One-Hour Fund Drive Special: Celebrating Carlin!

George Carlin is famous in atheist circles for his outspoken critique of religion and religious faith. Overall, he seemed to view religion not only as pertaining to its false claims of the human condition – and of reality itself – but as Marx also viewed religion … ‘as the opiod of the masses.’ He viewed strong religious convictions, at least in regards to their affect on public policy, as one major reason so many Americans are apathetic to the real injustices done in our name by the State.

What fueled Carlin was his keen, if cynical, perspective on the power of power itself, and how we the people need to wake up to what is being done in our name and use critical thinking to bring about a more just society. With whatever one can say about Carlin’s take on human nature (it isn’t our best attribute, he might argue ;) ), underneath the sardonic humor was at least a call to arms for the end of our class-based society and all the inequity within.

Carlin attacked conservatives and centrists (liberals) equally, and tried to take his audience a little to the left with every performance. Tonight we celebrate his legacy.

*An edited version of this interview was previously aired on the October 21, 2007 Fund Drive Special

According to the publisher, “Condemnations of ‘victim politics’ are a familiar feature of American public life. Politicians and journalists across the ideological spectrum eagerly denounce “victimism.” Accusations of “playing the victim” have become a convenient way to ridicule or condemn. President George W. Bush even blamed an Islamic “culture of victimization” for 9/11 … Cole investigates the ideological underpinnings, cultural manifestations, and political consequences of anti-victimism in an array of contexts, including race relations, the feminist movement, conservative punditry, and the U.S. legal system. Being a victim, she contends, is no longer a matter of injuries or injustices endured, but a stigmatizing judgment of individual character. Those who claim victim status are cast as shamefully passive or cynically manipulative.”

Alyson Cole is Assistant Professor of Political Science at Queens College, City University of New York. Her articles have appeared in American Studies, Feminist Studies, the Michigan Law Review, and the National Women’s Studies Association Journal. Her new book is called The Cult of True Victimhood: From the War on Welfare to the War on Terror.

From Answers.com

Best known to audiences as the androgynous, nerdy “Pat” from Saturday Night Live, where she was a cast member from 1990 to 1994, Julia Sweeney actually began her comedy career as an accountant, of all things. Working as a numbers-cruncher for Columbia Pictures in the mid-’80s, Sweeney ignored her degree in economics to pursue comedy. In 1986, she joined the Groundlings, the famous L.A. improvisational troupe that also produced success stories like Conan O’Brien and Lisa Kudrow.

Quentin Tarantino cast her in 1994 in a small role opposite Harvey Keitel in his Oscar-winning film Pulp Fiction. Tarantino then executive-produced what was arguably the most important work of Sweeney’s career: “God Said, Ha!,” a film version of her one-woman Broadway show detailing her “cancer year,” in which she and her now-deceased brother Mike battled the deadly disease. Sweeney has also appeared on the big screen in Clockstoppers, Whatever It Takes, and Stuart Little. In 2004, Sweeney co-starred in two episodes of Frasier and had a guest role on Sex and the City. Sweeney’s 1993 impression of Chelsea Clinton caused somewhat of a stir when Hillary Clinton found it offensive and sent an angry letter to Studio 8H.

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One-Hour Special: The Spirituality of ‘Cause and Effect!’

We occupy a universe in which a continuous causal fabric connects everyone and everything that ever was and ever will be. This is not some silly mumbo-jumbo sounding nonsense, it is evidence-based scientific reality. If we fully take in all that living in a ’cause and effect’ universe implies, a very real alternate way to experience our understanding of ourselves and others begins to emerge.

The evidence based narrative of our 21st century understanding of the nature and operation of our cosmos is much more far fetched and way more intense than any ancient people could have dreamed.

In this hour we will be joined by two articulate physicists: the renowned Chair of the New York University Department of Physics Dr. David Grier, and the chief science writer at the American Institute of Physics Dr. Philip Schewe. Also joining us will be Director of the Center for Naturalism, and a frequent guest on Equal Time for Freethought, Thomas Clark.

Our three guests will help us understand what state of the art knowledge in physics tell us about what we are and how we fit into the cosmos.