Tag Archives: Christianity

June 8th

On this day in 1191,  Richard I who was, among other things, the King of England, arrived in Acre in Palestine and so started his part in the Crusades.

The day Dick took some acid and thought he was a bear

Many of you will know him better as Richard the Lionheart, although if we were going to give him a more accurate epithet for him would be Richard the great big fighty bastard who didn’t care about anything other than having big old fights and killing people, who was a really shit king. This is, admittedly, a slightly long epithet, which is why, despite a lot of effort on my part, he’s still known as the Lionheart and why people who’ve never studied any history at all, but have seen Robin Hood, think he’s all great and lovely and have no idea what an utter twat he really was.

Here are a few nice facts about this lovely king. At his coronation in Westminster, he said that Jews and women were not allowed in because they were shit. When some Jewish people came along to give him presents, he and his men stripped them, beat them and threw them out. This made the people of London, who were notoriously stupid, think that what their king wanted was for them to kill Jews. So they did. There was basically a huge massacre which he eventually told them to stop, not because he cared about the people who’d been killed, but because he wanted to go off and kill Muslims and if everyone at home was killing Jews, then there might be a bit of an upset and someone else might get to be king while he was off getting his jollies being a killer.

How long did he spend in the country that he was king of in total over a ten-year reign? Eight minutes. Well, probably eight months, but he didn’t like it here, didn’t speak much English and thought the only point of being king was taking lots of money from the country so he could go to other countries and kill people.

His brother, King John, you know, the bad guy i6541n all those Robin

A toilet seat in honour of the Lionheart. Just what every king wants. To be shat on.

Hood films, was not necessarily a good king, but he was better than Richard in that at least he bothered to be here and didn’t whinge about it being cold and rainy here all the bloody time.

Anyway, he died of a manky arm on 6th April 1199. He was crying like a baby in his mother’s arms and being all “it’s not fair!” Probably. He did die in his mother’s arms. And that’s Richard I for you. Crusader, shit king, killer of anyone who was a bit Middle Eastern and all round the most over-hyped king in history.

One final note which is true and tickled me a lot. A Bishop of Rochester wrote about him in the 13th century that he spent 33 years in purgatory for being a big old sinner, and then finally got into heaven in March 1232. There’s nice.

Today is the birthday of a few unimportants, but before I go on to one of them, it was also the birthday of my brother Bobby, who once sung about a crooked zebra to a small wee girl. Not me, by the way, as I was his big sister and never heard of the crooked zebra while he was alive.

Moving on. Today is also the birthday of a man who makes it hard

Look away from the horror!

for all other gingers to be taken seriously. Yes, Mick Hucknell was born in 1960, go famous in the early 60s for singing a bit and having curly ginger hair and a very ugly face. He also liked to have as much sex as he could with as many women as possible, which is probably why he got into music, because frankly if he wasn’t famous he’d have been lucky to have managed the sex with even one laydee. He is 52 today and not doing so much of the singing and probably a bit less of the sex as he’s getting on and one imagines his willy is a bit bored and more easily tired these days.

This is what happens when you listen to Mick Hucknall

Some of his songs were okay, but the man is such an unbearable wanker, that it’s hard to like any of them because you know that you’re listening to him and this whole cognitive dissonance thing happens and could lead normally sane people to a moment of self-harm. That said, at least he’s not Bonio off of U2.

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January 9th

On this day in 1493 Columbus sailed the ocean and stopped to do a pee.

Do I look like a pretty mermaid, you twat?

That is a lie, although I’m sure that he did at least one pee on this day, but he didn’t stop to do it. What happened was that as he was sailing near the Dominican Republic, or to be more precise about the name of the Island itself, Hispaniola, he was one of the first people to see not one, but three manatees. What did he have to say about this sighting? that they were “not half as beautiful as they are painted.”

