Lauren Bacall brings joy to the hearts of journalists and politicians once again

I’m sorry to report that actress Lauren Bacall has died an event of great import and grief to her family. But her sacrifice has been a great boon to the the news cycle and the electoral machinery — thank God that we have a tragedy involving a wealthy white woman to drag us away from the depressing news about brown people. I mean, really: young 18 year old black man gunned down for walking in the street vs. 89 year old white actress dying of a stroke? Which of those two stories gives you an excuse to play heart-warming video clips non-stop on your 24 hour news channel? Besides, the real story in Missouri is that businesses have been damaged by angry black people — no one is going to trash the Family Dollar in rage over the death of a popular actress. Mike Brown’s death is confusing — the police say he was a shoplifter struggling to get a gun, while no stores reported a shoplifting event, and Brown was unarmed and shot while raising his hands in surrender. Where’s the moral clarity? We’re supposed to want to believe the police, you know, yet all the evidence points to their status as a gang of militarized thugs. That’s very uncomfortable.

Boy, I hate to say it, but it sure was nice of Lauren Bacall to create such a spectacular distraction. No one wants to think the police might be untrustworthy.

And think of the politicians! Midterm elections are coming up. Those are important! So people like Barack Obama need to be able to show their human side and connect with the real concerns of the American people by immediately issuing a safe, kind statement about Lauren Bacall, while navigating the dangerous shoals of police brutality and black oppression by avoiding them. Wouldn’t want to antagonize those lovely law-and-order folks before an election, you see.

Lovely folks like this white Man:

He seems nice. He looks like the kind of person who would have laughed at Lauren as Evelyn on “Family Guy” and cried at Key Largo. He is a Real American whose opinions deserve the attention of the powers that be.


My Unimaginable Psychic Power

This morning I had a psychic experience. I suppose it could also be called a premonition. I saw something happen before it happened. Wait, I sound crazy. Let me start over.

Today I had an experience that really underscores the value of skeptical and logical thinking. A set of circumstances took place that would have had a younger me, running around telling everyone who would listen, that psychic ability is very real and in fact, it’s an ability that I possess.

I know myself well in this regard. There are a number of embarrassing examples of manufactured “experiences” and/or “powers” that I convinced myself were true over the years. This happened well into my early thirties.

As a kid, I was convinced I was born in a barn in Africa after making up and telling that story countless times. As a teen I was sure I could travel great distances by leaving my body. I was confusing imagination for astral projection. In my twenties, I told hundreds of people I could see auras and pompously explained that they were nothing more than heat radiation that did not change colors to represent mood or personality.

I wasn’t lying. I was able to see these “auras” because my astigmatism was starting to take hold and what was once sharply focused was becoming blurry and fuzzy and ignorantly, I confused bad eyesight for New Age powers.

This morning, I awoke from a dream where a voice I recognized was saying something like, “let’s get it done!” Or some variation on that theme. I recall recognizing the voice as a Mac client and I grabbed my phone to see if there was a call or voicemail from her. That’s how real the voice in the dream felt. I first checked my missed calls and then I opened my address book to call her and just as I was about to dial, I dropped my phone. As I got out of bed I realized I needed to use the restroom and so, the moment passed.

That was at 10:30 this morning. At 11:16 I received a text from Tabitha that read, “Hi Emery. The new hard drive arrived last week”.

The feeling was instant and visceral. I was filled with amazement and wonder. Before I could even apply any logic or reason to this equation I was swimming in endorphins and I was instantly ready to call this a supernatural experience.

I knew that she was talking about replacing her hard drive because about four weeks ago, I had diagnosed her hard drive as ready to fail and helped her assistant order a replacement. I had expected to hear from Tab a few days after but the call never came. Weeks passed and frankly, I had forgotten all about it.

Fortunately my logical mind kicked in and I began analyzing all of the elements involved.

