PZ Raises the White Flag! May 29, 2011

PZ Raises the White Flag!

PZ Myers knows he can’t beat the horde of bloggers trying to raise more money than him for Camp Quest… So now, he says he’s throwing the challenge and encouraging people to donate to us!

He’s just trying to save face, so that when he loses, he can say he wanted to lose…

Fine by me. Whatever it takes for him to shave most of his beard. (Which my side will then auction off to the highest bidder. Just to rub it in.)

We even have a rallying poem!

Now the underdog team has a simple request:
If in humankind’s future you’d like to invest,
There are many good reasons to give to Camp Quest
And no reason at all to ignore us
The underdog team could be best of the best
And defeat the Monster of Morris!

And bribes for when we win!

  • Adam Lee at Daylight Atheism will grow a beard
  • Matt Dillahunty at The Atheist Experience TV program will do an episode of the show in drag.
  • JT Eberhard of WWJTD? will shave his head… and wax his legs
  • Greta Christina will sing karaoke.
  • Jen McCreight will videotape herself learning how to ride a bike for the first time.

And I will… um… I’m not sure yet. I’ll do something that won’t get me fired from my job. I’m open to suggestions.

JT’s already decided I’m giving away my body. (Or, according to the rules of Magic, I can be used temporarily. Same thing either way, right?)

Go Team Beat PZ!

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  • HP

    I think you should offer to be rude to an unpleasant person.

    It’ll be tough for you, but think of the children!

  • Ben

    Gotta love PZ….I admire people who call things the way they see them. He does that.

  • John Small Berries

    I’m not familiar with Magic: The Gathering, so I have to ask: does “they may tap Hemant Mehta” have some meaning in the context of the game?

    Or is it the same meaning as in “I’d tap that ass”?

  • Richard Wade

    And I will… um… I’m not sure yet. I’ll do something that won’t get me fired from my job. I’m open to suggestions.

    I suggest an encore of the traditional Indian wedding dance you did two years ago. You really danced well. It was fun to watch, and you looked like you enjoyed it. This time do it solo.

    You could make it even more interesting by doing it in some unexpected location, or wearing something incongruous. Not to humiliate you, just to have fun.

  • ACN

    I’m not familiar with Magic: The Gathering, so I have to ask: does “they may tap Hemant Mehta” have some meaning in the context of the game?

    In the context of the game, tapping is roughly analogous to “exhausting”. Many abilities or spells require tapping as part of the costs associated to play them, and since things only become untapped at the beginning of your turn, it acts as an additional in-game resource. Since the card has a power/toughness, Hemant is creature, and tapped creatures are “too tired” to attack or block.

    Do with that what you will 🙂

  • Potco

    I vote you get a Mohawk.

  • Anonymous

    Shouldn’t that be:

    legendary creature – Friendly Atheist

  • ACN

    Hemant is unique. It should probably have the legendary supertype. 🙂

  • tinker

    it seems to cost a lot to come out.

  • Vas

    Matt Dillahunty at The Atheist Experience TV program will do an episode of the show in drag.

    Real nice Matt, this the the equivalent of saying he would do an episode in blackface. This is an asshole move plain and simple, it implies pretty clearly that “Drag” or dressing in the normative attire of the opposite gender, (opposite to the person donning the attire) is somehow a humiliation. Hemant I urge to disassociate yourself from Matt’s efforts and the painfully obvious anti LGBT bias, (or perhaps it is just an anti transgender bias, which is sadly common among heterosexuals as well as homosexuals).
    So… just how in the fuck do you justify this nonsense? Will you address it or hide your head in the sand? Are you too insensitive to have noticed, (fixable) or do you just not care a wit about this type of mocking bullshit.

    (Insert rage man here)


  • Hemant:

    I love you! You’re adorable and smart and funny and a great asset to The Cause. You’re also very cute. If I were not an old married lady….well, never mind. Just keep doing what you’re doing. 😉 And thanks.

  • stellaluna

    are you bagging on monty python? you really need to chill on that whole pc police trip.

  • Vas

    oh right the PC police… you sound like a tea bagger. If you want to justify slights to marginalized populations at least have the stones to just come out and say it. It’s easy to toss off tired platitudes complaining about the “pc police” because you want to be on the side of bald faced bigotry while keeping your distance at the same time. The pc police bit is transparent at best, often used by bigots that want to carry on doing the same bullshit they have gotten away with in the past because no one dared to call them out on it. If people want to continue on slagging off marginalized groups they can, but to insist that others chill out, (sit down and shut up) is another matter all together. Point and yell cop at me till you are blue in the face but guess what, I will not sit down and shut up.