Yes, that’s right, Christopher Columbus was an idiot who thought that the manatees were mermaids. Thankfully, for the sanity of the manatees, as far as we know neither Columbus nor any of his sailors attempted to have sexual congress with the manatees. Not because they weren’t all a bit sexually frustrated, but because as they thought they were mermaids, they had no idea where they should put their willies and were too embarrassed to ask.

All in all, this sighting tells us a lot about sexual frustration, being at see

There are no photos of Mermaids, only paintings. This is because they are not real, dirty sailor boys!

for months on end and how desperate sailors must get if they can see a manatee – not the prettiest of animals – and actually think that it is a woman, albeit a half fish, half human woman. We should note that Columbus said they weren’t half as pretty as they were painted, not, as any sane person would say “they’re a bit bloody ugly”. Actually that’s unfair to sane people. Sane people would not think for one second that a manatee was a laydee. Ergo, sailors are mentalists who would probably shag anything that stayed still for long enough. What a bunch of dirty boys they are.

Today was the birthday of a chap called Josemaría Escrivá. Since 2002 he’s been known as St Josemaría Escrivá de Balaguer y Albás. He was a Spanish priest, the founder of Opus Dei and according to Pope John Paul II who canonised him he should be “counted among the great witnesses of Christianity.”

Like buggery should he. Opus Dei is a well dodgy movement. Of course the members would say that they are not and anyone who says they are has an agenda. But given that in the late sixties all c.50 male members of Opus Dei had volunteered to join the “Blue Division” in 1941, one might poke ones tongue out at the Opus Dei bunch and say “yeah, well what about your agenda, ha!” The Blue Division was a collection of Portuguese and Spanish volunteers who joined the German army in their fight against the Soviet army in the Eastern Front.

Opus Dei say they are not political, as did Josemaría, but the evidence is that for all their claims of apolitical holiness, they are extremely anti=communist and have got into bed with some rather dodgy people as a result of this.

Some of you might say that there’s nothing wrong with anti=communism, but being chummy with Franco? Allegedly claiming that Hitler wasn’t so bad as he was anti-communist and probably didn’t kill 6 million Jews (only 4 million, which is but a tiny amount. Not!) and popping over to stick your tongue up Pinochet’s arse? In short, it’s difficult to see either Josemaría or the whole organisation are as neutral as they claim.

This man was dodgy as fuck

It’s also clear that Josemaría was a bit of an elitist, thought he was above the Vatican and basically did not live the life that one might expect of a man who’s now a saint. He lived in luxury and he was a stranger to compassion and charity.

So, how did he get made into a saint if all this is true? I dunno, maybe the fact that JPII was also not all that fond of the communists had something to do with it. That and the fact that try as they might to be decent, a lot of the Catholic church and the whole of the Vatican are as bent as a 10 bob note.

Should we celebrate his birthday with joy? Should we fuck. He was a vile man and when he got made a saint, the RC church might as well have been seen kneeling down to suck Hitler’s dead cock. That’s how bad it was. So screw him and his happy birthday. He sort of makes me want to believe in heaven and hell, because I like the idea of a saint being poked in the arse by a laughing Satan in a pit of fire.

Please note that any offence given to Opus Dei or it’s batshit nasty members is totally non-accidental. Thank you.

Oh! Just a wee bit more. Opus Dei is well secretive, which is probably because it’s a cult. And old Josemaría had some super cool stuff to say about women. He told wives that it was their job to look purty for their husbands at all times and not try to be all clever and shit as that wasn’t very feminine of them. In short Opus Dei hates women. That hasn’t stopped Madonna from allegedly joining up with them, but then she is, much as I love/hate her, a bit of a stupid cow.

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April 13th

On this day in 1829 Royal assent was given to  an Act that had been passed by Parliament on 24th March. The Roman Catholic Relief Act came into being and from that day forward all left-footers were allowed to be proper auld Papists and they wouldn’t get funny looks for it or suffer in terms of their career or financial prospects. Excuse me while I sew my sides back together. Oh the hilarity!

That'll learn the bog-trotters.

