Wednesday, July 11, 2012

S.E. Cupp and The Cycle of Unbearable Idiocy

I had heard wind of the possibility that the inimitably stupid Sarah Elizabeth "S. E." Cupp might get a show on MSNBC for reasons as yet incomprehensible to me.  Sure enough, she now has a show on MSNBC, and I just watched some clips from the first episode of her new show, The Cycle.  It was an agonizingly painful experience.  I have a feeling that the only reason MSNBC, a largely left-leaning network would even put her on is because they want to feign some level of neutrality.  I can't imagine why.  Technically, CNN already plays this angle, but only by way of argumentum ad temporantiam, and trying to feign neutrality is not meaningful.

There are only four reasons why she ever had a job at Fox...  1 ) Boobs...  2 ) The Naughty Librarian look...  3 ) Boobs...  and 4 ) she poses as a Right-Wing ultra-conservative atheist who espouses the false virtues of religion.  And in spite of my mentioning her appearance more than once, the 4th one is the big one.  Sure, they made it obvious the first 3 were significant considering her presence on Fox involved a deliberate use of a wide camera shot that displayed her bared legs stretched out...  Could they make it more obvious that this woman's mindless prattling is without a shred of substance?  Nonetheless, I still have to say it's the 4th factor that It's just the sort of tool the right-wingers would love to have because it is the sort of sock-puppetry that makes it possible for religious nutbags and conservatives to say "See?? We even have an atheist agreeing with us!"

Of course, I don't buy for a second that there's anything remotely genuine about S. E. Cupp.  While I'm not entirely ready to say that she's waiting for that chance to suddenly convert, I only say that because I think her very existence as a character is created out of the right wing impression of atheism as a "trend."  It's certainly arguable that it would be if your only sample space is young impressionable teenagers who don't really have the weapon of thorough analysis of the subject material.  But she's basically got the platform of being the person who supposedly sits on the other side of the fence, but blindly agrees with what theocrats say.  And that's something politicians love, and that's exactly why she'd do better to stick with it.

Still, there's an obvious show of insincerity.  She can't even support her own supposed position.

Seriously, there have been numerous attempts by others to get her to even explain why she is an atheist, and without isolated exception, she dodges the question.  Even in the clip, a certain sounding post of a guest decided to talk at length about her depth of knowledge about religion prior to asking why she apparently doesn't believe in a God.  Then she replies by repeating what he asked in a different wording.  "I just haven't gotten to that point."  Seriously?  He asked you why you haven't...  what kind of answer is that?  When Bill Maher asked her a similar question, he made the mistake of adding the additional "somewhere you had to have found something about it ridiculous."*  That just opened it up to dodging the question.  Without exception, she makes a point of trying to lead down the path of religious people are better in some way, talking endlessly about how she envies religious people.  She never says what that way is under any circumstances, but that doesn't matter...  she only has to speak positively of religious people, speak negatively of atheists, and that's all that's necessary.  Even her answer in this first episode clip with the blatant setup question, is stated in just such a way as if to suggest attaining blind unquestioning faith is a higher goal than knowing better.  "I'm not there yet"...  Yet?  What a crock.

I don't know of any atheist who would dare claim that they don't have any explanation for why they are atheist.  Similarly, I can't think of any religious person who would tell you that all people who identify with atheism are necessarily better people.  Is there any example of a person who identifies with a certain viewpoint (religious, political, technical, whatever), and without so much as an isolated incidence of explaining or even supporting their own position?  And invariably showering praise on opposing viewpoints without ever declaring why you oppose it in the first place?

She goes off on some tangent about "militant atheists" being the most intolerant people ever...  and her only example of this is a survey where people graded presidential candidates on how secular they are.  Seriously?  Survey results which don't report a single personal feeling on the matter conveys a burning intolerance?  Showing the average overall response of a sampled population demonstrates overbearing arrogance?  So what does she have to say for people who state that gays should be locked behind an electrified fence and left to die slowly?  What does she have to say for the governor who proclaims that we should teach that the Loch Ness monster proves every biologist on the planet wrong?  What does she have to say for the people who bomb abortion clinics while simultaneously proclaiming that every life is sacred?  What does she have to say for the religious leaders who proclaim that all non-Christians are of the devil and deserve to burn in hell forever as the inferior dead-in-the-soul filth they are?  What does she have to say to the WBC who protest at the funerals of dead soldiers proclaiming that we should be thankful for their deaths?  What does she have to say for the fundamentalists who What does she have to say for the media pundits who proclaim that church attendance should be mandatory or that being gay is part of a Satanic agenda or that Special Relativity is the work of those who side with the Nephilim?  What does she have to say for a guy who proclaims that all liberals are the enemies of God, and that he wishes he could personally go out a murder a few?  What does she have to say for people who bury kittens in concrete or smash in the head of a family's pet in order to send angry messages?

Oh, yeah...  I forget...  According to her (in the same video linked above), you can be intolerant and still be respectful about it.  It's not as if outright bigotry and intolerance and unthinking rejection of all facts to the contrary of your beliefs and the efforts to murder people who do things you don't like and the litigation to have your preferred ideas trump scientific and historical fact without question could actually mean you're not all fuzzy-wuzzy friendly about it!  Oh, but let's be clear.  According to Cupp, that loophole doesn't apply to atheists.  If atheists call you out on your bullshit, that just makes them the living embodiments of pure concentrated evil.

As for the whole "I would never vote for an atheist" part...  she basically makes a variation on the old "moral compass" argument as if it isn't blatantly obvious how wrong it is upon hearing it.  She inserts a little use of the word "esoteric" in order to make it sound as if she can't explain it thoroughly in the available time.  The reality is that she can't explain it because it's a bold-faced lie.  This point about not having a check to say that "I'm not bigger than the state"...  what the hell is that?  Where is there anything in any religion that goes there?  Furthermore, at what point did atheism have anything to do with an individual having unlimited power?  Atheism has no inherent association to anything.  Secondly, how does belief in a higher power necessarily introduce a check against one's own application of power?  Mr. "I'm the decider" Dubya certainly didn't hold back on his exercise of power, and I don't think anyone doubts the depths of his religious conviction.  Conversely, Obama, who the majority of Republicans believe is either a Muslim or an atheist at different times of day is a half-hearted weakling in action regardless of how strong he is with his words.  One should be reminded that it is every bit as easy to use your belief in a higher power in order to justify pretty much anything so long as you proclaim that you have "God" on your side.  An atheist can't possibly do that.  While both things are possible, and have indisputably happened in the past, even within recent history, the point is that neither is a certainty.  Making absolute statements on the basis of something which has no logical construct and is anyway an uncertain hypothetical even if it wasn't bullcrap of the highest order is invariably wrong.

She isn't wrong to say, though, that people like me are intolerant and hateful.  I most certainly am intolerant.  I am categorically and unequivocally opposed to stupidity.  So, to Sarah Elizabeth Cupp...  well...  You know, I think the conclusion to that statement should be obvious.

* Not the exact quote, but merely the general gist of it.
Also, as an additional note, I have to add that using a reference to the Higgs Boson (aka "God Particle") discovery at CERN as nothing more than a springboard to talk about religion is an incalculably repugnant behavior that belittles the importance of scientific discovery and study...  but then, that's about par for the course for conservatives in general, you lowlife swine.