Archive for the ‘Feedback’ Category

One Year and Counting

January 17, 2014 6 comments

by Noah Lugeons

I guess there are a few candidates for the anniversary date of the Scathing Atheist podcast.  While today marks one full year since the debut of episode one, in a sense I’ve already passed my one year anniversary, since I was already hard at work putting together the first episode weeks before it came out.

So for over a year, Heath, Lucinda and I have been living the podcasting dream; making fart jokes, recording and editing those fart jokes and sending them out into the world to act as an enduring testament to our time on this planet.

It’s been one of the most rewarding endeavors of my life.  The steady stream of emotional, intellectual and financial support has acted as an almost daily reminder that what we’re doing has value to someone out there and that we’re making the modest difference we set out to make (ensuring the Friday commute would suck less).

This year ended rough for me in a lot of ways.  As 2013 drew to a close I found myself quite unexpectedly unemployed and homeless.  And while the transition was tough, my wife and I are fortunate enough to have friends and family that helped us get back on our feet and by and large we’ve made it through the transition without too much stress or heartache.  And honestly, had it not been for this show, I don’t know how I’d have done it.

The other day we got a very generous donation from a listener in the Netherlands that sent along the following note:

I found that going through such upheaval in your personal life but that you still managed to entertain us quite amazing and very touching. I hope this helps you out.

We’ve received a number of similar messages through email, Facebook, Twitter and the like and every one of them has eased the burden of my midlife crisis.  I chose this one specifically because it illustrated the irony of all of these messages.

I suppose that our listeners would have largely forgiven us if we’d taken a couple weeks off from producing new episodes while we were moving, but the thought of doing so never occurred to me.  Why would I want to do that?  Producing the show every week was sometimes the only thing keeping me sane.

The hardest thing for me to cope with when I found out I was being let go was the psychological sting of realizing that I was expendable.  After a decade of telling myself “this company couldn’t survive without me” I was told in no uncertain terms that it could.  And it planned to.  It’s an emotional punch I haven’t dealt with since the last time I was dumped.

But when I felt my least valuable, our listeners were my solace.  Knowing that somewhere out there a perfect stranger was looking forward to the next episode; appreciating the fruits of our labor; that offered the solid bridge I needed to make it through.

So as much as I appreciate all the thanks, it really should be me thanking you.  So to everyone who supported the show over the past year, whether by donating, rating, promoting or just listening; thank you.  Sincerely and from the deepest corner of my godless heart, thank you for letting us be a part of your life.

Categories: Feedback

Have Stupid, Will Traval

October 21, 2013 2 comments

by Noah Lugeons

This was just too damn fun not to share:

phelps convo

An Email from an Asshole

July 6, 2013 5 comments

by Noah Lugeons

I should admit that when I first started this show, I assumed that by now I’d be getting a lot more of my material from slobbering, frothing, angry Christians who were sending me improperly capitalized death threats.  Up to this point, I still really haven’t had an influx of hate mail.  Almost all of the feedback we’ve gotten has been frustratingly positive.

So considering that, it wasn’t going to take much to earn the title of the biggest asshole that’s emailed the show so far.  But thanks to Roger in Iowa, that bar has been raised.  And unfortunately, the title currently belongs to an atheist.  So how did Roger earn the coveted title of king of the rectums?  Here’s a brief sampling of the ranting bullshit he sent me:

Why does every atheist seem to think I give a fuck about gays?  Your show is supposed to be about atheism and you spend the half the show talking about fag marriage and how happy we should all be about that.  What the fuck does that have to do with atheism?  Atheism is just a lack of belief in god and I’m sick of people who try to make it into a political position.  So if I don’t support gay marriage I’m not a “real” atheist?

And it just goes on and on like that for seven paragraphs (and that’s not even a whole paragraph there).

Now, buried amid his horse-fart rambling is a legitimate point that should be addressed.  After all, the atheist movement often finds its weight being swung behind political movements that are only tangentially related to secularism.  I’m sure this frustrates the libertarian wing of atheism up a wall, as these issues are almost exclusively liberal-leaning, but before I make any attempt to justify it, I should point out that there’s no pope of atheism.  If the larger atheism movement swings one way or the other it’s only because a majority of its members swung that way.  Nobody has the power to move us by fatwa.