I’m going to give you a bit of background to this, but it will be very much an overview. There is a very good reason for this. Most of the background involves 17th and 18th century Irish politics and believe me, you do not want to go there. I studied this shit in detail and only just came out of it alive. It’s all Penal Laws this and Test Act that and all manner of shenanigans based on being Catholic and therefore not being able to work here, do this thing, vote here, do that thing and oh sweet mother of god and all the saints in heaven! It probably wouldn’t be half as bad, but just about everyone who’s chosen to write scholarly articles on it has decided that in order to show how clever they are they must swallow a dictionary and regurgitate it randomly and with extreme prejudice. So, my readers, that is why we will not be doing anything in-depth about that particular period.

But, unfortunately,you do need a bit of background. As you may or may not know, the British were not overly keen on those of the Catholic persuasion from the time of Elizabeth I onwards. I mean they put up with them, but the whole thing got worse and worse and then they were all over Ireland like a huge fucking rash and they really did not like the Irish Catholics one little bit and before you know it there are all sorts of laws in place that make life slightly more difficult for a Catholic than it really needed to be. First, there are the Penal Laws, these weren’t a new thing in the 17th Century, but after the Irish Catholics supported James II over William and Mary – i.e. the losing side – they were amended a bit more. To be fair, the laws had been at their harshest during the commonwealth of Cromwell, when clergy were expelled and could be executed and at no point throughout most of the century could Catholics take high office, etc. But! From 1691 Catholics had to swear allegiance to W&M if they wanted to be treated right. Most of the RCs did not want to swear that oath. But, to make things more complicated some RC gentry didn’t have to take the oath because they’d surrendered earlier when the whole war thing was going on. Confused? I told you.

The Test Act is more straightforward. If you weren’t a member of the Church of England, you were screwed. It affected non-conformists as well as Catholics, but given the oath from 1673 onwards was this: “I, [Catholic McMinty], do declare that I do believe that there is not any transubstantiation in the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper, or in the elements of the bread and wine, at or after the consecration thereof by any person whatsoever.” In short, RCs (Roman Catholics, I’m tired of typing out Catholic over and over again!) were to renounce one of the central tenets of their faith and if they did not, they could not enter the military or hold office anywhere, including the Houses of Commons and Lords. [Quick faith thing: transubstantiation is the belief that the bread and wine used during communion turns into the body and blood of Christ. RCs believe this, Anglicans believe that communion is symbolic and no change really happens. Yes, it’s all a bit loop-the-loop, but that’s religion for you].

That’s how it all was at the beginning of the eighteenth century. It got worse. There was a ban on inter-faith marriage (repealed 1778), non-conformist weddings were not recognised by the state, Catholics weren’t allowed firearms (rescinded 1793), disenfranchisement (repealed 1793), exclusion from the legal profession (until 1793) and the judiciary (1829), Catholics could not inherit Protestant property, Catholic property owners had to subdivide their property on death, this  had the effect of breaking up land and property. This could be circumvented if one of the kids converted to the CofI. And more. You couldn’t own a horse worth more than a fiver, you couldn’t buy land with a lease of more than 31 years, you couldn’t gain custody of an orphan unless you paid £500 to a protestant hospital in Dublin. And so on and so on.

I know, this is long-winded, but believe me, this is the shortened version! In very short, if you were a Catholic, you were fuckered

Hardly mentioned here, but he played a major role in telling the UK parliament to think on

every which way unless you converted or pretended to convert. Quite a few took the latter route. And then came the glorious day in 1829 that the Roman Catholic Relief Act was passed. You’ll have noticed that the nonconformists didn’t get off lightly either, but worry not, they got emancipated a whole year before the Catholics. There was a small price to pay. Prior to the Act, anyone who owned or rented land worth 40 shillings (two quid) could vote. After emancipation, the amount was raised to a tenner, which meant that many who had the vote (which they’d got in 1793, you’ll notice there was a bit of emancipation going on then) now lost it.

