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Archive for December, 2011

The 8 Most Awesome Drone Stories of 2011!

December 30th, 2011 by

It’s a list. We hear you like lists.

Compiling this list is always difficult. There are just so many needy nations, upon which our beneficent empire could deliver death from above, that you can’t help but be disappointed by how relatively few we actually oblige. And, of course, this compendium is both wholly subjective, and admittedly incomplete. Perhaps your favorite assassination didn’t make the cut, or you’ll take umbrage with my ranking system. Or maybe one of our awesome Predators killed your entire family with a Hellfire missile, and you’re being a whiny little bitch about it. What can I say? Everyone’s a critic. (more…)


5 Things To Expect From The NBA Season

December 22nd, 2011 by

It’s a sports list. You like lists. You like sports.

The NBA lockout is resolved, so much like Moe Syzlak, I can put off my holiday suicide for another year. But what about the season we’re going to get? Last year’s season was one of the most enjoyable seasons in NBA history. That it ended with Miami’s cabal of evil getting humiliated, while Lebron James froze in the headlights like a slightly more pathetic Bambi, was just the icing on the steak. It’s unknown if this season will be as fun, but here’s a few things to expect from the 2012 NBA season. (more…)


BEASTcast 16: Jill Stein

December 22nd, 2011 by

Murphy chats with the best presidential candidate you’ve never heard of — the Green Party’s Dr. Jill Stein.

For more info on how to take our country back from Wall Street, visit jillstein.org.

Or, you know, just throw your vote away on one of the two-party corporate hacks.



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The 5 Worst Songs of 2011

December 21st, 2011 by

It’s a list. You like lists.

Theoretically, there shouldn’t have been too many horrible songs this year. Ke$ha didn’t make an album, for one, and mavens of mediocrity Taylor Swift, Katy Perry, and Carrie Underwood all mercifully declined to release new music this year. But like evolution and gravity, this is just a theory. (more…)


Blessed Are The Cheesemakers

December 20th, 2011 by

Stupid faitheists act all stupid, again

So it’s getting close to the end of 2011 and like every other group of dipshits in the known universe, science-religion accommodationists are releasing lists of people and things which have warmed their hearts over the past 12 months. Like this one in Religion Dispatches, for instance. (more…)


Christopher Hitchens: Twilight of the Idols

December 18th, 2011 by

An obligatory eulogy for a truly great man

I became a journalist partly so that I wouldn’t ever have to rely on the press for my information.
- The eminently quotable Christopher Hitchens

A people is a detour of nature to get to six or seven great men.— Yes: and then to get round them
- Friedrich Nietzsche

I became a journalist, though some may dispute that title, for remarkably similar reasons. The cacophonous drumbeat for the Iraq War was my political alarm clock. At the time, I was living in Seattle in a place charmingly dubbed “The Heroin Hotel.” The first time I heard the name Christopher Hitchens, I was babysitting a scab-ridden junkie who was going through detox. The building manager/den mother needed to go get some pot for the junkie’s nausea, and asked if I’d keep an eye on him. He was sweating profusely, groaning, and periodically puking into a bucket. I turned on the TV to drown out the painful retching. And there was Hitchens, making an extremely erudite case for war. I thought, “Who is this pretentious, lying piece of shit?” So, for me, Hitchens’s legacy includes both his impeccable grasp of the English language, and the needless death of hundreds of thousands of innocent people.


Though I hated him immediately, what made me dislike him more was that I eventually came to like him. The title of his Mother Teresa takedown, Missionary Position, is enough to enshrine him in the halls of awesomeness for all eternity. And despite his ever-shifting justifications for the Iraq War, it’s damn hard not to appreciate the rhetorical venom he heaped on supremely deserving religious idiots.

As a guy who’s tangentially involved in the skeptic/atheist community, I’m friends with people who’ve shared with him scotch and conversation, and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t somewhat jealous (and when Hitchens actually typed my name, I felt honored). But as a guy who’s tangentially involved in the skeptic/atheist community, Hitchens bothered me greatly, for the same reasons I’m bothered greatly by the skeptic/atheist community: the weird compartmentalization, the seeming inability to apply that cold reason to politics. How much more useful would these smart people be in discrediting myths like Saddam’s WMD than, say, obviously ridiculous propositions like God or chupacabras?

Hitchens can be counted among a tragic number of intellectuals to whom 9/11 represented the moment they stopped being intellectuals. He was so quick to denounce Islam, for its role in “terrorism,” without a) honestly defining terrorism, and b) sufficiently addressing its underlying socioeconomic motivations. The fact of the matter is that what we call “terrorism” is just relatively ineffective warfare for poor people. I’m all for mocking every religion, publishing the odd Muhammad (PB&J) cartoon, and challenging the moronic political correctness of the left. But without repeatedly addressing — or ignoring altogether — the root causes of terrorism, Hitchens proved himself as myopic as Sam Harris. (And if you’re in doubt about Harris being more a reactionary than he is guided by empirical data, check out this debate he had with Robert Wright. And, sorry, but if you’re unswayed by Wright’s fact-based arguments it’s likely because you’re an illogical Harris fanboy/girl.)

Religion, just like hating religion, can be used to justify all manner of terrible things. One of those terrible things was the Iraq War — even though it had absolutely nothing to do with it. Christopher Hitchens used his undeniable genius to help justify one of the greatest tragedies of our time. And reading a near-endless string of sycophantic goodbyes from people who’re supposed to pride themselves on their capacity to reason is, for me, a great deal sadder than his untimely death.

(And for a more thorough, and likely satisfying, counterpoint to the slew of postmortem blowjobs, read this excellent Alex Pareene piece at Salon – or this equally honest obit by John Cook at Gawker.)

In Hitchens’s last article for Vanity Fair, he rightly eviscerated Nietzsche for his notoriously awful sentiment: “Whatever doesn’t kill me makes me stronger.” But Freddy had a point about humanity being a detour to get to a few great people, and then round them. For some atheists and skeptics, Christopher Hitchens could arguably be counted among the few great people we needed to get to. And now we need to get past him.



BEASTcast 15: Gregory Paul

December 15th, 2011 by

Murphy talks to freelance researcher, author, illustrator, paleontologist, and atheist firebrand Gregory Paul about the science of religion, religion’s adverse affect on societies, the hypocrisy of the religious right, the evils of libertarianism, and the empirical truth behind the 99% movement. (more…)


I'm Trying Not To Be A Dick About Community

December 8th, 2011 by

But do you have to have such shitty taste, America?!

When Arrested Development was being gushed about (but not watched) on a weekly basis, I felt a bit conflicted. I liked the show. I really did. But damn were the fans annoying. Any week you didn’t watch, you had your intelligence insulted, and people acted like you were contributing to greatest injustice in human history. “Fine, go watch your fucking Two And A Half Men, you goddamned Philistine!” (more…)


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