Expelled! The Obvious Next Step

Now that Expelled! No Intelligence Allowed, the movie, exists, we wait not so quietly for the other shoe to drop. I’ll tell you in a moment what that other shoe is going to look like and where it is going to drop. First I want to make a couple of topically linked but otherwise discombobulated comments.


First, I want to express my heartfelt warm fuzzies for all those of you who have come out to tell me “Yes, Greg, you are an asshole, but that’s OK. In fact, it’s what we love about you” and shit. Appreciate it.

Second, you did notice that the take for Expelled! fell short of the expected 3 million because far fewer people went to see it on Sunday. Is this evidence that this really was a church going crowd? Makes sense to me.

Third, if anyone has the opportunity to get free copies of Expelled! please seriously consider doing so. They’re not really free copies, they cost someone something. Don’t worry about the distribution numbers. It would be nice to say “Yes, they claim to have given away 3 million copies, but we happen to know that 1.2 million of them are in PZ Myers’ Garage because we send them to him.” … or words to that effect.

(Anybody remember the AOL disk retort? There was a movement to ship several hundred thousand AOL disks … the ones mailed to everyone, stuck to every magazine cover, and so on, to the president/owner/CEO/whatever of AOL. As I recall at one point a giant dump truck showed up at the guy’s house and piled a zillion floppy discs on his nice suburban lawn….)

OK, now on to serious business. Here is the other shoe dropping on Expelled!, now that it exists:

1) Make a movie and release it (check)

2) Offer the movie to teachers and schools for free, like they did with Al Gore’s movie. (I just checked, the Expelled web site is not making any offers yet, but wait for it, it WILL happen.)

3) Stealth creationist or otherwise misguided teachers will show Expelled! in Biology Classes, get in trouble, and the practice will be stopped.

4) In school district after school district, policies will be proposed and very frequently implemented regarding political documentaries. When it comes down to it, they won’t be shown generally. Much easier to make a policy against political documentaries generally, like there are policies against expressive tee-shirts generally in some schools, than to fight over Ben Stein vs. Al Gore.

So, no more Inconvenient Truth, The Corporation, or Flock of Dodo’s for the kiddies.

This, folks, is the real reason this movie was made. Mark my words.

Comments

  1. #1 Hank Roberts
    April 22, 2008

    Then why wait for some British judge to come out with appropriate study guidelines to accompany this movie when shown in the schools?

    Someone should start a website to get the rough draft of that together in advance for this one.

  2. #2 NeuroTrumpet
    April 22, 2008

    I really think you’re granting them way too much foresight. These are Creationists; they don’t think very thoroughly.

  3. #3 Hank Roberts
    April 22, 2008

    Then why wait for some British judge to come out with appropriate study guidelines to accompany this movie when shown in the schools?

    Someone should start a website to get the rough draft of that together in advance for this one.

  4. #4 rpenner
    April 22, 2008

    Most movies have a 30% drop between Saturday and Sunday, which I have always assumed is because America is a We-work-on-Mondays phenomenon and not necessarily a church-going phenom. Where Gilbert and Sullivan mock (The Mikado song about just desserts) I have genuine pity for those whose church services impede their ability to see afternoon or evening movies. Matinee movies contribute only a small percentage to weekend gross — or so my math sense tells me.

    Of concern to some, is watching Expelled on the Passover a violation of the rules concerning Passover?

  5. #5 wolfwalker
    April 22, 2008

    [[ Much easier to make a policy against political documentaries generally, like there are policies against expressive tee-shirts generally in some schools, than to fight over Ben Stein vs. Al Gore. ]]

    Works for me. It’s certainly possible to make a two-hour movie, or even a one-hour TV show, that does a sensible, honest, evenhanded job of covering such a politically controversial topic as climate change or evolutionary theory. It just isn’t very likely in today’s political conditions. Most of the time, what you get is dreck like “Expelled” or “An Inconvenient Truth,” which use a mixture of semi-truth and outright lies to push whatever political position the makers believe, regardless of the actual facts or science involved. Garbage like that should be banned from schools, and also from anyplace else where the audience is too naive, ignorant, or stupid to tell the difference between fact and opinion.

