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Episode 154: You Made It Weird
Owen Benjamin

You Made It Weird #154: Owen Benjamin

Owen Benjamin makes it weird!

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  1. Patty Marvel says:

    Haven’t listened to the podcast yet (WOW am I behind), but before I did I feel like I have to respond to some of the comments in here about atheists since I am one.

    So…hi, my name is Patty and I’ve been an atheist for as long as I can remember. I can also be called a “skeptic” and maybe a “secular humanist,” but I’ll stick with atheist thing for now.

    Yes, there are “militant” atheists – I’ve had the misfortune of sitting near a few at Meet Ups. The angry ones, the ones who downright evangelical in pushing their ideas on other people the way some (not ALL, but SOME) Christians feel the need to push their religious views on non-Christians (or those who aren’t “as Christian” as they are) can be very off-putting. However, “witnessing” your atheism, no matter how intently, does NOT make it a religion any more than the “off” switch on your TV is a channel. Claims that atheism requires faith are just so counter intuitive and just plain weird, I can’t begin to make sense of them.

    And not all atheist are anti-theist. I *might* have been for a little while because of how my family treated me when I came out – well, was forced out – about my lack of beliefs, but now I’ve a “live and let live” attitude. That seems to be the case with most of the “out” atheists I know – they just sort of shrug at the candle lighting or understand when a loved one says, “I’m praying for you,” that sentiment is most likely coming from a place of love. That’s how I take it, unless the “I’m praying for you” is said in the same tone as, “I’m better than you, you scumbag.”

    Oh, and we atheists DO have a moral system, it’s just not based on a particular book. Like most spiritual folks, most atheists I’ve met and I simply follow the “Be Excellent To Each Other” or “Don’t Be A Dick” philosophies. And by the way, being asked how we could POSSIBLY be moral without following a particular book is kinda rude – you’re basically assuming everyone would be a complete prick but for a particular holy book. Here’s the things – I’ve raped and pillaged as many times as I’ve wanted to, and that number of times is ZERO.

    Okay, now to hear what the fuss regarding Owen Benjamin is about.

  2. Alec says:

    Here’s a decent Einstein quote: “If something is in me which can be called religious then it is the unbounded admiration for the structure of the world so far as our science can reveal it.”

    Some of his stuff is like what Owen mentioned his mom was into. His view was basically pantheism with a little extra unknowable, non-anthropomorphic God is also outside the material universe.

  3. Josh says:

    Great episode!

    This interview kind of touches on the idea of nerd-bullies. Which is kind of interesting (and visible in this thread) in that it’s the exact same mentality it’s just nerds on the internet ganging up on people instead of jocks on the street.

    I really enjoyed his explanation of why he does/respects broad comedy. While he probably won’t be my favorite comedian, I like this point of view on the show. It seems the only road comics that get a pass are Burr & Gaffigan who are undeniable rock star comedians.

    As for the always present atheist thread. Atheism is someone choosing to believe in no god/s, it only exists to oppose religious belief in a god. By claiming there is no god you are making a choice based on a personal belief. That’s why almost all guests just like almost all people fall into some agnostic shade of grey. So if you really are the one taking to the streets saying “There IS a god, and I understand him” or “There is NO god” you’re holding very strongly to a personal belief that you are trying to impart on the world so they will be like you. The rest of us are annoyed and would like you to stop being so pushy.

    And Einstein has many quotes and writings on god. I can’t say what flavor of agnostic he was, but he had his own beliefs too.

  4. David says:

    Owen, If you want to know what the vibe is about yourself that people don’t like? I’ll give you my two cents.

    It’s that you act arrogant not confident. What I mean about that? It’s that you give off the feeling that you are infallible.

    Examples on this podcast: Speaking about atheism and creating false equivalencies, claiming Albert Einstein believed in god, using the word cognitive over and over, even though its not appropriate (it looks like you are trying to hard).

    There is nothing wrong with saying I dont know, or I’m unsure about this topic. There is nothing more offputting then someone who is fake.

    Now I thought you gave off a good vibe for a lot of the episode, and found you generally interesting, but when you make remarks that are so obviously wrong, it makes everything else that you say come into question.

    Like you said when you started, its like you are digging yourself out of a hole from the beginning.

    You try so hard off the bat, you need to just relax a little.

  5. Spencer says:

    Great, hilarious episode! These comments just prove Owen’s point.

  6. JORSH says:

    I love the EPs where guests are considered “BRO” !! So far so good!

