Skip to main content

Atheists Gift Humanity With Britain's Most Expensive University

The British news has been filled with the trump of doom - some of the world's leading academics have gotten together and called themselves an institute, as Paul Simon might have said - a private university in London set to charge twice the amount allowed for public universities: £18,000.  What no one seems to have remarked upon is that several of the key figures in this extraordinary move are also the leading British atheist-intellectuals, A.C. Grayling, Richard Dawkins; also to teach is Ronald Dworkin, not known for his support of religious beliefs, to put it mildly.  Also to be teaching is famous atheist and psychologist Stephen Pinker.  The distinguished astrophysicist Lawrence Krauss, a top American atheist, will teach science.  Historian Niall Ferguson, the famous atheist from Harvard, will also teach.  Steve Jones, the controversial atheist scientist, is also on board.  Indeed, it is striking how little has been made of this intellectually homogeneous group of thinkers - what sort of Liberal Arts education can such a group offer, with such little sympathy for one of the key cultural forces in human culture?  Atheists like Dawkins always promise a better world free from religion, but his first major move to create a new form of education in the UK is the least charitable ever announced, and its dog-eat-dog elitism smacks of the worst sort of conservative social Darwinism, despite the claim of the "pink tinge" among the professors. (note: due to helpful comments, I have edited out the reference to Ferguson being Irish; I should also note, these professors also all appear to be white, older, and male, a rather unwelcoming patriarchy for the heart of multicultural London).

Popular posts from this blog


According to the latest CBS, ABC, etc, polls, Clinton is still likely to beat Trump - by percentile odds of 66% to 33% and change. But the current popular vote is much closer, probably tied with the error of margin, around 44% each. Trump has to win more key battleground states to win, and may not - but he is ahead in Florida...

We will all know, in a week, whether we live in a world gone madder, or just relatively mad.

While it seems likely calmer heads will prevail, the recent Brexit win shows that polls can mislead, especially when one of the options is considered a bit embarrassing, rude or even racist - and Trump qualifies for these, at least.

If 42-45% of Americans admit they would vote for Trump, what does that say about the ones not so vocal? For surely, they must be there, as well. Some of the undecided will slide, and more likely they will slide to the wilder and more exciting fringe candidate. As may the libertarians.

Eyewear predicts that Trump will just about manage to win th…


Like a crazed killer clown, whether we are thrilled, horrified, shocked, or angered (or all of these) by Donald Trump, we cannot claim to be rid of him just yet. He bestrides the world stage like a silverback gorilla (according to one British thug), or a bad analogy, but he is there, a figure, no longer of fun, but grave concern.

There has long been a history of misogynistic behaviour in American gangster culture - one thinks of the grapefruit in the face in The Public Enemy, or Sinatra throwing a woman out of his hotel room and later commenting he didn't realise there was a pool below to break her fall, or the polluted womb in Pacino'sScarface... and of course, some gangsta rap is also sexist.  American culture has a difficult way with handling the combined aspects of male power, and male privilege, that, especially in heteronormative capitalist enclaves, where money/pussy both become grabbable, reified objects and objectives (The Wolf of Wall Street for instance), an ugly fus…


The Oscars - Academy Awards officially - were once huge cultural events - in 1975, Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr, Shirley MacLaineandBob Hope co-hosted, for example - and Best Picture noms included The Conversation and Chinatown. Godfather Part 2 won. Last two years, movies titled Birdman and Spotlight won, and the hosts and those films are retrospectively minor, trifling. This year, some important, resonant films are up for consideration - including Hidden Figures and Moonlight, two favourites of this blog. Viola Davis and Denzel Washington will hopefully win for their sterling performances in Fences. However, La La Land - the most superficial and empty Best Picture contender since Gigi in 1959 (which beat Vertigo) - could smite all comers, and render this year's awards historically trivial, even idiotic.

The Oscars often opt for safe, optimistic films, or safe, pessimistic films, that are usually about white men (less often, white women) finding their path to doing the right thin…