Saturday, 6 February 2010

The Importance of Being Open-Minded

Drolgerg and Penelope vs David and Goliath

Yesterday on twitter I RTd a tweet about judge Cherie Booth (Mrs Tony Blair)'s idiocy in letting off a guy who was convicted of a serious assault on the utterly fallacious assumption that because he was religious he was therefore more moral than the rest of us. Bigotry, favouritism & cronyism of the worst order, & actually pretty typical of Blair's Labour regime.

This is the tweet: RT: Do religious people really not get why atheists are starting to shout, when this CRAP comes out? Nothing too extreme, right?

A twitter user called @DavidAndGoliath, who calls himself Christian, took issue with it.

After tweeting back & forth - during which time he was abusive & offensive, & I tried to be as calm & logical as I could – he’d argued himself into a corner.

At that point I asked him point blank: what is it exactly that you object to about my tweet? His response? Nothing. I eventually gave up.

He then deleted all his tweets on the subject.* I thought all this was pretty cowardly & dishonest. After having a go at me, abusively, when he was proved wrong - or at least had had reasonable doubt made on his argument - he wouldn't back down or apologise. Instead he cut & ran then shredded the evidence, so he could pretend nothing had happened & carry on in his self-imposed delusions.

He seemed unable / unwilling to see the point we were making, & seemed determined to read a lot into it that was never there.

This, to me, illustrates a great divider in humanity: the open-minded & rational vs narrow-minded bigotry.

When proved wrong an open-minded & rational person will acknowledge that they may be wrong, even if it means examining values that they hold dear, even ones by which they may define their existence.

The closed-minded person is unable or unwilling to do this, & will do what this guy did: run away from anything uncomfortable & bury their head in the sand.

And by the way I don’t mean this only of religious people; it can be true of anyone: zealot, atheist & any shade inbetween.

If we were all able to question even our most cherished opinions when circumstances or reason suggests it our world might be a much happier place.

* I kept copies

Saturday, 30 January 2010

Operation Knock Down Door

My big brother George & I don't like the neighbours over the road, so we've decided to invade their house.

I don't like the way they treat their children, but also they have a nice car which I'd quite like. Also, if I don't George will stop feeding me the neighbourhood gossip I need, & he says I can get income from sub-contracting out repairing the damage afterwards. He's Smart.

It may be unpopular & illegal, but it's The Right Thing To Do. Plus the voice of God is telling me to do it, although I'm going to keep quiet about that until afterwards when the heat has died down & I've moved away.

On a totally unrelated note, Tony Blair gave evidence to the Chilcot Iraq Inquiry today didn't he?

Friday, 27 November 2009

The Christian Rap

Let's get down!

Well I went into the priesthood, oh Joy of Joys!
Coz I like to mess around with little boys

When I was found out the Church did all that it can
So it didn’t get sued, an Insurance Plan

The Police & Government could’ve had their say
But good Christian men look the other way

Why’d they do that? They knew the truth:
The Church’s rep matters, not child abuse

But they dealt with me, those Holy men
Moved me all around so I could do it again

Now they’ve all come clean, & feigning shame
But even now they won’t tell you my name!

Yes they still cover up, from the Pope to the Dael
And that is why I’ll never be in jail

So where superstition rules & names of gods are uttered
I can do what I like & you can all get buggered!

Love & Peace: Out

Tuesday, 16 June 2009

Iran & Twitter

I don’t plan to dwell on it today, but whatever happens in Iran, the world will have changed.

History is unfolding before our eyes, & we on twitter & other social media have been privileged to have witnessed it firsthand 12-24 hours before traditional media seemed to have any clue as to the enormity of events there.

Not only that, but the openness & worldwide reach of twitter has meant that we can not only follow events but actively PARTICIPATE: showing support by changing our avatars, spreading information from Iranian protestors & leaders on the frontline, & even sharing information with them.

Whatever the outcome there I hope that many positives will result from all this.

