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Lewis Black's Nothing Sacred
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I started reading comedian Lewis Black's Nothing's Sacred, which I thought would be funny. It's mostly an autobiography, and not really funny at all, which is a big disappointment. I typically enjoy Black's routines, but the stuff in this book is just flat, mostly because he's trying to be somewhat serious. It doesn't work.

And the bit that sealed it for me was Black's apparent sympathy for astrology. Now, here's a short comedy bit of his on evolution, fossils, and the age of the earth:

He strains his arm patting himself on the back for being uber-rational, mocking all those rubes that just won't buy into what is obviously common sense.

The same man wrote this in his book:

I was born in Washington, D.C., on August 30, 1948. For those of you who believe in such things, my birth date makes me a Virgo, the sign of the anal-retentive. The sign kind of sucks, really, and I don't know if it has helped or hindered me, but I am sure the stars do more than twinkle.

Wha-huh? I'm sure the stars do more than twinkle as well...They are massive nuclear reactors hurtling through space at enormous speeds, and they are born, live, and die, in many ways analogous to organisms. But I'm pretty sure the one thing they don't do is exert any kind of influence on my personality or what I'm likely to have for lunch tomorrow.

I don't know how to read Lewis' passage as anything other than innuendo that there probably really is something to astrology after all, which in my book makes him look like the irrational rube he so often likes to make fun of.

I'm reminded also of Bill Maher's recent hijinx. He's an outspoken atheist, and claims to be so on the basis of rationality. Then why is he so batshit on issues like vaccination? I always found his show interesting, even if I didn't always agree with him, but a couple of weeks ago he got on his "Western medicine is poison" rant. Here's a video:

It's pretty sad that many of the so-called rationalist advocates who laud atheism are gullible and kooky when it comes to things like astrology and alternative medicine.

At least there's Penn & Teller. As far as I know, they're consistently against flim-flam in all varieties.

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