Reason to Celebrate; Freethought Festival 2012


Well, how about that.

I’ve been looking for a freethinking conference to go to. I haven’t prayed a bit about it, but one showed up on the radar, and look at that, it’s free and nearby.

The conference is called, “Freethought Festival” and it’s being held up in Madison, WI, April 27-29, 2012.

I’m going to pack up my cameras, myself and whatever else and head up there. I’ll blog it. Make you feel like you’re there.

Maybe even criticize it a little.

Imagine that.

Pope Mohammed and the Nightclub

“I come to places like this!” shouts Pope Mohammed straining his voice to a small group of people standing around him. Pope Mohammed is leaning on a bar at a nightclub filled to capacity.


“I come to places like this,” repeats Pope Mohammed at an almost yell, “so that I can go to where the real people are!” Pope Mohammed’s hand is grappling a tumbler of scotch. If it weren’t for the thud of bass and electronic high hat, you might be able to hear the ice clanking in his glass.

He finishes his scotch. A finger shoots up and he orders another.

Pope Mohammed is wearing a white shirt, a black tie and a fedora. “It helps me connect with the hip kids,” Pope Mohammed tells you in the cab on the way to the club.

There’s a DJ on a stage towering four feet above the dance floor. He’s got large headphones on his head with one ear exposed. One shoulder is jutted upward pushing one earphone against his head. One hand is on a turntable turning a knob, and the other hand is in the air with a finger raised moving to the music.

You are standing outside the parameter of a group surrounding Pope Mohammed. Since you know him well, you can make out some of what he’s saying. Pope Mohammed repeats himself. He repeats himself a lot.

Flashing lights and a disco ball illuminate his face. There are neon signs above his head that read “Absolut,” “Southern Comfort,” and “Wild Turkey.”

The group standing around Pope Mohammed is bobbing their heads to the music.

Pope Mohammed says, “Don’t cha love the way the music almost goes right through you!

The group’s heads are buoys in water.

Nearby on the dance floor, there’s a young woman dancing on a riser with a pole in front of her. There’s a spotlight on her torso. Lasers make a grid around body and move up and down. She’s wearing a bikini top and boy shorts. Her boobs are just shy of falling out of her top.

“My father Gollah directs me to go where they need me most, and that means going where people are hurting, where they are needy, where they need to know significance,” shouts Pope Mohammed.

There’s a guy on another riser, with a silver bikini bottom thrusting his hips to the music. Glowing strings of different colors are strung around his neck.


Pope Mohammed takes a sip of his drink and wipes his face with the palm of his hand. “People need my love, and that means getting out to meet them where they are,” Pope Mohammed says just before his chest convulses up from a burp and he covers his mouth with a closed fist.

Pope Mohammed finishes off another round, slams his tumbler on the bar, waves at the bar tender and doing a circular gesture with a free finger in a downward motion.

Much like he’s stirring an invisible drink.

The bartender nods, walks over to a cooler, bends over to pick up a bottle. Her shirt is low cut. Her cleavage is a waterfall of smooth skin. You watch Pope Mohammeds eyebrows raise as he watches. She places the tumbler in front of Pope Mohammed in time with the music. He smiles, picks up the glass and imagines they clink their glasses and says, “Thanks!”

You decide to go to the bathroom on the other side of the dance floor. You cut through the crowd. On your way, you see a group of girls celebrating a bachelorette party. The minute you get close enough to the girls who are laughing and dancing, you see the one with the veiled tiara holding a blowup penis point toward the bar and say, “Oh my gawd, do you see that guy in the hat and the tie by the bar?!?” You watch the group turn toward Pope Mohammed.

You turn, too. You scrunch your eyebrows. You look back at the girl.

Through nervous laughter she says, “That’s my rapist.”