I think comparing Julian Cope to Richard Dawkins is hilarious! I can't see Dawkins saying things along the lines of whoever/whatever created me ie. the Goddess/Extra Terrestrials, taking a load of acid and then pugging in to the nearest dolmen for some Cosmic feedback. Dick's not that much of a forward thinking mofo!
I've always thought that Cope's cartoonish antics are a defence mechanism... a front... 'with my past background people are going to assume I'm mad, so lets go the whole hog, go on the offensive and take the piss'. In short I think his attitude is a lot more calculated than it may at first appear. Could be wrong, of course. Shame really, since it arguably obscures his not inconsiderable academic research. Although on the other hand it gets the subject matter attention... sort of like The Pogues kicking Irish Folk down the stairs in the early 80's.
When I first picked up the paper TMA I had no doubt it would be some laughable comic creation from the whey faced loon... wow, man... Stonehenge was actually a KLF publicity stunt, don't you know?.... Yeah, Jimmy Page told me in a dream..... The fact that it was actually a reasonably well written, well constructed - albeit idiosyncratic - work freaked me out, to be honest. Got me thinking perhaps there is hope for us all if Cope can pull it off with his 'no such thing as bad publicity' approach. Blow the cobwebs away from field archaeology and let in the fresh air. But it only suceeded because there was the serious content within. And this is where I think Cope and Dawkins are similar.... aggressive, confrontational, winding people up, causing debate. 'This is what I think... I think you're wrong and here's my evidence to prove it... where's yours to say I'm wrong?' How refreshing.
It would appear many don't agree with what Dawkins says? Hey, I don't agree with all of what Cope says. But I can potentially be convinced... no fun in preaching to the converted. Dawkins certainly doesn't preach to the converted... there is still much, much opposition - particularly in 'newspapers' like the Daily Mail - and the vitriol all seems to be personal, aimed at the man, not his arguments or evidence... the subject matter. Neat evasive trick, that. Destroy the messenger. For all I know he could be a right bastard. But surely that's irrelevant? I think it should be, anyway. The lady doth protest too much, methinks.