It could have been worse. Jewish MPs were barred until 1858 and atheists until 1886.(Disraeli? You ask. He converted to Christianity).

Now, I’d be very bad if I didn’t point out that despite the harshness of the Penal laws, many Catholics and nonconformists didn’t suffer too much. However, it did create a heinous inequality in a country where the majority were legally sidelined from having a say in the running and future of their own country. The whole period was known as the Protestant Ascendancy in Ireland, and it pretty much was.

At this point I could tell you the story of how for a while the nonconformist Presbyterians and Catholics found common cause before the British woke up to divide and rule, but that’s another five million words worth, and I’ve put you through enough already. Let’s just say that emancipation was a long time coming and when it arrived, it was  little too full of compromise to taste like anything approaching victory. Nice thought though. I have it on good authority that the Jewish and atheist recipients felt much the same way later in the century.

Oh and fuckity, fuck, fuck! Before I forget, there was a whole tithe madness thing that went on for a lot longer and led to a bit of a war (or civil disobedience), from 183-1836. When people started getting duffed up and killed by the police for not paying a few shillings of tithes to the Church of Ireland (the one that they weren’t members of), the British government realised that they might have fucked it up a lot little. But that is it for now. I promise.

Today’s birthday is going to be short and sweet, given what you’ve all had to endure, but none the less heartfelt for that.  So, today raise your glasses to the greatest director of musicals who ever lived, Mr Stanley Donen. If you don’t know his name, shame on you. This man gave us Singin’ in the Rain, On the Town, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers and Funny Face. Granted

Stan the man dances cheek to cheek with his Oscar

I’m  not a fan of the multiple weddings of the country dancing set film, but the others. Oh my. And he directed films without music and dancing too, including Indiscreet, which is just delicious. And he never won an oscar as a director which is an utter fucking travesty. They gave him one of those “Oh you’re old now and we forgot to give you one before” awards, but he has outfoxed them by living for 13 years and counting since they gave it to him.

I love this man, he’s made films that have made me happy and he never once told me I couldn’t vote unless I had 40 shillings worth of land and had to marry my own kind and own a flea-bitten nag. These are fine qualities in a man. Happy birthday, sir, you are a shining example to us all and by golly you choreographed some mighty fine dancing in your time!

He Choreographed this. Worship him!


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April 5th

On this day in 1614 Pocahontas married colonist John Rolfe in the settlement of Henricus, which is now in Chesterfield County in Virginia. Yes, that’s right, John Rolfe, not John Smith. The John Smith stuff is a fantasy and if those who were flogging it would just sit down and do the sums, they’d realise it was  slightly dodgy fantasy as well. When they’re supposed to have been all in love and stuff, he was about 27 and she was 11 at most. Nice work, Disney et al, you’re getting all misty-eyed about something that if it had happened would be a paedophile’s delight!

 

This is what she looked like in England apparently.

Pocahontas, may have “saved” John Smith. He was held hostage by her father, but it’s unlikely that he needed saving as it’s far from clear that they ever intended to kill him. What is sure is that Pocahontas was friendly with the English settlers near her land and that in the winter when they were all starving because they were idiots who had no idea how to live in America, she’d bring them food and help them through the worst of things. She was a nice girl and all about spreading the love. The fact that she was spreading it to people who thought she was a savage heathen who’d go to hell for not believing in their god was neither here nor there.

 

As you probably know, things were often a bit stormy between the Native Americans and the new settlers and they could get a bit fighty and killy. It was during a period of slight umbrage that Pocahontas was taken hostage by the people of Henricus. There are conflicting accounts of her treatment there. Some historians assert that she was raped and beaten, others that she was treated well and hospitably. Given her previous relationship with the settlers and her later marriage, it’s more likely that she was well treated, but I present both views for fairness because I’m nice like that.

