Well, I hope you all had a lovely Christmas. I was down with stomach flu but needed to write a presentation on ethics in journalism; so, delirious with discomfort and permanently online, seasonally depressed and unable to keep a drink down for the purposes of self-medication, I’ve been reflecting on that old ethical dilemma of whether journalists actually have any.
N.B. To clarify, this isn’t just an over the top case of sour grapes – I went to a Catholic school. Yes, some children were abused; yes, it was covered up.
Two of my recent squeezes have been Catholic. The first because she was a cretin and the second because she couldn’t be arsed with the rigmarole involved with formally breaking away from the church – despite being agnostic most of her adult life.
The latest reliable Vatican figures put the total number of Catholics worldwide at 1.2 billion, and this figure is rising. Not surprising considering the rate we’re pumping out new humans and – not wanting the helpless bundles of excretions to face purgatory should they cry themselves to death – baptising them without consent. I would argue that the other matter fluffing up the figures is the difficulty with which you are taken off the books. Continue reading “A Simple Guide to Renouncing Your Catholic Faith”→
Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you Big Mama Thornton and Alfie.
‘Hound Dog’ stuck on a loop in my head the other day, playing with Alfie – my Mum’s Cocker Spaniel. Turns out that although Elvis has the best known version, the song was first recorded by one Big Mama Thornton. I realise it was stars like Elvis that took the African-American blues to the cracker masses but until recently getting into Lightin’ Hopkins was as far as I crawled out of my lily-white honky box; and I’ve been missing out on so much. Continue reading “Dear John, Alfie the Dog and Big Mama Thornton”→
A girl I developed a debilitating and unrequited crush on once called me a drifter down her perfect nose. We’d met at a staff party; I’d been drinking warm beer in a friend’s apartment, watching England lose to Germany with the sound off, A-ha on repeat and bag of something expensive went up my nose before I could leave the house.
I’d just broken up with my girlfriend and everything was a mess, then this divinely sculpted creature asked me to dance. I took offence at the drifter tag, but then again I was younger and stupider back then – now it seems to fit.
This week marks the 11th time in seven years that I’ve bundled my life into a van and driven off at speed. I moved to Middlesbrough from Glasgow six months ago on an awkward and ill-planned mission to grab a bachelor degree by the balls before the price went up; I seemed to be doing quite well but somehow it didn’t seem to fit. Continue reading “My Return to University and Another Death in the Family”→
It’s been a while – how’ve you been? I’ve missed you. David? Sorry I forgot your birthday. Love, etc.
Those of you who read my hilarious, insightful and downright sexy posts on twitter and facebook will have got the gist of what’s been going on dayn sayf so forgive any repetition.
My Nan passed away peacefully – well, as peacefully as you can, struggling with pain and confusion, surrounded by powerless ‘strangers’, your conciousness rattling around a stubborn husk – and her ashes are now interred in the grave of my Grandfather.
Father Paul’s eulogy was uplifting and pure of heart – a real comfort for us and an experience with the church without parallel for me (I went to a Roman Catholic school in my teens.) If you’ll forgive me for opening the homophobia door, his awesomeness is proof positive that gays should not only be allowed in the church, but that they should be running the fucking show. Continue reading “The Monsters We Turn Into or Marry”→
I should be reading the 12th chapter of the phenomenal page-turner Essential Public Affairs for Journalists, or actively seeking to contain my growing impression as an agoraphobic misanthrope, or working on the news-writing exercise, or doing some laundry, or perhaps even working out as I listen to current affairs via iPlayer; but no, I feel the need for another extraneous ramble.