Atheist Convention Day 1, plus pre day.
Well it’s been a busy time so far, arrived Thursday afternoon wandered aimlessly around town before heading to the Russell Blackford & A C Grayling book launch and talk at Cinema Nova. Met up with a few AFA forum members, the great Podblack and SeandBlogonaut bloggers and many others including a couple from America here for the Rise of Atheism Convention and their Honeymoon! (How romantic)
A bunch of us headed back into town to Beer Deluxe for drinks and some food. Met heaps more people who’s names now mostly elude me. Drank way too much and stayed up way too late. Missed the bloggers breakfast the next morning at which P Z myers ate a ‘cracker’ covered in Vegemite (poor bastard).
Friday afternoon, prior to the convention starting, a large group of atheists met up at Young and Jacksons pub in Chloe’s Bar for a few drinks and a chat, II was one of the many who said a quick hello to P Z Myers. Unlike some others I didn’t bother buying PZ a drink as he already had a stubby (300ml to 375ml beer bottle for my non-Australian slang readers) in each coat pocket and someone handed him a glass of beer whilst I was standing there. Then we all wandered down to the convention center to sign in and have a bite to eat and another drink,or two.
The convention was officially opened at 7:30pm with the opening speech from David Nicholls President of the Atheist Foundation of Australia and the introduction of the convention MCs Stuart Bechman and Kylie Sturgess (podblack).
The first speaker was Sue-Ann Post who was hilarious. A self described lesbian ex-Mormon comedian you can imagine what her talk / stand-up comedy sketch was about. Despite the humorous nature of her talk she did make some very good points against god and religion.
Then next speaker Mark Tier was a bit dry, but following Sue-Ann Post was a big ask, but it was interesting hearing first hand about religious attitudes in the Philippines. The Catholics over there, and there are lots of them, are very religious, they all have shrines in their front yards and that’s just the start of it.
Next was Catherine Deveny, who was also very funny and incisive, among other things she discussed her Catholic upbringing and beliefs and her conversion to atheism. She did a piece where she recollected a discussion between a friend and her where she tried, vainly, to defend her beliefs. She finished by reading an article she wrote about being banned from Mildura that was never published by the paper.
The show finished about 10pm and after a brief chat with a few people I decided to give my liver a rest and go back to my hotel.
So ended the first day.
Just a note, these recollections of the Rise of Atheism Convention are my best recollections, I did type a few notes in-between each speaker as memory joggers. So some minor inaccuracies may occur. Everything in these four posts is my opinion only and just my brief overview of the event.