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August 1, 2011

Hey everybody! Look at me!

by juju2112

20110801-100842.jpgDuring the Q&A at FreeOK, someone asked the panel of speakers what they thought of the Amazing Atheist. Their response surprised me.

The Thinking Atheist related that he felt The Amazing Atheist’s videos centered too much around himself. The implication seemed to be that there was a “look at me” vibe in the videos. I guess the feeling was that this detracts from his message.

I was shocked at this. He has some great videos. And that’s people main takeaway from them?? I was telling a friend after the conference that I never got that impression from The Amazing Aheist, and they said, “Really? He’s always promoting his books in his videos, and he even has a documentary”. I’d never thought of it that way.

The Thinking Atheist expanded on that, saying while it was a necessary evil that everyone on the panel had to promote themselves to get their message out there, he hopes that it isn’t “all about him”. It should be about the message and the community.

I put my real name and face on this blog, and I have a fear that this will be seen as a cry for internet fame. The real reason is that I want to put a human face on atheism. I want the theists I criticize to see that I’m one of their neighbors before they think about demonizing me. With so many atheists in the closet in Arkansas, I think it’s important. It’s my way of taking a stand.

You have to promote yourself to get your message read, but the moment you get excited when the hits start coming in, you’re being egotistical. I’m not sure how I feel about that.

Dusty Smith, of Cult of Dusty fame, recently lamented that he isn’t selling as many t-shirts as he would like. Making videos, doing podcasts, and posting blogs takes a lot of time. I don’t think it’s too unreasonable to want to get a profit from it. It doesn’t turn me off at all. Dusty’s videos are awesome. I look forward to every new one. What’s the difference between him and The Amazing Atheist?

But on the other hand, I only post stuff because I enjoy getting my thoughts out there. That, and people can’t delete my posts here when they disagree with them.

On another note, it was weird walking around the church at FreeOK and seeing Internet celebrities like Matt Dillahunty and AronRa in the flesh. There was a moment when I was coming back from the bathroom and had to pass between Matt and someone else he was talking to. I looked him in the eyes as I was walking past, and I could tell when he saw me that he knew that I knew who he was. I just kept on going, because who needs strangers accosting you all the time? It is definitely weird to have watched someone speak for hundreds of hours and realize they’re still really a stranger to you.

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