Crommunist joins SSA Blogathon

Now I’m assuming everyone reads every post that every FTB author posts every day, so it is perhaps entirely extraneous for me to draw your attention to Jen McCreight’s announcement this morning:

Blogathon is a blogging marathon for charity where I make a new post every 30 minutes for 24 hours, with no pre-writing or autoposting allowed. Just like someone can pledge money to support someone running in a marathon, people can pledge to support a caffeinated, deliriously sleep deprived, and (hopefully) entertaining blogger. Like the last three years, I’m raising money for the Secular Student Alliance. But this year there’s a twist:

I’m not alone.

This year Blogathon will include 18 other bloggers who have pledged to devote their time going just as crazy as I am. From June 9th to June 16th, at least one blogger will spend their day furiously typing away. Instead of me running this blogging marathon on my own, it’s a relay race! We’ll be passing the e-baton, or something. I don’t run, so these analogies are hard. The current schedule is here, including bloggers like Greta Christina, Dale McGowan, JT Eberhard, Ian Cromwell, Natalie Reed, Ed Brayton, and more! I’ll be blogging from 6am PST June 16th to 6am June 17th.

Those are some big names there. Greta Christina? Wow – a person as busy and talented as Greta giving her time to this thing? JT Eberhard – well I guess that’s a bit of a given since he works for the SSA but still, he’s a good ‘get’. And then this Ian Cromwell guy… where have I heard that name before?

Wait, shit. I’m Ian Cromwell.

SSA week cover pic

Yes, that’s right. This year I will be joining a host of other bloggers in support of the Secular Student Alliance Blogathon. However, I’m going to try something a little different. As some of you may know, I am a musician. Also, I crave attention like a smack addict fiending for hir next fix. To satisfy both of these things, and because I think it’s a worthy cause, I will be posting videos of myself playing various pop tunes, like this one:

Here’s the catch: you pick the tunes. Donate at least $10 to the SSA and tell me a song to perform. I will get to as many as I can within 6 hours and post them right here for your viewing and listening pleasure.

There are a few caveats:

  • We have two gigs this weekend, which means my voice might not be at 100%
  • While it might be hilarious to request something like Bach’s Toccata and Fugue, I am limited by both time and talent. If you pick something that’s just too fucking difficult, I’ll keep your money and not do your request, so pick something doable and learnable in a reasonable period of time.
  • The same rule goes for songs that are just not playable on guitar. While I’d love to be able to recreate your favourite Skrillex tune, try to pick something with an actual melodic line and chord structure.
  • I can try to be my own drum section, but again I am somewhat limited by technology and talent, so if you request a hip-hop tune, please don’t be too upset if I just can’t do it.
  • I will love you forever if your request is for me to do one of my own songs, or just a song I like to play.

Other than that, have at it. I will record my first video when I get up Sunday morning, and I will try to get as many in as possible before the end of the blogging day. You can submit your donations here. If you can’t make a donation for whatever reason, consider donating your Facebook display pic or some other form of flair to show your support.

Let the requests begin!

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  1. msm16 says

    $50.00 US

    And I think we could definitely use some ‘Eye of the Tiger.’

    That way we can get our ‘Rocky’ faces on when the hordes of Evangelicals try and invade.

  2. Karen says

    In all my excitement I neglected to say “please” and “thank you”.

    So please pay my request and thank you!

  3. says

    Hahaha well aren’t you polite. I will definitely play it, even though it goes against my policy of trying not to add to the internet’s cat madness.

    I make no promises that I won’t try to make my cover as suggestive as possible.

  4. Karen says

    Yes! I’m really looking forward to hearing/seeing what you do with it! I can’t wait! I’m really excited, which is demonstrated in my excessive use of exclamation points!

  5. Julia says


    Because I, too, love attention, I’d like to use this opportunity to promote my a cappella group and our science/space-exploration anthem, “Somebody Will”:

    That’s a live duet version with male voice holding down the melody. There’s also a solo female voice with guitar accompaniment here, and I can send you sheet music for the duet version if that’d be helpful.

    There. A non-cat-related request. 🙂

  6. John Horstman says

    Donated $50; I request “Thanks Bastards” by Mischief Brew, if possible. I’m assuming you’ll have to learn it, so if it’s not, take the money and run: I want to see the “Under Pressure” collaboration, too. Obviously the brief piano work and supplemental banjo aren’t necessary.


    A couple of tabs:

  7. says

    Any comment with multiple links goes into moderation automatically. I’ll listen to these (I know the Dream Warriors one well) and pick one. Thanks for the suggestions!

  8. Cunning Pam says

    Done! 25.00 donated; it’s a great cause and I just needed a little shove to actually make a donation, so thanks for that. I tried to be all clever and stuff and think of something really cool for you to sing, but I’ll have to fall back on quirky: How about you do your choice of any song by They Might Be Giants?

  9. David Hart says

    Is this offer still open? Because I just chipped in $40 and would love to hear you do something by 16 Horsepower (or Woven Hand, the lead singer’s spin-off group). Yes, I know, passionate atheist lists explicitly Christian doomy goth-country-rock band as one of his favourite acts … sometimes the music just totally rocks despite the message:-)

  10. says

    The blogathon is staying open until 6 pm PST on Sunday, technically.

    Just be aware – acoustic covers of metal tunes are notoriously difficult to pull off.

