Resist

It can be fun replying to the fake bank manager of an impoverished nation promising to transfer 3 million dollars to your private bank account, but you must resist. Alas, they will not see the funny side and will instead send an avalanche of tasteless spam in your direction. Save your sarcasm for someone who cares.

Don’t look back in anger

My generation enjoyed an adolescence with the sage advice of Noel Gallagher ringing in their ears:

But please don’t put your life in the hands
Of a Rock n Roll band
Who’ll throw it all away

The social media generation needs someone to set to music a ditty about not investing everything in a YouTube star. Continue reading “Don’t look back in anger”

Agreement

Yes, I know there is agreement on such and such amongst those that agree, but please do note that those that disagree disagree. Purely stating that there is agreement amongst unspecified individuals is not proof of anything. Furthermore, even if everyone really did agree, they could still be completely wrong. But as we tend to quickly discover, mostly there is no real agreement at all, once all the heretics and nonconformists so readily dismissed are factored in. There is merely general agreement amongst a particular subset of high priests of a particular sect, who have never and would never consider the argument of the other. This is what agreement looks like.

Dispersed

Is there anyone left in the village of childhood, or have we all dispersed? Here I am, three hundred miles south, wondering what became of my tribe. Most of us, it seems, have ended up in satellite towns orbiting the capital, our childhood roots forgotten. We came from the village, but now we’re of the whole world. All these strange migrations, scattering us out like seeds, pollinating, cross-fertilising , pushing down new roots into the earth we land on, all of the past but distant memories. We have moved on, never to return.

Amateurs

A friend of mine from school is an amateur standup comic. This is a great thing. We celebrate amateur standup comics. To stand up in a comedy club and make people laugh: what an incredible feat.

Continue reading “Amateurs”

In search of truth

A friend of mine — possibly beyond crisis-of-faith mode and now savouring full-blown rejection — regularly sends me videos featuring the idiocy of presumed scholars, past and present, as they mangle religion and make a mockery of it with absolute sincerity and conviction. His contention, I think, is that their lunacy is proof of the degeneracy of our faith as a whole. In sending me these videos, my friend hopes that I will join him in his rejection, embracing disbelief again, liberating myself from the yoke which he imagines constrains me, as he believes it constrained him. Continue reading “In search of truth”

Hard times

Fallen on hard times, the pious chap mumbles, “Allah will provide.” Most of us have been there at one time or other. Of course, ultimately this is true. But what the unfortunate fellow should admit is, “My wife provides, with her full time job, whose salary I spend on the household and on putting my children through university, and who cooks and cleans and washes the whole family’s clothes, while I spend my days grooming my beard and praying for succour, convincing myself and others that I have complete tawakkul.” Alas, the poor chap has nothing he can spend on his household, except for the meagre child benefit he receives from the state. Hence his perpetual refrain, even as he relies on everyone other than himself to see him through. Such is the tangle of hard times.

Lost tribes

There is a humble dry-cleaning business in the heart of Kensington frequented by the rich and famous. Norman Lamont, David Beckham, Idris Elba and Simon Cowell pop in from time to time, to have their fine garments restored and pressed. These well-to-do probably don’t think much of the presumed immigrants that serve them. But if there’s anything that we can learn from the fascinating family history of Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson, it is that the intermingling of cultures has long reached even into the very heart of the establishment. Continue reading “Lost tribes”

The tides of time

It’s a good job the Daily Mail isn’t held to account for historically publishing anti-Semitic views, praising fascists and dehumanising refugees, be they German Jews in 1938 or Syrian Muslims in 2018. Sadly those brandishing accusations of anti-Semitism as a weapon to silence their opponents are completely oblivious to their own actions. They utilise today the exact same dehumanising tools that led to the slaughter of millions of Jews in Europe in the last century. These people are unserious in their condemnation of anti-Semitism, for if they were they would stand against all forms of racism and prejudice which seeks to make other humans unworthy aliens, undeserving of aid or compassion. If people truly familiarised themselves with the vitriol European Jews faced in the early years of the twentieth century, and what it led to, I am sure they would mend their ways, and speak out about all behaviour that mirrors it today. But alas, this is the era of sloganeering, when nothing is ever truly meant. People speak, but have absolutely know idea what they are saying.