  • Brandon Lawler

    I would have thought you’d be a green card.

  • Gabe

    Come on, Vas. It isn’t in any way an insult to women OR transgender people. He’s not saying that there’s anything wrong with it, it’s just that it’s humiliating BECAUSE he’s not transgender or a woman. Think of it this way: I don’t know whether you’re gay or straight, but just assuming you’re straight, wouldn’t you find it humiliating to have sex with another person of the same sex as you? I think most people would – not because they think there’s anything wrong with being gay, but because they themselves are not.

  • NotYou007

    Damn, Vas. You need to chill and relax a tad. I would really enjoy seeing Matt in drag and I’m a bi-sexual male who is into cross-dressing.

    I don’t find Matt sexy but it still would give me a good laugh to see him in drag.

    As for Hemant doing something crazy. I second the solo Indian dance.

  • Vas

    Well screw me, it appears many people are still happy to buy a ticket to the minstrel show.

    NotYou007 I’m not at all surprised at your reaction sadly enough. In as much as you self identify as bi-sexual and a cross-dresser you should know all too well the common indignities bi-sexuals suffer at the hands of the straight community not to mention the even greater ration of shit dished out by the lesbian and gay communities. Have you never been told that bi-sexuals don’t even really exist? Did you somehow miss statements like you are just greedy, can never maintain a stable relationship, it’s just a phase, one day you’ll just accept the fact that you are gay, you’re really gay but have relationships with woman so you can enjoy straight privilege, you’re just a slut, and on and on. Have you not noticed that almost zero dollars of grant money go to NOPs that serve bi-sexuals despite the fact that bi-sexual people have always been at the forefront of the gay rights movement all the way back to Stonewall, ( I think there may have been a few drag queens involved in there somewhere as well) and beyond and even to this day continue to be leaders in LGBT organizations. All this grief despite the fact that bi-sexuals may well be the biggest single group in the LGBT community, an uncounted and invisible majority without a voice many claim. And how do you as a bi-sexual react? With a sit down shut up dismissal i.e. “chill and relax a bit”. This is not the road to social change, this is not the road equal treatment. For a while now atheists have been all too happy to point to surveys that place them as the least trusted group in America, I’m guessing that, as usual, bi-sexuals where excluded from the list… invisible. This is what happens when people always let shit slide and chill out. Bi-sexuals have no political power at all and are used as sacrificial lambs by their so called allies, back burner for you pal, “we’ll get to it later”.

    Gabe, thanks for the assumptions, I guess straight is the “default” position huh.
    Screw it, I’m done with this thread. Go ahead and paint on the black face, take a knee and sing mammy, I’m sure it will be a hoot.

  • stellaluna

    no seriously vas you need to relax. you’ll give yourself an aneurysm. i’m sorry this is not the angry emotional response you were hoping to elicit by calling me a teabagger, nevertheless no one is attacking transgendered people here. there’s more than enough vitriol in this world, please don’t spew more.

  • Friday13

    @vas: Dude, seriously, chill the fark out. You could have made your point without the GWoT, and flipping out on people who tell you to calm down is only gonna get your BP up so high it’ll start to boil.

    As for the rest of the article, when PZ made that statement, he was actually pretty far ahead…I’m thinking he did this more for the humiliation factor than the bragging factor: after all, he is the “number one evil atheist” 🙂

  • Santiago

    Uhmm, Stellaluna, Gabe and NotYou007, I think you guys might be the ones that need to reflect on a few things right now. Five minutes ago I would’ve agreed with you but after Vas’ comment I’m not sure you’re saying very smart things at the moment.
    One thing I’m pretty sure of, regardless of anything else, is that it WOULD feel insulting if a woman found it humiliating to wear men’s clothes (I’m male). They generally don’t, so we haven’t had a chance to feel insulted, but at the very least that’s evidence of a double standard. If Jen had offered to make a video of herself in drag as part of her bribe it would NOT have been seen as a punishment. There is DEFINITELY a double standard and that should ring alarm bells all over the place.

  • stellaluna

    santiago- on further reflection i’m afraid i still deeply disagree with you and vas. he has a legitimate complaint about the treatment of bisexuals & transgendered individuals, but a vehement attack was not warranted in this situation. and monty python is still really fucking funny.

