Jerks, And Their Big, Offensive Signs

05 Dec

Look, when you put up a big sign with something you think on it, that’s your right and I’m all for you.  But it really makes you sound full of crap when you try to pretend that you aren’t being offensive on purpose.

After all, you’re not talking to the people who already think the same thing you put on your sign are you?  Follow my logic here – if they already think that, then they don’t need to read it off of your Brobdignagian sign.  So you’re talking to the people who don’t think whatever is on your sign, because you want them to stop thinking whatever they think, and you want them to think what’s on the sign.

I can be a real jerk sometimes, there’s no doubt about it.  But the big difference between a blog and a sign on the highway or on the side of a bus is, you don’t have to read my blog.  Signs are designed to get their message into your brain before you’ve decided whether or not you want to read them.

Like the bench signs which read “SEE?!  Bench signs work!”

They sure do.  Signs are like little psychic blowgun darts shot at you by tribes of indigenous marketers.

So check out this group of Canadian Atheists who like to put up signs on the sides of buses which read “”Extraordinary Claims Require Extraordinary Evidence” with “Allah, Bigfoot, UFOs, Homeopathy, Zeus, Psychics, Christ” provided as examples.

On their website, they elaborate a little more, musing about why people get ridiculed for believing in Bigfoot, but revered for believing in Allah or God.  Although, it does not appear that anyone’s getting revered in this particular situation, does it?

The man behind these ads, Mr. Justin Trotter, insists that he is not trying to be offensive. 

But I do take offense, sir.  You see, I know Bigfoot.  One time I was in St. Louis and some pool sharks took me for eight hundred dollars, but then Bigfoot showed up and won it back for me and bought me some gyros.  Bigfoot is a friend of mine, and you, sir, are no Bigfoot.

It’s not like atheists are the only ones who like to put up offensive signs, though.  How about when I’m driving down the highway and keep having to take in gargantuan signs reading “HELL IS REAL!” or “SCREW YOU, TOM, YOU’RE GOING TO HELL!”  or whatever they say. 

It’s like damn it, I’m trying to drink a beer, here.  Calm down.

And don’t get me started on the Pro-Lifers and their Abortion Picture Trucks.  Speaking of People Who I’m Most Likely To Wind Up In Federal Court Discussing Why I Used A Cinderblock To Make Them Look A Lot Like The Pictures On Their Own Trucks.

Wait we weren’t speaking about that, were we?

Anyway.  Jerks and their giant signs.  You know, I used to be the kind of guy who wanted to sit and argue with you about the existence of God, but then I grew up and realized I’m stupid and so is everyone else.  It’s just so much easier to let everybody believe what they want to believe, without putting up big, faith-attacking signs.

That’s what bothers me the most about these guys.  They’re kind of going, what?  We’re just opening a dialogue.

Except no, you don’t have dialogues with giant signs.  You just look at them and get angry.  Or you put them up and feel clever.  There’s something like a hundred thousand dollars sunk into these signs – do you have any idea how many beers and gyros you could have bought for me with that money?  And if you did, I’d believe whatever the hell you said to believe, you know – I’m not complicated.

If someone has faith in their religion, I don’t want to alarm you but it’s probably doing them a lot of good.  The difference, so you know dudes, is that religion is about faith, and Bigfoot is not.

I think if humankind had spent the last several millenia erecting statues and temples dedicated to Bigfoot, then you’d probably find that people took him a little more seriously.  Right now, it’s pretty hard to come up with someone who even claims to have one of his turds.

Have you ever tried to prove that a turd came from Bigfoot?  Without another Bigfoot turd to compare it to, it’s pretty tricky.

Faith isn’t about evidence or turds.  It’s about believing without either of those things – I’m not sure that’s exactly how the Pope would put it, but whatever.

How’s about you leave them alone and focus on whatever good you want to do, godlessly.  Seriously, I’m all for you.  You’d be giving Atheists all over the world a better name, by refusing to engage in that tiresome, sophomoric arrogance that so often makes people stop listening to you.

Instead you’re putting up your own version of the HELL IS REAL signs.  Maybe you guys could all get together and scream Ford! Chevy! at each other, or perhaps Less Filling!  Tastes Great! 

Meanwhile the rest of us, those of us with a bunch of stuff to do, will go about our business, irritated but probably not particularly swayed either way, by your big, stupid signs.


Posted by on December 5, 2010 in News/Commentary


Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

9 responses to “Jerks, And Their Big, Offensive Signs

  1. robertgbobo

    December 5, 2010 at 8:10 pm

    YOU ARE GOING TO HELL! ha! I agree with you on the blog subject. Not a day goes by without someone emailing and asking why I am not dead yet. Never post but e-mail…still stuns me. So confident in opinion behind an email address. Then I think that them saying that may be the reason I do fight on. I truly get pleasure out of pissing people off. We may have different arguements about different things but I always love that we say what we think. I doth my hat to you on this the most splendid of all days and thank you for giving me the outlet. Hope you feel better than a dog soon and I will have one in your honor tonight…

  2. allthingsaboutbooks

    December 5, 2010 at 11:56 pm

    Nice post! I really enjoyed your humor and your logic. Maybe I should put THAT on a sign and wear it around town.

