Archive for Ophelia Benson

So now @ZJemptv hates me too, and other sad tales.

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on August 31, 2013 by Anton A. Hill

Well, here we are! Only day two of my recent semi-committment to write about just, you know, whatever, and already I have a pingback from Zinnia Jones linked to a post she wrote entitled “I Don’t Want to Be One of the Good Ones” which was a bit of a reaction to the bit I wrote here, which had a long title, and went something like “Why (A Bunch of People, Including Jones) Are Better Than You Are.” My post, as I recall, was basically about how some people with whom I’ve interacted (like my Best Friend and Biggest Fan) were naughty, but how others (like Jones, among many others) were nice. It was largely congratulatory in that it spoke on how in the recent infighting times of atheism, there were still those who, even if they disagreed with me, were willing to deal with me with an ounce of courtesy, rather than slip-slide directly down to ad hominems and the like.

And to be clear, though it absolutely delineated between the naughty and nice, it was never intended to be a line-drawing in the sand, as if the naughties couldn’t be nice and vice versa. Maybe Jones didn’t get that.

What was her criticism? Well, okay, I didn’t read the whole thing. Sorry. Once I got the tone of “Anton’s a naughty boy,” I kind of failed to see the purpose of continuing. Jones doesn’t approve, that’s fine, totally her right, but I don’t feel the need to fill my morning with “Anton’s a naughty boy,” then, “Here are some quoted examples,” then, “Oh, and here are some caps of tweets,” then a bunch of commenters who say, “Yeah, he sure is naughty,” and, “I agree.”

From what I gleaned, her criticism seemed to be that she didn’t want to be used as a board in my argument about how people should behave. If I got that wrong, remember I didn’t read the whole thing.


I guess I understand that. Sort of a “don’t use me”?

There also seemed to be a darker tone, though. And this I’ll find it harder to substantiate. She pointed out how I said that I’d called someone on her bullshit. I don’t remember who the someone was or what the bullshit was. I think it was some transgender thing. Wouldn’t surprise me, I’ve been ignorant of and critical of many claims made by many in the trans community.

Let’s just say it was really, really offensive. The tone definitely seemed to lean toward I did something wrong and fuck me. Remember what I said above? That’s right.


I guess I just don’t see why I should care. I mean, rather than choose to have a dialogue about it with me, Jones has made an example of me on her site. No, I don’t see anything inherently wrong with that, I did the same, yet opposite, thing in the post she criticized, but it is kind of indicative, isn’t it? Rather than writing to me directly (or tweeting) and saying, “Hey, Anton, I had these thoughts about your post a while back. Mind if I share them with you? I had a bit of a bone to pick with some of it,” she lazily pointed fingers. I probably would’ve said, “Hey, Zinnia, nice to hear from you. What’s on your mind?” Oh, and Zinnia, if you’re reading this, that invitation still stands. 🙂

But boo-hoo, that didn’t happen. Oh, well. I’m on Jones’ shit list and I’m still gonna go to that barbecue in a couple of hours and have a nice holiday weekend. Toodles!

No, no, not toodles. This is a terrible trans-ition (har har!) into a thought I’ve had for a while and will now attempt to articulate. This transgender issue, I’ve noticed, seems, anecdotally, to be dominated by white women. Privileged white women. And if they’re trans white women, doesn’t that mean they used to be…

WHITE MEN!!!!???

Oh, fuck! Isn’t the trans issue, then, possibly just a socially acceptable way for used-to-be white men to have a cause? To be granted the right never to be questioned? Never to be criticized? To scream, “You’re just ignorant/bigoted/a trans hater” to people like me and then when people like me say, “Hey, I’m just trying to understand,” they can scream back, “It’s not my job to educate you!”? I’m not saying Jones has done that to me, but aren’t all those things socially justified? Just a teeny bit?

Okay, now toodles.

“vlog|6 20 13” in which I discuss @MrAtheistPants, @JustinVacula, @BraveHeroRadio, the @NationalAtheist Party, and the @GoodNewsClub!

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 18, 2013 by Anton A. Hill

I’m gonna have to update these more frequently as at least one issue I mention is already moot. Oh, well. What are you gonna do?

As a bit of an update to the thing I mention about the stupid atheist movement, I’m actually not so sure I’ll make a video about it. I’ve become less and less concerned about the movement and what happens to it. Mainly this is due to the fact that I’ve found a direct correlation between what’s going on in the movement and my mood. And here’s the thing:

I like being happy.

That’s right! As energizing as it can be in the moment, being pissed off about boneheaded things that stupid people say or do only carries one till about noon, then one just wants to hear happy, cool stuff. I frankly don’t know how cats like Justin Vacula do it, not only being activists, but putting up with some people’s bullshit.

This is not to say that I won’t ever criticize my fellow atheists again, far from it. If someone does or says something that’s bullshit, I may feel compelled to say something about it, but there’s at least one thing on which I agree with Dave Silverman, I’m getting pretty sick of the shit.

Why @nonstampNSC, @BridgetGaudette, @Zjemptv, @SecularWoman, & @MaionnaiseJane are better than you are

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on April 23, 2013 by Anton A. Hill

This all started a number of weeks ago and I’d intended to get a few screen grabs so I could show exactly how it all went down, but now that’d involve probably hours of skimming Twitter timelines which I’m not gonna fucking do.

Also, it may seem like a conflict of interest to mention Bridget Gaudette now that I write for her, but the encounter I’ll mention happened long before that.

