Who will we beat up at Christmas now?

Tom Flynn has died. He was notorious for is often hyperbolic dislike of religion — every year, you could rely on Tom to rail against all those atheists who took Christmas holidays. December won’t be the same without him.

I’ll have to put a special ornament on the tree this year to honor him.


  1. laurencocilova says

    My husband and I saw him speak once here in Rochester… This one hit me. I was sad when Randi died but it wasn’t exactly unexpected at his age. Even Ed Brayton’s death was so hard, but again not unexpected to anyone paying attention. But Flynn was only 66. Woof.

  2. Akira MacKenzie says

    I don’t celebrate Christmas. I celebrate Akira Get’s Presents And Eats Ham Day. The fact that it occurs on December 25 is purely coincidence.

  3. raven says

    Even Ed Brayton’s death was so hard, but again not unexpected to anyone paying attention.

    I miss Ed and his blog. I read it every day since he was on Scienceblogs a long time ago.

    One of my favorite writers just died. Suddenly at 62 from a heart attack. People aren’t supposed to die at 62 unless they are antivaxxers in the midst of the Covid-19 virus pandemic.

  4. PaulBC says

    “To my mind, the realization that existence is purely physical — not just that there’s no such thing as the supernatural, but that there’s no such thing as spirit next to which the physical world must come in second — may be the greatest emancipation of all. It frees me to cherish this life on its own terms,” he wrote. “No longer must I devalue my existence as the eye-blink prologue to some boundless perpetuity where, if only by dint of its incalculably greater scale, true significance must lie.”

    I like this guy! However, I reserve the right to take any holiday that’s offered me.

  5. robro says

    Christmas? It’s a fine holiday in many pagan traditions. Besides, it’s paid time off.

  6. pilgham says

    Japan does it best. Christmas Eve you have a family gathering with cake with strawberries and whipped cream and buckets of KFC (“Kurisumasu ni wa kentakkii!”, say it out loud). Only problem is that next morning you have to go to work, because you don”t get Dec 25th off.

  7. birgerjohansson says

    And, to top it off…
    Charlie Watts, 1941-2021.
    Everybody we love seem to be dying at once.

  8. hemidactylus says

    I had forgotten what age group these guys are in. Ronnie Wood is the youngest I think, so maybe it’s great so many of them are still alive. Keith pickled himself into immortality long ago so he’s here forever.

  9. birgerjohansson says

    Keith should hang out with Wowbagger the Infinitely Prolonged.
    I would like to cheer you up with a selection of awful Christian Xmas movies being mocked by the gang at God Awful Movies, but I am feeling too down right now (turns on TV, sees Afghan refugees being abandoned, switches channel, more anti-vaxxers causing death..).

  10. DanDare says

    My dad played piano in a group called Blues Incorporated, with Alexi Korner, Mick Jagger and Charlie Watts. I think Mick is the only survivor now. Sniff.

  11. hemidactylus says

    The really disturbing thing in retrospect is that my first ever concert was at the Tangerine Bowl in Orlando, in what was usually called a Rock Superbowl— The Rolling Stones and Van Halen (in their prime before keyboards). It was 40 years ago making me old now. The disturbing part. The Stones were in their late 30s at the time. I’m old. I was a mere teen then. Ughhh!!!

    Eddie Van Halen died not long ago too.

    The Stones were a bit before my time. They had some good recent music at the time of the concert. Seriously though “Paint it Black” is one of their few older songs I like still, because the heaviness of it.

    For me Van Halen made the show though the Stones were great to see at my first ever concert. I was quite fortunate to attend such a thing.

  12. Snarki, child of Loki says

    “Japan does it best.”
    The Christmas fireworks also, too.
    All those sappy xmas cartoon specials about “the meaning of Christmas”?

    Blowing shit up.

  13. Alverant says

    To me, Christmas is a coordinated time to get with family and exchange gifts all at once. I like the giving. I like the getting. I spent each Christmas with my parents and plan to do so for as long as I can. For those of us who live where it’s winter at Christmas time, the gifts are an opportunity to reduce cabin fever. Besides, I get the day off work. What am I supposed to do, work for free?

  14. John Morales says

    As usual these days, there’s no hint whatsoever about his manner of death.

    I wonder if it was suicide; that’s often the reason for such reticence.

  15. says

    I always say, the christians stole christmas, they don’t get to keep it. I do get why people might not want to celebrate it and be annoyed by the onslaught of christmas stuff starting in September (me, I’m looking forward to Lebkuchen), but trying to stop others from enjoying some fun and food just strikes me as mean.
    But still, his loved ones are probably grieving right now, so my heart goes out to them. there’s too much suffering in this world already.

  16. mailliw says

    The more extreme Scottish Presbyterians are against Christmas.

    In 1640 the Scottish parliament abolished the Christmas holiday on religious grounds.

    A Canadian exchange teacher in the 1970s on one of the Scottish islands was told to take the Christmas tree down by the pastor : “Christmas is a pagan festival and it will not be celebrated in our school”.

    The Presbyterians are such a fun loving happy-go-lucky bunch aren’t they.

    In the spirit of subverting the Christmas message here is Munich band Panzerballett’s rendering of White Christmas. Always a pleasure to hear so much musical ingenuity dedicated to such daft ends.

  17. davidc1 says

    Reminds me of the saying about the Home Counties mob over here in GB .First thing in the morning they check the death notices in the Times ,and if they are not mentioned ,only then do they get up .
    Talking of death notices ,isn’t it strange how people die in Alphabetical order ?

    Ah ,xmas ,because of the shortage of lorry drivers caused by britshit ,they are forecasting a shortage of turkeys .
    this year .
    Just dying for a britshitter on faceache to post a comment about it .I will reply that in 2016 ,there were 17 million turkeys in England .

  18. davidc1 says

    @25 Yeah ,a few weeks ago that arch britshitter tim martin ,owner of the withaspoons group was whining about the lack
    of staff .He wanted to govt to allow them furriners back in .
    Talking of Yodel ,I had some cat food delivered by them yesterday .You can track where the driver is supposed to be .
    I noticed he had 91 deliveries that day ,they work hard for crap wages .