Wed., August 5 (8pm): “Have We Ever Been Visited by Extraterrestrials?” with:
Skeptic and philosopher-comedienne (see her perform just two nights after our debate) Jen Dziura arguing no [UPDATE: Jen had food poisoning and was replaced by New Jersey UFO hoaxer extraordinaire Chris Russo, who did a fine last-minute replacement job and was recruited by Center for Inquiry head Mike De Dora].
Hosted by Todd Seavey and moderated by Michel Evanchik.
Free admission, cash bar. Basement level of Lolita Bar at 266 Broome St. at the corner of Allen St. on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, one block south and three west of the Delancey St. F, J, M, Z subway stop.
Not only does this year mark forty years of my existence (which I’ll celebrate on Sunday, August 9, at 11:30am at the bar/restaurant Doc Watson’s on Second Ave. near 78th St., if you care to join me), it marks forty years of MUFON (the Mutual UFO Network) — but do they have anything to show for it? We’ll find out at this Wednesday’s debate, which is the first of three “conspiracy”-themed Debates at Lolita Bar, before we return to just our usual level of controversy and monthly strangeness, such as arguing about public policy.
Of course, even the UFO issue has political implications. Jaime Sneider and Katherine Mangu-Ward were the first to alert me to New Jersey UFO hoaxers being punished earlier this year. They could be a debate topic unto themselves: malicious jerks? Skeptics setting (as they say they intended) a valuable example of how easily believers can be duped? Troublemakers unfairly tarring all who report siting strange things in the sky? [CLARIFICATIONS: I meant "sighting," but it kind of works either way, doesn't it? And I'm asking whether the hoaxers should be seen as malicious jerks, of course, not Jaime Sneider and Katherine Mangu-Ward.]
And if that’s not political enough for you, note the rise of “exopolitics,” which is, yes, the political philosophy that weighs how to interact with extraterrestrials and their already-earthbound agents, if any. As noted by the Washington Post, some people think Eisenhower already had to deal with this problem.
HOWEVER: If you prefer slightly more earthbound political insights, let me add that my lovely girlfriend, Helen Rittelmeyer, has resumed blogging after a summer focusing on interning at American Spectator. On the downside, now she could use another long-term gig (preferably back here in NYC!), so let me know if you have a use for a politically- , historically-, theologically-informed recent Yale alum who writes, edits, and researches like a superhuman — or perhaps a human-alien hybrid. Hey, wait a second…