We need good news at the beginning of January.
Several items today in New York Times pleased me. First of all, I smiled at the article describing the ad campaign put up by atheists in Britain. I have a soft spot for atheists. It’s a very reasonable position, often taken up by smart, sensitive people who just can’t swallow that any God would let the shit go down that goes down. I admire that, although I usually believe in God. The ad, featured on London’s city busses, says, ” There’s probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life.” Which also made me smile. It really makes no sense. Whether or not you believe in God, you could worry like crazy. Worry that if there is no God, you are totally responsible for making the best of things. Worry that if there is a God, you can’t figure God out. And if there is no God, that doesn’t naturally lead to enjoying life. Maybe the thought of no God is so depressing that you can’t enjoy anything. Regardless, I love that atheists are getting their message out there. Especially British atheists. All those Europeans think Americans are nutty for being religious. God bless them.
Also, hey, we can copy our iTunes. I believe in paying for music, and I faithfully and regularly pay for music, but I was always annoyed that iTunes kept me on such a short leash.
Finally, some guy wants to open a “civilian service academy,” where you “pay” in five years of community service. I don’t know who works for the government, but I do know that lots of us here at my urban public high school had to bury ourselves in outrageous debt in order to teach. It’s one thing to sacrifice salary for public service. When you have to pay back student loans on that salary, it’s an additional burden, and it keeps a lot of people from working in urban schools, as public defenders, or in other low-paid government position. It hasn’t always been this way– people in my parents’ generation didn’t take on this kind of college debt. That’s another complaint about lack of state funding for education…. And I mean this as good news. Maybe his civilian academy won’t work, but it seems like it might be worth a try.