PZ Myers… What is there to say about this lichtgestalt of blog atheism that hasn’t been said in the last two years? I’m inclined to say that everything already has been said, but I’m going to indulge myself in some writing about atheisms favourite hypocrite – just in the way some people might be inclined to nibble on scabs or watch a train wreck unfold without blinking even once. To those familiar with the whole turd goblet that is social justice warrior atheism+ of the freethoughtblogs.com kind, not all of this new. Feel free to get up to speed here if that tickles your fancy, or if you want to find out if you are into udder bull crap. Or the downfall of blog non-empires.
Just yesterday, the indefatigable PZ, the myerest among all of the Myers, decided to not be associated with skepticism anymore after listening to a speech given by Jamy Ian Swiss. This earth shattering divorce, only paralleled in magnitude by the collision of two shopping carts in a windy Utah parking lot, has him throwing a teeny weeny tantrum, acting like a petulant child after being robbed of his favourite sand bucket and matching little shovel. Reminding me of the time when he tried to redefine atheism to mean humanism, even if he is not as incorrect here: I think that gods shouldn’t be a taboo from skeptical inquiry in the same way that ghosts, angels and goblins are not taboo, as long as people claiming their existence also claim that their existence would make some sort of measurable difference in the world we live in (hint: this applies to almost all big religions, including moderate Christianity and Islam).
A tantrum (freezepage, also at hxxp://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2013/05/05/i-officially-divorce-myself-from-the-skeptic-movement/) that includes shitting on people with ordinary jobs that he feels aren’t really on the same level of awesomeness as his own (yay for social justice!):
So don’t call me a “skeptic”. I’ll consider it an insult, like calling a writer a stenographer, a comedian a mime, a doctor a faith healer, a scientist a technician. I’m out.
Oh young human being of irrelevant gender, is he steaming down that track of unwarranted self importance! See what he did there? One of these is not like the other, and unlike our highly scientifically adept sciency scientist you might actually see which it is! One hint: Almost all of them are respectable jobs, some of them even in the field of science. One of them isn’t a proper job at all, typically done by charlatans preying on gullible und understandably fearful people who see faith healing as a last resort, knowing that they will die a horrible death if it weren’t for some sort of wunderkind who will heal them. And it appears to be as if for PZ Myers, professeur exceptionelle, faith healers are to doctors what technicians are to scientists and stenographers are to writers. That is just FUBAR.
Given that PZ is working at a university, perhaps even one where actual research is being conducted (any other kind of “university” not really being deserving of the designation), he should know that people like lab technicians actually run parts of the experiments and aid the process and progress of science in a schooled, expert and sophisticated manner because they are usually very good at what they do. Like the people who just might have helped him getting his PhD by doing some of the work that he was too lazy/busy to do, because he was doing all the thinky work. Since PZ Myers appears to have divorced himself not only from skepticism, but also from conducting actual research, this lapse might be somewhat excusable, this knowledge long having made room for cocktail bar menus and speaking track schedules, the ABC of the international atheist speech jet set (not).
In any case, they will be delighted to know what their merry ‘colleague’ thinks of them, while he giggles and snickers about the silly lowly plebs that are merely good for juggling test tubes and turning centrifuges on, off and on again for him. I don’t know if my impression of his impression of their work is correct, but he gives me enough reasons to think it’s true. It’s this bad-ass attitude that he brings to the table, the back pack filled with cans of online whoopass of the finest kind.
People chose careers for all kinds of reasons. Personal interests, guidance, wealth (or that of their parents), access to learning material (which, with the advent of the internet luckily has become much easier), ambition and ability. As you might think, some of these are often not available and in some cases unreachable. Some people might be unhappy in their jobs, others not. To me, being a stenographer, a mime, a lab technician sounds awesome. If one of my kids could make a living with any of these, I would be proud of them. Heck, even if they couldn’t, I would be. Which is why giving people shit for the honest, useful jobs they do grinds my gears ever so slightly. It exposes a very critical aspect of online justice warriordom:
The total fucking lack of a bit of class consciousness.
I don’t consider myself to have socialistic or marxist ambitions. I usually avoid the word class at all, because it tends to put people in bins that are often useless and demeaning, even though some might wear them with pride. But the idea that everyone is a blank slate at birth, especially when it comes to economic affairs, is rubbish. So not being a class A++ academic at a prestigious institute of learning like PZ Myers is no shame in any way. Not all people will pull this off, for various reasons. Working there as a lab technician, gardener, secretary, janitor, administrator, accountant, cafeteria clerk etc.. is no shame. Shaming people who do these important jobs, telling them that it’s an insult to be associated or compared to them, is a fucking shame.
Here you have a guy with enough financial backing to live in his own house, happily married, highly educated, jetting around the country and continents, getting drunk on conventions, asking women from the stage without any hint of innuendo to have sex with him. Who basically shits all over people who don’t happen to be writers, or doctors, comedians or scientists like him. Who at the same time, laments the privilege he possesses, but doesn’t give too much of a damn about when it comes to people who he thinks as his lessers, or do not fit into his favourite-victim-of-unjustices-others-perpetrate-but-not-me-bin.
As you can see, being a bigot and a hypocrite at the same time isn’t that difficult. Who wants to hear that kind of crap from a fart in the wind like PZ Myers anymore?
A Fellow Fart in the Wind
H/T to: The Slymepit/Periodic Table of Swearing. An asylum with inmates who have demonstrated that the outside really is crazier than the inside.