But, that being said, there’s still a pretty logical reason why the atheist movement tends to rally behind things like gay rights; the enemy of my enemy is my friend.  Most of the people who get active in atheism do so because they’re sick and fucking tired of watching people oppress other people in the name of religion.  I’ve yet to hear the “secular” argument against homosexual equality so when I see the gay community win a victory, I interpret it as a victory against religion and religion’s influence in our society.

In fact, the framing of the discussion in episode 20 should make that pretty obvious.  Heath and I hardly touched on the basic humanitarian justifications for full recognition of gay marriage.  Instead, we focused on the ranting, petty, insane reactions from prominent Christians.  We weren’t celebrating a step toward full human rights (though we probably should have been).  We were celebrating the group we rally against getting smacked in the face.

So that takes care of the “legitimate” part of Roger’s point.  Now let me address the larger “illegitimate” part.  This whole argument that “atheism is just not believing in god so stop trying to make it mean more than that” nonsense really needs to stop.  Yes, you pedantic fuck, that’s exactly what atheism means.  So let me stop making any point on my blog or my podcast that isn’t simply a restating of the fact that god doesn’t exist.  I’ll fill thirty minutes each week with not offering an opinion on anything except the existence of god.  That should be fun.

Just back the fuck off and let this movement be what it is becoming.  As atheism grows it will faction off and the people who want to just not believe in god can sit in their corner and just not believe in god.  But those of us who choose to take it a step further and offer secular alternatives to the traditionally religious magesteria (morality, community, music, etc.) would appreciate being able to forge our path without dodging your stones.

Categories: Feedback Tags: , ,

Freshly Boiled Blood

June 9, 2013 3 comments

by Noah Lugeons

My issues with religion are largely philosophical.  I live in a city rich with religious diversity and history among people who have long learned to overlook the demarcations of faith.  New York City hasn’t always been a pillar of religious tolerance, but today it’s home to at least some number of any devotion to any sect of any denomination of any religion you can imagine.  We have to share subways and sidewalks and parade routes and we’re constantly running late.  Most of us simply don’t have the time for religious friction.

The point is that if I didn’t seek it out, I would hardly ever have a reason to be pissed at religion.  I read the religious news, I seek out the abuses of religious authority, I immerse myself in religion’s festering underbelly.  But if I didn’t make an effort to do so, I’d hardly ever encounter the bad parts of religion in my daily life.

I constantly remind myself that this is probably true of most people in this country.  Sure, they know about the child rape and maybe they know about the fundamentalist camps, but what they see every day is religious people doing good things in the name of religion.  Unless they make an effort to see the ugliness backstage, religion comes off looking pretty clean and pretty most of the time.

Of course, much of it is simply slick PR.  When I was growing up, all I knew of the Latter Day Saints was from the heartwarming commercials they played during cartoons on Saturday morning.  A guy on bike would get splashed with mud by a guy in a truck.  Cut to guy on bike coming across guy in truck later.  Plot twist: Guy in truck is no longer in truck because his truck is broken down.  Resolution: muddy guy on bike stops and helps the asshole who splashed him.  Because Jesus.

But it would be petty of me to write it all off as a PR campaign.  Most of the sterling image of religion comes from the fact that most religious people are really awesome people.  I think this is probably because most people are awesome and any random selection of people will probably contain a majority of awesome ones.  But I don’t know that to be true.  What I do know is that when you give good people an outlet for their goodness, you usually get some good results.  You get some well fed homeless people or whatever.

Obviously I don’t think religion is necessary for charity, but I’m also not naive enough to overlook all the good.  When I step outside of my own perspective, I can see why atheists look like ranting assholes to a lot of people.  Why are they attacking this mostly good thing?  Why are they pissed off about bibles in cabins or god references on money or prayers at graduation ceremonies?  Why be so vindictive toward a mostly good thing.  After all, taking “In God We Trust” off the money isn’t going to stop any kids from getting raped.

But as I said, I seek out the bad.  And now that the podcast is starting to gain a wide audience, the bad is starting to seek me out as well.

