Thursday, July 31, 2008

Opinions on blogging

Great article by Shalom Auslander in yesterday's G2 on blogging and why people feel compelled to do it. Besides his (very true) rant, he is also comes up with the following highly amusing 'discussion' about American politicians:

One of the most personally distressing developments of the current American presidential campaign has been the near-daily use of the phrase "throw under the bus". Barack Obama was accused of throwing his pastor under the bus. John McCain was accused of throwing his economics advisor under the bus. Hillary Clinton was accused of throwing Al Gore under the bus. As someone who spends a large portion of his day graphically imagining throwing people under buses - the surprised look on their faces, the squeal of the bus brakes, the scream of a passerby - I truly wish this would stop. Imagining throwing people under buses is one of the only ways I get through the day without actually throwing people under buses.

The violent homeless man who shouts obscenities at me? Shove. The arrogant CEO on his cellphone walking along as if the sidewalk belonged to him?

Shove. Mom? shove. I know I shouldn't let these people bother me, and that I'd be a happier person if I didn't, but over time, I've accepted that I'm angry. I've accepted that I'm somewhat negative. I've accepted that I have a propensity for imagined ultra-violence. But now I just feel like ... a politician.

A warning to us all....

Monday, July 28, 2008

Quote of the Day

[Inara cannot find work because Mal is avoiding central planets]
Inara: Right, you're a criminal mastermind! What was the last cargo we snuck past the Alliance to transport?
Mal: That was a little dif—
Inara: What was the cargo?
Mal: [pauses, embarrassed] They were dolls.
Inara: They were little geisha dolls with big heads that wobbled!
Mal: Hey! People love those!
Inara: Well, since I can't seem to find work as Companion, I might as well become a petty thief like you!
[An uncomfortable silence descends for a moment.]
Mal: Petty?
Inara: I didn't mean petty.
Mal: What did you mean?
Inara: Suo-SHEE?
Mal: ...That's Chinese for "petty".

From Firefly: Trashed

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Quote of the Day

House: Depression manifests in lots of different ways. Some people can't get out of bed all day. Others have serial relationships and become oncologists.
From House Season Three: Resignation
Dr. Wilson: (being questioned by House about taking anti-depressants) It's personal.
House: How long's it been personal?
Dr. Wilson: It's personal.
House: The yawning's recent so either you just started or you changed prescription.
Dr. Wilson: This is why I take them.
House: They're anti-depressants, not "anti-annoyance-ants."
From House Season Three: Resignation

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

False teeth, unconsummated marriages and hugs

This is an article that I read when it was published in the Observer Magazine. I cut it out and kept it, because she comes across as the most amazing woman.

"Life might be about nothing, but it might be about something. ... Love is the key - it's the only thing that matters."

When I grow up, I want to be Rose Hacker.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Will life ever be the same again?

He's top of our 'shouldn't but would' list, he's a bug-lover (which is forgivable) and generally a great guy. And he's leaving...

How will we survive?!

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Bush's departure to be commemorated

Apparently some patriotic US citizens have decided that its important to commemorate President Bush's imminent departure from office. How? By naming a sewage plant after him...

"In President Bush's case, we think that we will be cleaning up a substantial mess for the next 10 or 20 years," said Mr McConnell.
"The sewage treatment facility's job is to clean up a mess, so we think it's a fitting tribute."

Genius. Why didn't we do this for Blair?

Monday, July 07, 2008

'No' always means 'no'

Abuse done in the name of religion is still abuse. No still means no, even if your abuser thinks a demon said it, and separation of Church and State doesn't mean religion is above the law or judgment. No religious faith should be a law unto itself... From 'A Troubling Legal Precedent in Texas' - The Wild Hunt

A brilliant article from The Wild Hunt... definately worth a read.

Half the world's Christians can't be wrong?

The 'Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans' apparently represents half of the world's 77 million Christians. While I'm very open to other faiths and respect their views, it does rather concern me that this new organisation is so fundamentalist.

With their (admitted) conservative views on women priests, their homophobia and desire to proselytise, are we seeing the 'new Christianity'? And if we are, should we be worried?
Could a possible schism lead to further tensions between Christians and other 'world faiths', notably Islam?

And what would it mean for smaller religions? Will we be subjected to even more evangelists stopping us in the streets (one of my pet hates)?

*Some useful information from the BBC website on the debate about women bishops.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Pigs might

Fly? Pigs? Why not? Why haven't pigs evolved with wings?

In fact, why don't more creatures have wings? And why does being a mammal with arms and legs seem to preclude us from flight? The world would be a better, perhaps even a happier, place if more creature could fly.

Imagine it. Sheep somersaulting through the air (think Monty Python). Zebras able to reach top branches of trees. Pigs floating gently through the sky. Cows dive-bombing innocent ramblers...

Next time the universe is re-set, I hope the gods will give this some consideration.

