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Mediocrities Bring Imus Down.

Thursday, April 12, 2007 by Michael Reynolds


I was going to write about this subject again, but Alan Stewart Carl said it better than I would have:

Imus has been a so-called shock jock for a long time and has uttered an uncountable number of insensitive remarks over the years. CBS and NBC knew who he was and what he was likely to say. Yet this mildly racist, undeniably sexist comment gets him axed? Why? The answer is simple: the media needed the next sensationalistic story. Once that story was running nonstop, advertisers got scared and pulled away. CBS is just following its advertisers who are following the media who are following the immature, irresponsible, narrow-minded ideology that far too often masquerades as journalism these days.

Not only is this a complete overreaction to the crime committed, but it sets a horrible example. First, Imus’ quick and seemingly sincere apologies are being completely ignored. The lesson? It’s best not to speak at all than risk saying something you regret – your apologies will not be accepted.

. . .

Imus is being unfairly punished by a nauseatingly righteous bunch of media mobsters and their cohorts. What’s worse is that those leading the pitchfork-and-torches charge are ostensibly from the left. If liberals no longer have the stomach to stand up for free speech (even when that speech is insulting or idiotic), then who will?

The whole thing makes me sick. My apologies for the rant. Some events simply demand an outraged blog post.

Goddamn right. Wait, can I say "goddamn right?" Or will that shatter a vulnerable young mind somewhere?

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Atheists Get Rowdy. At Long Last.

by Michael Reynolds

I earn a good living making things up. For the last 15 years or so 100% of my income has come from making things up. But I am apparently, by many people's standards, a wild-eyed empiricist.

It feels strange to attach so grandiose a label to myself. I'm not an earnest person. I have a visceral dislike for seriousness and pretense so I'm the first person to admit that I'm not a profound thinker, or an intellectual, or even an artiste. I'm not a philosopher. I'm not an expert on anything with the possible exception of middle-reader and young adult book series. I have a good imagination, decent language skills and good work habits. I'm a B+ genre writer. That's it.

I draw a sharp line between what I know and what I don't know, what is supported by evidence and what is not. This doesn't strike me as being a big deal. But it seems to irritate the living hell out of a lot of (not all) believers. 2+2=4, that's proven. Jesus died for our sins? Not proven.

People are free to believe whatever they want. I don't really care, so long as they aren't taking my money or liberty as a consequence of their beliefs. Believe in leprechauns for all I care, so long as you don't impose a leprechaun-support tax on me. I don't deny anyone's right to believe whatever they want to believe. It's a free country. Let a hundred flowers bloom. (Yes, I know who I'm quoting.)

But no one has the right to forbid challenges to their beliefs. No one has the right to go through life unquestioned, uncriticized and unchallenged. If you don't want your ideas challenged then don't have ideas. Once you open your mouth and say, "I believe. . ." then I have the right to ask, "Why?" And I have the right to say, "I think you're wrong." I have the right to say, "You haven't proven your position to me."

When I or any other empiricist (ooh, big word again) challenges a person's faith we are accused of arrogance, aggression, meanness, harshness, and blah and blah and blah. Lately a few intrepid atheists have begun speaking up and questioning the beliefs of the 95% of the population who are believers.

We are told, in effect, to sit down, shut up, mind our manners and to stop being uppity.

Well, no. No. I'm not going to concede that any idea, not even an idea that can be described as a religion, must go unchallenged. And I don't accept that I must challenge in an unchallenging way. I don't accept the idea that when approaching an idea I have to tug my forelock and preface every remark with a lot of mealy-mouthed qualifiers. Sorry, but if I want to challenge your idea, I'll do it my way and not with kid gloves.

When I arm-wrestle my seven-year-old daughter I let her win. But I assume when I'm discussing ideas I'm dealing with adults who would be insulted if I let them win. Maybe that's my mistake. Maybe the fact that religion goes so unchallenged in our very religious country has left believers with no capacity to defend their points of view. They've never had their arms slammed rudely down onto the tabletop so they are simply unaware of the possibility of such a thing occurring. Maybe they are, in effect, seven-year-olds.