If I’d really thought it through before I started the show, I should have seen this coming, but I didn’t.  I was ready for vicious hate mail and death threats (which I still haven’t gotten), but I was not prepared for some of the heart wrenching stories I now find in my inbox.

And for the first time today, I was moved to tears by one of them.  A fan of the show sent me an email detailing his personal experiences as a vulnerable child entrusted to the care of a sadistic Baptist minister.  He said he loved the show because it allowed him to laugh at the abuses of religion instead of simply welling up with impotent rage.

I’ve gotten a couple of emails like his so far.  None that detail such horror, but several from disowned sons, estranged spouses, alienated friends and psychologically tormented apostates and while I never expected them to come, I certainly welcome them.  I don’t want to hear these stories but I need to hear them.  They are the fuel that boils my blood.

I understand that a lot of people feel a need to share these stories.  I invite them.  I can’t help you much by listening to your story, but you can help me a lot by sharing it.  To keep up the effort this podcast takes, I sometimes need freshly boiled blood.

The T-Shirt Conundrum

May 31, 2013 4 comments

by Noah Lugeons

As I mentioned at the end of this week’s show, we’re going to be commissioning the design of three “Scathing Atheist” T-shirts in the near future.  We’ve been getting a lot of requests for merch and people are giving us money anyway, so we figured we might as well have something to give them in return.

Our idea on the shirts was for the back to simply say “Proud Sponsor of ” and then have the Scathing Atheist logo beneath it.  The front of each shirt would be an advertisement for one of our many fine sponsors.

We’re trying to get as much input as possible before we invest any cash in it, so we’re asking our listeners to let us know which sponsor they’d most like to see on a shirt.  We’re taking suggestions from Twitter (@Noah_Lugeons), on Facebook (/ScathingAtheist) via email (noahlugeons(at) or here on the blog in the comments section.  Feel free to choose as many as you’d like when you tell us your preference (even if the stupid FB poll only lets you select one).

And to save you the trouble of double checking all the show transcripts, we’ve compiled all the eligible sponsors here:

  1. Jesus Pieces (Chocolate Covered Eucharist)
  2. 5 Hour Piety (Pious Energy Drink)
  3. Papalbee’s Neighborhood Restaurant
  4. Ameri-Quran-Line (Muslim Internet Provider)
  5. Tequila Savior (Anti-Semetic Liquor)
  6. Jeru-Salem Cigarettes
  7. Mormon Hammer (LDS Baking Soda)
  8. Let There Be Light Bulbs
  9. Penta-Douche (Biblical Feminine Hygiene Product)
  10. Homo-Momo.Com (Gay Mormon Dating Service)
  11. Jew P.S. (Jewish Delivery Service)
  12. Orthodoxy-Contin (Holy Book Analgesic)
  13. Celiba-Cyalis (Anti-Viagral Formula)

It’ll probably be a few weeks before we lock any of this down, so feel free to vote early, vote often and share.  Ask your atheist friends who don’t listen to the show.  Which of these T-shirts could they most see themselves in?  Ask your religious friends which one would most offend them.  We’re looking for all the data we can muster.

And we thank you for your help.

Going Too Far

May 24, 2013 4 comments

by Noah Lugeons

I’ll admit it; sometimes we go too far.

Between the two of us, Heath and I have no moral compass when it comes to humor.  We know in a academic way that there are things that are too offensive to make jokes about, but we’re not really aware of what those things are.

When we first started the show I was hoping that my wife could act as a “too far” barometer for us and point out the jokes that were just too over the top, but she had to drop out from that role.  Eventually she had to admit that almost every gag in the show was “too far” in her opinion and if we gave her full editing autonomy, I fear the show would often we 6 minutes long.

In editing, I often find myself weighing a particular joke or comment and trying to decided if it’s funny enough to make up for how horribly vulgar it is.  I hem and I haw and I almost always err on the side of humor, but once in a while, I do so with trepidation.  I include a joke that makes me wince a bit and I just have my fingers crossed that I didn’t just run off 20% of our listeners.

