Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Rambles and Such

After two long months of little productivity, I am happy to announce that next Tuesday I will begin partaking in gainful employment. I'm actually really excited because I've come to realize that boredom is awful for my mental state. The only drawback to this development is the fact that I might have to rearrange my Amherst plans. I am almost certainly going to the CFI Student Leadership Conference in a little over a week, the question is whether not I can go for the whole event, or only half. I've come to realize that spending too much time out of my element and out of my activism in the movement makes me depressed, so my fingers are crossed for being able to be there on the 21st.

In any case, I had a rather interesting conversation with Debbie Goddard last night that continued to make me think about the state of the movement in the United States today. I had had never fully realized just how splintered we tend to be as a community. I guess it's a well known fact that getting a bunch of atheists/secularists to work together is rather like "herding cats", but I can't help but wonder what's going to happen if the trend continues. This is not to say that effort hasn't been made on the part of many individuals and groups to try to improve our community and address problems that separate us. The Women in Secularism Conference gave me mountains of hope. Imagine, though, my dismay when I heard about the appalling comments made by DJ Grothe and Rebecca Watson's reaction to boycott TAM. What's sad to me is that, as far as I can tell from talking to people, the fact that certain big speakers behave inappropriately is one big open secret. And the identities of these individuals are also fairly well known. Yet its the outraged women who are being blamed. This is obscene to me. And don't even get me started on how people seem to be hesitant to remove this useless and unappealing little asshat from their ranks despite his having caused (and continuing to cause) heaps of trouble for his organization.

Alright, alright, maybe I'm just complaining about a bunch of unrelated issues, but let's be honest with ourselves. Our movement is great at generating charismatic secularlebrities. It's not so good at generating genuine leaders. We need people who are willing to bring people together, who are willing to take other people's points of view into account and who actually care about the grunt work of running our organizations properly. Some of these people definitely exist, but I often feel that we tend to give our pseudo-celebrities way too much credit when they really don't do as much good as they appear to on the surface. I think we also need to identify the fact that the ranting about the nonexistence of deities is going to get old after a while. This is why I have been focused so much on SSA and CFI lately. These are broader organizations than, say, American Atheists and I have a feeling that their shelf life is going to be longer than the purely atheist organizations. On that note, go support SSA week!

I'm rambling again. Admittedly, I've been a little annoyed lately. Michael and I had a long conversation about all this last week and decided that someday, we should write a book about our adventures in the freethought movement. For now, I'm eagerly awaiting the Amherst conference.

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