Cross Contamination

I recall reading something a while back that I couldn’t find when I went to write this, about a Christian flavor of atheism. Not the actual sorta-religion “Christian atheism“, but rather the position “I’m an atheist, but the God I don’t believe in is Jehovah.” To those of us who grew up in Europe or places colonized by Europe, this is to some extent unavoidable: to varying degrees, we’re soaked in an assumption of Christian faith and if we have to outright reject a religion we had before, it’s almost always some flavor of that one.

Similarly, there’s a lot of people who are agnostics or just secular in their daily lives to the point that even if they have a faith it doesn’t really have anything to do with them except the occasional big holiday observances or family functions. These people aren’t atheist per se atheist, but are still passively steeped in a Chritianity-saturated environment.

There are effects of this. It affects our values and our language – and with them, our marketing. It tells us what a hero is, and thereby what to do to look like one. It tells us that being the underdog looks good, that fighting an inhuman – dare I say, demonic – enemy looks good, and that the ultimate image to make people love you is to become a martyr. It tells us, in point of fact, what “cancel culture” really is. [Read more…]

Neil Gaiman and the Lie of Purity

Gaiman occupies an unusual place, to me. He’s a middle-aged white British celebrity, which these days puts him in a demographic practically guaranteed to be hostile, but by all accounts he’s a good guy. Like, properly a good guy, of the understands-his-privilege and now supports the liberation of all minorities – and I say “now” only because it naturally took a long while for him to even be exposed to a lot of these issues. I’ve never heard of him choosing to dismiss anyone.

What makes this unusual especially is I am a writer, aspiring screenwriter, currently working on several TV pitches, and it’s become palpably obvious to me that ‘Neil Himself’ has turned out to be the single biggest influence on the sorts of stories I like to tell. Sometimes even transitively, as certain other influences were themselves clearly influenced by him. That makes him, for me, the most dangerous sort of thing: a hero. [Read more…]

You Are Not Ninjas

The “audit” in Arizona has not gone to wingnut plan.

https://apnews.com/article/donald-trump-elections-arizona-phoenix-conspiracy-theories-d38321441bcd6cea58421f6871b4f74e

The final report was set to be released Friday, the result of a monthslong partisan review funded partly by taxpayers. The draft circulated Thursday night, showing the results of the review’s chaotic hand-count of all 2.1 million ballots in Maricopa County, home to Phoenix. The tally in the draft document showed a net gain of 360 votes for Biden over the official results.

[Read more…]