I'm entering the countdown to finals, so have fun here.
Well, folks, where do I begin?
Since all the excitement about PZ’s expulsion from a free screening of Expelled, a lot of things have happened. It's almost too much to recount.
The free screenings and RSVP links disappeared from the website – and only certain people (atheists, skeptics, scientists, etc.) who had already RSVPed to see the movie started receiving e-mails saying that their upcoming screening were “cancelled” when they weren’t. The goal was obviously to have only sympathetic audience members at these advance screenings. (In some cases, the screening times were abruptly moved one hour earlier, angering the sympathetic members of the audience who naturally did not get a cancellation e-mail and thus showed up at the original run time.)
A Scientist and skeptic who received these apparently fraudulent e-mail “cancellations” of Expelled was Evolutionary Biologist John Lynch. (This blog post includes “before and after” screengrabs of the official Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed website showing the screenings “disappear”)
A couple of the commenters on his blog managed to attend the screenings anyway:
Commenter Brad on his experience:
Commenter Ken McKnight on his experience:
More on this story from Troy Britain:
"Expelled Promoters Just Can’t Stop Lying"
Mark in Santa Clara on his experience:
"Expelled Has Gone Truant in Santa Clara"
Meanwhile, this is what happens when you are invited to pay $10 to see an advanced screening of Expelled: you don’t get to see Expelled. You have the "privilege" of getting to see film clips already available all over the internet, and to watch Ben Stein win an award. This is what happened to Troy Britain.
"Expelled! The Movie Rip-off and the Event at Biola", again at Troy Britain's blog.
The producers of Expelled plead for a grassroots effort from its sympathetic audience to “adopt-a-theatre” on opening day, April 18, 2008. How pathetic. Do people really want to [I]rent a theatre[/I] in order to see a movie? (Just like Michael Moore, eh?)
This account is at James F. McGrath’s blog: "Freedom Friday"
Blogger Troy Britain contacted me to learn where I got the Expelled RSVP link to forward to PZ Myers. I told him that I got the link from Glen Davidson’s comment at After the Bar Closes, but that the source for Glen was a Christian blog promoting the film Expelled and exhorting the general public to sign up for these advanced screenings! That’s right, folks, we got this “top secret” URL from a Christian blog on blogger, a public site.
Troy’s blog: "The Expelled RSVP Sites: Getting to the Facts"
Of all the media outlets that have reviewed this flick (despite the producers’ Soviet-style blackout on advanced reviews of Expelled, would you have expected Fox News to pan it? Well, they did. In fact, they tore it to shreds!
Fox News (!) pans Expelled: "Ben Stein: Win His Career"
Man, it must suck to be a conservative when even the conservatives think you suck.
But it gets worse:
Those opening and closing scenes of the movie? In which Ben Stein seemingly addresses an audience of Pepperdine University students in a full auditorium? Where they cheer him at the end? Looks like a real bunch of students think NeinStein is hip and that his message was well-received, right?
It turns out that Pepperdine University students accept evolution, so the filmmakers had to rent the auditorium (it was not an event sponsored by the university), and hired actors to play "the students."
It was with some irony for me, then, that I saw Ben Stein's antievolution documentary film, Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed, opens with the actor, game show host and speechwriter for Richard Nixon addressing a packed audience of adoring students at Pepperdine University, apparently falling for the same trap I did [creationism].
Actually they didn't. The biology professors at Pepperdine assure me that their mostly Christian students fully accept the theory of evolution. So who were these people embracing Stein's screed against science? Extras. According to Lee Kats, associate provost for research and chair of natural science at Pepperdine, "the production company paid for the use of the facility just as all other companies do that film on our campus" but that "the company was nervous that they would not have enough people in the audience so they brought in extras. Members of the audience had to sign in and a staff member reports that no more than two to three Pepperdine students were in attendance. Mr. Stein's lecture on that topic was not an event sponsored by the university." And this is one of the least dishonest parts of the film.
The producers/promoters of Expelled, Premise Media, have been served with a cease-and-desist letter, alleging plagiarism of an animation of the inner workings of a cell produced by Harvard University.
"Expelled: Expelled for Plagiarism"
"I Love the Smell of Roasted Creationists in the Morning" (ERV again)
Wesley Elsberry’s blog:
"Okay, Expelled, but Plagiarism Will Do That for You"
PZ Myers’ blog:
"Peter Irons Drafts a Letter"
"Will the Public See Expelled?"
