Archive for the satire Category

Living On A Prayer

Posted in atheism, Christianity, Humour, news, opinion, religion, satire, topical with tags , , , , , , , , , on February 2, 2009 by zombiebacon

There’s a big hoo-hah at the moment, as usual media-fuelled, over the suspension of an NHS nurse because she offered to pray for someone’s recovery.

The person at the centre of this religious storm is community nurse Caroline Petrie, 45, who asked a patient in her 70s if she would like a good word put in on her behalf to the big medic in the sky.

The patient complained to her health trust and nurse Petrie is now awaiting the outcome  of a disciplinary meeting.

Petrie seems to think, by her involvement of the Christian Legal Centre, that  it’s an infringement of her right to religious freedom to be suspended for doing something so charitable as praying to an elderly sick woman.

WRONG. This has got nothing to do with religious freedom. It’s about good, and by good I mean professional, not moral, medical practice. Simple as that. Nothing more to be said. Period.

This nurse has clearly overstepped her mark (plus Matthew, Luke and John) by, in effect, offering the patient an extra, non-prescribed form of treatment for her ailments. Forget the ‘Christian’ tag for a moment and consider what sort of reaction there would have been if Petrie had offered snake oil or some other untested remedy instead.

‘I believe eating buttered earwigs helped cure my ills and thought it might have been of some benefit to the old dear,’ she might have told the Sun reporter afterwards, before he slowly backed away and found another fuzzier no-brainer story to exploit instead.

Petrie really believes God’s will can have an effect on a patient’s health EVEN THOUGH there’s not one bit of medical proof attesting to this, apart from the placebo effect. If that was the aim then surely a sugar pill would have left a better taste in the patient’s mouth?

If God is ‘cure’ to Petrie than how does she understand medicine and disease? Is cancer Satan’s work, and what about AIDS? There are some Christians who argue it’s a plague from God, who in his early days seems to have had a dislike of gay people for some odd reason. Maybe they didn’t fancy him.

If you abandon, even slightly, the scientific basis of pathology and treatment then you find yourself with huge paradoxes inherent in religion  such as how can a loving God stand by and allow people to be consumed by plagues? In fact Petrie go check your Bible (next to Gray’s Anatomy on your bookshelf) and discover just how many nasty diseases the deity you’re praying to has sent down upon the peoples of the Earth.

So that’s why she’s suspended: Because it’s not accepted medical practice, well not since the Middle Ages, to pray for a cure. It’s not because she’s a Christian, though I think her being Christian is important to the news stories with their western-orientated culture bias. I don’t think ‘Struck Off for Offering to Slaughter Chicken’ (about a voodoo-practicing district nurse) would go down quite as well.

And finally, if we’re talking about religious freedom then how about the right to be free of religion? The complainant in this case didn’t like proselytising, however mild, and neither do I. If I go to a garage I expect a car to be fixed and if I go to a restaurant I hope to be offered delicious food. With neither do I want an added mumbo-jumbo service, gratis or otherwise. You want to hear people talking about a Christian God? Go To Church. That’s what it’s there for.

And if a vicar offers to give you keyhole surgery after praying for your salvation, politely refuse and contact the nearest authorities.

Click Heaven Help Us to read the BBC news story.

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Young At Hearts

Posted in Humour, news, satire, science with tags , , , , , , , , , on January 8, 2009 by zombiebacon

Sinced the time the first single-celled organisms (such as President Bush) decided to stop reproducing asexually and have a bit of fun, there’s been an odd thing called LOVE.

To some it’s the best feeling in the world, to others an endless source of misery and woe; but to everyone it’s been a mystery.

How many times have you heard someone say ‘I can’t believe he/she’s with her/him/it’? If love was fathomable then expressions such as ‘love is blind’ and ‘beauty’s in the eye of the beholder’ would be meaningless – because we’d all be able to do the maths and work out why one plus one equals two. Or, later on down the road, three or four.

Poets, artists and musicians wax lyrical about it but press them to explain what the hell they’re on about and they’ll probably come up with such rubbish as ‘love is ineffable’ and ‘beyond explanation’, which kind of makes the whole effort of putting their ‘thoughts’ on the subject down on paper, disk or canvas pointless.

Thankfully, there’s another avenue we can go down to explain what love is. It’s called ‘science’, but really science is just a name for the process of rational investigation to bring understanding.

Everything in our lives should be done, in this sense of the word, scientifically. You wouldn’t drive a car without learning how it works, or eat anything that takes your eye and trust to faith you wouldn’t get poisoned.

The same should apply to love, because, to quote a bad ’80s pop tune, it ‘changes, changes everything’. Bad love can be worse for you than tucking into a steaming bowl of salmonella.

Larry Young, a professor of neuroscience at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, has had the nerve to examine love scientifically, and his conclusion is very interesting.

He argues that love can be explained by a series of neurochemical events in the brain.

“It’s just that when we experience these emotions they are so rich we can’t imagine that they are just a series of chemical events,” says Dr Young.