Over the last few days I had been thinking about the loaner iMac I have sitting in the living room that I had sent over to Tab last month. It has her data on it and I didn’t want to wipe it until I knew she had a new hard drive and her data was safe on her own machine. So this has been weighing on me for many days now. Just last night as I got up to go to bed I recall looking at the iMac and thinking, “I really should call Tab and ask her if she got her new hard drive installed and her data copied safely.”, but I never would have recalled having that thought unless I really started looking for a logical explanation for the dream.

Obviously Tabetha and her computer were on my mind before I went to bed. This is clearly what caused me to awake to the voice talking about her computer.

Now let me clarify that the dream that I woke to was not significant in the moment. It was like any other morning of dream confusion. It only became significant the second I read that text from Tabetha.

Think about that. I have awakened to hundreds, even thousands of different dream state moments and none of them was more significant than the other. The thing that made this dream stand out was the coincidence that Tabetha had reached out via text shortly after I woke from a dream. The human desire to connect these two events and make the dream somehow responsible for or magically connected to the text is overwhelming. This is what we humans are wired to do. And once you understand this, you would think we would be less prone to it but in fact, I fell into the predictable pattern instantly.

Now, before you go screaming that I’m being too logical and maybe there really is some magic at work here. I have to tell you one more incredible part of the story.

After Tabetha had texted me I told her I would call her after lunchtime and I reached for my phone, opened up the address book and to my amazement my address book was opened to the Mac client I had been dreaming about when I woke up.

The address cards starring back at me was for a Mac client named Susan. The dream I was having wasn’t about Tabetha at all. But my mind filled in the gaps and brought them together so convincingly that even as I began writing this story I was unaware of the fact that I had awakened to Susan’s voice in my head, not Tabetha’s. Had I not tried to call Susan and had I not dropped my phone, I might have spent the rest if my life thinking that the dream was about Tabitha.

When someone claims to have psychic powers I have no doubt they believe it but I know how easy it is to fool ourselves.


esssee123 said: Hi there. What happened to your podcasts, they just seemed to have stopped (on iTunes) without explanation. They were two favs of mine and miss hearing them. Either way, thanks for many hours of interesting content (cuntent). All the best, Jeremy - Australia

We just released 6 new ones.

Emery on Science vs. Religion.

Emery on Science vs. Religion.

"Ken Ham defends his conclusions while Bill Nye defends a process." - Emery Emery

"Ken Ham defends his conclusions while Bill Nye defends a process." - Emery Emery



I sat eating my Big Mac, playing Tiny Death Star on my iPhone lost in my own personal malaise. I was pondering the loss of so many relationships that initially, seemed as if they could never end. I was contemplating my mother’s slow healing, compound fracture and how I wasn’t ready for her to give up just yet. I wondered if my new used car would become a money pit and how was going to afford to get the old Saab running right so Heather could drive a more reliable car to her night gig.

My quiet contemplation was broken by a tattooed twenty-something charging through the door followed by an old man moving slowly behind him, a dog-eared notebook under one arm and what appeared to be sleeping supplies under the other. The old man was talking up a storm to some unseen person. He mumbled in a language only known to him and the ghost that only he could see.

The kid walked right up to the counter and placed his order with blinding speed as if he was late for a CeeLo concert and while he waited for his food, he eyed the old man. I wondered what kind of trouble I was about to witness. I knew I’d be getting involved because that’s what I do. I’m not a spectator.

The old man was focussed on his invisible friend and seemed hell bent on not making eye contact with anyone in the joint but all eyes were on him. He stood near the soda machine, working out some details about something that only he understood. He seemed to be getting what must have been good advice from the ether because he laughed a few times and nodded vigorously in his companion’s ghostly direction which was situated conveniently away from us all.

A tray was set on the counter as the minimum wage employee called out the number 315. The kid snagged the tray in one hand and the empty cup in the other and slid right up to the old man causing him to flinch as he let out a preternatural grunt.

“Which flavor you like, man?” blurted the young man.

After a moment of confusion a sliver of coherence slipped in just long enough for the old guy to say, “Sprite! Who don’t drink Sprite?!” And he turned away as quickly as his wretched body would allow and rounded the corner, shuffling his way to the seat that would place him as far from the rest of us as he could get.