The producers of this turdfest that is Expelled have also admitted that they never sought permission to use the John Lennon song, “Imagine”, which is played if the film over some archival footage of Josef Stalin, while Ben Stein screams that liberals want to turn our country into what Lennon (or Lenin?) envisioned, from the administrator of John Lennon’s (not Lenin’s) estate – namely his widow, Yoko Ono.
The Wall Street Journal's article.
Entire article available here:
Yoko Ono, Filmmakers Caught in 'Expelled' Flap
At this point, the scandal is growing heads like a hydra. Already everything I posted here is old news, because new news is still coming out. Unbelievable. Un-fucking-believable!
Excuse me, but it’s normal procedure to expell a student for plagiarism, and this is now plagiarism plus stealing.
To add the cherry on the top of this frosted cherry-picking cupcake, the producers sent me a spam e-mail to my school account exhorting the “friends of Expelled to "help the film" in its hate speech against atheists, skeptics, legitimate scientists, and anyone else who doesn’t pass their moral purity test. I informed them that spam was unprofessional and that the only reason they had my address was that they had required it – first for me to RSVP, and then again in the theatre, where I was told that I had to give it again on an “agreement form” not to illegally videotape and distribute the film.
And, being that I was required to give them this information, that should have ended their use of my e-mail address. (I did not give them my snail mail address, though the form asked for it – and interestingly enough, this “agreement form” had no place for a signature, just for my printed name.)
Very, very unprofessional, I must say. Just astonishingly stupid, clumsy, and unethical. Boy oh boy, what an example to the upcoming class of students entering college. These guys have some nerve to preach to the rest of the nation about the state of our educational system.
All I can do is sincerely thank the makers of Expelled for exposing the methods of creationists to the nation at large. For years, these people have operated in secret, allowing only the most controlled speeches and presentations to the public, so that everyone remains on message. Now in complete disarray, their publicity machine has done more to destroy the concept of intelligent design as “science” in the public mind that anything I could have done or said. Thank you, thank you, thank you from the bottom of my heart for this high-publicity disaster.
At Rotten Tomatoes, the rating for Expelled is 10% (less than Ishtar and Howard the Duck) and falling.
Now, it is evident to all why intelligent design has no place in science classrooms or in academia at large: it is a cheat, and its advocates are cheaters. And cheaters don’t belong in class – let alone teaching in our nation’s classrooms.
But one thing that you don't do - you don't piss off Yoko Ono.
UPDATED: Well, there I was, about to add a comment that I don’t really need to hear “Imagine” one more time in my life, either, because the song has become banal, kitch, the atheist’s equivalent of “Kum-bay-ya” (another song that I wish I could never hear again) – and then Corrente goes and rewrites John Lennon’s famous anthem especially for Ben Neinstein. And it’s hilarious.
Imagine there’s no science
So many people do
Nothing to study or wonder
The end of seeking truth
Imagine all the country
Dumber than a post…
You may say Ben Stein’s a schemer
But he’s not the only one
Many a fool would destroy us
A new Dark Age will have begun
Imagine no progression
No need for artful discussions
A devaluing of man
Imagine all the children
Burning all the books…
You may say I’m a boomer
And my time will fade away
I hope someday you’ll stand up
And keep ignorance at bay
SECOND UPDATE: Oh for the love of Darwin, now someone over at John Lynch’s site has written “Bensteinian Rhapsody.” (One of my favorites!)
Anyone? I just filmed a sham,
Put some lies into your head,
Libelled Darwin, coz’ he’s dead,
Honor, you know I once had some,
But now I’ve gone and blown it all away-
Was it mean to tell those lies?
You’d learn more science by watching Rocky Horror-
Anyone? Anyone? My reputations now in tatters-
Too late, my crime is done,
Dembski told me I did fine-
Behe’s squirming, (he’ll be fine),
Goodbye science lessons-you’ve got to go
Gonna leave your kids behind and hide the truth
Adolf, oooooh (a shame he wasn’t atheist)
I’ll just have to lie,
I’ll just pretend that he wasn’t Christian at all--
guitar solo -
THIRD UPDATE: Ed Brayton weighs in on Expelled. And I notice that anonymous trolls who come here and criticize me (a woman) for speaking up don't have a complaint about them speaking up.
Don't come here and tell me what to say. If you don't like what you see here, leave.
FOURTH UPDATE: I told you it was a hydra. Premise Media, which produced Expelled, is now countersuing XVIVO (which produced the Harvard animation). In other words, it's a SLAPP. And ERV is totally convinced that the fact that Premise, based in Canada, filed its bogus lawsuit in Texas, not in Canada nor in Connecticut, where XVIVO is based, has nothing at all to do with the fact that Texas has no anti-SLAPP laws. ;-) She has issued a challenge to Premise Media.