Spread the word

February 13, 2009

You might remember those atheist bus adverts that were — and perhaps still are — circulating through London.  Celebrated atheists like Richard Dawkins lent their support to the cause. These adverts informed commuters that there is probably no Creator, probably no transcendent source of beauty and goodness which we can honour and love, probably no ultimate justice to punish the wicked and wipe the tears from the eyes of the afflicted, probably no rational foundation for the order of the universe, probably even no good reason to celebrate Christmas, and so forth, and then, in a truly breathtaking display of depth and nobility of soul, advised everyone, in light of this announcement, to have a good, enervating shrug and get on with their lives, content in the knowledge that they are probably destined for annihilation.

Anyway, these bus adverts had a simple but distinctive visual style, and I am sure that you wished you could make your own advert after the same manner.  Well, now you can.  Some clever folks have set up a site that will generate a picture of a London bus plastered with your own advert a la Dawkins.  Since I am not a deep man, I did not try to emulate the metaphysical grandeur of the original campaign, but I do hope that my message will bring a little more peace and harmony to the world:

bus

This message is not original; it comes from a lovely poem by Belloc. The sentiments of this poem can hardly be repeated often enough.

(Hat-tip: Anthony Sacramone) [whose advert has been customized for London buses]

Update: According to this article, these same adverts (the atheist ones, not mine and Anthony’s) are also counselling commuters in Toronto and Calgary, and may be coming soon to Ottawa.  (Thanks for the tip, Nick.)  I haven’t seen them in Toronto.

6 Responses to “Spread the word”

  1. Pentimento Says:

    I first heard this poem on a children’s CD which you will have to get for your little one when she’s born: The Kings Singers “Kid Stuff.” Great arrangment of “The Teddy Bears’ Picnic,” among other things.

  2. cburrell Says:

    Thanks for the recommendation, Pentimento. The world of children’s music is a great unknown to me. I need all the help I can get.

  3. Pentimento Says:

    Well, you must go here:
    http://www.artsreformation.com/records/

    The Child’s Introduction to the Orchestra is very hip.

  4. cburrell Says:

    It has taken me a few days to look at that link, Pentimento. Thank you very much. It looks like a great site. I have been saying that the bulk of the children’s books and music we acquire should be at least 50 years old, and these are in the right ballpark.

  5. Pentimento Says:

    There is one great one from the 1950s that I think is out of print and very hard to find (I got in on ebay): 18 Songs and Hums of Winnie-the-Pooh. You can’t believe how good it is. The settings of Milne’s poetry were done in the 1920s by H. Frazier-Simson, and on the recording they’re sung by blacklisted actor Jack Guilford to arrangements for woodwind octet. If you can’t find it, I’ll burn it for you. Honestly, it’s the best thing I’ve ever heard for kids. We had it when I was little and it was already vintage then; I can’t recommend it highly enough.

  6. cburrell Says:

    If it’s the best thing you’ve ever heard for kids, then I want to hear it too. It sounds great. Will contact you offline…


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