Recently, on the advice of some friends, I set up an OkCupid profile (as I’ve said before, I expect Short Circuits to be a judge-free zone.)
One of the site’s tools for matching users is to ask a lot of questions about your beliefs on religion, sex, dating, and other topics.
These are processed into a convenient graph. This way, attractive girls gain all kinds of wonderful excuses to not speak to you.
|More like Forces of Sleek, right?|
As you can see, I am “more political” and “less old-fashioned” than most guys my age. I typically try to avoid contaminating Short Circuits with too many of my political views, but today, I feel a disclaimer is necessary: I am a social libertarian, borderline economic socialist, and I consider myself a deist.
Also, I am not very kinky.
You see, my subject today is someone that, based on that graph, you may be inclined to believe I align with. That’s the nature of discourse in this country: we frequently utilize generalizations in order to more easily process complex ideas. And I can’t blame anyone for that, as I do the same thing.
So at the risk of violating the judge-free zone, let’s get one thing out of the way: I think that he Amazing Atheist is kind of an asshole.
|The Amazing Atheist is also kinkier than me. You’ll see why.|
The Amazing Atheist – real name TJ Kincaid – is an internet personality, vlogger, and self-described “fat white man who yells about things.” He is – surprise – a very strong atheist and political liberal. He originally joined YouTube in 2006, and has been producing videos since then aside from a suspension or two. His videos typically address arguments against religion, conservatism, and current news stories. He also does the occasional review of a film or video game.
The Amazing Atheist has attempted in the past to extend his internet reach beyond YouTube. He attempted to start a site called FreeSpeechVideos in response to changing standards of censorship on YouTube after the Google buyout, particularly with partners. The site would offer 4chan-style everything-except-illegal-stuff freedom for its users. The site obviously did not take off. He also did a stint at popular pop culture web site That Guy With the Glasses, but was fired for being too abrasive.
The Amazing Atheist typically utilizes a very harsh, almost condescending sort of argumentative style. He is not above ad hominem and sweeping generalization fallacies, which he may believe contribute to his “I don’t give a fuck” sort of image. He also has some extremely controversial opinions beyond those on religion, particularly about feminism. Some of these have gotten him into trouble with his fans and other internet citizens.
|Is it weird that I’m intrigued?|
Because of his demeanor, controversial views and often offensive nature, The Amazing Atheist is more accurately defined as a ragecow rather than a lolcow, though he certainly has some giggles to share.
TJ currently lives in Illinois.
The Amazing Atheist’s primary internet presence exists on his YouTube channel.
Unlike many lolcows, he is actually quite popular, with nearly 300,000 subscribers as of this writing. Here he posts videos regularly, typically every 2 or 3 days. He also maintains an active Twitter and tumblr.
Other forms of lesser milk come in the form of a documentary he released entitled Amazing – which he originally charged $50 for but then released free on YouTube – and his book Scumbag: Musings of a Subhuman. You can get a pretty good sense of the book just by glancing at the table of contents, but here’s the link if you’re curious.
|The original subtitle was “How to Pick Up Women Without Really Trying.”|
The greatest milk comes from when TJ begins pontificating or engaging in arguments. TAA’s worst – or perhaps best – instance of this came during an argument on the infamous subreddit. In an argument with a user named ICumWhenIKillMen, who could probably be a ragecow in her own right, TJ found out that she was a rape victim. He then proceeded to call her a cunt and make fun of her traumatic experience. The thread is viewable here, but in crippled form since TJ deleted his account.
|I couldn’t find an original screenshot. This is from another article commenting on the incident.|
The horrible irony here is that TJ himself was molested as a child, confirmed by him in a video. In this video he calls himself a “tough motherfucker” and says he doesn’t believe in the “victim mentality.” This still doesn’t quite explain his insensitivity to another victim of rape.
So where does the rage stop, and where do the laughs begin?
As with most lolcows, the laughs are kinda gross. TJ has his share of sexual preferences, some normal – like masturbating to naked pictures of Scarlett Johansson – and some a bit less normal, like being a BDSM sub.
|His coconut gun / can fire in spurts / when he shoots ya, it’s gonna BLURRGHH|
The lulziest and grossest of all, however, is definitely a video that leaked of him using a banana, coffee, and syrup for anal masturbation. It’s still out there, but you don’t want the link. He claims the video was made for a girl and shown to another girl who then leaked it, but it’s highly probable that TJ just got trolled, especially given his significant internet presence.
The Big Picture
Sorry readers, but I hope you’ll let me preach for a minute.
The Amazing Atheist can be seen as the epitome of white privilege.
Here is a heterosexual, cisgender white man who repeatedly drops the c-bomb, calls people small-minded and stupid, and pontificates while remaining completely ignorant of how others might view things. He is living proof that acting like a jerk doesn’t make you cool, but rather, it just makes you a jerk.
In contrast to the hyper-offensive, 4chan-inspired movement of internet culture in the mid-2000s, the idea of “social justice” is beginning to gain greater ground online.
While the movement has plenty of lolcows of its own – lolcows I almost wrote this article about – the concept is what matters: recognizing your place in society and doing your best to ensure others have the same opportunities. Recognizing that sometimes, despite what your internet friends might tell you, being a dick is actually not cool. That the whole “survival of the fittest” argument you might have thought was so edgy in high school is often utilized by hateful, uneducated people with nothing valuable to contribute. That a fedora is actually not a piece of clothing you should wear.
Basically, I see my generation growing up. And I love that.
|Pictured: me in middle school.|
Perhaps The Amazing Atheist is a relic of this time in internet culture.
Or, he could be seen as part of the new “militant atheist” movement, spearheaded by Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, and others. A movement of people who often believe they are oppressed by a Christian majority (ironically, those same people believe they are oppressed by atheists.)
In reality, they are blind to what oppression really is.
|Pictured: someone TJ might call a “pussy.”|
The funny thing is that the internet is growing up, too.
Identities are becoming more permanent, more cohesive as our social networking sites all begin to connect to each other. It’s rare to have five unique screen names anymore. Anonymity is now a commodity, rather than a guarantee.
We are far more accountable than we used to be.
And it’s easy to herald that as some sort of doombringing siren song of the web.
But if social responsibility is important, than it may not be such a bad idea after all.