  • NotYou007

    Vas as an atheist I get told all the time I don’t exsist but that is besides the point. You are getting your undies in a bunch over nothing but that is your right.

    Good day.

  • Vas

    Yeah so I slept on it and I’m back…
    Stellaluna, first things first, I did not call you a tea bagger, I said you sound like a tea bagger, in as much as when someone is being called out on bigoted behavior, that folks feel they have the right to engage in, (and indeed they do have the right) their response is word for word exactly the same as your response, an off the shelf platitude designed to shut down dialogue. The emotional response that seems appropriate is not getting pissed off at me, but rather a bit of introspection and examination of why you support actions that further marginalize an already marginalized population. These are people who are murdered right here in America for simply having the unmitigated audacity to be seen in public.

    I’m not going to have an aneurism, my blood pressure is not up nor boiling. To me these personal attacks seem like a reworking of telling women they are hysterical, it’s a tactic to divert attention from the issue at hand by belittling the opposition.

    Santiago is correct this kind of stuff should sound alarm bells and it would be a good thing to closely examine why such things are found to be acceptable.

    At least try and put yourself in the place of a transgendered person on this issue for just a moment. Someone says that if they lose a bet they will dress up as someone from your community as their punishment. Or even flip it around, if people help me win a bet I’ll humiliate myself by dressing up as member of your community, because I couldn’t think of anything more humiliating off the top of my head, than appearing publically as a transvestite. Oh just think of all the crap I’m going to take over this, my friends will tease me and call me unkind names, someone might even be so bold as to grab my ass or make mocking sexual comments. But at the end of the mistrial show I can take off my makeup and settle back safely into my place of privilege, the teasing will stop for the most part, although some will bring it up from time to time to get my goat, but hey no harm done, at least not to me anyway. It’s all just good fun and I never have to face the consequences of keeping negative stereotypes and open hostility alive and socially sanctioned. But let’s have a quick look and some of the people who do have to pick up the tab on this type of thing…


    Go ahead and have a good long look at this list of dead people, yep real dead people. People who were persecuted in life, called “it” and worse, people who were systematically dehumanized making it all too easy to slaughter them in cold blood and leave them to rot in some out of the way place.

    The type of thing Matt proposes doing is a part of the problem that leads to the devaluing of these people, it makes it seem alright to mock them and sends the message that being transgendered is a humiliation. Matt my well be a good guy, perhaps he didn’t even think of the ramifications of his proposal. But alas the ramifications are real and the result is all too often a horrible death. Go back to the link and read the names again, think about the families and their grief, then tell me again how I’m over reacting and how this is no big deal.

  • JSR

    As someone who is both trans and bi (I only mention bi because it was brought up for some reason, what does being bi in and of itself have to do with gender performance?), drag is in no way an insult to the transgender community (in fact, some definitions include drag performance as part of the trans* umbrella) and there are plenty of trans* people who perform drag. Does anyone in here even know the rich history of drag before they assumed it was an insult to trans* people, especially considering that it seems like everyone making this argument is cis?

  • Santiago

    Hey guys, I’m hoping we can continue a civil discussion here, I’d just like to add my 2 cents:

    – Stellaluna: accusing Vas on being on a ‘PC police trip’ was not a good idea. It reeks of what sexist/homophobic/racist people respond with when called out on their prejudices (please note I’m NOT calling you any of the above, I only intend to highlight why using the ‘PC Police’ card is often not the wisest choice.) There may be cases when one can criticize someone for being too PC but as you’ve said yourself Vas has a legitimate point and so should not have been dismissed in that way.
    – Gabe: I’m sorry to say your comment above is unbelievably cringe-worthy. I am straight but no, I would *NOT* consider it a humiliation to sleep with someone of the same sex (as long as there is consent of both parties, of course). I don’t believe a straight woman dressing in drag would ever feel like being in a “humiliating” position so there’s no reason why a man should.

    – In general: cut Vas some slack, he highlighted an egregious double standard that is incredibly insulting to trans-gendered people and what he got in reply was people ignoring his point and criticizing his tone. I personally would not have realized how insulting the “drag-as-humiliation” concept could be had he not used such outrage in his first comment.

  • P.

    You could always grow an ironic mustache. Like, the kind you have to wax into the curly evil-villian mustache shape and everything.

