This is a very quick post, as I'm running to the theater momentarily. But I want to thank everyone who has posted - I wish I could stop and respond to every entry.
I had a great weekend, just great. I got to read the last ten pages of Origin Of Species for Darwin's Birthday celebration at CFI West and I am so honored that I got to do that. I got to meet all sorts of old friends and new friends. I finally talked to Brian Flemming who did the documentary "The God Who Wasn't There." I watched his DVD this morning and it was sooo good, it really fired me up to work! Wow, what an excellent documentary. Everyone should see this.
Anyway, I had a fun show Sunday and I hope I have another fun show tonight. I worked on my Letting Go Of God? script all day. Yeah, you saw that right -- the question mark. I think maybe I'll just add the question mark.
I went to a dinner for this writer, John Hodgman, who has a new book out. I got to see a lot of dear old friends I haven't seen in a long time. And I got to meet Matt Groening, who is going to be at TED next week too. That rocks! I am beat and my eyes are glazing over from looking at a computer screen all day. I will blog more tomorrow. This blog thing rocks.
Monday, February 13, 2006
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Did you get the idea for the question mark from Jared Diamond's "Collapse?" exhibit at the Natural History Museum?
Collapse? at the Natural History Museum (Closed)
I have to say that you sound a LOT more chipper and upbeat than you have in weeks past, Julia! I don't know you, but the Jewish Mother in me has been worried about ya. I hope you have a great show tonight, and I don't blame you at all for adding the "?" If that small change makes a few fence-sitting "Believers" wander in out of the cold and get a little enlightenment, then why not just add the little devil and be done with it?
Any further word on Randi, btw? I've been thinking a lot about him too, and so have my more enlightened Psychology students (dozens of whom are now hooked on reading your blog as well as Randi.org).
I'm really glad to hear the excitement in your post! I have to say, Matt Groening would have to be one my "who would you have over to dinner" people... seated next to you, of course!
Keep up the great work, Julia! I'm sure you have all of our support!
I don't think you really need the question mark. I guess in a sense, not having it sort of gives away the ending, but so what? The important thing is the journey, not the destination.
I don't like the ? either. You've made a decision. God is let go.
I like the question mark. I would love to share this monologue with my Catholic sister and mom. This makes it seem a little more approachable, if that makes sense. You don't need to scream it from the tops of the hills. It's OK to let people know it wasn't a change that you made without a lot of thought and anguish.
Yep. I like it!
Have fun with your show tonight. I really wish I could make it out to LA to see it live!
The Humanist Network News is a pretty cool e-zine:
"Letting Go of God?" - with the question mark - sounds like an ABC's Jonn Stossel 20/20 report. Like they're trying to be suspenseful.
There's some show coming up on PBS about some royal feast at Windsor Castle where everything has to be all high and mighty and perfect to celebrate peace between France and England... and, in another part of the world, as we all know, there are people starving to death. Purely disgusting.
You could keep everyone guessing by calling it "going god" -- as in going, leaving, moving away. But, the unsuspecting would probably interpret it as going TO god --- which could bring them into the theatre.
There is a passage in Daniel C Dennett's new book Breaking the Spell where he writes "...O religious folks who fear to break the taboo: Let go! Let go! You'll hardly notice the drop!" I thought of you Julia. The title is not really that big of a deal. You write it, and they will come. My wife just finished reading "Genesis" and her eyes almost popped out of her head. Like you, it was not so much that she wanted to Let go as it Let go of her. You know the "Spell" So here we are The Bright's in a world of Our making.
For what it's worth: the question mark makes a robust and vital statement into something tepid. But oh how I'd love to see your show!
For the question mark, I think it depends on the ultimate purpose of the show.
If it's to be viewed solely as a personal story with you conquering society's pressure to conform, the question mark isn't really needed.
But, if you would like to use the show to help people who might not realize they *can* think for themselves and not follow where the government seems to want them to follow, then I think the question mark makes it friendlier, more inviting to those people who are curious.
My wife and I have had numerous conversations with her mother and our friends where they just *cannot* understand how we can be good people and not believe in a god. We must be "closet Christians" and just not realize it.
It would be a shame if these people didn't see your show because letting go of God sounds like a done deal.
Maybe if they felt it was a show about possibilities, and cracks their armor even a little bit... maybe we could plant the seeds for more open minds down the road.
I don't think there's a thing tepid about the question mark. Ambiguity can have a few temperatures at once. And the question mark points to the aspect of the story that describes an inquiry, and as someone else here has noted, it invites an audience to ASK.
Your post ended with a very sweet but maddeningly vague affirmation: "This blog thing rocks." Can you describe what you were appeciating about the blog thing? It would clear up a lot. Thanks.
I read this quote over at Brian Flemming's website, and it completely encapsulates my feelings.
"It's because I take you so seriously that I can't bring myself to believe in you."
I, too, was raised Catholic, and seriously, so I completely understand the sentiment.
My fried went to see your stage thing for the second time, loved it.
I like the sensitivity of you blog, very engraciating--oh, is that a bad word?
My friend say I'm full of shit, but here it is...
"Eternity" is not after we die, nor before we are born. The universe is structured differently than that. The universe did not "begin" with a big bang singularity, rather that point is simply a boundry of a multi-dimensional object--only one dimension of which is time.
The bottom line is, we are objects fixed in four-space, not passing into oblivion as the present vanishes into the past.
Check out Stephen Hawking's views on the matter, or better yet, P.D. Ouspensky.
Thanks for entertaining my rant.
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