    EDIT: I have just listened to a couple of songs. Some of these will be no sweat.

  11. Momo Elektra says

    I donated $10 right now and would love your version of America’s The Last Unicorn.

  12. says

    I just made my donation. My request is Pedestrian by the Foxborro Hot Tubs (It’s a Green Day side project if you are unfamiliar). Check out the lyrics… it’s nicely fitting to the Freethought community.

  13. ZMiles says

    Sent in $15.

    I’d love to hear you cover ‘Diplomats,’ from Chess (the Musical). It’s one of my favorite songs, and with the World Chess Championship just concluded, it seems fitting. (Lyrics can be found at:

    If that one isn’t reasonable, ‘Comfort Eagle’ by Cake would be a cool alternative.

  14. ZMiles says

    Oops. Sorry, that emoticon in the link should be a colon followed by a capital D.

  15. says

    I’ll give ‘Diplomats’ a try, but I’ve been a CAKE fan since ‘Prolonging the Magic’, so you might just get Comfort Eagle 😛

    EDIT: Oh yeah… no way am I going to be able to do two characters in dialogue plus a chorus overtop of a symphonic score. Not only would it be confusing as fuck, it’s at least twice as difficult as fuck.

  16. InkRose says

    $10 for such a good cause is easily worth it even for an unemployed Finn with a mortgage and two kids to feed (how’s that for a guilt trip? -sorry about that), especially if I could persuade you to tackle one of my all-time fave bands: Sonata Arctica. They’ve always had a bit of an anti-theistic air about them, and on their latest album there’s a great track called “I have a right” that I would imagine would work quite well as a stripped-down one-man version. Feel free to drop a few repeats of the chorus, they do overdo that one a bit even in my opinion.

    Here’s the official clip:

    Another act that I deeply love are VNV Nation. My main problem with them here is that I can’t choose what to request. Maybe “Illusion” ( Lyrics can be found at

    If you decide that either of the above isn’t something you want to do, I’ll settle for First Aid Kit’s song Hard Believer (

  17. says

    Alrighty then. Because I’m old school, I put in 33 and a third dollars. (Well, still waiting on the site, but eventually it will go through.)

    If you can, I’d love it if you would do a song I wrote. It’s a (maybe too) subtle anti-theist message called Surrender Dorothy. It’s named after the graffito that used to be written on the rail bridge in front of the Mormon temple near Washington DC. It’s got semi-overlapping lyrics, but I think it could be sung by just one person. So long as you don’t have to breathe. Well, take a listen anyway.

    Here’s the song:

    Here’s an article about the graffito:–whats-the-story/2011/06/23/AGduf6kH_story.html

    Email me for chords and lyrics if you choose to do it.

    And thanks!

  18. Armored Scrum Object says

    Since it’s showing up in a URL, the most prudent thing would be to use an actual HTML link. For regular text, you can stuff an empty B or I element between the : and D, like this: :<b></b>D.

    The real solution is for the stupid blog software to have a “fuck off, stupid blog software” checkbox that turns off all the clever parsing and just posts what you actually typed in.

  19. Armored Scrum Object says

    Because I’m a enormous nerd who is currently lucky enough to be generously paid for exercising my enormous nerddom for the betterment of corporate America, I’ll be donating to the cause the maximum number of United States cents representable in a signed 16-bit two’s complement integer (a little more gin and/or a rereading of JT’s “My Work with the SSA” post might make it unsigned, considering that I thought of 64 kibicents first and then added signed as a cop-out because I was slightly hesitant, and considering that I spent over twice said larger amount on a big-screen TV that I hardly ever fucking use; what’s the worth of some hours of high-res Bayonetta and Welkin Gunther and Sazh Katzroy and Londo Mollari and Aang in a world where Jessica Ahlquist is treated like subhuman shit, after all?).

    (Yes, this has been festering in my mind for a bit; all the better that I get it out of my system to some extent)

    Since I can’t manage proper impulsiveness even when drunk (generalized anxiety/obsessive disorder, lol), please feel free to choose your favorite from the following (approximately in increasing order of difficulty to my non-expert ear):

    Rise Against – Swing Life Away
    Extreme – More Than Words
    Gary Jules – Mad World
    Nobuo Uematsu – To Zanarkand (also, here’s a simultaneously ridiculous and awesome over-the-top operatic metal adaptation, just because The Black Mages exist to walk that line, damn it)
    Styx – Boat on the River
    Uriah Heep – The Wizard (I like to think this is about Gandalf, but whatever, it’s about being inspired to change the world for the better, so yeah)
    Kenichi Matsubara – Bloody Tears (original RP2A03 arrangment here, but I suspect that piano arrangement has been pretty darn influential for a reason, and you’d probably have to try pretty hard to make those riffs suck)
    Queensryche – Bridge (an ironic tribute to my dad; he did build that bridge, though I think he doubted it sometimes; not coincidentally, he is a fellow Queensryche fan and definitely knows this song in that context)
    Dream Theater – Through Her Eyes (probably not a coincidence that — now that I think about it — the lyrics lend themselves so fucking well to being read as the experience of confronting (cis) male privilege. And now I’m fucking weeping because of the implications; I guess it’s probably for the best)

  20. says

    Yeah, none of these are going to work. Saxophone-based jazz doesn’t really translate well to acoustic guitar. Sorry. Feel free to request something else though.

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