June 27, 2003

Oh, okay, one last bit on "bright"

Angie Schultz weighs in on the Prince of Brightness, Richard Dawkins, and his latest idiotic campaign to make people less tolerant of atheists. (I know he thinks that this "bright" silliness will foster tolerance, rationality, clear up teenage acne, cure cancer, and feed the starving, but it won't.) And she reminds me what word I was looking for in my earlier post but couldn't remember:

This article reeks of smug. Great waves of smug roll from it and envelope my keyboard. It falls to the floor and wafts over the carpet. Anybody know where I can buy some smug remover? I'm fresh out.

They aren't Brights, they're Smugs.

Update: Aaron Haspel has more to say as well. And while I have used the word "meme" to describe kewl innernut trends, I felt vaguely dirty about it, so I won't any more.

Posted by Andrea Harris at June 27, 2003 02:04 AM

Of course, that suggests a natural slogan for Smug-tolerance: "Have you hugged a Smug today?"

Posted by: Matthew at June 27, 2003 at 04:32 AM

I prefer "Have you slugged a Smug today?"

Posted by: Andrea Harris at June 27, 2003 at 04:36 AM

Smugs. Yes, this is bang on! Perfect.

Posted by: Preston Whip at June 27, 2003 at 04:46 AM

Don't forget "fugged" (used by James Jones to get by censors while trying to recreate GIs' language).

I suggest snapping up SmugBlog.

Posted by: Joanne Jacobs at June 27, 2003 at 05:21 AM

Hmmm. I wonder if I'd get in trouble for opening a hamburger restaurant called "Smugfugger's"?

Posted by: Spike McGehee at June 27, 2003 at 08:33 AM

I think you're onto something. Someone says 'I'm Bright', the auto response might be 'Ya mean smug, pal.'

Doesn't 'bright' smack of 'vegan'? There's such a holier-than-thou ring to it. 'I have the deepest faith in Atheism.' 'I have a Friend in Dawkins.' 'I'm a devotee of the High Priest of Smug, the Prophet Richard the Dim.'

Perhaps this bright thing won't light. But then again, lefties smugly call themselves 'progressives'.

Posted by: Ranald Hay at June 27, 2003 at 08:41 AM

When I visited the Bright website my basic thought was "Here's yet another attempt to collect names and addresses of likeminded individuals so that they can be hit up for donations later." Perhaps, in my old age, I'm too skeptical to be a bright.

So Dawkins has endorsed it, but I wonder if they really have the go-ahead from Randi and Dennett et al to use their names in this way. If not, they're off to a very poor start.

Posted by: Graham Lester at June 27, 2003 at 09:30 AM

I think in addition to saying "oh, you're a Smug", we need to remind these folk that they are doing EXACTLY what they are so offended by people of other religious stripes doing - namely, "evangelizing" and injecting their own agendas into conversations.

feh. I don't like it when the Southern Baptists or Jehovah's Witnesses do it, why should I feel any better about an atheist or agnostic or humanist or igtheist or whatever doing it?

Posted by: ricki at June 27, 2003 at 09:44 AM


“Fug” was used by Norman Mailer in his novel, The Naked and the Dead, not in James Jones' books.

Now, don't get me started on Mailer, that wife-stabbing, murderer-loving, suicide-bomber-apologizing maroon. “Why Are We at War?” he asks. Because we were attacked, and we shall not let it happen again.

Posted by: Eric Jablow at June 27, 2003 at 11:33 AM

I like it! I like it!

Posted by: Lynn S at June 27, 2003 at 04:28 PM

They paint a pretty picture
Of a world that's gay and bright
But you just can't say "I love you"
To a street of city lights...

Posted by: triticale at June 27, 2003 at 07:41 PM

Sadly, this isn't the first time that Dawkins has shown himself to be smug and arrogant. When speaking on matters outside of his profession, he can be arrogantly opinionated on matters of which he knows very little. Too bad.

Posted by: Paul Stinchfield at June 27, 2003 at 11:19 PM

Now let's think of a word for vocal non-evangelistic agnostics who pretend that they're not advocating a form of extreme ideological relativism -- the precise sort of relativism that they reject when talking about any topic other than religion.

Posted by: The Raving Atheist at June 28, 2003 at 10:13 PM

You got something to say to me, Raving? I've read your blog and I've encountered your opinions elsewhere. I think there is already a word for people like you: fanatic. I really don't think you'll like reading my blog, so I suggest you don't bother reading it.

Posted by: Andrea Harris at June 29, 2003 at 02:18 AM

Why on Earth did you think I was talking about YOU?

Before you get too cross, just remember (according to your own ideology) that all opinions are equal. So it would be “smug” (or intolerant) of you to assert that your opinion of me or my blog is actually TRUE.

Fanatic, evangelistic, intolerant, militant, etc.-- yes, I take actual moral positions on my blog and elsewhere, identify them with specificity, back them up with reasons, and explain why the contrary positions based on superstition or irrationality are wrong. You haven’t identified a single post, moral position or rationale of mine that you disagree with, or stated your reasons for disagreeing.

I guess you’re just a liberal -- you know, the sort of person who “accus[es] people who disagree with you of being a troll” (as you said on January 27) and then IP bans them.


Posted by: The Raving Atheist at June 29, 2003 at 04:47 PM