I started posting on Skeptical Eye a while ago, and I thought I’d share my thoughts on it here. Basically, I have some criticisms and I don’t think it’s polite to air them on a blog that I was invited to be a contributor for. You aren’t supposed to look a gift horse in the mouth… but this horse ain’t got no teeth.
First of all, SE is run by a guy who is an “anarchist.” No, those quotes aren’t nice… let’s use Anarchist with a big “A,” whereby “anarchy” is what a country descends into when it becomes lawless and “Anarchy” is what a country ascends to when it no longer needs laws.
As a philosophical concept, Anarchy is all well and good, but it requires a sort of gradual evolution of governance. I believe a country that practices socialism can ascend to anarchy, but not a greedy capitalist oligarchy. You can’t skip a step. Anarchy’s success lies in the need for a population that will willingly and spontaneously help others, not one whose mantra is, “What’s mine is mine.”
But beyond the irreconcilable differences in political structure, I have several other problems with the basic ideals of Skeptical Eye. For one thing, the posters play the same tired old tunes popularized by right-wingers everywhere.
They all rail against the MSM (that’s “Main Stream Media,” for those of you who aren’t fluent in bat-shit-crazy). And yet, oddly enough, a good number of the posts are nothing but cut and paste stories from well established right-wing news sources, and there’s a healthy helping of Faux News clips from YouTube.
Look, if you’re going to pretend to be unbiased, you have to get your news from sources that are not overtly ideological. I don’t watch Keith Olberman, nor would I post a video of his. I don’t go posting every other clever thing Jon Stewart of Stephen Colbert says. I don’t read the Huffington Post. I don’t even read that… SomethingKos or whatever it is that the liberal kids are reading these days.
Cutting the strings from liberally biased media has allowed my ideology to grow and evolve beyond the stale, pre-packaged, mass-manufactured trash that Democrats sling. Right-wingers and anarchists would do well to wean themselves off of Fox News’ nipple. If they do, maybe they can finally take some baby steps in a new direction, instead of just being an unwitting mouthpiece for the pseudo-Libertarians, aka Republicans.
Which reminds me… SE is run by someone who hates intellectual property. This makes sense for someone who rarely writes his own stuff and usually just fills his blog with conservative talking points borrowed from others. I would call it lazy, but it’s actually more whorish, because SE has ads.
And boy are the ads hilarious. SE uses Google advertising, so keywords from the site trigger certain ads. A criticism of Christine O’Donnell yields her bright, smiling face asking for donations in the sidebar. Criticism of religion results in Bible Study College opportunities in the top bar. Criticism of banks… yep, you guessed it. Pretty much everything you try to criticize will get its respective ad displayed.
It has never occurred to me to stop posting on the site. I just appreciate the soap box and the ability to get my writing torn apart by packs of rabid right-wingers. Too often, I think liberals shy away from competition, from adversity, from criticism… really from anything difficult. I want an ideology tempered in fire, and that means taking some heat.
To top it all off, most days I honestly feel like I’m done talking about religion. “Anything But Theist” is more or less obsolete to me. What more can I say? “Religion is full of shit,” what else is there? More importantly, what does it matter? Religion only matters to the religious, and all of the “problems” I have with religion are ultimately political ones which are argued either for or against in non-religious terms.
It’s times like these I wish I hadn’t renamed my blog a year ago and completely retooled it to be centered on atheism. Oh regrets… do you ever stop piling up?
So, in the coming weeks, I may or may not start another blog. If I do, I’ll probably do what I did last time and transfer all of my posts to a new location while leaving the old site up as an archive (so old links keep working). Or maybe I’ll keep this one as-is and just start posting more here, even though it won’t usually be about atheism.
It’s a tough call… abandon a blog that no one reads but which I can convince myself is doing okay because I have 70+ followers (more than I ever expected), or start over and force myself to build my [non-]following all over again.
For all the shit I talk about SE, it’s just nice to have your ideas read, and we atheists are just not dedicated. It’s not in our nature to get passionate and fired up and to stay motivated and active in a community.
Atheist blogging goes like this: post some stuff, no one reads it, comment on other people’s blogs, they comment on yours, and if you both agree… you never talk to each other again. If you disagree, one person makes fun of the other person’s mom and their comment gets deleted… and you never talk to each other again. It’s really discouraging, and it’s not surprising that most atheists burn out quickly in the blogosphere.
I have a lot of steam left in me to write, and religion will probably always be a passion of mine, but how many times and in how many ways can I really say, “I know more than religious people?”