Saturday 31 July 2021

O Dear, Auntie Beeb is Donald Ducked,

 O How The Mighty Have Fallen! And Woe To The Woke

The BBC, the once mighty bastion of Britain's televisual greatness is sadly no more. The deplorable decline has occurred over a relatively short time span, and no longer is the BBC the byword, or the benchmark, for superb and quality telecasting.

A recent BBC report has noted a decline in the number of British households willing to relinquish the princely sum of £159 per year for the mandatory license fee. Apparently, 700,000 disillusioned viewers, have decided to withdraw their 'paid membership' this year. As the license fee is mandated in law, could it be that non-paying miscreants are at risk of  falling foul of the law? This is not an easy question to answer in our wondrous, modern technological age. In times past the tele was the sole (visual) entertainment medium to be enjoyed from the comfort of home. These days the choice is staggering and no longer are we a slave to flaccid terrestrial tele. Therefore, the licencing legislation has changed to reflect this nonchalant, non-dependence on analogue tele and has embraced the digital world with alacrity and gusto. Thus, if you livestream a Netflix programme and watch during the process you require a licence, but if you record and watch later, no licence is required. It matters not a jot whether you have a tele, any electronic device is deemed sufficient to incur the fee. 

This introductive preamble is but a prelude for the main thrust of this post: 'The Sad Decline of this Once Mighty Monolith.'  Historically, BBC programming was the envy of the world. Lavishly funded, and independent from advertising revenue, the BBC could concentrate on expensive but superlative productions. In 'The Golden Age' a whole slew of top quality series, documentaries, drama and comedy held the British viewing population, enthralled. How can we forget such masterpieces, as: Monty Python; Planet Earth; I Claudius; Yes Minister and Doctor Who. Quality programming is never going to come cheap and in theory, every household in the UK, is required to own a licence, paid annually and in perpetuity.  

Of course, public disillusionment in the BBC does not have a single cause and there are undoubtedly several factors involved. In this post I will comment on the two key components, that in my opinion, have played a major part in the BBC's precipitous decline in popularity. Most obviously, choice. There are a slew of digital services available, for a fee. Netflix, is one of the most popular streaming services and in the UK, the Standard Plan works out as £10 per month- a saving of £39 per year in comparison to the good old, Beeb. Now this might not be a huge saving and let's be honest, there's a lot of shit on Netflix. But at least there is no element of coercion to subscribe and you get to choose what you want to watch.

We live in an increasingly, cynical and weary/wary world. The internet makes 'bamboozlement' of the public by the controlling elites a fraught endeavour, indeed. The British Brainwashing Corporation is living in some sort of alternative universe and seems to think that its major role is to control and influence how the British public thinks and acts. We see 'repurposing' of classics, such as A Christmas Carol, where the Cratchit family is mixed race. Viewers find this sort of manipulative 'wokeness', irritating, jarring and frankly sinister. There are many such examples of the 'woke agenda' being rammed down the viewing public's throat. Humour is many things, but at least it ought to be genuinely funny. The BBC's repeated attempt at so-called woke humour illustrates the problem with stark abandon. A whole comedy genre based on the premise: 'White middle-class males, bad' is not only unfunny to its core (canned laughter notwithstanding), it is also deeply offensive to a huge swathe of viewing public and dare I say, racist. It is seen for what it is: a toxic vehicle for the dissemination of extreme, left wing ideology.   

The majority of the British public don't want to be subjected to 'woke madness' and certainly don't want to be exposed to Marxist ideology, differently wrapped. You might be asking: but Flaxen, of the flowing mane, of spun gold, with a hint of silver thread, what care you? You buggered off 20 years ago to live the life of idle/idyll, in Nuzzyland. This is all true. However, I lived my formative years in the UK when the BBC was at its peak, producing programmes, such as, Monty Python; Planet Earth; I Claudius; Yes Minister and Doctor Who....... Sadly, the like of which, will never be seen, again.

                                                            Flaxen rests his case. Arse. 

Wednesday 28 July 2021

Waiting for the Pharmacy to Open

 Tis time for a little, light hearted, chortling. My recent outpourings have become a little serious. And what better way to unwind and relax the chuckle muscles than indulging in a rollicking good and humorous read.....  

The following books are part of the new 'Ladybird Book' series with an emphasis on real life problems impinging on the denizens of this woeful affliction/affectation, called life. The Editors felt that the series had grown old, dated and stale and deemed it necessary to inject a modern perspective in order to ensure that the famed collection remained relevant in a chaotic and uncertain social milieu/melee. Read on and weep.

It would have to happen, eventually. Looting, or as it termed in our wonderful, New Age, 'Undocumented Shopping Without Remuneration', has arrived. Indeed, if there is an element of 'burning stuff', mayhap, the appellation, 'Combustion Enthusiast' could be added, without prejudice? Thus it seems, Looting has become mainstream and Middle Class. Arse, double, Arse.

