Queens, Nonsense, Christian Unions In No Specific Order

So at the start of the week I had to go to Norn Iron again. Man I hate that place. It is filled with all the things I hate. Murder, for example. Crude language. A distinct metric measurement deficit. Sure, you think I am going over the top on this Norn Iron animus for your amusement. But where else are football jerseys a major political statement? I was invited by the pleasant, terrifically handsome bunch of people that make up the Queens University Belfast Christian Union, or QUBCU if you prefer awkward acronyms to address their masses on evangelism. It always surprises me when people invite me to talk about real-life Christian issues. In my mind, I’m the guy you call in when you want someone to waffle on noisily about some abstract theological point. In the mirror, I’m like a cut-rate Pete Rollins. In reality, I am a Christian who doesn’t sweat (visibly) when speaking in public and so I end up trying to pretend that I know about evangelism.

This is something I excel at you see, as I spend my working life convincing my boss that I know things about evangelism too. Evangelism is a nasty word. I am made to feel like some kind of bully if I am honest and tell new people that I am an evangelist. Maybe that is just the homunculus Freud in the centre of my brain activating my guilt over the lives I have distorted with my clever arguments and listening ear. But I think I am on firm ground holding that many people are deeply suspicious of any kind of evangelism. My dear and very stylish friend Stig studied marketing and so he spent four years defending himself and his course at parties from uninformed accusations that he and his subject were pure evil transformed into human form and study notes respectively. That is what you get for hanging around with college students but what they were really aggressive about was not “marketing” which is a surely benign activity but successful marketing that approaches the form of evangelism. They realise that in some sense, Vodafone’s non-stop trendy music ads work on them. They get their hooks into you and you end up having a bit of your brain colonised by the red apostrophe. They hated marketing and Stig the marketeer not because of any thought through consideration of advertising’s evil or Stig’s dreadful odour but because they are epistemologically inclined to distrust any attempts to modify belief systems.

That was a clever way of saying that folk don’t like it when people launch assaults on how they view the world.

I’m verbally processing here, killing time while Neuro talks to her mom on the phone, enjoying Cake (why aren’t Cake superstars on a level with the Shins?) so forgive me if I am talking crap. Be gentle to me in the comments section. But the reason I was invited to Queens in a grand-universe-fate-providence sense was to try and stop the raw material of this fear. It is in places like Belfast where the Christian sub-culture is larger and more aggressive than any other culture that evangelism starts to get a bad name. Christians probably should never work out of positions of power (again, off the top of my head opinion) but the sheer critical mass of God-botherers in one city encourages an attitude towards evangelism that can be totally devoid of love, irony, listening or humility.

So The 3rd K and me drove up and talked about sex and God and girls, had dinner with Sam and then delivered our spiel. I only broke one flip chart, stood on one piece of musical equipment and I didn’t swear. So I did a good job. Unlike the last time I talked to Christian Union students in Norn Iron, I was not publicly called a heretic by a minister of a mainline Protestant denomination. No public condemnations has to be considered positive.

I am sorry I didn’t know about the exhibit in the Waterfront from the Ikon lads featuring their “Heresy Monopoly”- I wouldn’t have missed it (Ta to Johnny Baker for the link and pic):
Heresy Board Game From Johnny Baker's Flickr Stream

It wasn’t all good news. I failed to fit this sentence into the talk: “The muscular German cyborg dude dances with French Canadians”.

More Nonsense Links
I know why you come to Zoomtard. It is because I am so cool. So cool because I share with you a website consisting of photos of Soviet calculators. As my good friend Jurg would say, in a butchered Russian accents, Classnya Popka!

I like it when people agree with me! Joel Johnson is a bigwig in the internet-gadget-journalism cartel (who also control the flow of water in the southern hemisphere) and here he rants at idiots who buy crap like iPods that lock you into preposterous licensing commitments. If you don’t have an i-River from 2001 I won’t be your friend anymore.

I think I love Scot Adams. This blog post shows why.

After killing Albert Camus, Jean Paul Sartre fled to Canada and got a job as a emergency-line operator. This game is addictive. And finally for those of you who enjoy laughing, a David Sedaris article in the New Yorker.

Your Correspondent, His kisses make Judas seem sincere

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