  7. TJ says:

    Comparing Malcolm X to Hitler.. really?! For someone who is well read and funny, Mr Benjamin may need to read some history.

  8. matt says:

    I feel like what pete was trying to say was so so right on about Owen. His personality on here, while abrasive and somewhat challenging (especially on this website), was far and away more interesting than his comedy. And if he did go on stage and say some of the more self exploring things he said in response to Pete’s questions I would be far more interested. His comedy is pretty hack, and not in a way that’s “not my style,” because i’m a fan of more cognitive (god how many times did he use that word) comedians. I think what separates Pete is he lets the audience into his head. He may do a joke about dogs and cats, but its about what that means about him as a person, where his head was at when he dropped the dog, and how its absurd that his hands would just do that. Whereas Owen does jokes that we’ve all heard a million times about topics we’ve all heard. No topic is hack in my opinion. If it’s framed in a way thats unique to the person talking then it’s going to be interesting every time. So when Owen says oh how funny would it be if guys complimented their penises at the urinal, just like girls compliment themselves at the mirror, i don’t relate.

    At the same time though, he is a road comedian and all the stuff he said about how a road guy is made some sense to me. I dunno. I was all excited after being challenged by him because he represented a point of view I don’t hear often on this podcast or in the comedy community and then he disappointed me with the stuff I saw

  9. Mantis Tobogan says:

    Most of this guy’s stories sound like complete bullshit.

  10. ItsAlrightPodcast says:

    just saying…pretty sure Owen didn’t mean to put Malcolm X in the same icky bucket as Adolf Hitler…the fact that no one has freaked out about that yet on this thread I think reflects the “we get it” quality of Weirdos to a degree. Good show, thanks again 🙂

  11. Jim Smith says:

    So he’s an alpha male and fucks all “our” women, in addition to his garbage armchair gender theory. Gee, I can’t figure out why people would think he’s a douchey, condescending dick.

  12. Narnold says:

    I honestly couldn’t get through this ep, this guy seemed so full of himself and so condescending. As soon as he started with hipsters hate alpha males cause we fuck there girls, I was out.

  13. Did Pete Holmes just do a Hitler impersonation as Bill Burr? (29m) Ha!

  14. Kyle Tschuor says:

    Dear KT Money,

    What if you made the rap music come from the “car radio” via sound design? I.E. a voice added saying very low “turn on the radio” and the rap music comes on under a filter that makes it sound like a shitty rental car sound system. I don’t know if they were in a car, but they mentioned being on the road. Just a dumb idea I had, and I typed it because I would forget.


    -KT Poor

  15. chernomor says:

    you’ve never heard that hitler quotation because he probably never said that. he likely said things approximating that sentiment! but that’s clearly a mutation of voltaire’s remark : if god didn’t exist, we’d have to invent him

  16. CHRIS says:

    why does everyone try to treat atheism as a religion itself.It is not the same as much as football or hockey is a religion.It is just a conclusion that there might be a possibility that there is no god. It is the same thing as saying that someone who says there are no such thing as vampires and werewolves are themselves part of a cult themselves when they are just coming to provincial conclusion because there is no evidence otherwise they they would performing logical fallacy.

  17. Tzvi says:

    Jake, while you are not one, there are some Atheists who feel very much like evangelists. The righteousness of those Atheists turn a lot of people off. Other Atheists are totally chill and just want to feel free to believe what they believe without being harassed. Unfortunately, very much like how christian evangelists give all religious people a bad name, these Atheists give other Atheists a bad name. It sucks, it is the way it is. Some of those asshole evangelical Atheists have even been featured on the show (even though they have all been generally nice funny people beyond that), so their is context within the forum of the show to respond that way.

    Unfortunately for Theists and Atheists alike, open dialogue has been stunted by rudeness on both sides. So now, like how people perceive vegetarians despite having never met one, people assume that if you are an Atheist you are smug and arrogant. Both assumptions are themselves smug and arrogant, but their is no end to the hypocrisy of humans struggling with change and understanding.

  18. Jake says:

    Why are people so confused about atheism? It means you don’t believe any gods. The end. I don’t know why you have so many guests who feel the need to say “It’s just as extreme as religion…”

    No, it really isn’t. Sure, there are the people who are extremely outspoken about it and say dumb things, but to be an atheist means you don’t believe. The same way a Christian doesn’t believe in Krishna, the same way a Jew doesn’t see Jesus as God.

  19. tup says:

    Some of the best live comedy I’ve ever seen was watching the tomato-throwing booth at the Minneapolis renaissance fair