Audiophile Life

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foolonyou asked: Thanks for the excellent commentary on Dawkins and Hitch. I'm not familiar with Sam Harris and won't be seeking him out. What atheist writers and thinkers would you recommend.

Hello,

There are quite a few. The thing is that many of the atheist writers and thinkers I have studied are far more than just that, so their work is broad and diverse. On the surface, they aren’t merely atheist champions. Perfect examples of this are activist Hubert Harrison and Nigeria’s Tai Solarin and Wole Soyinka. They aren’t defined by their atheism, unlike “new atheism” where it seems their lack of faith is the cause for their celebration and where it’s like they’re almost proselytizing atheism, in a sense like it’s a religion.

That said, there are many notable and outspoken atheists. I’ll narrow it down to Black atheists because they are speaking from a perspective that is relevant to me.

Sikivu Hutchinson, Jamila Bey and Leo Igwe are 3 atheists I admire. Although as of late, Igwe’s writing has started taking on a Dawkins-esque tone.

angpent:

randompandemonium:

soprie:

actionables:

hmm, yoga is kind of girly #nohomo let’s rename it so it sounds manlier and make it just for the bros for the bros only

WHY DO MEN NEED TO REBRAND EVERYTHING TOUCHED BY WOMEN?
SIT DOWN AND EAT YOUR YOGURT AND SALAD AND DO YOUR YOGA

FOLLOW UP YOUR INTENSE BROGA SESSION WITH SOME BROGURT AND A BRAH-LAD

Straight guys make me sick. But I’m a straight(ish) woman. SOMEBODY HELP ME.

Remember when Dr. Pepper tried to market diet Dr. Pepper to men? See the commercial here.

angpent:

randompandemonium:

soprie:

actionables:

hmm, yoga is kind of girly #nohomo
let’s rename it so it sounds manlier and make it just for the bros
for the bros only

WHY DO MEN NEED TO REBRAND EVERYTHING TOUCHED BY WOMEN?

SIT DOWN AND EAT YOUR YOGURT AND SALAD AND DO YOUR YOGA

FOLLOW UP YOUR INTENSE BROGA SESSION WITH SOME BROGURT AND A BRAH-LAD

Straight guys make me sick. But I’m a straight(ish) woman. SOMEBODY HELP ME.

Remember when Dr. Pepper tried to market diet Dr. Pepper to men? See the commercial here.

“If there is one thing that an atheist movement should stand against (or at least be reflexively suspicious of), it is the erection of cults of personality around individual voices. Most movement atheists will be able to, without breaking stride, list a number of specific examples of religious movements that have gone terribly awry when a single person is placed at their zenith. Atheistic communities are no exception, or at least should not be. If Richard Dawkins is ‘a liability’, it is because we atheists have failed to resist the urge toward celebrity worship. In a perfect world, Dr. Dawkins‘ opinions on evolution would be evaluated and lauded when accurate, and his opinions on other matters would be seen as irrelevant when they are false. The fact that he regularly repeats fairly common bromides about rape culture and xenophobia would be seen, in this better world, as reflective of an incurious mind that speaks more than it thinks. To the extent that this is not the case (many atheists I know have no interest in Dr. Dawkins‘ opinions), it should be seen as a failing of the community to live up to its principles. When people continue to write articles as though it was still 2007 and The God Delusion was still one of the only popular sources for atheist advocacy, it cements the perception that Richard Dawkins is reflective of the atheist movement rather than being simply one voice among many.”

Ian Cromwell (@Crommunist(via feminace)

Quote is from Is Richard Dawkins An Asset Or A Liability To Atheism? No. Must…read. Love how he questions the question itself (problem with liability/asset binary), questions the idea that there is “one” atheist movement (nope) and illustrates how similar personality cult in secular space is to it some theist ones. Oh and I’m one of the atheists that has "no interest in Dr. Dawkins‘ opinions." Must read full essay!

(via gradientlair)

Dawkins is a cult like figure, but he is one primarily for white atheists, white male atheists in particular. These people are the ‘dudebro’ faction of atheism. They are humorously known as ‘Dawkbros’. The Black atheists I know don’t particularly care about Dawkins. He’s basically a non-entity. Like Cromwell said, this isn’t 2007 and the God Delusion was a long time ago.

