Archive for November, 2004

Zoomtard’s Series of Unfortunate Events

Tuesday, November 30th, 2004

Part 2 of my account of the week in the land of the bowler hats must begin with the Cathedral of Durham. In many ways this is the typical kind of English cathedral. For example, its Romanesque architecture and 1000 year old heritage betray a certain “Romaness” to proceedings even though its an Anglican church and the Church of England was only formed at the start of the 1500’s. How did this happen? Well, the Anglicans robbed it from the Roman Catholics of course. Therefore its a typical English Cathedral in that it was robbed from a weaker minority. So with that prejudiced introduction, let me force my views on Hogwarts down your throat.

See, the Cathedral of Durham isn’t just where the Bishop lives or where the displaced Catholics left 500 years ago as Cathugees, it is also the basis for Hogwarts in the Harry Potter movies. In fact, I took a delightful evening-time stroll around the courtyard I had seen before in the Potter movies and I somersaulted across the green where he learnt to fly on his broom to the delight and applause of the children and their posh parents who were hanging around Durham in the absence of a hunt to go to.

The cathedral is absolutely beautiful. I love cathedrals and this one was suitably massive, stained glassed and filled with tombs. It portrayed God properly as a fabulously wealthy and reclusive interior decorator who doesn’t take calls from any fans no matter how impassioned they are and who likes nothing more than a steep, narrow passageway leading to a panoramic view of the city. Dan Brown would say that the tower stairs I refer to were designed by Gnostics to represent the vagina of the divine goddess but I think he is crazy because vaginas don’t curve. You are sick Mr. Brown!

The Bishop of Durham used to be an idiot. I mean, sure he probably spent a few years at “uni” (that is what they call it here in the Empire) but he caused a lot of fuss because he didn’t feel like believing in God anymore because he was very sophisticated and liked some rare French cheese and read some Foucault and saw a diagram about how stars make the nice shiny light they give us. I might be simplifying it a bit but all’s fair when you are mocking a dead guy (well, an old guy).

But now the Bishop of Durham kicks ass. He actually is a living legend (in that people will be reading his books in 500 years) and his name is N.T. Wright. In honour of his excellence and the excellence of his mighty fine seat I thought I’d write a short poem to honour him. Also, I like the fact that people will be able to successfully google “NT Wright poem” in the future.

A Free Verse Ode To The Bishop of Durham

Oh you gotta get to know the Bishop of Durham
A Protestant called N.T. Wright
N is for Nicholas, T is for Tom
With Jesus, the Christ, he is super-tight
Ain’t got none of his predecessors shite
World famous as a theologian and writer
NT when he is a big fat theologian
Just simple Tom when he is a simple writer
He’ll explain it all, make your soul feel lighter
Creation, Resurrection, Salvation and Sin
Beat back the damage of liberal theology with one of his books and a celebratory glass of gin.
So glad I could visit the Bishop of Durham
NT Wright you gotta love ‘m.

I never promised you the poem would be worth your time or the 3 minutes it took to compose. In fairness though, you know all you probably need to know about him now.

In the Cathedral bookshop a crazy man who had that smell that said I should have washed two days ago, accosted me in the theology department. He walked up behind me while I considered spending a fortune and said, “Are you a theology student?” And I said yes because you know, technically I am and also I seem to secretly like mentalists robbing my time. He told me not to fill my head with that guff (oh alright then sir, I’ll drop out of my course immediately on your advice) and instead to trust the Spirit. Indeed. He pushed a book on me by a chap called Donald Prince about demon possession controlling the clergy of the Anglican church. He felt far more at home when I told him I was a Presbyterian (because these labels matter to crazy men) but he was shocked to hear that my baptism was at birth instead of being an adult full immersion effort so popular amongst zealots (its popular amongst normal people too, but the zealots go for it in a big way). Anyway, this lad and his wife reckon that going to study the Bible at college is a waste of time because the Holy Ghost can give you all you need. I quickly stopped trying to argue my viewpoints because he didn’t really give a shit. He knew the doctrine he had adopted and he didn’t need to hear anyone else’s opinion. Yet at the same time he was mighty pissed off that evangelicals don’t want to listen to contradicting views from the periphery. I don’t think I want to waste a Sunday morning listening to a sermon on how demons possess the soul of Archbishop Rowan Williams. But you never know if it was done creatively, like in iambic pentatamater, it might be amusing for
a while.

