, yet RDF heard Rogers “brought Richard Dawkins to Congress” as if it were gossip or a rumor?

    It’s marketing! You know – the profession Feynman once described as being inherently immoral because it entails selling something as better than you know it to be.

  16. 16

    Q: Polly-O, where do you come up with these amazing arguments?
    A: Well, Tom, it’s my privilege to support brave truth-tellers like you and Wally Smith. I’m happy to do it!

  17. 17
    Al Dente

    Screechymonkey @16

    Polly-O: I agree with Polly-O. Er, ah, I mean, Wally Smith.

  18. 18
    SC (Salty Current), OM

    The Dawkins IamA on reddit had a similar feel – I could only take it for about a minute.

    Frankly, if I were donating to the SCA, I would stop. The person paid to head the organization apparently has time to assume a second major position at another organization (“facilitating coordination” is one thing, becoming executive director somewhere else is quite another), and they sent Stephen Pinker to meet with White House and Senate staff.

  19. 19
    Ophelia Benson

    Ha! Yes, it is all a bit Polly-O.

  20. 20
    A. Noyd

    Dawkins sure does have classy fan boys.

    Good thing Dawkins has done everything he can to distance himself from shitbags like that. </sarcasm>

  21. 21

    What does the RDF do with the money that gets donated to it?

  22. 22
    Ophelia Benson

    It supports some conferences, and it gives money to daycare facilities for conferences. Both good things. Other than that I don’t know.

  23. 23
    NateHevens, resident SOOPER-GENIUS... apparently...

    I have to ask… did Edwina write this? Like, is she literally interviewing herself?

    Also… in response to those twits, where did anyone call Edwina a “chill girl”? I certainly don’t recall you doing so, Ophelia…

  24. 24
    Ophelia Benson

    I don’t think so. Then again a Wal-Mart robot could have written those questions, so who knows.

    I’ve never in my life called anyone a chill girl OR a sister-punisher, but that doesn’t prevent the liars from saying I do.

  25. 25

    That interview started the entrance of Miles Glorious in Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum running through my head.

    I, in war the most admired,
    In wit the most inspired,
    In love the most desired,
    In dress the best displayed–
    I am a parade!

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