Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Zooty! Zoot Zoot!

My favourite libertarian skeptics, Penn & Teller, are back with a sixth season of Bullshit on Showtime. In line with my finger argument, Penn & Teller make anger and personal attacks a central part of their exposes of supernatural and puritanical beliefs. The tone is mocking, and will certainly alienate those who sympathize with the victims, but that doesn't bother me as much as it once would have. There's a time for having a calm and rational argument on whatever common ground you have with the other side, and there's a time for rudely demonstrating how little common ground you actually have, as when in the recent episode on internet pornography and those who'd ban it they don't argue that it's beneficial or harmless, but rather that there's no proof that it's dangerous, so let's just go with what's fun, (an argument they then underline with plenty of nudity). Like all libertarians Penn & Teller have their cranky ideas, (climate skepticism is a popular one), but "being right all the time" is a silly standard for pundits and documentarists - I'd rather take smart, witty and interesting. Other themes this season: new age medicine, NASA, sleep and .. uh, dolphin superpowers? What?!



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