What the Hell is Matt? July 16, 2008

What the Hell is Matt?

You’ve probably seen Matt Harding‘s amazing video by now. (He’s the guy who dances everywhere in the world.)

But obviously, the question you all want answered is: What religion is he?

He’s a Humanist 🙂

From his FAQ:

Are you religious?

If you’re asking, you probably don’t want to hear the answer.

Come on. Didn’t dancing with all those people make you think about God?

I figure I’ll find out the answers to that stuff eventually. And if I don’t, I don’t. Either way, it doesn’t really affect how I behave.

When I do good, I feel good. When I do bad, I feel bad. That is my religion. -Abraham Lincoln

He even takes a nice jab at Intelligent Design:

Why didn’t you die from jellyfish stings in Palau?

There is a place in Palau called Jellyfish Lake. Long ago, the lake connected with the surrounding ocean, but at some point it got closed off. Without any predators to worry about, the lake’s jellyfish population evolved — oh, I’m sorry, “intelligently [designed]” — to lose their stingers…

Just in case you needed another reason to appreciate the guy 🙂

(Thanks to Michael for the link!)

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Ron in Houston

    Matt was already “pretty cool” for bringing people together. But now I elevate him to awesome.

  • Gabriel

    This is the first time I saw this video or heard of this guy. I loved how happy everyone looked even when they were in really poor countries or dangerous places. I would love to know how he was able to visit all of those places. Is he wealthy? I have been to some of them but most of them were because the navy sent me. He seems like a really neat guy. I am glad that I saw this after I read the post about the hate mongering jackass out of NC.

  • Wow! He’s even been weightless! That’s the closest you get to God!

  • I can’t decide what’s cooler in that video, the shots of him dancing with kids, with lemurs, or in freefall. I think that video is just concentrated joyfulness. I couldn’t stop smiling through the entire thing and even started tearing up a little, so many happy people in so many places even some where you know life is hard they found time to dance and be happy.

  • Julie

    I’ve watched that video so many times and now it’s here on Friendly Atheist, and I’ll end up watching it again! I love this guy. He was into travel and did that little dance just to be funny, the way some people will take a picture with a little souvenir every place they go. That was his little thing he did, and he edited the clips together just for friends. Then the video he made ended up circulating on the web and getting tons of hits. Cadbury Adams asked him to do another one and paid his way around the world as a promotion for Stride gum. So now he’s made three videos, and this is the most recent one. All these people who have contacted him came out to dance in the videos. (And he paid those Papua New Guinea guys, I think.)

    He has lectures about how this all came to be on Youtube. He’s really great! That video makes me cry, too. Just so cool. If you can watch some of the outtakes and other stuff on Youtube, you really get a sense of what an awesome guy he is.

  • Siamang

    Some of you may have already seen my answer to Matt’s singing world travels. It’s me and my family in a video where we crossed Matt with the Numa-Numa guy.

  • Desert Son

    Noadi wrote,

    I think that video is just concentrated joyfulness.

    Couldn’t agree more. Pure joy.

    Hats off to Matt. I used to think the world would be a better place if everyone had a chance, in moments of real existential suffering, to sit quietly with someone they loved and have some ice cream. Now I think we need more spontaneous goofy dancing. Throw in ice cream, too, might as well.

    No kings,


  • A vast majority of funny and intelligent people are humanist, atheist, agnostic, secular, or otherwise nonreligious. That’s another point for us.

  • Julie

    Great video, Siamang. Your little girl was so cute back then…she still is, but she’s…louder…these days!

  • TXatheist

    Very nice Siamang and you had me for a second, I thought you might have song that song until I read it was Frank Sinatra(not that I dislike him, I’m just not familiar with his stuff)

  • TXatheist

    Gabriel, his FAQ answers the question I had too, how does he afford it…
    How do you afford all this travel?

    I saved up at my job for a few years and then quit. That’s the simple answer.

    It also doesn’t cost as much as a lot of folks think. Aside from the flights, I spend less on any given day than I would sitting at home paying utilities, car insurance, parking tickets (I get a lot of parking tickets)…

    If you visit regions like Southeast Asia, Eastern Europe, South America, and most of Africa — and you’re willing to rough it a little — you can get by on dollars a day.

    More recently, with the crazy and unexpected response to the first dancing video, I’ve been lucky enough to find help getting to those hard-to-reach places. So no, I didn’t fund the whirlwind, seven-continent escapade with the money I tucked away making videogames.

  • WONDERFUL video.

    I hadn’t seen it before… I was’t here around the first time the video was posted.

  • I’ve been a fan of Matt for a while…. His movie was one of the first things I put on my new blog. I try to check in with Youtube once in a while to see if he’s done anything new. I had a strong feeling he was “humanistic”. Go Matt! And that song is captivating, no?

  • Honestly, I shed a couple tears the first time I watched this. He made a beautiful video that shows many different people from many different places having fun. It made me think of how we’re all in this life together now. Wow. Now I randomly watch it once a week whenever I feel a little down and it always makes me smile.

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