Crime and Punishment

Nonce Upon A Time

Before I get too caught up in the excitement at having finally reached my 50th rant, I should let you know that this could, in all probability, be my last ever blog post. Don’t worry, I’m not doing that narcissistic, “Oh, woe is me! I can’t take this harsh, abusive, blogging world any more, I’m leaving!” bullshit; such pitiful attention-whoring, the desperate expectation that my army of drooling, lead-paint drinking followers will validate my existence and wank my ego by imploring, “Come back, please! We can’t hold a coherent thought without your constant wisdom!” No, the fact is that this trivial milestone rant says one or two things that might result in my getting killed to pieces, ironically by the religion of peace, for offending their not-at-all insecure faith, blaspheming against their religion, and insulting their prophet by referring to Muhammad, entirely accurately (at least, according to their own holy texts), as a kiddie-fiddling, molestation-happy, child-rapist. Read more “Nonce Upon A Time”

You label me, I libel you

Despite having spent much of my time since the beginning of the easter weekend in and out of the vets with a conveyor belt’s worth of poorly pets (the full exciting story of which can be read in last week’s post), I’m in a relatively good mood … so much so, in fact, that I thought I’d make this week’s offering a bit of a special one by giving you this site’s first-ever actual proper interview (not with me, obviously, that would be mindlessly self-indulgent and bizarrely schizophrenic). Joining me almost live via email is Vaughan Jones, sceptic blogger and lifter of heavy things who found himself neck-deep in lawyers recently when a christian author sued him for libel over reviews he’d written on Amazon (as well as a few comments) telling everyone that his book, a supposed satire on the religion versus science debate, was crap. So, grab yourself a cuppa and a few jaffa cakes, pull up a comfy chair, and I’ll try to set the scene before asking Vaughan some (hopefully) interesting questions. Read more “You label me, I libel you”

Dead Jew On A Stick

As a sign of how increasingly eccentric and silly a place to work our office has become, one of our colleagues had organised a massive easter egg hunt on Thursday. While sofa cushions were upturned and coffee jars emptied in a desperate hunt for hidden chocolate, I was reminded of two things; first, that our office is peopled exclusively with adults who turn into overgrown children with the appetites of a cluster of super-massive black holes whenever sugar-heavy goodies are made available, and, second, that none of the traditional symbols of this apparently christian festival have got anything to do with christianity. Forever dodging the questions of exactly what relevance the eggs and bunny rabbits of the pagan celebrations usurped by Team Carpenter have to easter, they will instead try to divert your attention to the one and only symbol they have got; a symbol of the boundless love that the one true god (apart from all the others) has for anyone prepared to devote themselves to his service in perpetuity – a half-naked, Palestinian torture-victim nailed to a tree. Read more “Dead Jew On A Stick”

New Model No. 15

I don’t know about you, but when I heard the news this week that the twin bills SOPA (Screwing Over Proper Artists) and PIPA (Positively Invading People’s Anuses) had suffered a humiliating defeat/climbdown when pretty much the entire world told the entertainment industry to go fuck itself and stop trying to ruin the internet, I breathed a huge sigh of relief, wiped the self-satisfied “Ha ha, we did it!” grin off my face, and then started to wonder just what kind of monstrous form the bills will take on once Hollywood and the record companies had re-grouped and returned to begin the next leg of their “Stealing Freedom Tour 1996 – 2047”. For reasons I can only imagine have something to do with my brain feeling particularly charitable (knowing that I had a blog post to write and no ideas), these thoughts began colliding with ones about the nature of religion versus science and how, as it is with content producers versus the internet, the battle is about nothing more than destroying the competition in order to protect an obsolete business model. Read more “New Model No. 15”

* Terms and conditions apply

On Wednesday night, the state of Georgia committed murder in front of millions of witnesses. As if that weren’t terrible enough in and of itself, it was made all the more shocking by the fact that there’s every possibility that the victim was entirely innocent. In its usual, myopic pursuit to dispense “justice”, the United States executed Troy Davis for the killing of police officer Mark McPhail, despite the failure to recover a murder weapon, the recanted testimonies of witnesses (some of which made allegations of police coercion), and no other real, tangible physical evidence linking Davis to the crime. In the end, though, it doesn’t really matter whether Davis was guilty or not; he was still a victim of state-sanctioned execution in what we’re frequently told is a civilised country, and the decision to end his life, as well as a good deal of the support for doing so, came from people for whom “thou shalt not kill” is supposed to be immutable. Read more “* Terms and conditions apply”

Persecution, Christian-style

You’ve probably never heard of the West Memphis Three, but you should have. If, like me, you’ve often been made to feel like an outsider, or you grew up with the sense that you never quite fit in amongst those around you, then you need to hear their story. Perhaps you believe, as I do, that religion is an inherently divisive and destructive influence on the lives of ordinarily good and decent people; a virulent form of infection that has the capacity to poison everyone and everything it comes in to contact with (and has a proven track record for doing just that)? If so then you should learn all you can about the West Memphis Three because they, more than almost anyone else in the developed, supposedly civilised, world in recent memory can tell you exactly how it feels to be the victims of a religious witch-hunt. This is persecution, christian-style. Read more “Persecution, Christian-style”

Vote Linda Gilroy: Spineless and Clueless

[The following is re-posted here from my old, now defunct, MySpace blog, and is primarily for the benefit of a local, Labour-supporting Twitter follower that I had for a few short hours before I criticised her local candidate of choice. As I said at the time, I’m not saying these things to be mean, believe me! I merely wanted to show how my experience of meeting Mrs Gilroy was very different from yours!]

When the Digital Economy Bill became an Act last week (after the briefest of discussions, and with a large majority of MPs not even turning up to vote), I felt compelled to email my MP, Linda Gilroy (Lab – Plymouth Sutton & Devonport) to make known my disgust that she had voted for such a draconian, undemocratic, and flawed piece of legislation. Read more “Vote Linda Gilroy: Spineless and Clueless”