    • Tom Chalfant

      December 6, 2010 at 3:13 pm

      That would be ironic but greatly appreciated! Thank you for commenting!

  3. ecossie possie

    December 6, 2010 at 1:37 am

    A Hundred grand to post up those big stupid signs .Is that why they call them bill boards .Id soon get board paying them bills…

    • Tom Chalfant

      December 6, 2010 at 3:14 pm

      They did say they raised the money, from I guess wealthy outspoken Atheists?

  4. sparrow1969

    December 6, 2010 at 2:05 am

    LOL…Tom, I love the way you get your point across. You absolutely crack me up.

    You’re right, all it ends up being is people shouting at each other using bill boards. The only winner is the bill board guy, who’s getting rich from it all.

    • Tom Chalfant

      December 6, 2010 at 3:12 pm

      Thank you Sparrow and yes, I know a billboard guy – he’s CRAZY loaded.

  5. ShallopCover

    December 6, 2010 at 10:15 am

    Tom, you’re definitely an entertaining writer. You have a sarcastic wit about you that would rival any teenage smart ass that you would find in a high school classroom, with the difference being you have the intellect to make the wit actually clever. I’m with you for the most part on the idiots with their giant signs, although from you’re writing I get the impression that you are obviously not an Atheist.

    “If someone has faith in their religion, I don’t want to alarm you but it’s probably doing them a lot of good.” I’m thinking you meant to make that point that just having faith in something will be doing good because I am hoping you are not one of those people of the opinion that Atheist are at a disadvantage when it comes to the value of life. Because, I think it’s more important to have faith in something to to any deity that one may worship. The reason I say this is because I actually am Atheist.

    It’s not something I parade around the streets yelling, nor am I ashamed of it. I don’t try and disprove God and tell all religious-folk that they look and sounds just as ridiculous as those Science fiction primitive cultures that worship meteor rocks that fall from the sky, or compare religion to wearing ethereal beer goggles through life. Cause simply that isn’t what I believe in. At the same time I want to make it clear I am not looking to debate the existence of God to anyone in the near future because as you wrote, it is a conversation that never ends and is already way too over-exposed. I have faith though. I have faith in the good that exists in everyone, that human beings have a limitless capacity for empathy and not simply because we were told to feel that way from above.

    “You’d be giving Atheists all over the world a better name, by refusing to engage in that tiresome, sophomoric arrogance that so often makes people stop listening to you.”
    This quote makes me feel like you’ve had to deal with some pretty stubborn and loud-mouthed Atheists in your day, so if that is an accurate observation than I would like to humbly apologize for the experience. We are not all of that variety, just like I know not all religious-types are fanatical… See: “The Myst” … the Prophet of the Lord girl that ends up being “Martyred” for her cause.

    Anyway, Didn’t mean to dive into this or leave such a lengthy comment. But, Excellent post.

    • Tom Chalfant

      December 6, 2010 at 3:10 pm

      Well first, thank you very much for the compliments and the thoughtful comment as well. The funny thing is, I’m a lot closer to an Atheist than anything else – this post was really, truly directed at big, giant signs, both kinds of them.

      I stop short of Atheism, when I describe myself, because that’s pretty definite belief, and I can’t prove there’s nothing any more than religious people can prove there’s Something. You might think we shouldn’t believe stuff until it’s proven, or you might think lack of proof isn’t proof of lack. Either way, I’m not very confident in full-blown Atheism. It’s just that when you say you’re an agnostic these days, people tend to attack you for not deciding.

      I definitely agree that the majority of Atheists are not the stubborn, loud-mouthed variety you describe, but that’s the kind you’re most likely to hear from. Those of us like you and I, who want to keep our beliefs to ourselves and not judge others for what they think, well by definition that’s a fairly quiet way to go about things. So we don’t hear from them as much.

      Your second paragraph, no I don’t think that Atheists are at a disadvantage. I just don’t think theists are, either. Frequently, they aren’t equipped to view the world if you yank their faith away, and so that’s not something I would ever want to do.

      Third paragraph – that really sums up about how I am as well, so you and I are a lot of like.

      The main point of this post was that comparing Christ to Bigfoot is very definitely offensive, and there are also logical problems with it as well. It seems crazy to me that they’d put this sign up and say, “Oh, we didn’t mean to offend anyone.”

      I do get a little outspoken about it sometimes. I lost it a little earlier this year when worldwide news outlets were trying to tell me that a magic guardian angel butterfly saved the Chilean miners, for instance. But again, you had to click on my blog to read why, I didn’t follow anyone around screaming “Screw you and your guardian angel butterflies!”

      Here, check out this post of mine from a little while back:


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