The Long Post
If you’re reading this post, it means that you didn’t foolishly abandon the beautiful invention known as Rich Site Summary like the rest of us. Back in the day, TGA had a very decent following that preferred the writing to than the podcast, despite my best attempts to undermine the English language. We called these people “freaks. They numbered perhaps only 1/6th of the listening audience, but they were just as loyal. Then, out of the blue, Google tried to murder the concept, with major websites abandoning the concept in order to force their audience to load their painfully slow websites full of ads.
On the developer end , Google also use to provide statistics on active subscribers, and so I had a pretty intimate understanding of my audience’s reading habits. I would even interview a few of these “freaks” to find out what they liked about the writing so I could continue to attract a larger audience that despised my speaking voice. The manslaughter of this service put the kibosh on those plans, and without a good understanding of the size of the actual audience (since it’s not calculated in any other observable metric, hence the drop in popularity), I too abandoned these readers.
I’ve been spending the last few months trying to communicate through social media of my return to podcasting. Naturally, the thought never occurred to me that I should perhaps also return to blogging, since I still have no idea how many people have kept their subscription. But as loyal as the listeners were, I cannot also ignore the Morlocks that refuse to give up on my writing, no doubt waiting for the day to drag me back to their lair for a light snack.
I also wonder if these weirdos know that my very first book, Bible Stories, was recently put up on Amazon. If they ignored all my audio announcements, then no doubt they may have missed the chance to read something I’m immensely proud of. Although like any work of art, there are always more touches you wish you could add (or more jokes in my case), I still think that every reader is going to love it. Can you truly call yourself a fan (in secret) and not read the bloody thing?
Now, since you’ve read this far even after all the playful insults, I think it’s only fair if I give you the same explanation I’ve been giving on the show as to why I’ve decided to make my return, only with a bit more detail. For starters, the imputus for my comeback started only a few months ago, when a youtuber by the name of Elijah Daniels made the headlines when he “rewrote” the Bible by using search and replace on the main characters, and selling this lazy travesty on Amazon. His book soon became the best seller for that week, and all I could do was stew in petulant rage at someone having so easily, and lazily, beat me to the punch. To be fair to Elijah, his shtick was a totally valid form of satire, and it was really my own fault for sitting on the sidelines with a great book and no balls to push it into people’s faces.
The second reason for my return was all this bullshit talk that “atheism is dead”, a narrative being pushed by cynical non-believers who are tired of the supposed lack of progress. But atheism is very much alive and kicking in many different parts of the world, all influenced in one way or another by the work that’s been done over the last decade.
Speaking of decade, that was the third reason for my return: the realization that I started TGA 10 years ago back in April, and that this anniversary went largely unnoticed by me, since I was convinced that this phase of my life was over. In truth, I was merely running away from the immense responsibility I had taken on by deciding to re-write the Bible. Not only had I bitten off more than I could chew, I had also been forced to start back at zero in my life. I had no job, no career, no home, had broken up with my fiance, and more importantly, the obligation to rewrite one of the most intimidating and frankly boring books in the world into a comedy. But while I spent plenty of time feeling sorry for myself, I did manage to find a job to pay the bills, an apartment, and even managed to find a way to make the Bible hilarious.
Of course, writing something and selling it are two different beasts, and I hadn’t counted on how demoralizing it would be. My absence from the atheism community made me feel like a total stranger to people who were formally quite cordial and helpful. My emails were no longer being responded to, and the once friendly atmosphere had been replaced with one of distrust and fear. A moral panic that was soon to spread to the rest of America had taken hold, and this further cemented the idea that I had no place in this so-called community.
No one was promoting anyone else; instead if a colleague was mentioned, it was usually to rebuff some point of contention, as though some atheist heterodoxy was being threatened for having a disagreement. Gone was the open-mindedness to ideas, and so too disappeared the general notions of debate., replaced with base insults and attempts to tarnish reputations. This has lead many other atheists to simply turn away in disgust over the lack of focus over the recent years, and the behavior of some atheist thought leaders.
But what had I done to really improve it? I had walked away with a key piece of weaponry in our arsenal against religion: Bible Stories. So after a little soul searching, I realized that perhaps my own contribution to atheism was more subtle than I had realized. I had always prided myself on introducing new atheists to the community in general. With me no longer doing this, perhaps some steam had been taken away. Can any of us truly understand the impact of our actions? It seemed liked the only prudent solution was to overestimate one’s importance, and act accordingly. The worst that can happen is I simply look like a fool, which is much better when the alternative is having failed to emancipate people from the virus of faith simply because I was feeling unrecognized. Sad.
So here I am again writing into the ether, unsure how many people are actually listening. If I trust my comment section, it’s only one guy right now, but if he’s been following me this whole time just waiting for me to publish something, I still owe the dude some answers! In short, I can tell you that while I don’t plan on making my “atheism” my career anymore, it doesn’t mean I’ve hung up my gloves like I previously said I would. Religion is still out there messing shit up, and the people with a voice have a duty to say something. So while I don’t suggest you glue yourself to the feed waiting for constant posts, don’t be surprised when I pop up.