Trans-mission

This blogging lark can be a bit frustrating sometimes. There you are thinking you’ve got the week’s topic sorted and the post itself well under way (alright, 1/6th under way) when, suddenly, almost out of nowhere, along comes something that throws a massive spanner in the works and everything changes. One minute your article was one thing, the next you find you have to begin the slow, difficult process of turning it into something else entirely. Since there are no wrongly imprisoned teens to write about, and most of my relatives are thankfully of good health, what could it be this time? Well, it was, in fact, Fox News psychiatrist Dr. Keith Ablow’s article on Chaz Bono, son of Cher (and Sonny), and his upcoming appearance on “Dancing With The Stars”. I won’t dignify the article with a link, so please take my word for it when I tell you, in no uncertain terms, that Dr. Keith Ablow is an ignorant, hate-mongering, transphobic shit-bag. Read more “Trans-mission”

Women: Know Your Limits!

I was inspired this week by a post from Xanthe Wyse on her God Confusion blog (you should definitely head over there and say “hi” – tell her I sent you, and don’t forget to come back! Hello? Oh … okay, fine, be like that). In “Good Christian Wife” Xanthe talked about a subject that’s been on my “To Rant About” list for some time; religion’s attitude toward women. If you happen to be a woman (it’s okay, I don’t mind, I hear it’s quite acceptable these days), then I’d like to ask a question of you for which I’ve never received a satisfactory answer. How could any woman, regardless of background, ethnicity, or education level, belong to any of the major faiths and still maintain a molecule of self-respect? Why would you ever refer to, or even think of, yourself as being a christian or muslim, for example, when it’s quite apparent from the research I’ve done that your religion HATES you? Read more “Women: Know Your Limits!”

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”

Too orangey for crows

When I was young, maybe about 5 or 6 years old, my mum was always telling me not to put so much orange squash in my glass before filling it with water. In a time when actual proper orange juice was still considered something of a luxury, putting in a bit more squash than I should have would give it a decent, fuller, more orangey taste – it was like giving myself a treat! Mum would always tell us that “too much is bad for you”, which, of course, is true, but it masked her real feelings that using more meant that it would run out sooner and she’d have to buy another bottle. Like many children, this would have been my introduction to the concept of dilution; the idea that the more you water something down, the weaker it gets, and it seemed so obvious to me that a large amount of something should overwhelm a small amount of something else. So how is it that the only people in history, it seems, who never grasped this concept were the proponents of homeopathy? Read more “Too orangey for crows”

When a plan comes together

So what have you been up to this weekend? A spot of gardening? Went clubbing? Visiting relatives, perhaps? If you’re anything like me you’ve probably tried to do as little as possible, maybe even going so far as to achieving absolutely nothing at all. Well, if that’s the case, and you happened to be in Houston, Texas yesterday, there was something that might well have appealed to you (assuming, of course, that you’re up for achieving fuck all in a really big and pointless way). Around 30,000 people gathered at Reliant Stadium for a massive prayer rally, the sole purpose of which seems to be to beg, en masse, their invisible sky-gnome to wave his cosmic beard and magic away the myriad problems that the state, and indeed the nation, are unable to solve by themselves. Or, to put it less euphemistically, the problems that they’re too lazy, cowardly, or just too plain fucking stupid, to do anything about. Read more “When a plan comes together”

Jesus S(l)aves

A few months ago, I made a list of ideas for subjects that I wanted to cover in future posts and, this week, an old playground song that had become inexplicably stuck in my head reminded me of one of them. The song (well, verse) consists of the following sung to the tune of “The Battle Hymn Of The Republic”:

Jesus is the goalie of our local football team
Jesus is the goalie of our local football team
Jesus is the goalie of our local football team
Jesus saves! Jesus saves! Jesus saves!

While the joke works much better if you imagine the last line is accompanied by hands being thrust in the air, to the left then right (as if catching an imaginary football), the point is that it put me in mind of one of the ideas on my list; specifically that Jesus, rather than saving people, in fact makes them prisoners. Read more “Jesus S(l)aves”

D.R.S

I was a little more than a quarter of the way into writing this week’s post this morning when I received a somewhat confused call from my sister, Tam. Apparently, my mum was in a panic over having missed a couple of calls from my nan and, since the calls had come immediately after one another to both her mobile and landline, and because she was having trouble getting hold of my nan to find out what was going on, my mum was now desperately ringing round to find out if anyone else had heard from her and, if so, what it was about. Moments later my phone rang again and, with the caller ID telling me that it was my mum, I instinctively knew what she was going to tell me … my grandad had passed away in his sleep early this morning. Given the enormous influence he’d had on me growing up, I’d like, if you don’t mind, to dispense with my usual weekly bitch-fest and instead talk about my grandfather, Derek Raymond Sankey. Read more “D.R.S”