So, while she’s there with the settlers, they’re asking  her dad to release the settlers he’s taken prisoner and to give them back some weapons and tools he’s nicked. Everything we know points to Pocahontas being well-loved and favoured by her father, so you’d expect he’d act quickly. You’d be wrong. She was there for a year; I’m sure we could all do without that sort of love and favour. This is all taking place against the background of the first Anglo-Powhatan war and there’s a bit of a meeting up to have it out with words rather than guns and stuff. The English allowed Pocahontas to speak to her people and during the conversation she said she wasn’t best pleased with her dad for caring more about some swords and shovels and shit than her and that all things considered she’d rather stay with the English. By this time she’d been taught about Christianity, been baptised as Rebecca and so she turned her back on her own people and stayed with the English. (Btw, typing this I want to go into Amish speak, because I keep hearing “English” said by the old bloke in Witness. Just thought I’d drop that one in!).

This happened at the beginning of 1614 and a few months later she married John Rolfe. He was a widower who fancied the arse of her, but being a big old churchy hypocrite he was all “Oh she’s a heathen and I can save her soul and it’s not all about me thinking with my cock, but I also don’t want to be spilling my seed like that Onan, so I reckon I should marry her if  that’s all right with you, Governor.” (he had to ask permission to marry her). And lo, they were married. We have no idea what she thought about the whole thing, but they did have a son called Thomas, so we know that there was at least one occasion of Mr Rolfe’s seed not being spilt on the barren earth. They were married just under three years when on a little jolly to the motherland, Pocahontas, now Rebecca, died and became a very mixed up legend in people’s minds.

Take away the silly romance that we’ve already seen would have been very wrong, what we have is a young woman of some strength, grace and kindness who did a lot to try to bring harmony between disparate peoples. She was a good woman and it’s a shame that in the ensuing centuries her example wasn’t followed and was so easily forgotten by the colonists and then the Americans. It seems that when the cards are down, dickishness trumps simple humanity every time.

 

Today was the birthday of über-diva and screen legend, Bette Davis.

 

Young and blonde, in the early 30s

Bette was simply marvellous. She wasn’t particularly beautiful in a business the pretty much demanded beauty, but somehow when she went in front of the camera, she made you believe, either that she was beautiful or that beauty wasn’t worth a damn.  When other actresses were worried about looking good and playing sympathetic characters, Bette was happy to play older and uglier and never happier than when playing an utter bitch.

 

Her film career was a few years old before she started to become a star and in 1938 and 1939 she cemented her mega-stardom with roles in Jezebel, Dark Victory and The Old Maid. Dark Victory had a huge impact on me and in my more hypochondriacal moments if I have a bit of a headache and smell lovely pretty flowers, I’ll have a brief instant of thinking “Am I about to die of  Hollywood Brain Wrong!!”.  Jezebel made me want to wear a red dress to a party filled with simpering bitches in white frocks, but I’d probably have wanted to do that anyway. And then in 1942 we had Now Voyager, which saw her transform from ugly duckling to beautiful swan, go mental, save a very annoying girl who was in the mental house for being a whiney wee shite, fall in love with Charles Boyer who was all married and then Ohmigosh! the father of whiney wee shite and then he lit two

All About Eve. A look that could emasculate any many at 100 paces

fags in  his mouth, gave her one and she said “Oh Jerry, don’t let’s ask for the moon. We  have the stars.” This makes me cry only a little less than Judy Garland saying “Hello everybody, I’m Mrs Norman Maine.” in A Star is Born. Yes. I am a gay man trapped in a hot woman’s body.

 

Her career dipped a bit as the forties went on, but then she had All About Eve. Later she seemed to revel in playing grotesques, both on the screen and in interviews. Maybe that’s why her daughter stabbed her in the back, but her daughter was a proper bitch who ended up with nothing and deserved less.

Bette was a lady, a bitch, and a dame. She was utterly divine on the screen and I have loved that woman since I was a little girl and first saw those crazy beautiful eyes on the screen. Happy birthday Ms Davis. I think you should ask for the stars!

 

 

 

 

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