  • Vas

    JRS – I’m not saying drag in and of its self is an insult to trans* people. I am well familiar with the rich history of drag. But the idea of straight guys crossdressing as a form of public humiliation still sits wrong with me in a big way. Just to be 100% clear I don’t think drag is an insult to transgendered people, but it certainly can be used as a tool of the privileged to attack transgendered people i.e the SNL sketch about Estro-Maxx. That wasn’t even humor, there was no joke, just sneering, mocking, thinly veiled bigotry. It should be easy enough for Matt to find a different humiliation for himself, one that does not marginalize and mock others, not that anyone has asked him to, I imagine this discussion may still be off his radar. Perhaps the most useful thing to do would be to get his take on this and see if he feels like changing course. I’m not attacking Matt I’m questioning the wisdom of his idea. I just don’t see why it would be important to follow through with this particular stunt when you consider the cost to others. Wouldn’t any stunt do?
    I’m willing to cut Matt some slack, after all, for all I know he may be using this as an excuse to come out as transgendered. If that’s the case then he should just be clear about it, if it’s just a case of mocking and marginalizing then maybe it’s just best to move on to another idea. What makes it important for him to do this? Why on earth would it be important for someone to use the lives of transgendered people as a punch line?

  • Santiago

    Vas, more likely than not he (Matt) simply doesn’t understand the implications of what he’s doing. Almost certainly he doesn’t mean to be malicious, he just doesn’t think that he’s hurting anyone. You could try sending him an e-mail.
    If you do contact him I suggest you make sure that your arguments are calm and not accusatory. He does not mean harm by his “bribe”, he’s simply not aware of the offence he’s causing.

  • So, Vas e-mails me to point me to his comments here – promising “nothing I said there is a personal attack on you but I do think the whole concept of the drag thig may be ill advised,”


    You’re an idiot and a liar…I have no idea how you think there’s no personal attack there with the “asshole move”, calls for Hemant to disassociate himself from me and the raging FU comments.

    So read VERY carefully, this is the only response you’re getting:

    There is no implication that this is humiliating – in any way. My intent, by the way, has been to do the show in drag for a long time – specifically to raise the point that the arguments don’t lose any merit based on who is making them or what they’re wearing. I’m a FIRM supporter of the LGBT community and I’ve done drag on many occasions. The purpose here is to do something that people might find INTRIGUING or AMUSING (because I’m not as sexy as the typical drag queen) and that not everyone is brave enough to do – in order to raise money.

    Whatever little chip you’ve got on your shoulder, you might want to get it the fuck off – because you’re stupidly alienating people who are, otherwise, allies.

    If you think I just opted to do drag as a way of poking fun at the TG community – you’re a moron who doesn’t know the first thing about me, and you’ve wasted far too much of my time on this.

  • Vas

    Thanks Santiago,
    I sent a brief email inviting him to this thread. He is free to see me saying it was an asshole move, and all that rot. In retrospect I think I was a little hard on him at first. I agree with what you say I’m sure it was not designed as an offense, I don’t think the intent was malicious, and it was unfair to go off on a mistake without first pointing it out to him and seeing if he would recognize it as such and make appropriate changes. There is a good chance my aggressive posts will put him on the defense and he may dig in his heels to save face. I hope that is not the case and he can take some time to look at the situation for what it is and separate me from the issue. I don’t even have an opinion about Matt, but I’m fired up over this issue.

  • Actually, you get one more response – because I hadn’t yet read your last post:

    “I’m willing to cut Matt some slack, after all, for all I know he may be using this as an excuse to come out as transgendered. If that’s the case then he should just be clear about it, if it’s just a case of mocking and marginalizing then maybe it’s just best to move on to another idea. ”

    Or maybe it’s a way to come out in support of the transgendered or maybe it’s any number of things that aren’t what you assumed. Before you start complaining about potential prejudice, you should avoid the irony of pre-judging and simply ask.

  • Vas

    Before you start complaining about potential prejudice, you should avoid the irony of pre-judging and simply ask.

    Yeah Matt you’re right, it seems I was sadly under-informed. You have my apology, I should have not have made assumptions about you and should have gone directly to you with my concerns.

  • Fair enough…watch the episode and if you have a problem with it, we can always discuss it.

  • Vas

    Thanks Matt for cutting me the slack I didn’t have the courtesy to cut you. I will watch the episode and also endeavor to familiarize myself with your work.
    Wish I had just had the common sense to write you first. I have learned a lesson here that I should have learned long ago. Sorry to be an overzealous defender.

  • NotYou007

    So we get to see Matt in drag. Can’t wait to see it and laugh.

  • Jachra

    You have a rather astounding amount of defense. You could easily block a rampaging troll armed with a rusty axe.

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