The Hamlet Syndrome (“to go or not to go”): Should I Attend the International Atheist Conference This Weekend in Burbank, California?

Dang! Check out the speaker line-up for the International Atheist Conference being held in Burbank, California this weekend! It’s close to where I live. And it’s at the same Marriot Convention Center as the UFO conference that I went to just a few weeks ago. Easy-peesy.

Do you think I should go? And take some pictures? And hang out with Richard, and Daniel, and Jerry, and Bill, and Russell, and PZ? Maybe ask a question from the audience microphone? I assume they’d all hate me if they ever saw my blog. I’m excepting Russell Blackford. Blackford doesn’t hate me. He talks to me in threads at atheist sites sometimes. Every once in a while (though very rarely), he even defends me! But I was especially rough on PZ Myers’s Catholic wafer shenanigans last summer, wasn’t I? I don’t think PZ would like me. Frankly, I don’t think much of PZ.

I don’t see uber-vipassana atheist, Sam Harris, on the speaker list. Nor Hitchens. Nor Ophelia Benson. I wonder what’s up with that. Michael Shermer is based in Southern California, but I don’t see him on the speaker’s list either. I would think Shermer would be there (even if he’s not slated to speak).

Ooh. But I see that Jonathan Kirsch is going to be there. He’s one of my all time favorite nonfiction authors. He’s a former editor at the Los Angeles Times. Here’s a link to one of his books. Kirsch has never written a bad book. They’re all mind spinning. But he doesn’t speak till Sunday. I probably can only attend on Saturday. (No, not because I have to go to church on Sunday!)

My wife (who is British) is a big Richard Dawkins fan. She likes to listen to his lectures around the house and on her iPod, and wants to hear him talk live.  


Should we go?

About Santi Tafarella

I teach writing and literature at Antelope Valley College in California.
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2 Responses to The Hamlet Syndrome (“to go or not to go”): Should I Attend the International Atheist Conference This Weekend in Burbank, California?

  1. ice gal says:

    You and your wife should go, and here Dawkins. Not because of what you believe, or what your wife believes, and not because the world would be a better place with or with out a god. I think it would be just as chaotic, without. But because amerika’s present god delusion belief results in people just getting to a wall. They can’t look over the wall, get around the wall. They are stuck there with a god that has all the answers for them. amerikans don’t even have the question any more. Just a belief that abortion and gay marriage… is real wrong…lots of guns…no government is the way to survive…fox news is actual News. Go here Dawkins. I would if he was in this pathetic red state.

  2. santitafarella says:

    Ice Gal:

    My wife’s parents are in town from England. It makes things tricky to go, but I’m going to try. I’m going to ask my father-in-law if he would like to see Dawkins also. We might turn it into a family outing of some sort. My father in law is an atheist (no ifs, ands, or buts—no hedging on his part). The last time he was here I gave him my copy of Freud’s “The Future of an Illusion” and he sat on the couch and read it through a warm afternoon.

    I’m sorry to mention warm afternoons to an Alaskan at this time of year. I’ll definitely blog later this week on how the conference went (or at least the portion I manage to attend). Thanks for the advice.


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