He gave me the ISBN of a book I should read to try and “save my ministry” (I’m so glad you diagnosed it as dying from looking at my back from across a bookshop) and it was on the receipt for a Daily Mail. Maybe its subliminal messages in hateful tabloids that cause this saddening craziness in my co-religionists?

So weirdoes aside, the day in Durham was lovely. I got the Nellie McKay album and am even more sure I support genetic engineering now since she should be cloned so everyone gets to enjoy her hilarity and her piano greatness.

I have lots of funny and sad and downright weird stories about the work conference thing but I feel quite unsure about writing about them online. I could get in trouble if I was misinterpreted because my not very veiled identity would be totally punctured if I told the anecdotes and the web has a way of confusing tone. But I felt the whole time I was there like I was about to say something that wouldn’t be appreciated by the group. In a Mafiosi kind of non-appreciation. I didn’t feel safe to be a shit-stirrer, honest or passionate. Instead I bit my tongue, read 4 really good books (1, 2, 3, 4) and longed for the comforting green fields of home; where the stirring of shit is almost a sacrament, where honesty and freedom to disagree is a sign of confident faith instead of a disturbing possible threat to the “doctrines” and where passionate argument is the only way we know how to decide anything. Basically, I didn’t feel I could be myself and that is a fairly big (but not personal or fatal) indictment of a Christian organisation. The upside is that I love the guys I work for even more now that I see how hard it is to achieve (and how much work it will take to sustain) the relationships we have.

Your Correspondent, Responsible for Jessica Biel’s nose job

Good Afternoon. Would This Be The Proctology Tent?

Monday, November 29th, 2004

I am writing this from the north eastern English city of Durham, home to a cathedral, a sitting Prime-Minister and my old cinema buddy AP.

I spent the week at a work training conference where I was mostly bored or frustrated and so its great to see AP and her new life in the surprisingly beautiful university town of Durham, even if it is in the godless hellhole that is England, (thanks be to God and Mary for the Irish heroes, De Valera, Padraig Pearse and Ronan Keating).

When I get back to Ireland I think I am going to kiss each member of my work team. These trips to the English guys make me appreciate them so very much. Its not that I have an issue with the people I spent the week with at all. Rather, their approach leaves me totally cold. Everything seems to revolve around doctrine and ideas instead of real world loving people. In the 4 days we spent about half the time on doctrinal issues and had an hour on pastoral care and an hour on discipleship. Even those seminars were fairly doctrine-laden. Argh! Doctrine can become an idol! And I guess I would just like a little more informality and a little more reflection and a little less talk about “distinctives of the organisation”.

Did you ever see the movie Brassed Off? I didn’t either. I just saw a poster for it in the German class in my secondary school because my German department wasn’t quite as on-topic as you would expect, considering the nation they studied. Anyway, I spent this morning with the 30th greatest brass band in the world. They are conducted by a man who makes me think that David Brent’s brother went into the army and learnt how to conduct music. This is a weird British phenomenon, brass banding, but it is surprisingly good. What I learnt today was that one quick way to make brass banding better would be too put more sequins or rhinestones on the uniforms. Jazz up the suits a little and stick the girls in short skirts and you’d have the next hipster craze. At the moment they are just weird railway staff outfits although even the abysmal British rail system hasn’t been bought out in some region by DavidLynch Mainline, which is the only rail company that would maybe have trombone playing ticket inspectors.

Speaking of trombone players, they are the scum of the earth. They are hated in the brass band world. They are a leaking vial of urine sampled from a syphilitic prostitute. I mean I can’t get across to you how much the trombone players are hated. “Carnies! That is all they are Zoomy!”

The trombone players turn up with their flys undone (is it flys or flies? Answers in comments, please) and their shirts sticking out where the zip should be. That is if they are wearing shirts of course, since mostly their sartorial statement begins explosively with an English soccer jersey and ends with breath-taking aplomb in the form of a Mirror or Sun under their arm.

This of course makes it sound like the trombone players are bad because they are working class which wouldn’t be at all true. Brass bands might sound a bit poncey to you but in reality they are well ‘ard in a mining town kind of way. The trombone players are hated because they turn up late and hit bum notes that sound like elephants farting far too often and then they blame other people when something called “being out of balance” happens to the band and they are daily a little bit on the drunk side of tipsy, but not in the adorable way my wife is.

So beware of the trombonists.

Brass bands have people of all ages in them and they have big gongs and xylophones and some pieces have flugel duets which are actually quite exciting. So except for Major David Brent II and the trombonists and the rehearsal hall in the industrial estate (I am morally opposed to industrial estates and their ugliness), losing my brass band virginity didn’t hurt at all.