What I have seen from white atheists is that they typically only know 3 voices, and those voices are Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris and the late Christopher Hitchens. Each voice serves a purpose and in their opinion, makes their worldview rounded. Harris is the calm voice. He’s not prone to outbursts, which makes his blatant islamophobia seem “rational” to white people. He tweets nonsense like Dawkins, but it flies under the radar because while popular, he isn’t Dawkins popular. And let’s face it, less people will read an article critiquing Sam Harris than Richard Dawkins. Few editors will greenlight an article taking Harris to task simply because it won’t garner as many eyeballs. Critiques on Dawkins are always welcome because it will bring traffic.

Hitchens is dead, but he was largely revered because he was confrontational. Before Dawkins got on twitter, the articles being written were taking Hitchens to task, so Dawkins just slipped into that role with the ridiculous things he says. Hitchens was taken to task not just on atheism and his outlandish persona, but for his zealous support of the Bush/Cheney administration and the war in Iraq. He morphed into a bizarre neocon who loved the military industrial complex and the “war on terror” to get the ‘evil muslims’. “Shariah is coming” he would squeal. He was the guy who always went off the cuff. He was surly, in your face and always looking to debate. He also sometimes added entertainment value (i.e. his debates with Dinesh D’Souza and Al Sharpton). “What will Hitch say next?”, his audience and detractors alike would ask.

Dawkins is the academic. At least that was who he was until he got on twitter. Now he’s just a blithering fool. He seems to think that being an academic expunges foolishness from someone and that his opinions are strictly a matter of rationality.

There is a 4th atheist in the mix, and he is also an academic, and that is Daniel Dennett. He rounds out the “top 4” white male atheists, but he just isn’t as known as Dawkins, Hitchens or even Harris. Which is why I mentioned 3. Dennett is on the periphery, but he’s a joke too.

A few years ago, Dawkins and Dennett championed a movement known as “The Brights movement”. The term ‘Bright’ was appropriated and applied to atheists, secularists and non-believers in general, as if being an atheist means you are intelligent by default and that being a believer means you are unintelligent. Dawkins compared the Brights movement to gay people using the term ‘gay’. Everyone I encountered in the Brights movement was a white Dawkbro loser. Everyone of them. 100% of them. There wasn’t one of them that had a redeeming character. These clowns really thought that they were going through a civil rights struggle like Black Americans and that the dawn of enlightenment was upon us and that Dawkins and Dennett were ushering it in. It was very cultish and new-agey. Even Christoper Hitchens thought the idea was silly. These jokers were walking around calling themselves “Brights”. It was awful and scary at the same time. They really were some sort of fangled, new age atheist cult. No sir, I was not going to drink that kool-aid.

The problem white atheists (white people in general) have is that like other aspects of their lives, they are only hearing reassuring voices. They only listen to people like them. They go through life in a tunnel. They have no idea what other people are doing or saying. They don’t know other atheist voices outside of the white male prototype. Intersection is not a reality in their world. If you ask them who Sikivu Hutchinson is, most would have no idea. White atheists are very insular and in an ironic way, people like Dawkins end up being their messiahs. It’s like the church of new atheism. It’s very ‘dear leader-esque’ in the Kim Jong-il, North Korean sense.

Sadly, I’ve seen prominent African atheists like Leo Igwe aligning themselves with Dawkins. That is a shame. Igwe actually does important work, like speaking out and fighting against the child witch hysteria across West African nations. He puts himself at risk and he’s actually saving lives, unlike Dawkins who pretty much just gives talks, has debates and tweets nonsense. Why anyone is aligning with Dawkins is beyond me. I suppose some people think you can’t earn your atheist stripes without getting a “blessing” from the atheist Pope, which many have christened Dawkins more or less by their idolatry of him.