I watched him situate his notebook which had a crude pen drawing of what appeared to be a woman with the words, “Keep It Together” scratched beneath in 1st grade level handwriting. He resumed his discussion but this time, with his notebook. The ghost must have moved onto the page he turned to.

The kid finished filling his Sprite, capped it and stabbed the lid with a straw and made his way to the man’s table, causing the man to rise to his feet as if he were ready to defend the small island and his pen and ink lady had staked claim to and in the moment, everything became instantly clear to me.

Twenty-Something sat the meal on the old man’s table and gently placed his arm around the man to help guide him to his seat. He said, “Stay strong, brother.”

My eyes filled and I was instantly ashamed for believing that this boy could do anyone harm. I had no idea he had met that man on the street where he invited him into the warmth of a McDonald’s restaurant where he would see to it that the man had a meal tonight.

I was also ashamed that only moments ago, I was sad.

I walked out of that building with no money in my pocket because I sat a small wedge of cash on the man’s table as I walked by and as I was making my way out the door, the kid was behind me, on the way to whatever life he’s fortunate enough to have. All I said was, “That was beautiful”. He thanked me and jumped in his parent’s SUV and drove away. The music rattling his windows wasn’t Ceelo.



Sitting in a Starbucks, I watch a man in his late 60s inspect every facet of a double walled, stainless steel travel mug. He rigorously tests the lid. Examining the interior for any imperfections and finally, it was clear that he was no lon
ger considering a purchase as inspection turned to admiration. He had made a decision. 

Continuing to admire his new-found possession, he slowly made his way to the condiment bar where his wife was doting over a double chai latte and with what seemed like calculated restraint, he presented her with his prize.

She didn’t even seem to look at the thing. Her eyes jumped to meet his where his gaze quickly turned from hopeful excitement to defeated disappointment as her scowling face and shaking head communicated precisely, her decision.

When a person becomes partners with another, a power struggle will always ensue and if those people remain paired for any significant amount of time, it means one of those people has beaten the other into a kind of submission. 

Perhaps it’s the better of the two options. Somewhere there is a man who always stood his ground and never acquiesced to his partner’s demands or even learned the value of compromise and right this moment, he’s drinkinking a black coffee from a stylish, finely crafted travel mug manufactured specifically to maintain ideal coffee temperature but alas his drink is too bitter to enjoy for he has no one with which to share and the plastic injection molded, rubber seal cap also serves to funnel his tears directly into his prized mug.


This guy is talking like I might be a fairly older woman, so I want to clarify that I’m in my late twenties. My. Late. Twenties.
And, you know what? I was getting really insecure about how fucking ancient I am until this guy assured me that “age is just a number.”

I love this blog! It highlights everything that’s wrong with the male mind. And by mind, I mean penis.


This guy is talking like I might be a fairly older woman, so I want to clarify that I’m in my late twenties. My. Late. Twenties.

And, you know what? I was getting really insecure about how fucking ancient I am until this guy assured me that “age is just a number.”

I love this blog! It highlights everything that’s wrong with the male mind. And by mind, I mean penis.


Ardent Atheist 11/13/13 

Episode Guests

Chris Gore -

Kyle Hill -

Check out our Sponsors

Pre Show Topics

Rafael Cruz: Atheism leads to child molestation and perversity

Right-wing pastor wants you to stop buying lesbian Girl Scout cookies

Atheists can be jailed in Kentucky for not acknowledging God

Relevant Links

Getting the God of Thunder’s Science Right

Squirtle, I (Should) Choose You - Settling a Great Pokemon Debate with Science

The Road Less Travelled with Meredith Doig, PZ Myers, Chris Stedman, Leslie Cannold. “Can Atheists and Believers work together for the common good?”

Leading Scientists Still Reject God

Nonoverlapping Magisteria

Please Pray for this Post

Precambrian rabbit (Wikipedia)

Are redheads going extinct?