I found myself in such a position while editing episode 14.  After already making some horrible and border-line eugenic remarks about inbreeding in the Hasidic community, Heath doubled down with what I suppose may be the most blatantly offensive thing that ever made it passed the editing room.  He referenced Chris Rock’s infamous (and hilarious) “Blacks v. Word I Can’t Type Because I’m White” routine.

I tried to put out the fire on the spot by pointing out that his comment was a reference to that routine, but to be honest, that doesn’t exactly diffuse the offensiveness of the joke, it just gives it context.  When I was listening back over the headlines and we came to this bit, I stopped it and looked to Heath.  He shrugged and grinned so I looked to Lucinda.

“Was that too far?” I asked her.

She also responded with a shrug, “Yeah, but pretty much the whole show is.  I don’t know that it’s any more ‘too far’ than usual.”

With took that noncommittal reply as a semi-endorsement so I kept the bit in.  And then today when I listened back over it and we reached that part I realized that I probably shouldn’t have.  It was funny and if you understand the context fully it’s only kind of racist and only kind of antisemitic, but it’s still kind of racist and kind of antisemitic and it probably didn’t belong in the show.

I haven’t heard anything in response from any of our listeners so I can’t really say where anyone else fell on it, but if you bristled a bit when you heard it, I can assure you that you weren’t alone.  Sometimes things seem way funnier when you’re editing after midnight than they do when you’re a little more clear headed.

We will, of course, continue to go too far from time to time.  We’ll keep walking the tightrope of pushing the envelope without ripping it, but if you ever get the feeling like we’ve crossed the line from crude obscenity to pointless vulgarity, don’t hesitate to let us know.  We need all the help we can get with this moral compass stuff.

Categories: Feedback

Belittling Christians

April 2, 2013 35 comments

by Noah Lugeons

Sometimes people say, “Noah, you belittle Christians a lot.”

And I respond, “Yeah, I do my best.”

So no, I’ll be offering no apology for it here or anywhere else in the foreseeable future.  When people point out that I belittle Christians, I respond the same way that an Olympic sprinter would respond if somebody asked her why she was in such a hurry… After all, that’s kind of the point.

Now, there are those that would say that this is counterproductive.  They say that the caustic brand of atheism I subscribe to is antithetical to the goals of minimizing the role of religion in society.  They present a “circle-the-wagons” mentality that I might inspire if I’m too insulting.  They point out that the more attainable goals of keeping religion out of science class and the courtroom can be hamstrung by the more grandiose goal of stamping out organized religion altogether.

And what’s more, they might be right.  I still don’t care.

My goal as an atheist activist is to marginalize religion.  I work toward a world where anybody who believes in something without evidence is embarrassed to admit it in public.  I want reason by way of shame.

I think it’s a sad commentary on our culture that my unwavering belief that all truth-claims should be subjected to the same scrutiny puts me in the extreme wing of a minority.  That shouldn’t be a bold stance. It should be nearly unthinkable to take any other stance and that’s precisely what I seek.

To be fair, I’ll concede that it’s entirely possible to take that stance without belittling anyone.  A lot of skeptics do yeoman’s work by patiently walking sasquatch hunters, UFOlogists and homeopaths through the ladder of logic without a hint of condescension.  I admire that ability but I do not share it.

And of course, many skeptics are crass and dismissive of nonsense like sasquatch hunters, UFOs and homeopathy.  They don’t bother to spare anyone’s feelings and simply treat it like the demonstrable bullshit that it is.  In the skeptical movement the battle between “soft” and “hard” is a hell of a lot more muted than the one in the atheist movement, but it’s still there.  Some people just insist that the “kill-them-with-kindness” approach is the only valid one.

Many much wiser observers than me have pointed out that there probably isn’t one “valid” approach, so I’m not going to spend any time retreading that ground, but there is something I’d like to offer to the kindness camp.  Sure, it’s an anecdote and can thus be easily dismissed, but I think it’s illustrative of the justification behind the approach that I share with a number of other scathing atheists.

Arrogance is a powerful force.  Those of us who like to think or ourselves as intelligent don’t like to be told we’re stupid.  It’s the only insult that really gets under the skin of some people.  Now, when somebody says, “you disagree with me so you’re stupid” it’s meaningless, but if someone you respect intellectually lumps your beliefs in with a bunch of the other “stupid” ones, that has an impact.