Unfortunately, this has turned out to be a rather thick book with many inclusions. Too many Cunts, not enough time. Should be called the thick book of thick cunts.

I'm sure most folk have their favourite hangover stories. 

The only one that really stands out was the time, I woke, at 4am in the morning, totally naked, lying on a park bench with a Chinaman sucking my toes.......Of course, this story might be apocryphal depending on status sobrietus (not a real word). Are we allowed to call Orientals, Chinamen, these days? Are we allowed to call Chinamen, Chinamen, these days? Gets confusing: so many words in the English language that we can no longer use. I remember what my old dad used to call them and it wasn't pesky and wily. Nuff said.


When I were a lad of about 11, the 'one girl' in our class was called by the unassuming name, Leslie Green. She was very smart and precocious and as positive traits seem to associate, was very pretty. She was always the first to put her hand up in class and as evidenced by the number of gold stars awarded, she was also the smartest. I'm sure you can't do this sort of thing these days, but back in 1966 my class had a board prominently displaying pupil's names and next to the names a series of gold stars were accrued, indicating individual acts of scholarly excellence. I remember, very distinctly, seeing a total of 37 stars next to her name. If you are wondering: the flaxen haired one was exalted with 2. This might appear to be a conundrum to my readership who have come to see myself as an intellectual giant amongst men (more god than man, mayhap?). All I can say is, that intellectually, I took a little time to mature. In retrospect I like to call this period in my life as, 'getting covered in the mud, blood and snot resurgence'. However, there was one pupil deemed even less promising- David Manning. Poor, 'one star' David (no pun intended). I often wonder what became of him. Let me say this: if there was ever a profession requiring extreme proficiency in the stuffing of plastic gonks up nostrils, then David would no doubt be the top exponent of the craft. 

And finally, and somewhat inevitably..........

Tuesday 13 July 2021


Today, I received the New Zealand, 'Gold Card'. Therefore, I'm officially a pensioner, senior citizen, golden ager, super annuitant, retired gentleman, and old fartus maximus. Delete according to temperament. With 'Gold Card' in hand I'm entitled to travel the by-ways of the realm for nowt/free/gratis.   

To be honest, I prefer the term, 'Twirley'. Apparently, in the UK, pensioners have earned the name because they have a tendency to appear at bus stops outside their allotted time for free travel. It seems the old and befuddled get confused and conflate time, according to their wont. 

To prevent commuters being inconvenienced by hordes of rheumy eyed incontinent folk, there is an injunction that defers their free bus travel to none peak commuter hours. A sound policy, no doubt. No one wants to sit next to some old twat smelling of piss and rubbing liniment. Therefore, those Oldsters who are unable to follow temporal rules, are justly rebuked with the injunction: "You are too early" (Twirley), and consequently are forced to wait a more propitious time. Hordes of confused grampas are doomed to roam the streets bemoaning/bewailing the fact that in their day you could buy a brace of ferrets for tuppence a pound, etc. We certainly live in strange times.




Monday 5 July 2021

Did Jesus Really Exist?


Was Jesus a person of history? Did he exist? This might seem a silly question. Surely, 1 billion followers can't be wrong. The four Gospels and the letters of Paul mention Jesus and define him as real man who lived during the time of the Roman Emperor, Tiberius. Is there any valid reason to question the veracity of these 'learned tomes'? 

I need to state that I have no vested interest in whether Jesus existed or not. Either way, it would not change my world view. As an atheist it doesn't matter to me. However, I can understand that to committed Christians the answer to this question is of critical and vital importance. Furthermore, whether atheist or Christian, there is no escaping the fact that Jesus, and more importantly the way he was interpreted and expanded by later Christians, has had an enormous impact on Western, and therefore world history. The development of Western culture and society over the last fourteen hundred years has been driven and heavily influenced by Christian thought and zeal. But this is not Jesus' fault.  

I'm not the first to ask this question. There is a growing movement amongst respectable Bible scholars and historians that challenge Jesus' existence. So, what is the basis for this view and more importantly what evidence is available to support their thesis, and the counter-thesis? It might be thought that the burden of proof lies with the nonbelieving skeptic, but this is definitely not the case. As with all positive beliefs, notions and concepts, the burden of proof always resides with the individual making the assertion.

The Old Testament (OT): Contrary to what many Christians believe, there is no real evidence that predicts the coming of Jesus, the Messiah. Tis tenuous indeed to think that the references to the Messiah in the OT can be squeezed into predictions concerning the coming of a specific individual called Jesus. Therefore, we are left with the literature as listed above, supposedly written by near contemporaries but not primary eyewitnesses of Jesus' life. There is also a smattering of non-Biblical references; more on this later. The paucity of independent evidence is  raised as a point in favour of the 'Non-existence' crowd. And it cannot be denied that the non-biblical references to Jesus are scant. Compare with other important important 'near' contemporises in history. Consider the wealth of evidence, from multiple sources, both written and from statures, coins and archeology, for individuals such as Julius Caesar and Alexander 'The Great'. No one familiar with the evidence would doubt the existence of these highly influential men of history. For Jesus, though undoubtedly one of the most important men who supposedly never lived, the evidence for his existence, from non-biblical sources is clearly lacking. This is easy to explain however, as Jesus was not a famous or important figure of his time. His fame came much later and was promulgated, with undoubted zeal, by later, fervent Christians. Contrast this to Caesar who was important during his life and influenced critical world events during his existence, at that time.