There is one thing I have to point out though before we leave this topic. Brassed Off is a brass band travesty. You could never go to London and win a big tournament by playing something so passé as the William Tell overture and I know this because the cornet player in the 30th best brass band in the world told me. So don’t rent out Brassed Off on the back of this short tour through the garden of metal music delight that I have taken you on. Instead buy a trumpet and learn how to play “Can’t Get You Out Of My Head” on it because the chicks would dig that.

Or at least I would dig it if I were a chick.

Your Correspondent, Takes Every Sentence As A Pretext For Sex

Colin Powell retires to spend more time with Halo 2

Tuesday, November 16th, 2004

C is busy finishing an essay on TS Eliot. He had a terrible marriage. His wife died in a mental institute. Who said Arts Degrees didn’t prepare you for real life? It could be a prophesy for her.

She also tells me that modernism as a literary movement had a real respect for women. So that must be the kind of theoretical respect for women that you can speak and write about while disregarding them day to day and bedding any of them that will agree to it. So I’d just like to publicly state how I, like, totally dig C’s mind and her er, actualisation as a woman. Yes. Totally. Right?

Glad to get that out of the way. If I am ever going to be a famous modernist playwright or poet I have to make an offer that anyone who reads this blog and would like to pursue a meaningless and destructive sexual relationship should just email me at the zoomtard gmail account. Male or female. It doesn’t really matter so long as I get a chance to really, like, find myself. And I of course, totally respect C.

Eliot became a Catholic later on in life, after the nihilism. You gotta respect someone who converts to Catholicism. The attraction of orthodoxy only seems to make a claim on really clever and mature people. None of that wishy washy Protestantism for the likes of Eliot.

A Time of Linkage
This blog over here is intimidatingly good. So funny. I strongly advise checking it out and adding it to your favourites list.

Also, check out this local church website while you are at it. Its not like I know anything about this church or this site because after ddmmyy I’m all about the “artistic distance”.

I am glad to see that Kentucky politicians have a real good grasp of priorities and that they understand the word morality better than so many American evangelicals. I got Nazi Holocaust Denying literature ads in my banner on this newspaper’s website. It has KKKWALITY written all over it.

And finally in this linkage, can we have a moment’s silence for a passing King. Verily, Ghetto Superstar was what he were.

So onwards. My driving is progressing towards the automobile Omega Point beautifully. That Omega Point is when I cruise around the suburbs of West Dublin, homeboys in the back, shades on, windows down, rocking it the old -school stylings of Snow or Vanilla Ice. The fact that I cut out three times in a row at one junction doesn’t take away from my emerging genius.

I am all in favour of bio-meddling with babies now. I used to be really into bio-ethics and all that when I was younger, but like a girl waking up and realising that Westlife are ghey, I have had a realisation. Bio-meddling is the future so that C and I can have twins. I need to be certain we are having twins (when the time comes) so I can name them Yasser and Arafat. I can think of no more appropriate moniker for my kids.

I give up. Much the way C will if this blasted essay doesn’t finish up soon.

Your Correspondent, Listening to what the Thunder Says

Blank Slide Goes Here In Presentation

Saturday, November 13th, 2004

I never knew kidnapping was so easy but if you have to rob kids for a weekend, rob Christian kids. My wife and I (will writing that ever get old?) are spending the weekend minding the kids of some friends. The most serious behaviour problem we have to deal with a tendency in the little boy to jump around a bit until it’s slightly annoying.

Seriously, children of the corn! I mean, when a 10 year old kid you are minding is telling you to not leave stuff lying around, there might be a cushy job at play. They watch DVDs and play Gameboys and go cycling and jump up and down and read books and they are so damn wholesome! C and I are left to take care of our own business and check to see if they want some juice every hour or so. But when you are minding kids this clean and naïve and pleasant, one inevitably feels a little guilty for your own, I don’t know, normality. Because of their good behaviour, we have lots of time to do our thing, but pimping and recreational drug-fuelled sex feels bad when they are upstairs in the “family room”.

A family room, you say?!? Insane. It’s a room especially dedicated to children and parents playing and enjoying films together. Sane people build home cinemas. Instead these friends have set aside real estate for “beyblade Arena”.

