Via Kevin Drum and an Op-Ed piece by Daniel Dennett comes word of The Brights. A “Bright” is someone with a “naturalistic worldview … free of supernatural and mystical elements.” (E.g., consciousness.) You can meet them, learn about what it’s like to be them and even sign up. They have helpful tips on how to engage your Inner Bright (sorry, that sounds a little mystical). For instance:
The most valuable contribution current Brights can make to the BrightS’ Movement is simply to “be the Brights they are” in their everyday interactions with others, keeping the most positive (Bright) shine they can on the endeavor.
This sounds like it’s being spoken by the bastard child of Buckminster Fuller and Norman Vincent Peale. It gets worse.
With the new noun, it’s rather easy to respond to queries as to your religion (“I am a Bright”) and also, as you may wish, to freely present yourself as a Bright in varied settings.
Scenario. Suppose you are in a discussion with someone and the question of religion comes up. If someone inquires about your own religion, you can pop up with “Well, actually, I am a Bright.” The other person’s curiosity will probably take hold: “A Bright? What is that?”
If you ask me, the interaction is more likely to go like this:
Bright: Did you just ask me what my religion was?
Victim: No. I said “Do you have the correct time?”
Bright: Well, actually, I am a Bright.
Victim: You’re a pillock is what you are.
The Brights make excessive use of the word “meme” which also annoys me. But they are vaguely aware of some of the problems with their idea:
A Hint. For reasons we hope are obvious, we would in fact recommend to Brights a bit of caution when discussing worldviews to practice avoiding adjective uses that could be readily misconstrued as arrogance until such time as the term’s new meaning takes hold in mainstream society…20 years?
Never, mate. Nev. Ver.
Who is this reminding me of, anyway? There’s more:
An Example. Perhaps you’d like to think of the “constituency of Brights” as a community of fellow travelers in life. If so, then you will refer to us all together as a community. How best to describe that community? We suggest that, while “The Community of Brights” or “the Brights’ Community” are appropriate, “
the Bright Community” is problematic. In the last reference, “bright” is an adjective, and so it can have dual meaning. The plural form helps to delineate the term as a noun.
I know. It’s the Comic Book Guy from The Simpsons. “You may join my organization, but first you must answer me these questions three.” It’s almost as bad as the dreaded Mensa, the organization for highly intelligent people who are nevertheless not quite intelligent enough not to belong to it. I imagine the next Mensa convention will be filled with people itching to say “I’m a Bright!” over a game of three-dimensional scrabble and a cup of Ovaltine.