The less I read about Dawkins the better quite frankly. My eyes start to glaze when I encounter atheists that worship this man. The veneration white atheists have for this clueless old git speaks volumes. Dawkins is smart as an evolutionary biologist, but that’s where the buck stops. He doesn’t know how to interact with people and he inserts his foot in his mouth time and time again. I knew he wasn’t shit when he referred to indigenous African beliefs as “the great juju up the mountain”.

This is how Dawkins acts. He’ll say something about a group of people that is either bigoted, insensitive, short-sighted or flat out wrong. He will then get called out. Instead of owning up to his mistake, he masks this canard as “rationality”. I’m tired of the word ‘rational’ being abused like this. In fact, the word ‘rational’ is an anathema to me these days and it is in large part due to people like Dawkins and white atheists. Rationality is just a new way for them to carry out their fuckshit. What is rational about cultural insensitivity and bigotry? Not a damn thing.

Dawkins does this rinse and repeat, but the thing is that he isn’t losing followers. On the contrary he’s gaining them, white men in particular. They aren’t reading articles taking Dawkins to task, or they aren’t taking them seriously. If you read these articles, you’ll always seen the Dawkins army in the comment section defending him. They do it because they mask their white centrality as rationality. See, it’s not bigotry or Eurocentrism that makes Dawkins only acknowledge that white people have done great things or that the finest music in the world are from dead white classical composers or that the best literature in the world is from dead white writers. That’s just “rational” thought processes. He just rationalized greatness and civilization as white. You see, white supremacy is rational. It’s totally normal in their estimation for the only worthwhile things in life to be white. This is their dear leader and they will protect him at all costs. It’s not just about atheism, they are defending his ideas and Eurocentric worldview because they too believe it. If it was purely about atheism, then why aren’t they protecting Black women atheists like Sikivu Hutchinson in comment sections when people vehemently disagree with her? Right.

batreaux:

unexplained-events:

Tyson the Swan

Tyson will attack you if you come within a two-mile stretch of the Grand Union Canal in Bugbrooke, Northamptonshire. Joe Davies learned this the hard way and capsized.

SOURCE

*headstrong by trapt plays*

The great thing about this is a that a photographer watched and took pictures of the guy getting assaulted by a swan. The swan is just protecting his territory and his family. He’s not doing anything wrong.

rabbrakha:

Parineeti Chopra responds to a male reporter who claims to know nothing about periods (menstrual cycle). [X]

SO IMPORTANT.

Black ghosts »

kingladyspirit:

atane:

Why hasn’t a prominent Black director made a movie about the ghosts of enslaved Africans haunting and torturing the descendants of their slave masters who inherited their wealth? I’d pay top dollar to watch it.

As an aside, this is how I know ghosts don’t exist. With all the Black life that has…

Black raging ghosts gather in whipping harsh winds hurricanes earthquakes those firestorms natural disaster blasters

400 years of working strange lands made’um the powerful sands

mmhuh & some still do know well

thusly

Sandytown

Nah. Natural disasters kill Black people and destroy their property too. Hell, Hurricane Irene flooded my parent’s basement with raw sewage. If that was the work of Black ghosts, then that was really fucked up of them to dump shit water in my parent’s basement…lol

Black ghosts

Why hasn’t a prominent Black director made a movie about the ghosts of enslaved Africans haunting and torturing the descendants of their slave masters who inherited their wealth? I’d pay top dollar to watch it.

As an aside, this is how I know ghosts don’t exist. With all the Black life that has been exterminated at the hands of white supremacy, Black ghosts should be haunting the shit out of the descendants of white people who did some fuckshit, but that’s not happening.

If Black ghosts were real, Rush Limbaugh woulda caught that fade a long time ago. Instead Rush is out here signing 400 million dollar contracts to spew garbage everyday.

jjarichardson:

atane:

atane:

This is a story that isn’t getting the traction in the press that it should. I posted the case about Howard Morgan not long ago here.
Morgan was a veteran police officer in Chicago. He is black. He was shot 28 times by 4 white officers. 21 of those shots were administered to the back of his body. Morgan never fired a weapon, and a witness corroborated that. In fact, one of the officers took Morgan’s weapon away from him. Morgan was acquitted of aggravated discharge of a weapon in 2007. 
Some key facts via this online petition

Howard Morgan’s van was crushed and destroyed without notice or cause before any forensic investigation could be done. The State only produced 3 of the 28 bullets shot into and taken from Howard Morgan’s body, whereby the rest of the 25 bullets could have shown whether or not the police officers who shot Mr. Morgan shot him with his own gun after taking it from him. Howard Morgan was never tested for gun residue to confirm if he even fired a weapon on the morning in question. The State never produced the actual bullet proof vest worn by one of the officers who claimed to have allegedly taken a shot directly into the vest on the morning in question. The State only produced a replica.

