Thoughts on The Magic Sandwich Show
Last night the podcast run by (I think) DPR Jones, The Magic Sandwich Show, hosted Circular Sye Ten Bruggencate (owner of the proof-free proofthatgodexists.org website) and Eric ‘son of convicted felon Kent’ Hovind, alongside (apparently) regular guests/internet ‘personalities’ AronRa, Concordance (me either), and Thunderf00t. The show ran for two hours and was deeply frustrating.
Firstly the host, DPR Jones, seemed argumentative and dictatorial right from the very beginning. I know he was probably just trying to control the group conversation, but he was telling AronRa to shut up over and over again, whilst seemingly allowing other panel members extreme length in which to labour their points. With only six people on the show it shouldn’t have been that difficult to control – certainly Fundamentally Flawed regularly has that amount of callers involved, and we never spin out like the Magic Sandwich did over and over last night.
Speaking of AronRa….well, he was actually the person who most effectively (IMO) nailed Sye and Eric, but he was constantly interrupted, which obviously made him very angry indeed. Eventually he was reduced to shouting to try and get into the conversation which, combined with a clipping mic at his end, caused most of his interjections to be reduced to sudden, and very loud, blasts of distortion. Anyone unfamiliar with his other work would have found themselves wondering who the enraged screaming man with the beard and long hair was…it wasn’t good.
Thunderf00t, having only just encountered Eric and Sye’s particular line in presubullshit a few weeks ago, presented one good argument and one overly laboured argument. The good? Asking whether he (Thunderf00t) could theoretically create a version of The Matrix, put Sye and Eric in it, and then fool them into thinking they were getting ‘revelations’ from a ‘god’ – Sye merely asserted that this was impossible, and when pressed to clarify why by a caller later on in the show just asserted again without supplying any evidence at all.
Thunderf00t’s second argument was really a weak approximation of Paul Baird’s ‘alternate god’ hypothesis. Citing the ‘Ghost That Never Lies’ as his source of revelation, TF tried to make the point that anyone could claim the certainty that Sye and Eric do, making their claims meaningless. However, in my opinion, he laboured this to such a point that he ended up coming across as smug and self satisfied.
When I eventually got to speak, after waiting for almost an hour and a half, I started by trying to answer the question that Sye and Eric had asked many times during the show ‘is it possible that everything you know is wrong?’ – other than AronRa, none of the panel had really addressed this beyond saying ‘Yes, but we’re not’. The important thing to remember is that we CAN know at least one thing with absolute certainty – that we are thinking, the very act of which self confirms that it’s going on. As I was trying to make this point DPR interrupted me and asked me to ‘get to the point’…which is exactly what I was trying to do. Sye and Eric then started to say ‘oh, Alex in the past has said we could be wrong about everything’, a point that I didn’t get to counter as the show panel started talking amongst themselves again. I would have liked to point out that I feel the ability to change ones mind is a strength whilst Sye and Eric seem to think that one should never be able to reassess beliefs in light of new information or reasoning….I didn’t get the chance, and eventually got so bored waiting to get back in to answer Sye and Eric’s accusations that I just left the conversation.
The only panel member who didn’t come across badly I feel was a chap calling himself ‘Concordance’ who made a devastating statement that pretty much destroyed the supposed ‘logic’ of Sye and Eric. In typical Ten Bruggencate form our circular pal simply ignored what Concordance had said and continued to assert his evidence free beliefs.
There was one interesting moment when, towards the end, Sye tried to argue against ‘The Ghost That Never Lies’ and had to give up his religion to argue for his religion, ironic insomuch as he’s constantly accusing atheists of ‘giving up their atheism to defend their atheism’ when they try to make the point that any god at all could slot into the TAG. I’m hoping that Sye learned that one can make a hypothetical argument without actually believing what is being argued, but I doubt that this will have entered his ‘all broadcast, no receive’ brain.
Overall the experience of listening to the show was one of extreme frustration, as the hosts seemed more in love with their supposed internet celebrity status than actually making a podcast that was worth listening to. I don’t want to sound like I’m blowing my own trumpet here, but I do think that Fundamentally Flawed does a far better job of podcasting than these ‘names’ from Youtube do….and we’re better at dealing with large groups of callers as well.
I’ll not be listening to The Magic Sandwich Show again.