I am starting to adjust to my new job. It was insane for a while back there what with my 14 hour days and my constant white hot stress levels. As much as I appreciate the different perspective offered by troll-like hunched shoulders, standing up straight and being more relaxed suits me well. Someday I might find a way to talk about the reasons that transitioning from a civil servant role into full-time Christianity is so difficult on this site. At the moment it all sits atop my brain in a massive jumble. The important thing is the jumble is no longer irritating me.

One thing that does irritate me at the moment is the Da Vinci Code. I am preparing a talk for a date in February on the phenomenon that is the novel’s hero George Clooney. I mean, Robert Langdon. Robert Langdon. This is a response from Christianity that is becoming almost cliché at this point. A work of fiction comes out that challenges orthodoxy and we respond with preaching. It might not be the best way to reach the people who are convinced by Dan Brown.

From reading the book I can rest assured that the people who have been hoodwinked by the book are the people who really wanted to be hoodwinked by the book. If you aren’t aware of it, by the way, The Da Vinci Code is the world’s bestselling novel of the last year or so and it features the exploits of the world famous Harvard symbologist, Robert Langdon as he attempts to unwind the mystery of the Da Vinci Code that proves Christianity to be a fabrication. It is a pulp novel at its best. One of the things about novels is that they are fictional. Type the word “symobologist” into google and 8 of the 10 first responses are to do with Da Vinci Code crap. There is no department of symbology in any university anywhere. This is made up to be entertaining.

That will be the focus of my talk. Basically I will say there is no need for Christianity to respond to the claims of the Da Vinci Code, since any novel that rejects the Canonical Gospels which were written over the years 50AD to 90AD (20 to 60 years after the death of Christ) but fulcrums a plot around a fresco painted by an Italian in 1498 is probably only good for entertainment. Whatever about the ongoing argument about the historical legitimacy of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, I have never heard anyone claim that Da Vinci was at the Last Supper.

But instead I will turn my attention to the influences on Brown’s novel. Most notably the Jesus Seminar but also the resurgence in Gnosticism and the myth of many “gospels”.

And this is where my job gets really good. I can now legitimately immerse myself in apologetics, which is the opposite to polemics and is the analyzing and devising of intellectual techniques for defending the Christian faith. I will also be using every technique I can think of to ensure I am not preaching.

And I promise you that I won’t bring it up at Zoomtard again.

I bought a car so I now have wheels. We gave the car a gay name. Gay in a Liberacé way. Flamboyantly gay. The name is Aiya, which means God’s Blessed Gift in Arabic. It is greeney blue but it is not turquoise. Whatever about its name, there is nothing gay about the colour. It is a strong masculine greeney blue. I am getting a paint job done by the Kildare equivalent of Xzibit so that it starts blood red at the back but slips into an ultra-fast whitey pink by the front. I can’t afford a Playstation 2 but I am installing a magnetic chessboard in the back of the front seats.

I overtook (is that right?) a JCB today. The raw power of my 1.3 litre Ford in 2nd gear astonished me. And more importantly my lady friend who accompanied me. The acceleration literally blew her clothes off. The stud-ness of it all was lost moments later as I cut out at the junction to a housing estate. The ignominy of Learner Plates is mine, all mine! If this were neuro, I would have written that last sentence in CAPS and you would have LAUGHED. I won’t sell out though for the sake of a few petty giggles.

Your Correspondent, Who is your dancing rhythym.

Don’t Politicize The Internet!

Friday, November 5th, 2004

I have been off work for the last two days because of the insane hours I was forced to put in last week. I have a great job. Not only am I doing something that I consider important on like, a cosmic scale, man, I have a great boss. We met for breakfast on Wednesday and he greeted me with a sincere hug and finished the meeting with a sincere hug. He also told me to take the days off and to rest assured that I was doing a great job. And he sent his sincere (his sincere!) love to my wife and his best wishes because he knew she had a sore throat. Its sincere. He isn’t just tapping me with a complex management strategy to make me more efficient.

The more I spend time with him and work for him, the more I actually believe that he approaches me as a Christian first and as a boss second. No wait. That is wrong. He approaches me as a Christian and everything else is wrapped up in that because it is an authentic effort at showing Christ’s love and respect for people. It totally rules.

He even sent me and C a card today thanking us for our fervent work these past few days.

One of the problems with being off for the two days after a US Presidential Election is that everyone thinks that they are capable of adding to the millions of words already written on the decision of 120 million people last Tuesday. You probably can’t you know. William Saletan has already though. And he’ll probably keep doing it too so get some of that good action.

