Tuesday, April 9, 2013

I Am A Remora Fish --

-- metaphorically speaking, of course. I'm referring to my blog, and the relatively small ripples it makes in the currents of Internet traffic, compared to the big sharks, the popular media outlets. I swim along in the sharks' wakes, too small for them to take much notice, and feed off of the crud that gets stuck in their gills; that is to say, while they rarely have occasion to pay much attention to someone like me, if they post a reader's comment of mine which includes a link to my blog, just that one link can be a big thing from my point of view. Unlike an actual remora fish, I could grow into a shark someday. Don't laugh, it's possible.

The Huffington Post posts some of my comments which contain such links, but not all. They decline to publish some of my comments which don't contain links. Their Religion section seems to be more closely moderated than most, and comments from atheists on articles by HP's most frequent atheist contributor, Chris Stedman, seem to have a particularly hard time seeing the light of day. There are many, many atheist readers who comment regularly in the HP Religion section, and you'd expect to see a lot of their comments under articles by their main atheist writers, but no, they're scarce.

I think that's because a lot of the comments atheists make on Stedman's articles are somewhat similar to one I posted this morning on his latest contribution, a comment which HP has yet to post, and I'm not holding my breath that it ever will be. A total of 7 comments have been posted after the article has been up for over 24 hours, a very small number of comments for any HP article, and none are currently showing as pending moderation. A Christian college has recently given permission for a secular student group to operate on campus, and Stedman is jubilant about it, that's the big news in his latest article. My comment, which I'm not optimistic will ever appear, says that I was instantly reminded of a line from Blazing Saddles.Cleavon Little, the new black sheriff of the Western town of Rock Ridge, has just been secretly thanked in the middle of the night for services rendered by one of the citizens who reacted in a severely negative and racist way when he first showed up. After thanking him and giving him a homemade pie, she asks him not to mention that they spoke. Little is pleased at the progress his reputation in town seems to be making, but Gene Wilder, the sheriff's sidekick, puts things in a cynical perspective with the line Stedman's article reminded me of: "Another twenty-five years and you'll be able to shake their hands in broad daylight."

That's exactly the sort of snark HP's moderation apparently does not want to see under articles by Stedman, who, although claiming to represent atheists, is always criticizing them as aggressive, in-your-face, confrontational, angry, critical -- in short they seem to be just too darn atheist to Stedman, who on the other hand always has lots of nice things to say about his religious friends. I have religious friends too. But when I talk about religion versus atheism, you can almost always tell which side I'm on. When Stedman writes or talks about religion and atheism, he seems constantly at pains to avoid suggesting that there is any conflict between the two, and to distance himself from anyone who ever would suggest such an awful things. I've said it before and I'll say it again: with "representatives" of atheism like Stedman, who needs saboteurs? He represents us just about exactly as well as Uncle Tom represented discontented slaves. (Ironically, the HP moderation often declines to post critical comments of mine, which has often prompted me to come here instead and really let it rip, as I have done today, and then they have posted a link to the Wrong Monkey blog post which goes much further than the initial comment which went too far. We'll see whether that happens again today.)

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