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cultural vandal | by maryann johanson

question of the day: Has Ben Stein ever been this funny before?

Ben Stein — Nixon administration criminal turned Ferris Bueller actor turned game show host turned conservative blowhard — has been let go as a columnist by the paper of record. In The American Spectator, Stein explains why he was “Expelled from The New York Times” — it started when he made an extended cinematic argument that the world should take his favorite mythology as science:

Expelled was a plea for open discussion of the possibility that life might have started with an Intelligent Designer. This idea, that freedom of academic discussion on an issue as to which there is avid scientific disagreement has value, seems obvious to me. But it drives the atheists and neo-Darwinists crazy and they responded viciously.

See? It wasn’t that his argument was laughable, it was that “atheists and neo-Darwinists” wanted him out at the Times. I mean, you see all the power atheists wield in this country: look how we got Christmas outlawed! (Mabybe Stein doesn’t even realize that the way he, in the film, would brook no suggestion that his “Intelligent Designer” could be aliens or any entity other than his idea of a “God” turns the film into nothing more than religious apologetics, and nothing at all like a plea for “freedom of academic discussion.” But I don’t think he’s that stupid.)

He blames some other people too, though he does come back later to those pesky “haters connected with atheism and neo-Darwinism [who] continued to attack me.”

But this is the best, most funniest bit:

The whole subject reminds me of a conversation Bob Dylan had long ago with a reporter who asked him what he thought about how much criticism he was getting for going from acoustic to electric guitar. “There are a lot of people who have knives and forks,” he said, “and they have nothing on their plates, so they have to cut something.”

Ben Stein: just a rebel and a freethinker like Bob Dylan!

Has Ben Stein ever been this funny before?

(If you have a suggestion for a QOTD, feel free to email me. Responses to this QOTD sent by email will be ignored; please post your responses here.)



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