I’m not saying there’s anyone out there that respects me intellectually, but there are a number of learned men and women in both the atheist and skeptical movements who sport intellects that are beyond reproach.  An intellectually arrogant person hearing that his beliefs are stupid from those people will have an effect.

Now sure, some people are arrogant enough to just toss off the insult and say, “what does that ivy-league professor know?”, but those people are all-but unreachable.  But for many if not most intellectually arrogant people, the root of the arrogance was real intelligence.  And there are plenty of intelligent, arrogant people out there that still believe in some really silly stuff.

Those people are vulnerable to the caustic attack.  I know because that’s how I arrived here.  I got to atheism through simple observation and the correct application of logic, but I became a skeptic and (more importantly) a skeptical activist because somebody with an intellect I admire told me I was a dumb-ass.  And what’s more, he didn’t try to cater to my ego by telling me how okay it was to still believe this dumb-ass belief.

Now I know that the research shows that most people are far more inclined to listen to and consider your viewpoint if you’re non-confrontational and I recognize that, generally speaking, this is the optimum approach.  Hell, it’s the one I usually employ when I’m talking to someone in person.  But just because it’s the most widely applicable approach doesn’t mean it’s the only correct one.  A person like myself would never be swayed by it, as they would take the agreeable demeanor as a sign of intellectual uncertainty.  They would toss off anything you said that didn’t crack the armor of their intellectual arrogance and the only way to do that is to be caustic.

My mother told me that if I didn’t have anything nice to say, I shouldn’t say anything.  And a lot of people have told me the same thing since.  I get it.  I disagree.  I feel that it would be intellectually dishonest to say anything nice and it would be socially irresponsible to stay silent.

And if you disagree with my approach, that’s fine.  I strongly encourage you to get involved and run as far in the opposite direction as possible.  We need all the help we can get.  And I believe that we also need all the types of help we can get.

But I Was Just Debating Evolution!

March 25, 2013 Leave a comment

by Noah Lugeons

I have to admit that on some levels, I like trolls. I appreciate the effort it takes to engage in one losing effort after the next, hoping to chip away at an armor you know you can’t penetrate. It takes endurance and dedication to push your way into a room full of people aligned against you and then antagonize them ceaselessly, knowing the whole time that you’re ultimately going to lose the fight and probably get banned or blocked or whatever. I also like the way they maintain bridges and come up with clever riddles.

But what I don’t like is when they try to paint a veneer of intellectualism over their self-congratulatory, masturbatory hobby obsession. At least have the courage to admit that what you’re engaged in is impotent antagonism. Hell, my entire show is dedicated to the proposition of impotent antagonism and I’m not ashamed to admit it. But you’ll never hear me pretending that my show is an ‘intellectual’ endeavor. It’s a string of frustrated, powerless, antagonistic ramblings that may or may not make you laugh depending on the depravity of your sense of humor. There’s nothing intellectual about that.

Unfortunately, too few trolls are willing to be that honest with themselves. They like to pretend that their mom’s basement is a fortress; a lone citadel in fallen empire and that they are the final guardian of truth that shall persevere against the hordes of minds too broken to agree with what they themselves simply know to be true. Take as an example some sub-dermal infection that showed up here yesterday to point out what a bunch of homophobes atheists are.

In response to my post yesterday about whether or not atheists are “angry at god”, he left a seemingly innocuous comment asking what, precisely, atheists were so angry about.

I thought I’d made it clear in the post, but I’d also made it clear how bad theists are at understanding what “I don’t believe in your fairy tale” actually means, so I distilled the essence of the argument to a single sentence for him/her:

The implications of a group asserting social jurisdiction on the perceived authority of an imaginary being.

And while I already suspected something rotten under the bridge, it was not until then that the inquisitor revealed their troll-like nature. The response was to link to a blogpost so stupid it forces spontaneous neuronal suicide. I won’t be linking to it here (that jackass already has one undeserved link on my blog), but I can distill the point that this fucktard was trying to make in a quick syllogism:

  • When I argue with atheists, sometimes they get upset and call me names.
  • Sometimes these names include anti-gay slurs and implications that I love the cock.
  • Ergo, all atheists are homophobes.