First of all, twitter & social media has now come of age. Even international news media like the BBC have had to acknowledge its pre-eminent role in reporting these events as they happen. It is now the primary media for sourcing & spreading information, & even for influencing the events themselves.

Secondly the mass communications between twitter users of Iran & the West can only serve to break down barriers between peoples who have been opposed to each other for so long. For many years Iranians have lived in an anti-Western culture. In our reaching out to support them in their struggle to have the Government they voted for, it may be seen that we in the West are not all devils after all. We in turn I think are also seeing that Iranians are not necessarily so different to us.

Bridges have been built, connections have been made, barriers have been broken down.

Obviously there are other serious issues involved, but whatever our differences we all share a common goal of wanting to be free to live the life we choose.

Whatever the outcome I think we can all come out of this realising we have more in common than we had realised, & that can only be a good thing.

Monday, 9 February 2009

Strictly Come Dancing? Mamma Mia!

My recent discovery of, & an addiction to, twitter has inspired me to kickstart my stalled-in-1st-gear blog, albeit on a different track.

This is something I wrote in a hurry on a BBC Strictly Come Dancing message board, back during the John Sargeant controversy.

With the benefit of time I've tarted it up a bit; it may now even make sense.

The Dancer

“I have a dream” she said, “to be a dancing queen!”

“But Chiqitita” (for that was her nick-name) “does your mother know?” cautioned her brother Fernando

“No - but to follow my dream I must be as brave as a super trouper!”

“You mustn’t do this! You’re always rushing around: another town, another train! And when did you learn to dance?”

“When I kissed the teacher!”

Shocked, Fernando ran off to tell their mother

Rushing in she cried ”Honey, honey - he is your brother! You should listen to him!”

“This family never does anything; at least one of us is trying!”

This struck a chord. “You really want to do this?” mother said, relenting

“I do, I do, I do, I do, I do!”

So, an SOS to the BBC then the ring, ring of the ‘phone & she took the train to Waterloo & waited for her day.

Her day came: she left & she danced for the four.

“Mamma mia – you stink!” said one

“You can’t dance, but you can lay all your love on me!” said another with an unpleasant glint in his eye, at which she was embarrassed.

“Gimme gimme gimme a man after midnight!” said another, & nobody was sure why

“You’d be better off knowing me; knowing you – you were rubbish” said the last.

“Aah!” she cried in despair. “Take a chance on me!”

“The winner takes it all – that’s the name of the game” they told her, cruelly.

So she left, gracious in defeat, turning as she did so to say “Thank you for the music”, & vowing in her heart to dance while the music still goes on.

For when all is said & done, it wasn’t about her dancing; it was all about money, money, money!

In case you haven't worked it out the story is based around the titles of ABBA songs. There are 25 of them - did you see them all?

Friday, 23 November 2007


Sunset in the Galapagos

Galapagos Heron

We are not an ordinary couple, thankfully. So when we married, for our honeymoon did we go somewhere quiet, warm & relaxing on a beach in a hotel with a swimming pool? Hell no - far too easy! Why do that when you can cruise around the Galapagos Islands, spend a night in Lake Titicaca, climb the Inca trail to Macchu Picchu, then stay in the Amazon Jungle? I got mugged & had my wallet & passport stolen in Cuzco, had a nightmare getting a temporary passport from the bureaucrats in Lima nearly, missing my flight back, got very sick from the cold & the altitude in Titicaca such that I thought I'd have to pull out of the Inca Trail climb - but I wouldn't change it for anything else! Absolutely loved it!


This is from central Birmingham so I didn't have to travel too far; the proximity of Queen Victoria's statue to the model's posterior appealed to my puerile sense of humour. It is also of course a pithy juxtaposition of icons an age apart; a commentary on the contrast of public standards & morality between Victorian & modern-day Britain.

This is from Roma, the most beautiful city I've ever visited - possibly from inside the so-called Colosseum (more correctly named the Flavian Amphitheatre, if I remember rightly)

This is a spiral staircase from inside the Vatican, looking a lot to me like an MC Escher take on a seashell