I’ve been a fan of NonStamp for a couple of years now. I’ve posted a number of his videos on here. One of my favorites is Context!! When I saw he was on Twitter, I was plenty excited as I figured I’d get first-look niftiness on his vids.

Then I saw it.

I happened to notice that NSC had started writing for Freethought Blogs. It’s no small secret that I’m not a giant fan of a few of their writers. I was disappointed. Even though I knew that NSC’s involvement was neither a reflection on him nor on them, I still kinda sank inside. I told him that my comment wasn’t an attack, but that I was (half kidding) sad to see him there.

At first, he got defensive. He said something to the effect of my jumping on the bandwagon of FtB hate, talking out of my ass, all that sort of stuff.


In only a couple of exchanges, we clarified our positions and he apologized for his brash tone and kind words were shared.

No fuss. No muss. Just regular, ol’ cordial exchange. We started from a place of difficulty, but then were both willing to be reasonable and civil and it all worked out.

I first heard about Gaudette through A-News’ interview with her. Then I checked her out a bit on SecularWoman and Twitter. At some point, she made some comment about sexism in society. I wrote her on Facebook and asked her about that.

“Fuck off,” isn’t what she said. No, no. We also had a cordial back and forth in which she answered my questions.

I don’t remember how I discovered Zinnia Jones, Queen of Atheism. It was probably some randomly encountered YouTube video. I enjoyed her straight-forward, facts-only style. And, as with NonStamp, I found her on Twitter.

At some point, the discussion of the definition involved in transsexuality came up. While I know a thing or two about transsexuality, I’m no expert. i asked about definitions, what made one trans, what that meant, all kinds of stuff. Jones answered everything with patience and (literary) poise.

Through my acquaintance with Gaudette, I became aware of Secular Woman. I think she was working for/with them at the time. I generally find them more palatable than another oft blabbed-about female-driven skeptic site which shall remain nameless. Not always, but generally. Well, along with that above trans discussion, I bumped into Elsa Roberts of Secular Woman. We had some back and forth not so much about transsexuality, but of more general feminist topics.

Not only did Roberts answer my questions and respect my right to disagree with her, but she also invited me to continue the conversation with her directly. I’ve not done so as of yet only because of a lack of time to commit to it, but i will soon (likely in a couple of weeks).

Finally, Marisa Gallego appeared in that darn trans conversation and with her, not only did I not see eye-to-eye, but at times I downright called her on her shit, or at least what I considered her shit. I feel like I was respectful in doing so, but that doesn’t change the action taken. Despite that, we maintained politeness throughout and with her help, I’ve learned a thing or two about her positions.

I have to say that with each of the above-referenced conversations, not only did I not expect anything going into them, but based on my conversation with my Best Friend and Biggest Fan (BFaBF) Ophelia Benson, I actually assumed that all conversations would end up in some kind of vicious, name-calling flame war. I’m so glad, then, that my initial fears were completely debunked and that some mutual insight developed.

If only it could be this way every time.

#LeeMoore of @realanews chats with @TIME about the great schism & quotes @rickygervais!

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 3, 2013 by Anton A. Hill

Preach it, brother Rick!

You can read Moore’s post here. While I absolutely support Moore’s efforts in the cessation of infighting, I commented on his post that I’m skeptical of its short-term success. My specific comment was about how Center for Inquiry would likely have to disavow itself of some actions and individuals, as well as some of its individuals possibly needing to make some apologies. I’m not even saying I want this; I don’t care what CfI does, but the public at large might.

And then there’s those wacky kids over at Freethought Blogs. You know the ones. My best friend and biggest fan Ophelia Benson, who called Moore’s and Brian Allen’s initial steps to this effort “cute,” but who otherwise expressed no interest. Greta Cristina, who seems to live for being outraged. PZ Myers who’s not only claimed that there’s no problem, but who’s called those who disagree with him assholes. People like these seem to have no interest in any resolution and seem to believe that not only is there nothing to be resolved, but also that they’re innocent of any kind of wrongdoing or ill-speaking.

But notice I said “short-term” success. I foresee no reconciliation of any kind on any issue whatsoever. For now. But, as Blockbuster Video was once the absolute dominant force in home-video rental only to be left licking the dust of on-line outfits like Netflix, so too, even the above Freethought Bloggers’ greatest pinnacles of oft-minion-driven popularity will perish in death knells of quiet, moaning, self-satisfied, histrionic, finger-pointing irrelevance.

What wil happen is this. As atheism continues to gain footholds in mainstream, popular culture, as currently anonymous atheists become more willing to be open and active in the movement, the currently perceived “importance” of FtB and their ilk will gently siphon off. Those who don’t work for the community’s greater good will all be unceremoniously brushed aside. It’s happened in every social movement. It’ll happen in this one.

So it’s with a grin that I watch Moore’s efforts, both in pride of him and bemusement of his detractors, for whether Moore magically manages to rally all together under his banner of peace or gives up, cries “fuck it,” and retreats, one thing remains absolutely 100% true: reason will always prevail.

Behold, @Rocko2466’s very amusing “Dramatic Reading – Episode 5: Invasion of the Photo Snatchers”!

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on February 8, 2013 by Anton A. Hill

Though I consider everything on this issue settled, I thought this was pretty funny. I love the motion graphics, sound FX, and you can’t beat the British (Australian?) accent.

In case anyone’s wondering, no, I did not request it. Rocko sort of just announced out of the blue that he’d make it and I honestly thought he was kidding. More specifically, what I thought he was kidding about was simply reading the text with friends, not making a video.

But make one he did and I hope he does more.

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