    Science documentaries should restrict themselves to science — facts and logic — and nothing more. No calls to action, no propaganda, no political slant. Just the facts.

  6. #6 Colugo
    April 22, 2008

    Are you serious, or is this is a parody of Rube Goldberg quasi-conspiracist logic? Do you really mean to say that this is not so much about creationism/ID as it is about broadly suppressing progressive thought in the public schools? An attempt to stop anti-corporate indoctrination / awareness (depending on one’s point of view) of the kiddies?

    If Expelled’s producers had a choice, don’t you think they would prefer to have Expelled shown alongside An Inconvenient Truth in the public schools rather than neither?

    If it’s a parody, good show. If it’s not, please get a grip. I know that the sixties were seminal and all, but c’mon. That was one of the lessons of the sixties, wasn’t it – that everything is all really about some larger agenda. Well, not always.

  7. #7 Joel
    April 22, 2008

    This, folks, is the real reason this movie was made. Mark my words.

    That would explain why the movie is so offensive and complete crap.

  8. #8 gbusch
    April 22, 2008

    Dump them in the garage of a noted blogger? The dude would go ballistic. Send them to Yoko Ono. Imagine a bounty being paid for each disc from Yoko’s legal victory? Clears them from circulation, permits wholesale destrution of media content, enables efficient melting into a large block memorial dedicated the victims of ‘Expelled’ and conveniently moved to Ben Stein’s property to be forever on display.

    ………………anybody?……………anybody?

  9. #9 Todd
    April 22, 2008

    With all the talk about box office numbers, nobody is willing to talk about the real problem with this movie and that is its long lasting influence on the political, religious and educational landscape. The DI people didn’t make this movie for money. They’ve got lots of money and a well oiled machine to keep bringing in more. No, they made this movie to give away to churches and conservative political groups to keep creationism going and the way to do that is to keep beating the dead horse arguments that this movie brings up.

    Sure, everyone can go to expelledexposed.com and get the facts, but we’ve got gigabytes of data strewn across the internet with facts. These people don’t deal in facts, they deal in propaganda and their audience is tailor made for reality denying propaganda.

    The more distressing point about this film isn’t its rambling disjointed defense of ID (I’m guessing here because I haven’t seen the film), but it’s brazen attack on atheists. The reason people like Francis Collins and Ken Miller did not appear in this film is because they are not the enemy. The atheists are the enemy. Gays, Muslims and illegal immigrants are no longer working for the social conservatives. It’s now our turn.

  10. #10 tincture
    April 23, 2008

    Call me crazy, but I dont think it’s possible to make a movie or documentary which somebody, somewhere, wont claim is partisan.

    Even a simple documentary about the Strangler Fig is biased against the pov that the Strangler Fig used to be just dandy but was corrupted because of The Fall(tm).

  11. #11 David Marjanovi?
    April 25, 2008

    Call me crazy, but I dont think it’s possible to make a movie or documentary which somebody, somewhere, wont claim is partisan.

    Bingo. wolfwalker, you haven’t thought that through.

  12. #12 MH
    April 25, 2008

    Todd, if they hadn’t made this film, they’d still be bashing the atheists every week in church (as well as the gays, Muslims, Catholics, immigrants, etc, etc). This film is a drop in the ocean of their bigoted stupidity.

    And look at the viewing figures. Even the fundies can’t be bothered with it.

  13. #13 Loren Petrich
    April 26, 2008

    Alonzo Fyfe has recently posted in his Atheist Ethicist blog that the real purpose of “Expelled!” was propaganda, not documenting anything, and that it should be judged that way.

    He’s likely right about that; the equating of evolution with secularism and atheism and Nazism and Communism seems like an effort to poison the well of discourse on evolution, an exercise in guilt by association.

    However, that film’s creators have presented it as a documentary, so I think it fair to judge it as both propaganda and a documentary.