Ya, ya, ya, I know. You hate Richard Dawkins. Unless you are one of those people that love Richard Dawkins. Then you love Richard Dawkins. I can't think of many other figures who people either wildly love or people wildly hate aside from, say, Hitler.
Where do I stand when it comes to Richard Dawkins? I like him. I just can't help but like him. To me, he is a likeable character. Others don't see that, but I do. I just like him, his style, his ideas, his intelligence and his cool accent. I do see him as a smart guy who says a whole lot of spot on things. Perfect? Of course now. I don't worship him as a messiah. I see him as a guy with ideas that I tend to agree with and like.
Is he cantankerous? Yes, in a soft, gentle voiced kind of way. Is he more cantankerous than anyone he is challenging? Nine times out of ten (a number I am pulling out of my butt) the answer is no.
Hey, there is nothing wrong with stirring stuff up at times, especially when it needs to be stirred up. And Dawkins is not afraid to do just that, no matter how much it pisses people off. And, frankly, sometimes the people that he pisses off deserve to have someone piss them off. And, more often than not, they are going to be pissed off about something anyway.
Case in point: The most recent controversy that Richard Dawkins is part of where he was supposed to be a speaker at the Northeast Conference on Science and Scepticism (NECSS), however, he tweeted a video that has been deemed highly offensive (which, it is and it isn't. I thought it made some good points) and now he is no longer going to be speaking at said event. I wrote about the whole incident here at Reverb Press.
Man, do I feel that NECSS made a bad move. Why? I felt that Dawkins actually handled the entire situation around the video quite reasonably. I see what he saw in the video and the message it sent. I get it. I understand. It counters extremist ideas and hypocrisy. It does so in a crude, yet rather humourous fashion, quite frankly. But, someone at NECSS didn't like it. And, as a result, Dawkins has been turfed as a speaker, which seems to be the way it is these days. It really doesn't seem to take much to get ditched as a speaker. One misguided tweet here or there, and bam, everyone hates you. And it seems that those getting turfed the most are people on the left being pissed off at other people on the left. What's the deal with that?? The left doesn't seem interested in actually talking and discussing things amongst one another. It just seems to have this script that all on the left are supposed to go by and if you don't, gawd forbid, you are in deep trouble, man. You are cut out of the pack, vilified, demonized, left for dead. It's a left eat left world out there, people.
Now, I feel that I am pretty far on the left. But, come on my fellow lefties, you guys are sticks in the mud! You get pissed off and offended way too easy these days. People are condemning Dawkins saying he is his own worst enemy. No. He isn't. The left is it's own worst enemy and I feel like it's crashing in around me, going all bonkers. In fact, in many ways, I think people like Richard Dawkins are the only SANE ones left on the left.
So, ya, fine, you don't like Richard Dawkins. You are entitled to not like him. Just, chill out a bit, okay. Not everyone is going to say everything you want them to say exactly how you want them to say it all the time. Getting pissed off and cutting fellow leftists out because they tweeted a video you don't like just doesn't seem like the mature and reasonable way of dealing with it. Let's chat, let's talk, discuss openly, debate, but this whole shutting people down and pushing them out? Really? Do we need to be doing that?