All research enquiries sound insane. Sometimes, as when you are squodging through a sewage tunnel researching Neverwhere, they seem insane to you too.
When I needed to write an autopsy in AMERICAN GODS I called my family doctor, and he turned out to have been the county prosector, and we spent a couple of hours on the phone with him answering all my questions, even the stupid ones. (“Why do you have to put the organs back in the same order you took them out?” “Because otherwise they won’t fit.” “Oh.”)
There are a LOT of books about death, dying and what happens to bodies post mortem, that you could use too. Check your library. Talk to your librarians. In my experience, they like the weird requests.*
*do not stare at them in an unsettling way while you ask, though. Try to smile, unless you have an unsettling smile.
Don’t let atheism turn into hatred
For many of us atheism is very empowering. But, it’s important to avoid turning that into hate and feelings of moral superiority.
I am a proud memeber of my local atheist society. This might seem peculiar, given that my chilly opinion of supernatural beliefs is far from the most important part of my identity, but it’s important to understand that in my Bible Belt community, the atheist society functions almost like a salon in the Paris or New York sense, bringing together scientists, professors and students from the university, artists, writers, musicians, engineers and software developers, and all manner of geeks and intellectuals from less glamorous professions and gives them a place to exchange ideas and enjoy one another’s company over pizza and beer.
However, the society has an inner circle of more ideological, politicized atheists. Often survivors of severe religious upbringings and/or transplants from small Appalachian towns, these men (for they are all men) seem to have discovered atheism and then just…stopped. They carry around dog-eared copies of The God Delusion and make the kind of jokes that are hilarious when you’re 13. They are adamant that they’ve got it all figured out - “‘twas blind but now I see” - yet they are usually the ones who need things like scientific racism, the difference between Sunnis and Shiites, and the existence of Jewish atheists explained to them. And worst of all, they lack the empathy that allows one to distinguish between useful advocacy and alienating belligerence. We caught one gentleman distributing atheist tracts to waitresses, an action he continues to defend.
Nonbelief confers dizzying intellectual freedom on the individual, and it baffles me that someone would waste it all on rehashing the same old arguments and bookstore pranks and petty hatreds. An atheist of this type is like a bird who constantly preens and displays his wings, who only ever wants to sing about his wings, who feels superior to any creature without wings, and who never thinks to fly. His anti-religious bigotry must be understood as the truest expression of this paradoxical flightlessness.
Interesting and well put feedback! Thanks for that.
Julien Mauve - After Lights Out, 2013
"Anxiety and the danger of shadows mixed in with safety and well-being"
Some shows just aren’t worth the consequences.
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Etymology: from Mediaeval Latin incoronatus, past participle of incoronare, “to crown”.