Despite all this, and the fact that Morgan was earlier acquitted of firing his own weapon, Morgan was found guilty of attempted murder of the 4 white officers who shot him 28 times, with 21 of those shots having entry points on the back of his body. How does one not fire a weapon, get shot 28 times by four officers, and then be found guilty of attempted murder? It doesn’t make sense.
Morgan is set to be sentenced in April. More info here.

Since people insist on contacting to tell me “not all cops”, I’ll be reblogging old posts of the most egregious cases of police brutality. This isn’t about individual “nice” cops. This is about a systemic problem. Good cops are forced to tow the line or they will get dealt with. No one is denying that cops have a tough job. Who said they didn’t? Isn’t that what they signed up for? Don’t jump in the lion’s den and then complain about lions.
The case above is about a Black Chicago cop named Howard Morgan. Why his case didn’t gain national attention beats me. He was shot 28 times by fellow officers, and 21 of those shots came from behind. He survived somehow. One officer took his weapon away from him. Black cops are not safe either.

I’ve heard an anecdotal story about a family friend who was a police officer. He blew the whistle about a black man’s death in police custody and was promptly fired.

Reblogging for commentary.

jjarichardson:

atane:

atane:

This is a story that isn’t getting the traction in the press that it should. I posted the case about Howard Morgan not long ago here.

Morgan was a veteran police officer in Chicago. He is black. He was shot 28 times by 4 white officers. 21 of those shots were administered to the back of his body. Morgan never fired a weapon, and a witness corroborated that. In fact, one of the officers took Morgan’s weapon away from him. Morgan was acquitted of aggravated discharge of a weapon in 2007. 

Some key facts via this online petition

Howard Morgan’s van was crushed and destroyed without notice or cause before any forensic investigation could be done.

The State only produced 3 of the 28 bullets shot into and taken from Howard Morgan’s body, whereby the rest of the 25 bullets could have shown whether or not the police officers who shot Mr. Morgan shot him with his own gun after taking it from him.

Howard Morgan was never tested for gun residue to confirm if he even fired a weapon on the morning in question.

The State never produced the actual bullet proof vest worn by one of the officers who claimed to have allegedly taken a shot directly into the vest on the morning in question. The State only produced a replica.

Despite all this, and the fact that Morgan was earlier acquitted of firing his own weapon, Morgan was found guilty of attempted murder of the 4 white officers who shot him 28 times, with 21 of those shots having entry points on the back of his body. How does one not fire a weapon, get shot 28 times by four officers, and then be found guilty of attempted murder? It doesn’t make sense.

Morgan is set to be sentenced in April. More info here.

Since people insist on contacting to tell me “not all cops”, I’ll be reblogging old posts of the most egregious cases of police brutality. This isn’t about individual “nice” cops. This is about a systemic problem. Good cops are forced to tow the line or they will get dealt with. No one is denying that cops have a tough job. Who said they didn’t? Isn’t that what they signed up for? Don’t jump in the lion’s den and then complain about lions.

The case above is about a Black Chicago cop named Howard Morgan. Why his case didn’t gain national attention beats me. He was shot 28 times by fellow officers, and 21 of those shots came from behind. He survived somehow. One officer took his weapon away from him. Black cops are not safe either.

I’ve heard an anecdotal story about a family friend who was a police officer. He blew the whistle about a black man’s death in police custody and was promptly fired.

Reblogging for commentary.

What have I become?

