Friday, 28 May 2010

Sometimes it makes you wonder...

The latest campaign by the infamous anti-gay Westboro Baptist Church is to picket singer Ronnie James Dio's funeral with another potentially offensive protest. This has come to light in the NME, MOG and on the AV Club news pages. Looking at one of the most distasteful Westboro Baptist Church websites, godhatesfags, they list the funerals and locations they will be 'protesting' at...

Let there be love shared among us?


Wednesday, 26 May 2010

The Anglican Matrix

Some of the things I'm beginning to learn about the Church of England with help from various sages:

clergy jews
laity gentiles
choirmaster god
choir trying
robes robes
flower guild see above
psalter rare book
book of common prayer red book
common worship read book
hymn book new book
sunday school lambs
baptised (C of E only) sheep
the rest of us goats
administrator donkey
treasurer bankrupt
PCC deluded
eastenders never watch it
cleaners angels
wardens heroes

With respect to the lamented Beaker Folk of Husborne Crawley


Monday, 17 May 2010

The Village People rule OK

Sometimes I'm really glad I do actually say what I think! For a while I have been commenting on how wonderful the in-house honey and mustard salad dressing tastes at the very best eating place on Mersea, The Art Café. I've been calling it 'Jungle Juice' and they've kindly been giving me extra helpings! Then on Friday, at our staff training lunch, the proprietors, the lovely Maggie and James presented me with my very own bottle of their delicious nectar!

A very chuffed and smiley BanksyBoy!
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Friday, 14 May 2010

The Apple of Discord

For many years our small (yet beautiful) company has encouraged our clients to steer away from using FLASH (Cue Queen: 'Ah Ah') on their websites on the basis it yields a 'form above function' solution. Websites built using Flash are usually extremely 'pretty', in fact, some of them do look sensational, however, customers that heeded our advice will now be rewarded bigtime.

By Friday 28th May all pre-orders for the Apple iPad will have been fulfilled and this long awaited and highly desirable gizmo becomes available in the UK. That's when every website developed with Flash will look like the iPhone screen capture above on the iPad (also affects the iPod Touch). As the iPad will probably become the bit of technology that every management and decision maker will acquire then a lot of work will need to be done to provide alternative versions soonest so the typical market sector viewer of these 'glamorous' websites is not lost! Our longer term hunches were realised completely last month when Apple's charismatic 'front man' Steve Jobs posted this open letter to Adobe about Flash.

(The example shown above is a genuine screen grab on the iPhone with the title and web address changed to protect our uninformed competitor!)
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Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Back to Pub Sunday...

I have to confess to a bit of shyness when it comes to walking into places I am not already familiar with. It is always a joy to be made welcome and last Sunday, visiting a new Parish, I noticed I wasn't the only one who was warmly welcomed. The small team of 'Welcomers' made sure everyone was comfortable, understood what was going to happen, where the facilities were and where to get refreshments.

Throughout the evening the joy of all the key people involved in this new 'Outreach' venture was impressive and reassuring at every level even from the top. During the collection, as the bucket went round, it was made absolutely clear that donations were an extra voluntary contribution which would all go to Christian Aid along with an extra contribution from those taking part.

I was uncomfortable, though. I had a knawing sense of guilt and discomfort that actually this is exactly how churches should 'feel'? However, this wasn't even a church initiative put on in the very splendid new music venue 'The Farncombe Cavern' but one run by the Freeholder's Pub team in Surrey who chose to make their opening night a flag to indicate the start of Christian Aid Week...

The Lord be with you... and make mine a pint

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Saturday, 8 May 2010

The Independent truly challenges us all...

I have found it challenging to find an original approach to comment on the General election... there certainly have been some 'moments to remember' and these have already been written up with great eloquence and variety.

However, today I read the Rogue's Gallery section in The Independent that certainly got through to me which makes the vital point that we, the public, are culpable for the current deadlock which writer Matthew Norman describes as a 'constitutional pile-up'. His view that none of the three current main party leaders will survive politically for much longer feels like a refreshing notion. I will not reveal what Norman says in the closing paragraph of this piece as I hope others read it and also feel the same sense of optimism and wet-eyed joy that instantly permeated my whole being!

Read the full article here: Matthew Norman: we had our chance, and we blew it
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Spinal Tap meets Chequebook Worship

Yeah, right, on one level this makes me crack up... on another it is a really sad indictment of all that is bad in this style of 'popular' church... and it is not just my 'opinion' or even my 'taste' (although I have both in abundance). The irony that dated music is 'Contemporary' and that technology makes the message of the Gospel 'Relevant' is cleverly captured. However, the 'Medium' changes the 'Message'...

Rob Bell summed this up so succinctly when answering a question on Mega Churches at Greenbelt 09:
The problem is that a large massive group of people who have gathered for an hour a week can easily deceive themselves into thinking that's 'Church'. But Church is a sort of revolutionary movement of people who have the body and blood at their centre who see themselves as we are here to break OUR bodies and to pour out OUR blood for the healing of the world. And what can easily happen is the 'show', the hour on Sunday, the big exciting thing, can easily become a surrogate for actual community...
Listen to the full version on Greenbelt website.


Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Thou shalt reduce thy Sins of consumption...

George Monbiot concludes his blog post on the website today with this paragraph:
Only the Green party has approached this issue honestly, by accepting upfront that economic growth is the problem and that current levels of consumption cannot be sustained. It's time we called out the other parties on their failure to acknowledge, let alone tackle, this contradiction. And it's time we all recognised that consumption is the big issue.
The title of the piece is: 'Carbon calculator reveals Labour and Tory policy as science fiction' and condemns the two 'old' parties unsurprising refusal to run the Guardian's National Carbon Calculator. Simon Hughes of the Lib Dems both ran the calculator and shared the results online. Sadly whilst addressing climate issues are in all the manifestos it is not as hip and newsworthy as the deficit (understandably) and immigration (inflammatory!). It is clear the main parties see economic growth as the solution to all ills whilst ignoring other burgeoning issues. One of the late Sir John Harvey-Jones' mantras was to 'always define the problem before suggesting a solution' and that is why the Greens are so very right.

So will I vote Green in a totally safe Tory constituency? Probably! Will I be wasting my vote? Some may consider so, however, my view could become part of a tangible statistic, the increase in vote for the Green Party in this election. Perhaps I should practice what I believe and vote with my conscience against the spiritual evil of rampant consumption?