Megan Fox discusses her wonky thumbs

Marked for Mayhem

Patton Oswalt - Sky Cake

Chris Stedman - Faitheist



Norm MacDonald on religion, science and DNA

October 30, 2013

Tonight, I had a public discussion with the very funny and talented SNL alumn, Norm Macdonald. I had tweeted a statement about religion and he struck up a conversation on the subject. It was a very cordial and respectful exchange and I have mad respect for the man. both as a performer and as a thoughtful human being. While he’s obviously not an atheist as his statements on Larry King Make clear, he’s also not the mindless Christian many in my community decried after his appearance on Larry King.

Clip From Larry King Now

And here is the chat he shared with me. I hope to one day get him to appear on “Ardent Atheist”. I love his humor and appreciate his mind.


Jay Z throws ‘African themed’ party, called racist for blackface costumes

  • Internet up in arms over racially insensitive party
  • Birthday boy defends himself: “We’re all black, asshole!”
  • Are you Jay Z? We’d like to chat, email
  • Were you a guest at the party? Let us know!

Rappers have been portrayed as racist after photos leaked of a 43-year-old rapper’s African-themed birthday bash.

An American man has been forced to defend himself amid accusations of racism by international websites.

The man, named Jay Z, threw a 43rd birthday party with an African theme, in which guests were asked to wear costumes in line with the world’s second largest continent and, as with most post-party photos, uploaded the shots to his Facebook page.

In the pics, some attendees have painted their faces black which have some up in arms.

The photos surfaced soon after on Tumblr user OffendedinHollywood’s account and American websites were quick to pick up.

"This is what resulted … blackface,Tuxedo and rapper costumes, sun glasses, African American tattoos (?!) and more …. I’m at a loss for words," wrote OffendedinHollywood.

"And yes, this is from 2013.

"The dude posted the pictures proudly and flatly refused to take them down when confronted by another individual about how they were racist apparently. Pictures were reported to Facebook days ago and they still have not been taken down. Wow.

"In case you ever wanted to know how hollywood folks saw us black Africans … here you go."

Buzzfeed have since deemed the party pics “incredibly offensive.” Meanwhile, Jezebel, whose story runs with the headline, “Racist 43rd Birthday Party Gleefully Documented on Facebook" describes the pictures as "ignorance, insensitivity and racism ahoy!"

In a response on Tumblr, which he has now deleted, Jay Z defended himself, writing, “It was my ‘African themed’ party and it was honestly made that theme because I have always wanted to go to Africa (to rap for starving Africans) but haven’t made it there yet. In no way was this party intended to hurt anyone’s feelings or upset anyone at all.

"However, some guest (sic) did decide to tattoo themselves, although this was in no way my intention or encouraged in the slightest. I understand that this has offended some people and I have no idea how these photos have even been seen, they were simply put on Facebook for my guests to see the photos of themselves.

"I am 100% sure that parties would be held that would be ‘American themed’ or slave themed or even countries of the world, and in that instance I don’t believe anyone would be offended. People wear Oktoberfest costumes to parties and no one cracks it that they are not German? So what I am saying is I do understand the people who have tattooed themselves have offended people, although none of them intended that …. but how can people be annoyed that the majority of the people at the party were celebrating another countries culture."

These tux outfits raised some eyebrows.

He continues to describe an Ethiopian friend who white-outed himself just for the party, but interestingly those photos did not make the cut in OffendedinHollywood’s post.

He maintains he never received a request to take the images offline.

"To be honest I am not a white person at all so I didn’t think anyone could possibly take it that way."

Jay Z plans to travel to Cambodia in January for a two-month stint to rap, and hopes to do the same in Africa.

"If you will still have me".

He has since deleted all of his social media profiles, including Facebook.

This isn’t the first time an American rapper has gotten in trouble for crossing the race relations line.

In 2009, Harry Connick Jr. stormed off the set of Hey Hey It’s Saturday after a “blackface” skit went wrong but said he did not accuse the performers of being racist.

"Where I come from, blackface is a very specific and very derogatory thing," he said in a statement.

"Perhaps this is different in other parts of the world, but in the American culture, the blackface image is steeped in a negative history and considered offensive."

Continue the conversation via Twitter @emeryemeryii 

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