Sunday, January 24, 2016

Rebecca's Richard Rage

A wonderfully funny thing has happened in the world of secular/skeptic drama - Richard Dawkins' foundation has been merged into the Center for Inquiry.

This event gave Rebecca Watson a reason to point out that Dawkins does not like her.

Quoting a recent post:
This is very exciting news for me, because it means I no longer need to wonder whether I’ll ever be invited back to a CFI event again. No! The answer is no.
Speaking of Richard Dawkins refusing to allow me to be invited to events where he is speaking, for the many years I performed at the Northeast Conference on Science and Skepticism (NECSS), which began as a live show on my former podcast, The Skeptics’ Guide to the Universe, the organizers could never quite convince Dawkins to attend. Well, I quit SGU and now NECSS has announced that the first conference they’ve planned since my exit will feature Richard Dawkins as the keynote.
In conclusion, the skeptic/atheist sphere is an embarrassing shitshow and the organizations will continue polishing Richard Dawkins’ knob until he dies, at which point he will be sainted and his image will be put on candles and prayed to in times when logic is needed.

This is rather humorous as Watson is again restating her arguments made several years ago (it is highly recommended to read this recap of events) that didn't make a lot of sense then and have not gained any more seriousness. For as Watson wishes one to believe what the CFI will do next is basically synonymous with a boycott. When in fact Watson is presumably allowed to attend CFI events like any other person. The shame comes about as Watson believes herself entitled to be a celebrity of equal measure as any other speaker that would receive a paid invitation.

The simple reality is that Watson and Dawkins have a mutual dislike and do not enjoy each other's company. Dawkins is not being invited to Watson's "Quiz-o-tron", which must be an abuse of equal measure as Watson's shows must be as good as any other speaker session. It's important to maintain a sense of equality in these affairs.

It is not that Watson desires a panel seat beside Dawkins, it is that she desires the opportunity to decline one in protest. Turning down an invite would be a nice followup to Watson's boyfriend dumping the CFI in "it's not me, it's you" way not too long ago. Now the CFI can presumably be thought of as an organization that Dawkins has committed an even greater amount of his resources to. For as much good as inviting this drama will do, Watson may as well criticize universities that name buildings after big donors.

This is of course in Watson's eyes choosing to "continue polishing Richard Dawkins’ knob", which is imagery that is not surprising coming from a group that has a habit of miming blowjobs at their own parties when they are not ridiculing the sexual prowess of critics. Snarky social media feminists find nothing as alluring as a dongle joke that "punches up".

The confusing thing about Watson's position is that she is no stranger to mutual dislike within the secularist community. In fact, she's had more toxic quarrels with former female colleagues. That Richard Dawkins is blameworthy in this dispute is to not grasp just how rare it is for these obtuse opinionated oafs to get along.

Richard Dawkins, while being oftentimes correct, can definitely be a honey-loving diva. Yet one can still hope that these two sides of the many-sided "schism in skepticism" can make amends.

It would be entertaining to get the divas back together again.

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