Ooh, aargh, I made one of those YouTube talking head videos

Yeah, I’m trying to reach YouTube atheists, so I guess that means I need to use their preferred medium, as unsuited as I am to it. So here I am, expressing my views about the awful people in my movement by staring uncomfortably into a camera.


  1. blf says

    You are trying to reach Donald Trump?

    Poopyhead has managed to get one slide, with simple colourful graphics and few words (none longer than three letters), broadcast on faux?

  2. says

    YouTube comments are predictable. I’ve allowed them, but they’re held for approval…and so far they’re all along the lines of “you’re irrelevant” or “you’re an old fart”. Not one has been able to deal with the content.

    They also haven’t been approved.

  3. blf says

    poopyhead@3, Whilst you cannot tell if the commentators have watched / listened, can you tell if they played the video, and if so, for enough of its duration to indicate they may have been watching / listening?
    As you imply, only the content of the comment could indicate (in)comprehension of the babbling silly old fart’s irrelevant content.

  4. screechymonkey says

    PZ, I commend you for the effort, and for trying to be charitable to these folks, but I would caution you about a couple of points:

    1) Don’t accept their framing of this as “free speech vs. minority rights.” I deny that I am any less supportive of free speech than the harassment brigade. They want to reinterpret free speech as “nobody can suffer any consequences from anyone for anything they say, ever.” But that’s an absurd interpretation that even they don’t believe. This is like Trump’s efforts to portray the anthem protests as “respect for the troops vs. Black Lives Matters” — you can’t concede the MAGA folks the high ground of patriotism and respect for the military. Free speech isn’t “their” issue — it belongs to all of us.

    2) Be careful with what you concede for rhetorical purposes. I have a feeling that the only part of this video that most of the YouTube atheist crowd is going to see is an endless loop of you saying (I’m paraphrasing) “they’re right. I am trying to control them.” They’ll be passing that clip around for years.

  5. Raucous Indignation says

    How dirty do you feel? Are you still in the shower scrubbing off the awful?

  6. kestrel says

    I thought it was great, thank you. It’s good to hear a reasoned view.

    It’s like people have forgotten why we even have civilization. They think it’s all about helping themselves, not about helping each other.

  7. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Free speech, yes. But there are consequences to free speech that requires the users to behave themselves. You commit slander, you can lose a lawsuit. In the cases PZ mentions, there is actual aggression against women and minorities designed to keep them “in their place” by little, petty, thoughtless white/males. Showing why they are little, thoughtless, and scared people. They can make themselves and society better by not needing to trod on others in order to feel good about themselves. They refuse to see that.

  8. says

    SJWs trying “coerce” people isn’t really different from any other social movement. Some of the “coercion” isn’t really coercion, such as when atheists try to persuade people to leave religion, or when SJWs try to persuade people that we shouldn’t silence victims of sexual violence. Some of it really is coercion, like atheists suing people for the separation of church and state, or SJWs trying to discipline sexual harassers. And so what?

  9. says

    Exactly. Living in a society involves compromise, and in a sense, you are ‘coerced’ to give on some things to gain in others. It’s very strange how we’ve acquired this libertarian attitude of “I do what I want” with no recognition of what you have to give to get in any culture.

  10. says


    It’s very strange how we’ve acquired this libertarian attitude of “I do what I want” with no recognition of what you have to give to get in any culture.

    From where I sit, that is not a recently acquired mindset, it’s been there from the colonial start, especially for a certain strata of society. It’s just the plain old colonial mindset with ribbons on.

  11. says

    They complain about being told what to do. But their conference has restrictive rules. They wouldn’t allow recording or picture taking. They didn’t want to get doxxed IMO.

  12. microraptor says

    Champions of freeze peach are often quite controlling on what they’ll allow people to say on their own blogs and forums.

  13. says

    PZ, your video made a good argument for people capable of reasoning. Unfortunately, many of your intended audience prefer to not exercise their brain cells and rely only on emotion. They may respond better if you [video] speak in the tone of your blogging voice and not your lecturer/teacher voice.

    I left a comment about the meaning of freedom at another site: In the novel, “The Kite Runner”, the narrator’s father said all crimes are forms of theft. For today’s Republicans, freedom is their freedom to commit any and all variants of theft on anyone not in their tribe, especially for personal gain or profit. This same freedom does not extend to ‘outsiders’. For progressives, freedom is the right of all people to live meaningful lives so long as they are respectful of the rights of others. The progressive view of freedom does not have an out-group.

    So with regards to freedom of speech, it stops when your speech infringes on another person’s freedom to speak. No one should have the right to frighten others from speaking… like threatening to fire someone for speech that does not interfere with doing their job.

  14. rietpluim says

    In addition to @screechymonkey #7 – I’d say it even more strongly. The MRA’s and anti-SJW’s aren’t about free speech, they are against free speech. When every dissenting voice (dissenting with them, I mean) is met with aggression, that’s a way to silence dissenting voices. That’s why we mockingly call it freeze peach – it’s not free speech they want at all.

  15. microraptor says

    rietpluim @18:

    Exactly. They want the freedom to say whatever they want, no matter how vile, without getting called on it or ever hearing a dissenting opinion.

  16. ParaLess says

    “People who don’t read” isn’t going to go over well. Maybe edit that out if you want to reach people?

  17. ParaLess says

    A quicker pace edit. A quick intro with your introduction and credentials after your main idea for the video.

    Actually, next time let me know and I will edit it for you.

  18. says

    I was at the “interview” to support Thomas. I can comfirm that the deplorables cheered (and I cringed).

    As PZ mentions, more Freedom/Liberty is not a one dimensional always good thing.

    p.s. Batman & Jesus was great. I spoke with the director at the VIP party, and he was a little jealous that all the internet noise wasn’t about any of the themes in his movie.