Mimi writes:
“Despite my outward sunnyside-up optimism, I think part of me knew that W. would win reelection, and that we would have to put up with four more years of an administration that violently resists and rejects analysis, reflection, thought, judicious consideration of evidence, and the diverse opinions of experts. That is my main objection to Bush & Co. (boy is it a big one), and not coincidentally it is also my main objection to knee-jerk Bush-blamers. The world is a complex place, and worthy of our full attention. If only the President thought so too.”

And to that I say “Hear Hear!”.

But what I can’t get over is the overwhelming crap that is spilling out of the web at the moment. I mean, I know the web is filled with embarrassing shit, but its getting out of hand from Europeans who have made no effort to understand that living in America might involve different priorities or different factors than life in say, Dublin or Belgium. The overwhelming message I’m getting is:

1) America be damned because it thinks its so right and how can they be so arrogant?

Followed by,

2) How foolish is it to believe that there is such a thing as Right and Wrong? How cripplingly primitive?

Followed by, most mockingly of sense,

3) They are so wrong to vote for Bush. Bush is so wrong. Bush is evil. Bush is a fundamentalist. Bush is just like Al Quada--.

Point 3 grows more ridiculous until the Godwin Principle needs to be applied. If you don’t know what the Godwin Principle is then I ask you how have you survived the internet without becoming stupid? Anyway, click here, please click here to read the pinnacle of stupidity I have come across related to the 2nd Bush term.

All I can say to Dave and to Anonymous is don’t be haters, mofos. Even if you are funny funny haters.

I value all of your opinions, internets, really I do. Its just some people’s opinions are better than others. And then there are times when you just don’t want opinions. In which case, the only resort is Neuro, saviour of us all.

Your Correspondent, Apologises for the Politics of Hate

Hymns in the Whorehouse

Wednesday, November 3rd, 2004

I am conducting a phone call while I write this blog entry. Verily, with my hands free mobile, I am the uberman, Nietzsche ranted on about. I came across this quote today from the first French man to ever achieve shortness and I love it. So I share with you, my internets,

“I know men and I tell you that Jesus Christ is no mere man. Between him and every other person in the world there is no possible term of comparison. Alexander, Caesar, Charlemagne, and I founded empires. But on what did we rest the creations of our genius? Upon force. Jesus Christ founded His empire upon love; and at this hour millions of people would die for Him.”
Napoleon Bonaparte

Almost as good as this one, again from the blasted French with their philosophy and tasty bread,

Socrates dies with honour, surrounded by his disciples listening to the most tender words -the easiest death that one could wish to die. Jesus dies in pain, dishonour, mockery, the object of universal cursing – the most horrible death that one could fear. At the receipt of the cup of poison, Socrates blesses him who could not give it to him without tears; Jesus, while suffering the sharpest pains, prays for His most bitter enemies. If Socrates lived and died like a philosopher, Jesus lived and died like a god.”
Jean Jacques Rousseau

I am a recently married failure. I mean it. Nobody ever told me that tumble dryers can do damage to things. In a desperate effort to prove that men are still useful and women, our glorious rulers shouldn’t yet wipe us out, I decided to do a load of washing for my young, busy wife.

No problem occurred in the cleansing of the garments but then I encountered the tumble dryer, a machine that is existing proof that our devices must be engineered with voice capability to advise against imminent blunders. Edmund Burke once wrote, “All it takes for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing”, in which case tumble dryers are the evil-facilitators of the kitchen appliance world. Why is this you say? Well, I put the clothes on a tumble dry cycle that lasted like, 8 hours or something and the machine made no complaint. It said, “Who am I, humble tumble dryer that I am, to say that you are wrong? Who am I to compel or even gently advise you to change your course?” They are the Munich Pact of housework. They stood by while a great tragedy occurred.

I shrank almost every piece of clothing my wife owns.

I can easily believe that Bush won. I fear the inevitable undemocratic nonsense from Europeans who don’t like him more than the Americans who do. Already today, two people have told me how dumb Americans are.

In the world of sanity folks, we call that racism.

I am a mild and private Unionist when it comes to the conflict in Northern Ireland. I spent the night arguing in favour of a Republican because she was being so wilfully misunderstood (as I saw it) and now I am spent. But I will say this,

Ideology: noun, A body of ideas that reflects the beliefs and interests of a group, society, nation, political system, etc., and underlies political action.

Okay? If someone says its “ideologically right”, that doesn’t mean s/he is claiming objectivity!

Your Correspondent, Writes your name on his shoes in glittery pen