These eyes of mine have read about things and have seen things in the past year that have messed with my emotions. I think that's why I feel so inspired to blog and to speak out about these things. It's because I'm human and my reaction when I see something I don't agree with, or that I do not like is to speak out about it.
Coming up is the one year anniversary of Righteous Indignation and I was going over the past show notes that I have laying around and it took me back to some stories that, at the time, had made me feel angry, sad, helpless, inspired, proud... you get the idea.
That's why I've thrown together this little video. Now, it's nothing special as I only have Windows movie maker but I made it to outline those things that in my mind have stood out in the past year for me. Stories and things that have touched me in some way. I hope it makes you think as much as it did me. It also contains the most important thing I've learnt this past year so you'll have to watch until the end if you want to see.
Below the video I have listed the stories that the pictures in the video relate to incase you don't recognise them.
The wind turbine hit by a UFO - it had to have been the mostly discussed topic I encountered at places such as Weird '09 and online with my ufology friends. Turns out it wasn't aliens afterall...
The loch ness monster on google earth - that turned out to be a boat and it's wake in the water. ha.
The Michael Jackson seance - represented everything I hate about pop paranormal, not to mention how the conspiracies and stories surrounding Michaels death kept us busy in RI for weeks and weeks.
The Church who conducted a gay exorcism - because if you're gay it means your possesed. Apparently. Either that, or your church is full of close-minded, prejudice, mean, hateful biggots who have no issue in abusing another human being and their rights because of their lifestyle choice. But what do I know?
The ADE651 - "What fuckin' drugs are you on using magic wands in Iraq to detect bombs?" Baba Brinkman got it spot on with those lyrics in the rationalist anthem.
Desiree Jennings - Apparently she developed the neurological condition, Dystonia, after having her seasonal flu jab. It caused panic and many turned against vaccines. Turns out she was imagining it all but that didn't stop the anti-vax twats jumping all over her story and proclaiming they had cured her with their bullshit methods such as chelation therapy - which is extremely dangerous actually. Fucktards.
Scientologists in Haiti - I don't think I need to say any more really. Other than FFS!
Execution - Boo! Execution violates basic human rights and has no effect on crime prevention. It's disgusting that thousands of people killed each year. An eye for an eye doesn't work and cannot be justified.
Rom Houben - He "awoke" from a coma and was able to pass on deep messages about being trapped inside his own mind and not being able to scream. In all probability it was his carer that was passing on these messages through a controversial method called 'facilitated communication.'
Lubna Hussein - Lubna was arrested for wearing trousers and sentenced to lashes and a fine. She should have been immune to this fine because she worked for the UN but she waived her right to immunity to make an example of barbaric laws that oppress muslim people. Such an inspirationally brave woman.
The Minarets ban - The swiss banned Minarets with a series of offensive, discriminative posters. All I shall say is that singling out a minority is not proactive. Tolarence and diversity are treasured gifts.
Natalie Morton - Natalie Morton was the girl who tragically died at the age of fourteen. Her death was quickly blamed on the HPV vaccine which she had been given hours before her passing. It caused mass panic about the vaccine even though it was revealed she had died of a tumor in her chest. Sadly she was refered to by many as 'the HPV girl' or similar which is hardly a befitting way to refer to a young girl who tragically had her life ended at such a young age and was used as a poster by many anti-vaccination fuckwits to prove their point. :(
Dana Mccaffery - Dana Elizabeth McCaffery died in March at 4 weeks of age from Whooping cough. Sadly, she is one of three babies that has died from this totally vaccine preventable disease in Australia this year. The Anti-vaccination movement disgust me because they are so ignorant. Meryl Dorey, the founder of the AVN denied that anyone could die of Whooping cough whist seated only meters away from the parents of little Dana Mccaffery. Bitch.
Gloria Thomas - Gloria was only a few months old when she died because of her aggressive eczmah that her parents refused to treat with conventional medicine. Instead they chose to use homeopathy. They continued to do this until they realised it had, had dire consequences. Glorias corneas had melted, her dark hair had turned white and her skin was split open and she died in agony. Words don't sum up how tragic her story is, and they never will. :(
Adrian pengelly - Adrian Pengelly it the so-called spiritual healer who was, in 2009, featured on an episode of BBC's Watchdog that exposed his dubious healing claims (that included cancer...) and showed him to be a bit of an idiot. Some time later he was charged under the cancer act - something he was proud of. Knob.
British Humanist Association - The BHA are for people who seek to live good lives without religious or superstitious beliefs. I didn't know about them until last year and they're well worth following for anyone who is a humanist/secularist etc.
10:23 - I was proud to be involved with one of the 10:23 campaign protests (the one in Bristol) and what this has achieved, what this small group of people in Merseyside have managed to achieve globally is amazing, and proof that you CAN make a change in the woo world we live in, and that skeptics are pretty awesome. 10:23am on a Saturday morning! FFS!
The BCA promote bogus treatments - 'nuff said.
"Free speech is not for sale" aka. Simon Singh & Libel reform - The most incredible thing to come out of the lengthy battle that Simon Singh had with the BCA is the libel reform campaign. It's been brilliant to watch the skeptical community rally around this as if to say "We don't like that's happened to Simon, so we're going to do something about it." Please sign the petition if you haven't already!
Skeptics in the pub* (+ ladies who do skepticism) - I mentioned skeptics in the pub because of what it stands for. The sheer power of giving like minded people a place to meet other like minded people whilst getting to listen to talks and lectures is simplistic genuis. I didn't put ladies who do skepticism in the video, but it deserves a huge mention as, although I'm not psychic, I forsee a future filled with these events.
Atheist bus campaign - I wont go on about the campaign because anyone who hasn't heard of it is either lost, confused or a cat. Just Sayin' - however, what the Atheist bus campaign did was show that Atheism isn't an ugly thing. Ariane Sherine is totally awesome for what she has done with the campaign and what it has then gone on to inspire.
Sense about science - "Sense About Science is an independent charitable trust. We respond to the misrepresentation of science and scientific evidence on issues that matter to society, from scares about plastic bottles, fluoride and the MMR vaccine to controversies about genetic modification, stem cell research and radiation. We work with scientists and civic groups to promote evidence and scientific reasoning in public discussion."
and all I have to say about sense and science is - "keep libel laws out of science."
Obviously I couldn't include every single story that has inspired me in the past year as there have been so many, but my aim was to include images in the video that made people remember a time when they too felt elated, happy, angry, saddened or just at a loss.
The thing I like about the skeptical community is that mostly, it takes those emotions and it does something about it. Skeptics often speak out for the people who can't speak out, or don't know how to speak out, or don't realise that something is wrong.
Heh, I'm just being sentimental. I'll stop now.
* Yes, the skeptics in the pub link does go to the Nottingham skeptics in the pub page, and yes, that may because I'm speaking for them in June. In this case bias is good. So shhhh.