It may seem like a strange assertion to say that atheists, a group that is all but universally in favor of gay rights against an opposition that is all but universally religious in origin are somehow “anti-gay”. But don’t worry, this human-shaped pile of nut-butter wouldn’t make such an allegation without rock-solid evidence. Why, he/she presented several cherry-picked, out-of-context, unverifiable comments from a blog. Talk about incontrovertible! As we all know, if a person says something in the comments section of a website, clearly their statement is indicative of the larger feelings of whatever group you have chosen to associate them with.

So I politely pointed out that trolling is a dangerous game and that when you engage in it, you should know that at any point, you might get accused of taking it up the ass. And then this monkey-spunk-gargling scrotum wart offers a defense so stupid I had to blog about it:

I wasn’t trolling, I was debating evolution.

Oh, well in that case…

Look, if you want my intellectual sympathy, don’t start off by admitting that you were engaged in something that is almost criminally stupid. If you start the story with something like, “So I’m debating the theory of gravity…”, “So I’m trying to convince this guy that the moon really is made of green cheese…”, “So I’m arguing with this idiot who thinks water is somehow wet…” or, “I was debating evolution…” you’ve already revealed yourself to be a horribly misguided, intentionally ignorant promoter of wanton stupidity. And you think somehow that will shield you from the accusation of being a troll?

You can pretend that you’re “debating” evolution if you want to, but you’re lying and nobody believes the lie but you. The science is in, the data is conclusive, the proof is in the pudding: evolution is true.  There is nothing to ‘debate’. Sure, there’s still plenty to learn and there is a healthy scholarly debate about the mechanisms and specifics of evolution, but if you’re trying to pretend that there’s an intellectually defensible way to debate the very fact that evolution happened, is happening and is responsible for the biodiversity we see on earth, you are not engaged in “debating”, it’s “denying”.

Oh… and trolling.

The Crappy Music

March 9, 2013 4 comments

by Noah Lugeons

I might just be too sensitive for this line of work. I’d like to think I’m pretty thick-skinned, but that would be contrary to all the evidence I’ve seen so far. I take a lot of pride in the Podcast we produce and I take the feedback personally.

That’s not always the case, of course. I get occasional feedback from true believers and I look upon that with amusement. But when I get feedback from an objective person who takes issues with the technical stuff, I really take it to heart. The upside of that is that if I didn’t, it would be really hard to improve the quality of our show. The downside, of course, is that a bad review in iTunes sends me into a multiple-day binge of hopeless alcoholism, drug use and self-flagellation.

Take, for example, a recent 3 star review we got that summed up their feelings in 7 words:

Get rid of the crappy music please.

That was the extent of the review, so I don’t know if there were additional unspoken issues that cost me stars, but the review seemed a bit harsh. I mean, if it was a music podcast, crappy music would be a pretty serious issue, but for the 15 second clips I use in episode transitions (and the music bed behind the calendar segment), I honestly didn’t think the quality of the music mattered much. I mean, I wasn’t gonna use Rebecca Black or anything, but I certainly didn’t think anyone would ever base 2/5ths of a review on it.

Exacerbating the depression that negative reviews of the podcast naturally give me is the fact that I compose and record all the music for the show myself. I guess ‘compose’ is a bit strong of a word, as what I actually do is improvise 2 or 3 minutes worth of stuff once every two weeks and take a few 15 second clips from it to plug in to the space between poop jokes. So this review was attacking both the podcast and my musical acumen.

To be fair, attacking my musical acumen shouldn’t bother me. I’ll readily admit that I’m an amateur musician without much will to advance beyond that amateur status. I enjoy writing music, but I have no illusions that I’m particularly good at it. I certainly envy the much cooler themes that shows like “Reasonable Doubts” and “Post Rapture Looting have. And don’t even get me started on the king of atheist podcast theme songs, “Won’t You Listen to Reason” from the Atheist Experience (and if that’s not the name of the song, it should be).