I guess I'm unusual because I actually enjoy losing. I don't learn anything from winning, I learn from being proven wrong. I still recall losing an argument with a kid in sixth-grade on the topic of evolution. I wish I knew what had happened to that guy. I'd thank him. Part of the reason I'm not blogging much lately is it turned out I was right about the main issue. I was right that Rumsfeld had to go, and that we needed more force, and that we needed a bigger army, and ho hum, where is the education in being right? I gloated over my rightness for a while and then lost interest.

We're doing this documentary project soon and my chief instruction to the screeners is to find people who can defend their positions. I want to be challenged. I want to be roughed up. I want my ass kicked. Prove me wrong and I come out of it wiser and stronger. I profit from being proven wrong. The more right you are, the stronger I get, like some Star Trek creature feeding on the energy of its own error.

But that's where the empiricism thing comes in. I just want the facts. If you can step up and prove to me that God exists I'll say, "Holy shit! Imagine that. Cool: now I know." But believers are not consistent empiricists - although empiricism may dominate every other aspect of their lives. They don't want the facts at all costs, whatever the outcome, and to hell with the consequences, they want their faith. And although they seldom show the slightest reluctance to attack me or any other atheist, or to denigrate us, or to consign us to hellfire, it seems that when we return fire we're supposed to do it with one arm tied behind our backs, sotto voce, just kidding, qualifier, qualifier, mealy-mouthed qualifier.

Why? God can't take it? Jesus is scared of the kid's book hack? Allah will faint if I cross-examine him? Or is it that faith is really paper thin in most people?

Remember back at the early days of the Civil Rights battles of the 50's and 60's? A lot of whites would acknowledge that blacks might just have a minor point . . . but did they have to be so rude about it? Did they have to speak in such loud voices? Couldn't they just whisper, and keep their places, and not do anything to really challenge the status quo? Couldn't they just stop being so uppity?

Nah, we atheists aren't exactly the African-Americans and no, Sam Harris is not Martin Luther King. But you know what? I think atheists are a little tired of being told to sit down, shut up, and let the majority make all the rules.

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The Evil Don Imus

Tuesday, April 10, 2007 by Michael Reynolds

Don Imus:

"That's some nappy-headed hos there, I'm gonna tell you that now."

50-Cent:

"I holla at a hoe til I got a bitch confused
She got on Payless, me I got on gator shoes
I'm shopping for chinchillas, in the summer they cheaper
Man this hoe you can have her, when I'm done I ain't gon keep her
Man, bitches come and go, every nigga pimpin know
You saying it's secret, but you ain't gotta keep it on the low
Bitch choose with me, I'll have you stripping in the street
Put my other hoes down, you get your ass beat
Now Nik my bottom bitch, she always come up with my bread
The last nigga she was with put stitches in her head
Get your hoe out of pocket, I'll put a charge on a bitch
Cause I need 4 TVs and AMGs for the six
Hoe make a pimp rich, I ain't paying bitch
Catch a date, suck a dick, shiiit, TRICK"

Snoop Dogg:

See every little hoe I met
They're standouts, you know the ones like Yvette
We fucked in the car, behind a bar
I shot it in her face and it went "Ahhh"
My homeboy Charles
Went up in his sister, behind the garage
I was menace, I was freaky, I was sick
When y'all was tryin to hump, I was teachin them to suck dick
Always tryin to go up in a hoe
Got caught tryin to fuck in school they asked me what I did it fo'
You know just what I told her?
I love pussy, and this dick is what I showed her
And now they threw me out, now I'm at the pad
I'm at a new school, way cool
New hoes, new script, fresh fish
Walk up in the room and I bust a new bitch

Yeah. Imus is the problem.

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