[originally posted on the Freethinkers Mailing List (https://groups NULL.google NULL.com/d/msg/freethinkers-club/xgoDM-Gbg1E/zTSacb3L1VcJ)]
At one point I found myself controlling a bee with Richard Dawkins on its back, attempting to grab as much honey as I could from the clutches of the religious.
Before that, I spotted a Photoshop of the cover of Dawkins’ memoir, altered so that he now had an “appetite for honey” as he gazed intently into a little jar of the stuff.
Before that, I was puzzled at the uproar over Dawkins’ silly little tweet (https://twitter NULL.com/RichardDawkins/status/396956105869250561).
Bin Laden has won, in airports of the world every day. I had a little jar of honey, now thrown away by rule-bound dundridges. STUPID waste.
And it is silly, really. Complaints about the TSA were boring way back in 2008, and people who look nothing like distinguished English professors have suffered far worse than the loss of a jar of honey. It was more blind privilege from Dawkins, but that’s not news either and this was trivial compared to his previous Twitter escapades.
I’m not the only one puzzled. Here’s the man himself:
I say nothing of the feeble jokes on “bee” and “be” and Pooh Bear. My point here is the one brought out by my encounter with the bank clerk. What is it that renders some people incapable of conceiving how a person might be motivated not by narrow self-interest but by a public-spirited concern for the common weal?
The pieces never clicked into place for me until I read a blog post by Tom Foss (http://dubitoergosum NULL.net/2013/11/03/perspective/):
Stop whining, will you. Yes, yes, I know you get stopped and harassed and interrogated and strip searched every time you try to travel . . . yawn [. . .] But stop whining, will you. Think of the suffering your poor British brothers have to put up with.
Only this week I heard of one, he calls himself “Richard Dawkins,” and do you know what happened to him? A TSA security agent took away his jar of honey.
A-ha. Dawkins’ infamous “Dear Muslimina (http://skepchick NULL.org/2011/07/the-privilege-delusion/)” was an admonition to be silent. Don’t bring up trivial things like the harassment of women, because there are less trivial things happening elsewhere. It was also a green flag to the trolls and harassers now plaguing skepticism, a signal that the most prominent members of the community would look the other way or silently support them.
So when Dawkins’ silly little tweet floated into the ether, a segment of the skeptic/atheist community decided to Muslimina right back. Fueled by long-simmering frustrations over his privilege blindness, and aided by religious opponents eager to poke him with a stick, the mockery quickly went viral. This only caused everyone to push harder; at long last, Dawkins would get a taste of what happened to Rebecca Watson after ElevatorGate, he’d experience a full plate of mockery and derision flung into his face (but with the rapey bits removed; even the mob has standards, sometimes). A small bit of justice would be served.
And true to form, Dawkins is completely clueless to it all (http://www NULL.theguardian NULL.com/commentisfree/2013/nov/05/honey-trap-plane-richard-dawkins-twitter).
Unfortunately, when I returned to make a similar point on Twitter this week, I foolishly chose a peg that was vulnerable to misinterpretation as self-interested. And the result was a puerile display of sniggering frivolity such as only Twitter can serve up.
Dawkins spends most of the article beaming about all the good works he’s done elsewhere; the honey-related bits are practically a footnote, and he doesn’t even try comprehending the point of the circus.
Admittedly, I needed some assistance to grasp what was happening. But when Dawkins is faced with tweets like (http://freethoughtblogs NULL.com/butterfliesandwheels/2013/11/he-had-a-little-jar-of-honey/)
@RichardDawkins Oh. And @rebeccawatson not wanting creeps hitting on her in lifts is *not* a matter of PRINCIPLE? #DoubleStandards
What excuse does he have?