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Thursday, October 8, 2009

AAIC Chronicles Episode X: The Richard Dawkins experience

After the Dennett event, we were asked to leave and wait outside while the room was being prepared for the next event. An hour after there was going to be a banquet and then, the Richard Dawkins speech. I decided not to take chances and waited by the door during the time left. But I wasn’t the only one. Several people were also there, waiting for the gates to be opened and get a seat near Dawkins. But I had something they didn’t. I am young, I can walk fast and run if needed. So, as soon as the gates were opened, I walked as fast as I could towards the table nearest the podium in which Dawkins would be talking. I had my camera and tape ready and would not allow any head to block me from taping him talking.

I got to the front, but the first row was “reserved.” Dammit. The second raw was for VIPs. Fucking dammit. Then I found a table in the second row, just in front of the podium and that didn’t say VIP. However, there were stuff in there, but I did not care, and sat in an available sit. Soon, other people joined the table and a woman said that “there are two people that were not VIP”, those two people were another girl and me. But I did not care, there was no VIP sign, so not even god would have moved me from there.

But it was not only a table near the podium. It was the table that was nearest to where Dawkins was sitting and having dinner. I looked for Gerardo, thinking that he would have had to sit far from us, but I was wrong. Since he was a speaker, he got to sit in the same table with Richard Dawkins. The next day he would tell me he had been looking for me to sit in the table and I wanted to die. But at the time I still could consider myself pretty fortunate. After a nice lunch with other people (when the food arrived I asked “who wants to pray?”), Richard Dawkins was presented and gave a great 50-minute speech that I taped entirely.

[This space reserved for a video of Dawkins speaking at the AAIC 09. I can't believe it's been more than 5 days of that and there is none yet.]

After his speech there was going to be the book signing. We were asked to leave the conference room from behind, but thinking it would be a good idea, another young man and me went out by the side, where supposedly the line was going to start, so we were going to be nearer Dawkins. Bad mistake, there already was a line that lead to the back exit, so we ended farther from where we would have been if we had followed the indications.

In the line I was talking with other atheists about how hard would it be for Dawkins to sign all those books (the guy in front of me had 3, I had only taken “The Greatest Show on Earth”). Then I saw Gerardo and let him in the line, trying to ease the other people with me by saying he was a speaker for being the president of the Mexican Atheists. He, very honorable, denied that, but was let in. After half an hour, that passed like 5 minutes because of the nice talk we had with the other people there, we got to where Dawkins was. I asked Gerardo to take a picture of me talking with Dawkins, and then I would take one of him. Everything got well and I had Dawkins sign my book.

After having our books signed, our pictures taken and our wishes fulfilled, Gerardo, another couple and me went to the internet corner of the hotel to share pictures and talk. We were talking until almost 1 in the morning. I was glad I had booked a room, even though I was not going to enjoy it very much, since Gerardo was going to talk the next day at 8 in the morning. But the talk with the other atheists was worth being late and having very few sleep time. We could share our stories, laugh together, talk about our projects and have a good time with people like us with whom we can share our lack of beliefs,

It was a good day.

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Blasfema libremente

"Que esté permitido a cada uno pensar como quiera; pero que nunca le esté permitido perjudicar por su manera de pensar" Barón D'Holbach
"Let everyone be permitted to think as he pleases; but never let him be permitted to injure others for their manner of thinking" Barón D'Holbach