On the nature of beds and duvets

Why is it that at 1am, my bed is uncomfortable, my duvet too hot and my pillow not squishy enough, when at 6.35am (2 seconds after my alarm has rung) the aforementioned bed is heavenly, the duvet cosy and the pillow snuggly?

Is it a cruel joke by the gods? Or is it something inherent in the bed/duvet/pillow that actively prevents comfort and sleep, and then evily tempts you to stay in bed when you really really need to get up...

Bring on the weekend lie-ins.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

What is Paganism?

Something I wrote a few years ago. I'm sure some people would disagree with it, but most pagans I've spoken to don't!

So what is Paganism?
The word pagan comes from the word for villager or person from the country. These villagers were traditionally closer to nature and still maintained the old religions long after Christianity became popular with the elite and rulers in the cities.
Today, pagan or paganism is used to loosely group together many different paths of 'alternative' religions. Often these religions are linked to beliefs older than Christianity – such as the modern worship of Egyptian and Roman pantheons. Many of these religions are closely connected or concerned with nature and the Earth, or with natural cycles and seasons. As there are such a variety of traditions linked with Paganism, it is difficult to describe or explain exactly what being a pagan means, as each tradition is extremely different. Hopefully, however, the information given below will help dispel many modern misconceptions and stereotypes of Paganism.

What many Pagans believe:
A Close Relationship between the Individual and his/her Gods - In most pagan traditions, the individual is the priest or priestess, coming to know their gods personally, rather than via someone else. Most pagans have no intermediary priesthood or tradition, each person has access to the deities through ways such as meditation, prayer and ritual.

Pantheons of Deities - Different gods do different jobs. Or alternatively, different aspects of one god and one goddess are responsible for different parts of our life. For example, the Celtic goddess Brigit can be worshiped as a goddess of protection and healing.

Reverence of Nature - Pagans hold the world around us as sacred. In it we can find the gods, and with it we can reach greater understanding of creation. Many pagans are 'green', or environmentally friendly. Some pagans feel very connected to nature, becoming expert in the recognition of wild flowers and herbs, and their uses. Pagans are usually very aware of the rhythms of the earth: tides, phases of the moon, and the cycles of the year.

A few stereotypes that just aren't true!
Old hags flying around on broomsticks - A broom, if used at all, is used for sweeping, symbolically cleansing an area, and some pagans are quite young!

Satanists - Pagans do not worship satan, and usually do not have a concept of evil. Actions are right and wrong, and there is sometimes a karmic/threefold law or equivalent that whatever you do comes back to you three times over. Satan is a Christian concept, but the notion of satanic worship by pagans or witches probably stems from the pagan god figure, often portrayed as a man with the legs of an animal, representing his closeness to beasts; the body of a man, showing his closeness to man; and the antlers of a stag, representing kingship.

Murderers who perform human sacrifices - Although we cannot know how the pagan traditions were celebrated hundreds of years ago, modern paganism has no place for human or animal sacrifice. Any 'sacrificial act' in worship or ritual will be symbolic – something given up to demonstrate reverence or worship. For example, it is tradition in some parts of England for pagans to cast wine and bread into the sea as a libation or homage to the goddess.

Cultists - As each person is their own priest/priestess, it is not necessary for a pagan to ever join with others in order to worship. We have no central authority making decisions for us, and although some pagans may choose to work in groups or covens, they are usually free and open.

Crazy - We may seem strange or different, but we are not crazy! Many pagans choose never to tell their friends and family of their beliefs. No one usually guesses.

Anti-Christian - Most pagans accept all religions as a valid way of approaching the creative power that we cannot even begin to understand. Few pagans attempt to convert people as the view is that people will find their path in life in their own time, whatever religion that path includes: Paganism, Christianity, Buddhism, or Islam.

Why 'nemeton'?

What is a nemeton? In pre-Roman and Roman Britain (and Gaul for that matter) a nemeton was a sacred grove where rituals were performed.

Ooooh. Fancy that.

Well, I'm pagan and my degree was in archaeology, so I wanted a suitably pagan (and yet suitably obscure) and archaeological name for my blog. Rather than something overt like 'pagans-r-us' or 'getchorewitchesere'.

Got it? Good. Onwards and upwards.

First Post!

My first post on this, my beautiful blog...

First of all - why the blog. Well, everyone else is doing it, right? And who am I to not follow such an exciting and entertaining trend...

Secondly - I have no life. Seriously, I'm a hermit. And so instead of continuing my hermit lifestyle, I feel the need to spread the love. Although I'm sure I won't have anything much interesting to talk about.

Thirdly - I'm fulfilling my deep need to witter on about anything and everything in an insufferable-know-it-all kind of way. No apologies. Its a blog, what did you expect?!

Fourthly - oh never mind, it isn't interesting anyway.