Saturday, June 24, 2006

Recommended website

Things that make you go "aahh" - they're all recorded on
they have been for ages, in fact. Wonder why I've not linked to it before...

Wednesday, June 21, 2006


Once again, superstitious nutters are trying to force the social agenda. This time, it's Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, head of that paedophile ring known as the Catholic Church. For some reason granted a private meeting at the Department of Health, he used it to urge a "rethink" on current abortion law. Now let's acknowledge here that our laws are not immutable. Maybe the current limit is too late. Maybe it's not. But the question is one that must be decided by empirical evidence and rational enquiry - when can we call a clump of cells a human being? Clearly, it isn't at the moment of conception - a view which is purely founded on dogmatic adherence to religious text, and a concurrent dislike of sex outside the realm of procreation.
Indeed, we should make a more general point, one which is possibly the underlying theme to many entries on WWPD - people who try to make such judgements based purely on dogma - faith, if you will - and not on reason and evidence, are ethical cretins, holding back not merely our understanding of the world, but our ability to do good. How can we decide what actions are ethical in the light of more evidence about the world if that evidence is discarded in favour of a book written something like 2000 years ago?

Monday, June 19, 2006


Reading the paper this morning, I found an article about a man named Derek Ogilvie. He claims to be able to read babies' minds. I wondered at first if I'd bought the Daily Mail by mistake. But no, definitely the Guardian. And there it was: a story about a man who can do a few sub-Paul Daniels parlour tricks involving cold-reading being treated seriously. Why? The interviewer says "I have met and interviewed a galaxy of psychics over several years, but he is somehow from a different mould". And? The same sort of remarks were made about Uri Geller, the former stage magician who realised he could make more money, and didn't need to be as talented, if he pretended it was real. And no one takes him seriously any more (Noel Edmonds caught him cheating, for fuck's sake!)
Yet the Guardian - a newspaper that likes to pretend it's serious - expresses not a word of scepticism towards this man. Hmmm. I wonder what'll be in the Independent tomorrow...

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Government funded information

The government, bless their little cotton socks, have funded an information pack from Fathers Direct, telling men what to expect, and how to behave, when having children. Aside from such gems as not having an affair when your wife is pregnant (really? I thought it was de rigeur...), it explains how children are expensive, messy and stressful. Which is all very obvious, but we do need the government to take that extra step and say what nobody's willing to admit: Having children ruins your life. You have no social life, no money, all your free time is spent looking after it, and then it gets older, demands more and more consumer goods and ends up mugging old ladies. Parents often come back with the "It's stressful but it's worth it" argument, trying to explain how the smile, or the first words make up for it. Bollocks, do they. They may be pleasant moments, but they're set against a backdrop of misery. How many of them think "I wish I'd never had children"? All of them, at some stage or other, but they can't afford to admit it, least of all to themselves. We need more honesty in this. Unfortunately, we're not going to get it, least of all from a government desperate to keep the next generation of tax-payers coming. But everybody else needs to think about it, and think hard. Having children ruins your life. Don't do it.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Will they never learn?

Theists - damn them all. Various "church groups" - those particular theist nutters who describe themselves as Christians - have been calling for an enforcement of the law requiring schools to provide a collective act of (Christian, obviously) worship. It seems to be fairly lax amongst secondary schools (thank god...), and they want it tightened up. It will, apparently, be good for the spiritual health of children. I may have asked before, but I shall ask again, and will keep asking - how can it be good for any form of their health for them to sit listening to fairy stories, presented as though they were true, and be told that they mustn't question them, or ask for any sort of supporting evidence whatsoever (look what happened to Doubting Thomas! What a terrible man he was...)
How on earth is that good for anyone? And, more than ever, we live in age in which various flavours of loons are willing to blow up other people who don't share their superstitions. Yet, still, people persist in trying to breed more of them, by brainwashing children. Is there a greater stupidity than that?
On a related note, I notice that a television programme called "The Convent" is being advertised, in which various women go to escape earthly pressure, seeking something "more spiritual" - presumably biblical superstition drip-fed to them. A similar programme was aired last year, featuring men in a monastery. Now seeking greater enlightenment is all very admirable, but do they really think they'll find it by shutting themselves away from the world, listening to people who shut themselves away from the world, and probably aren't aware of any writers after Thomas Aquinas? If you want enlightenment, go out. Meet other people. Travel. See how life is lived. Don't hide from it, shielding yourself from painful reality with comfortable lies. That's not enlightenment, it's delusion.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Quote Unquote

Ah, it seems so long ago since I was last here. Still, not much has happened, has it? Eh? Oh, well...
One thing I did note was the the Leader Of Her Majesty's Opposition, Mr Tony Cameron (or was it Mr David Blair, the Prime Minister? I forget) made a speech in which he uttered the immor[t]al line: "It's time we admitted that there's more to life than money, and it's time we focused not just on GDP, but on GWB - general wellbeing."
Marvellous. Wise words. Especially when coming from a millionaire. I suspect most single mothers, struggling to feed their children, will appreciate being lectured that there's more to life than money, and they shouldn't be so obsessed by it.
Such admonitions are always welcome from people who have never had the chance to see the opposite side. Although personally, I've always rather enjoyed the quote from the great Steven Patrick Morrisey: "There's more to life than books you know, but not much more..."