It’s all been done, before

12 Apr

British writer and philosopher Alain de Botton wants to build a new Tower of Babel ‘temple to atheism’, in London.  I guess he never heard that it’s been done already.

Anyway, Lutheran writer and blogger Anthony Sacramone has some fun with this:

I say it should be built. Think of all the fun stuff that would be constituent elements of such an unholy space: the Altar of Eugenics, the Statue of the Goddess Reason, instructions on how to celebrate the Feast of Brutus, organized pilgrimages to The 104th, the Enver Hoxha Library of Burned Books, and Mao Zedong “Great Leap Forward” sack races for the kids!

It would be made entirely of smoked glass, with no foundation or floor plan. Negotiating the space would be an act of sheer will and chance, and only the smartest and strongest will make it through the entire structure, although even they will be left with a nagging feeling that it was all ultimately futile and for no good purpose.

A waste of money? I think not. Before something can be wasted, it must have some endogenous purpose, no?

(BTW, as an aside, isn’t it surreal seeing another blog laid out just like ours?  Strange Herring actually used to look quite different, as did his previous blog.  Copycat! 😉 )

And yes, I ripped off the title from the BNL song:


15 responses to “It’s all been done, before

  1. Will S.

    April 12, 2012 at 2:56 am

    Apropos of nothing, another funny BNL song I like:

  2. Anna

    April 12, 2012 at 10:49 am

    Alain de Botton has some interesting writings. I think his pieces on religion for atheists are pretty silly, tho. He wants the social benefits that come with the religion, but not that whole pesky “God” thing. If that’s what he thinks religion is about, why doesn’t he just join a Unitarian church? 😛

  3. Will S.

    April 12, 2012 at 11:07 am

    Johnny Cash once sang, with U2:

    “I stopped outside a church house,
    Where the citizens like to sit,
    They say they want the Kingdom
    – but they don’t want God in it.”

    People like de Botton, and Unitarians, and some Texan “Churches of Freethought“, are just like that.

    They want to have their cake, and eat it.

  4. Sis

    April 12, 2012 at 11:16 am

    my 4-yr old prefers your music over mine.

  5. Will S.

    April 12, 2012 at 11:21 am

    She has good taste if she likes what I like. 🙂

    But what kind of music are you listening to, that she likes less?

  6. Sis

    April 12, 2012 at 11:44 am

    A pandora mix of Dar Williams children’s music. I like BNL God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen, it’s in our Christmas mix.

  7. Will S.

    April 12, 2012 at 11:47 am

    Ah. I had no idea Dar Williams did children’s music; I’ve only heard one song of hers, and saw the video for it (or a performance of it or something); I don’t remember the name, but it seemed kinda ‘Ani Difranco’-ish lefty-folky for my tastes, with a “the family’s together for Thanksgiving, including the Wiccan and the lesbian and the vegetarian”, kinda message. Ick. Not for me. I hope her children’s music isn’t as subversive. Good that your girl prefers BNL. 😉

  8. Will S.

    April 12, 2012 at 1:19 pm

    Excuse me; it was about Christmas, not Thanksgiving. And it is about a lesbian couple; no mention of vegetarianism, though. Otherwise, it’d make a perfect script for one of those endless stream of ‘home for the holidays’, ‘dysfunctional family’, Hollywood movies…

  9. Sis

    April 12, 2012 at 1:48 pm

    Could I have picked a worse person to admit liking on your blog, she’s probably a feminist too? I want a do-over, we were listening to Jack Johnson, never heard of Dar.

  10. Will S.

    April 12, 2012 at 1:52 pm

    Oh, cool! I like Jack Johnson. Esp. this one:

    (Yes, I’m sure Dar is a feminist, too.)

  11. joycalyn

    April 12, 2012 at 2:06 pm

    Will: Have you heard Chris Bathgate? Here’s a Tiny Desk Concert in case you haven’t and you’re interested.

  12. Will S.

    April 12, 2012 at 2:22 pm

    Hi Joycalyn, hadn’t heard him till now, but I like!

    I also wasn’t aware of these Tiny Desk Concerts; I see a number by artists I like (e.g. Kathleen Edwards, the Decemberists, Gillian Welch and David Rawlings), and others that look interesting. Now I’m never going to get anything done! 🙂

  13. joycalyn

    April 12, 2012 at 3:05 pm

    I’m familiar with the problem; I try to forget Tiny Desk Concerts exist when I’m supposed to be working (which I’m supposed to be doing right now 0_0.) One more, then I’ll go away. David Ramirez.

  14. joycalyn

    April 12, 2012 at 3:06 pm

    Oh, darn. I was hoping that would just post as a link…….sorry for totally hijacking your thread!

  15. Will S.

    April 12, 2012 at 3:17 pm

    Actually, I like the embedded clips; as you see, I do it myself. 🙂


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