I have become the uncle that tells his nieces and nephews “What you know about this?” as I proceed to play hits from the 90s. Oh god.

happilyshanghaied asked: Not disagreeing with anything you wrote about people calling POCs minorities in their own countries (where they are obv the majority), but maybe Bummerpunx was referring to countries like France and Britain, who continue to marginalize their growing minority? I have no idea if he meant it like that, but that's how I read it. That said, it's kind of a ridiculous statement to make, because how would a white dude from America fight on behalf of Pakistani girls living in Birmingham?

All fair points, but Europe is not the rest of the world.

theblacksophisticate:

atane:

zuky:

nezua:

Flappers shaming Miley Cyrus.

Oddly enough we could say that Miley Cyrus is following solidly in the appropriative footsteps of white flappers, who in the 1920s grabbed national attention and stirred alarmism concerning the end of civilization because they partied to Black music, wore their hair short like Josephine Baker (who fled US racism to become a superstar in Europe), and imitated dance moves from Baker and other Black dancers. The famously flapperesque Charleston was lifted from the African American dance called the Juba, which had West African roots and was danced in secret in the South and the Caribbean. The dance sped up when it reached Harlem, giving birth to both tap dancing and the Broadway hit called The Charleston, which spread like wildfire from there. White people didn’t sway their hips this scandalously prior to that era, making flappers roughly equivalent to white twerkers of the Jazz Age.

This is 100% true. The period from the jazz age to the beat generation, comparatively speaking was the height of cultural appropriation of black art. The beat generation used lingo popularized by Lester Young. They then appropriated the style, dress, and lingo of bebop musicians like Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie, down to the beret, glasses, and soul patch. Bebop musicians, Parker and Gillespie in particular, were the blueprint of their image. Norman Mailer wrote an essay titled “The White Negro" that tackles this phenomenon. I’m no fan of Norman Mailer, but at least he admitted that white people were stealing from blacks. He wrote it in 1957.
With regards to the flappers, apart from Josephine Baker, they also liberally borrowed from black vaudeville performers. They would copy dance moves from black performers, and then introduce it as their own. Many dances attributed to whites are from black vaudeville performers who were forced to perform on the chitlin’ circuit because of segregation and Jim Crow laws.
It really is astonishing how nothing has changed in this regard. For example, people to this day still call Benny Goodman “the king of swing”, when what he did was procure charts for arrangements from Fletcher Henderson, a black man. Goodman’s biggest hits were from Henderson. It’s amazing how much credit Goodman gets for another man’s work. Of course Goodman became “the king of swing”, while Fletcher Henderson remains a footnote in history. How a white man becomes the king of something innovated by blacks is astounding. Benny Goodman is called “the king of swing”. Paul Whiteman is called “the king of jazz”. Elvis Presley is called “the king of rock n roll”. Is Eminem the king of rap? What about Justin Timberlake and Robin Thicke with r&b? Miley is soon on her way to become “the queen of twerking”.
Anyway, apart from getting his charts from Fletcher Henderson, Benny Goodman got his ass handed to him by Chick Webb at the Savoy Ballroom when they had a battle of the bands. Goodman is often noted as being one of the few white men in the segregation era to have black men in his band, and the narrative is typically presented as if he did it out of benevolence. He did it because there was no way to get around the fact that swing music was the domain of black folks, and he poached the best black players he could find to bolster his band, and black musicians went with him because as a white man, he was able to pay them more than black bandleaders, and they wouldn’t have to deal with indignity while traveling. Many hotels refused black bands, so they often had to sleep in cars, bus terminals, or crash at the homes of hospitable blacks. A big portion of Duke Ellington’s money went towards renting out train cars and making sure his orchestra had a place to sleep while on the road because hotels often turned them down because they were black. These were issues Goodman wasn’t going to face. Black musicians certainly didn’t go with him because he was the best. Goodman even later hired Henderson to arrange and play in his band. He wasn’t doing it because he loved black people. Black people were the ones creating and innovating. Where else would he get the best charts and arrangements? Now that the smoke has cleared and the dust has settled, Goodman gets all the credit. Funny how that works.
This stuff has been going on for a long time. Miley is the 2013 version. Twerking has been around for a long time, but Miley convulses on national tv and all of a sudden, dictionary definitions of twerking are made. Definitions complete with no mention of black people, like all this happened in a vacuum. It’s history repeating itself over and over again. I see the same thing happening with afrobeat music.