But I still dig the notion that I built the show from the ground up, including recording the theme, the music beds and the filler. I’m not married to it as a concept, but I also don’t want to comb the internet for better podsafe music that I’m only going to use 15 second clips of. I would be recording these little improvised jam sessions anyway. So with a high quality file of some original music at the ready, it seems like an unnecessary pain in the ass to add to all the work that goes into creating a podcast.

Of course, the most important thing is the quality of the podcast and I’ll readily cop to the fact that people are usually pretty bad at assessing the product of their own creative efforts. Upon reading the review, I had to open my mind to the possibility that the music is way shittier than I ever imagined and I’m just blinded to it by the same process that makes ones own fart smell rather better than those of others.

Up to that point, this review was the only comment anyone had made about the music specifically, so it weighed on my mind quite heavily until last night. And then someone said they thought the music on the podcast was really cool. That evened the pro and anti-columns up and I’m fine with that. I suppose that I’m also saying that the price of the free entertainment I provide is listening to a collective 84 seconds of crappy music once every two weeks, but I do want to produce the best podcast possible, and if the majority opinion is that I need better music, I’ll get better music.

But until more data can be collected, I’ll invoke confirmation bias and assume that ‘PiggyCop’ on iTunes just has bad taste in crappy music.

A Sincere Thanks

February 11, 2013 Leave a comment

by Noah Lugeons

I decided to start this podcast more than a year ago, but because of my own technical inexpertise and a lot of procrastination, we weren’t really able to get it on its feet. I’ve listened to too many poorly-produced podcast full of tinny voices and frustrating hisses to subject the world to yet another. And while I’ll make no claim that the present incarnation of the podcast offers professional sound quality, you can trust me that it’s a vast improvement over the first go-round.

The inspiration to start it was simple. I was looking for a very particular podcast and couldn’t find it. While there were plenty of atheist podcasts out there (and many of them were really good), I couldn’t find the tightly scripted combination of news and humor I wanted. In fact, despite finding several podcasts I became a fast fan of, it seemed that far too many of them were strikingly similar: Two or more hosts doing a loosely bullet-pointed, conversational “stream of consciousness” show where they dug into common apologetics, discussed atheist news items and maybe took a few calls or responded to a few emails.

I don’t want to dismiss these types of show as I actually listen to several of them “religiously”, including The Imaginary Friends Show, The Good Atheist, An American Atheist, The Atheist Experience, Cognitive Dissonance and, my personal favorite, Reasonable Doubts. They’re all solid shows with a lot to add to the community dialogue. And as much as I enjoyed them, I was still constantly searching for another podcast, which I eventually decided to simply make myself.

I have to admit that I wasn’t really sure if anyone would be listening to it. I figured one reason why so many atheist podcasts shared similar formulas was probably because that formula was successful. Still, I wanted to try something a bit different. I’m a big fan of learning new skills, so I figured that the experience would be valuable even if nobody listened to it. But to my delightful surprise, people did listen. Thousands of them, no less.

It seemed the least I could do was offer a sincere “Thank you” to all the people that have listened so far. I appreciate you giving me 30 minutes of your time and I hope that I’ve earned a shot at another 30 minutes of your life next week. The reaction the show is getting is both flattering and humbling, as are all the emails and reviews (so far).

So thanks to everyone who took the time to download and listen. Also, an additional seventeen thanks to everyone who took the additional time to toss a review up on iTunes. No doubt the plethora of reviews is the reason the show has managed to find such a fast audience. If you’ll forgive a moment of pride, I was astonished when I checked earlier today and saw that we were the 3rd most downloaded atheist podcast in iTunes (down from 2nd yesterday, but who’s counting?) and we were showing up prominently in the “New & Noteworthy” section for religion.

A thousand times thank you. I commit that I’ll do everything I can to continue to earn your time. I’ve invested in some equipment upgrades and I’m working hard to produce the best podcast I can offer you, and to be honest, I don’t think I’m even close yet. And if you enjoy the show and want to offer a “your welcome”, there’s an easy way to help. The reviews on iTunes have been instrumental in getting the show in front of so many people, so if you enjoy it and have a few minutes to spare, please help us spread the word.

Oh, and did I mention “thank you”?


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