Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Rallying My Dedication

I sit in the premiere hipster coffee shop of Kalispell, Montana -- the evangelical capital of the State, watching more plaid shirt-wearing yuppies bearing trite cross tattoos sip overpriced lattes than I think I can count -- and I realize that, if I haven't become a cliche (debatable), I am sitting in the middle of one. Kalispell, incidentally, is the same town that received some of my invective in Oh, Your god! for being womb to the fanatic anthrax known as Skull Church, and for housing Flathead High School: a public institution so blatantly disregarding of the separation of church and state that its theatre will produce Godspell and J.B. A Play in Verse while it sends its choir to sing at a Christian celebration of the birth of their Savior. Tax dollars well spent. Love this town though I do, it is difficult for me to shake the feeling whenever I come to visit that I have passed the doors of the Morannon and I am under the scrutiny of the Eye. Sieg heil, Big Brother. 

I write this entry fully aware that I am not observing, critiquing, or commenting on national or world events -- and my Circa app has been delivering enough on a daily basis to write for digital reams. I also realize I write here for the first time since commenting on the Werleman debacle in October. I have been negligent. In daily conversation with close friends and colleagues Dan Arel, Matthew O'Neil, J.D. Brucker, and others, I often hear of their new work being completed, new opportunities arising, and new contacts made. Exhausted yet thrilled, I support them as fully as I can (their efforts are beyond worth it) -- but the work of people I admire holds the mirror up to nature and makes brutally aware how much I have not been doing on this front. 

The answer is simple: grad school, apparently, requires work. I wish someone had told me previously. I would have been more diligent in avoiding it. Obviously, that kind of sardonicism is light-hearted -- I love exactly what I am doing and the work in theatre that I am accomplishing. There is nothing about it that is unfulfilling. But it is one half of who I am. 

And now that I am stuck in this Christ-obsessed hamlet in Northwest Montana, the oppressive snow beating down like Kinkade's worst nightmare, I am painfully sensitive to my serious absence in the atheist discussion over the last few months. I have spoken to no one about interviews. I haven't written more than several hundred words in blog or manuscript. New books sit on their digital shelves with not much promise of finishing in the next year. And I must confess myself distressed about it. 

Thankfully, there is some sunlight breaking through the clouds. 666, as far as I know, is still scheduled to be released in February. There have been few validating moments in my life as poignant as knowing that my thoughts will share the same spine as the work of far worthier scholars like Lawrence Krauss, Douglas Wilson, Richard Carrier, and others. The printing of that book will bring my focus and the focus of my readers somewhat out of the stagnation that I am currently mired in, I think. I also think that seeing it will revitalize and encourage me to give more time and energy to the debate that so desperately needs all of our voices, and on which mine has been unforgivably silent in recent months. 

In short, I am grateful for the support of readers who have reached out in the near past to ask me about upcoming work, and who have been vocal in their support of my efforts. I hope that the distractions of my other life as a student will not interfere too much longer in my pursuit of aiding the proliferation of the atheist methodology. I owe it to them, to myself, and to the discussion. Thank you all for being supportive, patient, and partners in our mutual goal for a more reasonable world. I am, as always, forever in your debt, gentle readers.