You can read the full article here for the actual science. What I find fascinating are the implications.

Such a reductionist approach might take the romance out of love but it sure is refreshing.

Basically our beloveds are doping us to the eye-balls until we can’t think straight.

Which is why so many lives go unfulfilled in terms of experience. We don’t care that we’re missing all the other rides in the fairground because the Roller-coaster’s providing such a buzz.

Far better to get off and try something else. You’ll still get a kick as nature’s wired your brain to provide it. Maybe the Dodgems would be an apt choice.

Bad love would be cured and people could have a legitimately acceptable choice in life. Get married and slowly become immune to the drug OR sod ’em all and become a emotion junkie.

After all, nature is only trying to trick us in to putting all our baskets into one egg.

“Love is only a dirty trick played on us to achieve continuation of the species” – W. Somerset Maugham

Then, when the body is too frazzled to take the constant highs, you could finally settle down for one last baby-making chemical romance, satisfied in the knowledge you’d have some great memories to take to the grave.


Morris Men Face Extinction

Posted in culture, Humour, satire with tags , , , , , , , , , on January 6, 2009 by zombiebacon

Forget the plight of pandas, struggle of Sumatran tigers or foreboding of polar bears feeling the heat of climate change. There’s another noble beast balancing on the precipice of extinction…

The morris dancer.

According to national association the Morris Ring, village greens could be devoid of morris dancers within 20 years if action isn’t taken soon.

The unforgettable sights and sounds of full-grown men whacking sticks and jangling bells around a huge erection could be consigned to the history books forever – because today’s youf find it all a bit embarrassing.

Charlie Corcoran, bagman (secretary) of the Morris Ring, told BBC News: “There’s a distinct possibility that in 20 years’ time there will be nobody left.

“It worries me a great deal. Young people are just too embarrassed to take part.

“This is a serious situation. The average age of Morris dancing sides is getting older and older.

“Once we’ve lost this part of our culture, it will be almost impossible to revive it.”

For some strange reason young people think tying ribbons to their legs and waving hankies around to celebrate the collective rebirth of seasonal horniness isn’t cool anymore.

They’d rather head down to a club than bang a fellow dancer’s head with one.

Being brutally honest, it isn’t really surprising they should feel this way. Compared to other countries’ folk traditions, such as the intimidating Haka of the Maori or the sexiness of the Hawaiian Hula, the morris dance is shown up as the embodiment of naffness.

Beardie old goats prancing around a pole to suggest fertility is on the same cultural level as innuendo in a Carry On film. Without the laughs.

Maybe we would be doing ourselves a favour by allowing morris dancing as it is to die. Replacing it with an annual Carry On-themed ritual to herald in summer might make the world think better of us.

Or how about a Benny Hill-style chase around the common with such stock characters as the blond bikini-clad bimbo,  dirty old man with a walking stick, nurse and policeman running around to the theme of Yakety Sax.

American tourists would flock over in droves to witness such a spectacle.

I, for one, would sign up to take part straight away. It would be hilarious and the perfect way to let off all that seasonal steam.

Of course none of us would get the girls – but with the strange attire of morris men hasn’t that always been the case?

Click on the video below to get an idea of how cool morris dancing really could be…

In Gods We Trust

Posted in gaming, Humour, religion, satire with tags , , , , , , , on January 2, 2009 by zombiebacon

Boardgames are legion, but when you boil down to the essentials behind them all you find a few key themes. Conquest is the big one – be it through an army (Risk), good business acumen (Monopoly) or Shakespearean anti-hero (Othello).

Slaughtering all opposition in the name of wholesome family fun might make you pause to think about the real messages we are sending to children, but even so, it is still JUST a game.

Another thing that is presented to children and is seen as the non-evolved backbone of the family unit is Religion. Unlike board games, the desire to conquer that comes with viewing some people as against everything you stand for is very much real. And bloody.

Which is why I think new indie board game  Playing Gods: The Boardgame of Divine Domination is one of the coolest and most important things to happen to parlor games since they released the NHS edition of Operation – a game which could takes months to complete, depending on the length of the waiting list.

playinggods

Playing Gods - Making blasphemy fun

Players can choose to be one of five major world deities – including Moses, Kali and a machine-gun wielding Buddha – whose aim is simple: take over the world with their religion.

To do this you have to build up your number of devotees (represented through coloured markers) while smiting or converting your opponents’ followers.

Add in wrath cards to bring down your heavenly fury and Conversion cards to boost your box of divine tricks and you have a game so addictive you’ll steal a TV to buy the extension pack.

It’s the creation of Ben Radford, 38, managing editor of Skeptical Inquirer magazine.

Aware that much of the world’s violence comes from the source of eternal love, Radford realised that mocking various images of God and their faithful adherents would “make more social commentary” and “pierce the pretensions of extremist religious zealotry with humor.”

That it does wonderfully, passing many hours in the entertaining pursuit of monotheism.

Someone should really distribute this game to all the world’s spiritual leaders so they can settle their differences without destroying us in the process.