The more you know.

theblacksophisticate:

atane:

zuky:

nezua:

Flappers shaming Miley Cyrus.

Oddly enough we could say that Miley Cyrus is following solidly in the appropriative footsteps of white flappers, who in the 1920s grabbed national attention and stirred alarmism concerning the end of civilization because they partied to Black music, wore their hair short like Josephine Baker (who fled US racism to become a superstar in Europe), and imitated dance moves from Baker and other Black dancers. The famously flapperesque Charleston was lifted from the African American dance called the Juba, which had West African roots and was danced in secret in the South and the Caribbean. The dance sped up when it reached Harlem, giving birth to both tap dancing and the Broadway hit called The Charleston, which spread like wildfire from there. White people didn’t sway their hips this scandalously prior to that era, making flappers roughly equivalent to white twerkers of the Jazz Age.

This is 100% true. The period from the jazz age to the beat generation, comparatively speaking was the height of cultural appropriation of black art. The beat generation used lingo popularized by Lester Young. They then appropriated the style, dress, and lingo of bebop musicians like Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie, down to the beret, glasses, and soul patch. Bebop musicians, Parker and Gillespie in particular, were the blueprint of their image. Norman Mailer wrote an essay titled “The White Negro" that tackles this phenomenon. I’m no fan of Norman Mailer, but at least he admitted that white people were stealing from blacks. He wrote it in 1957.

With regards to the flappers, apart from Josephine Baker, they also liberally borrowed from black vaudeville performers. They would copy dance moves from black performers, and then introduce it as their own. Many dances attributed to whites are from black vaudeville performers who were forced to perform on the chitlin’ circuit because of segregation and Jim Crow laws.

It really is astonishing how nothing has changed in this regard. For example, people to this day still call Benny Goodman “the king of swing”, when what he did was procure charts for arrangements from Fletcher Henderson, a black man. Goodman’s biggest hits were from Henderson. It’s amazing how much credit Goodman gets for another man’s work. Of course Goodman became “the king of swing”, while Fletcher Henderson remains a footnote in history. How a white man becomes the king of something innovated by blacks is astounding. Benny Goodman is called “the king of swing”. Paul Whiteman is called “the king of jazz”. Elvis Presley is called “the king of rock n roll”. Is Eminem the king of rap? What about Justin Timberlake and Robin Thicke with r&b? Miley is soon on her way to become “the queen of twerking”.

Anyway, apart from getting his charts from Fletcher Henderson, Benny Goodman got his ass handed to him by Chick Webb at the Savoy Ballroom when they had a battle of the bands. Goodman is often noted as being one of the few white men in the segregation era to have black men in his band, and the narrative is typically presented as if he did it out of benevolence. He did it because there was no way to get around the fact that swing music was the domain of black folks, and he poached the best black players he could find to bolster his band, and black musicians went with him because as a white man, he was able to pay them more than black bandleaders, and they wouldn’t have to deal with indignity while traveling. Many hotels refused black bands, so they often had to sleep in cars, bus terminals, or crash at the homes of hospitable blacks. A big portion of Duke Ellington’s money went towards renting out train cars and making sure his orchestra had a place to sleep while on the road because hotels often turned them down because they were black. These were issues Goodman wasn’t going to face. Black musicians certainly didn’t go with him because he was the best. Goodman even later hired Henderson to arrange and play in his band. He wasn’t doing it because he loved black people. Black people were the ones creating and innovating. Where else would he get the best charts and arrangements? Now that the smoke has cleared and the dust has settled, Goodman gets all the credit. Funny how that works.

This stuff has been going on for a long time. Miley is the 2013 version. Twerking has been around for a long time, but Miley convulses on national tv and all of a sudden, dictionary definitions of twerking are made. Definitions complete with no mention of black people, like all this happened in a vacuum. It’s history repeating itself over and over again. I see the same thing happening with afrobeat music.

The more you know.