The New Testament is a mix of several styles and literary genres. One of these genres is 'biography' purported to illustrate key events in Jesus' life. This is not biography that would be acceptable in any modern sense. It is chock full of inaccuracies, frank contradictions and descriptions of events that would not be considered as historically true. Thus, it has to be acknowledged the bible is as very flawed collection of books, particularly as we require hard evidence that would stand in a modern court of law.     

The main argument for Jesus' non-existence goes like this: It is noted that the life and death of Jesus closely follows the death and resurrection scenario of many mythical heroes and gods of the ancient world such as, Heracles, Adonis, Osiris and many more. These gods and demi-gods were born on the 25th December to virgin mothers, died for the sake of others and were raised from the dead. The parallels with Jesus' life are uncanny, however as an argument it suffers from several flaws. In their own time, it was recognised that these accounts of 'lives' were stories and not to be taken as having happened except amongst the highly credulous and feeble minded- often the same. Jesus was never interpreted in this way. Although there may have been debate in the ancient world whether he was fully man or a god, his historicity is never questioned. Even at that time there existed renowned scholars who were critical of the historical Jesus. Even, ancient critics of Christianity never question whether Jesus lived. His existence was taken as true.

Critics often cite the lack of contemporary, non-biblical, written evidence concerning Jesus. Surely an individual drawing large crowds in Palestine and performing astonishing miracles would have gained attention and consequently attracted attention of the literate elite. This not surprising. The tomes of the time written by Greek, and especially Roman writers, were mainly concerned with societies' elite. There is little mention of the peasantry. Palestine was a back water and the Roman's considered the Jews as a difficult and intransigent people. As for miracle workers, there seemed a glut. Palestine was awash with 'prophets' peddling their religious agenda. Miracles were common place in the ancient world and even sophisticated Romans considered miracle claims as valid. Tis really no surprise that Jesus was mostly ignored until he became a political threat. Even then he would attract scant regard. He was just one amongst a crowd of miscreants falling foul of the Romans' concept of swift and unpleasant justice. It was never a good idea to fuck with the Romans- nasty bucolic people, with all the vices concomitant with their breed.  

This brings us to the written evidence, at the time, outside the biblical narrative. There are a couple of references to Jesus outside the canon of the Gospels and Paul's missives. Josephus, the Jewish traitor and prolific writer on the Jewish predicament mentions Jesus, briefly in his acclaimed book, 'Jewish Antiquities'. The fragment is considered as a true comment, however, meddling Christens couldn't resist a little embellishment. The other comment comes from the historian, Tacitus and Pliny. Again their comments are brief and terse. That, basically, is the only evidence written by non-Christians that we have for Jesus' existence. To be honest it is amazing that he attracted any attention at all. 

Paul's writings and letters are interesting, although beware, some are undoubtedly forgeries. Paul, strangely had little interest in the historical Jesus. He was concerned with the risen Christ as a concept and there was no room in is thesis for a solid, breathing man called, Jesus. There is one redeeming feature throughout his prolific writings. He mentions that he met both Jesus' brother, James, and the Apostle Peter. The contact was fraught with doctrinal disputations. It is hard to conceive that he made up this narrative. I'm of the opinion that Paul was not that clever to deceive and produce such a compelling narrative. If Jesus' brother existed, surely he would have known his brother. 

From what I've written tis fairly obvious that I'm a believer in the historical Jesus. Christian's can relax. For me, there is one clincher when it comes to evidence. And that is the principle of 'Embarrassment'. Jesus' prime message was apocalyptic. He expected the world, as is, to come to an end, NOW. He mentions that people alive, at the time, would witness this god given/driven momentous event. Christens are oft and prone to gloss over Jesus' core message concerning the end of the current world order. The expectation was that the risen Christ would become manifest during this world shattering event. But this did not happen and followers had to consider that Jesus' utterings were couched in terms ethereal and deliberately obscure to those who could not hear or see. Mayhap devout Christians would have to wait awhile.  

This is all I want to say on this topic. It's really difficult to summarise this highly complex subject in a mere 1,000 words. I exhort my readers to read Prof. Bart Ehrman's book: 'Did Jesus exist'. A highly informative account of the issues and problems concerning the life of Jesus. He writes with verve and clarity and the book is aimed at the curious intelligent individual willing to immerse their selves in this fundamental and highly important question. I'm interested, with regard, to my readerships' comments and views on this convoluted topic as I'm aware that some of my readership are committed Christians: let me know in the comments.       

 Have you noticed? At no point did I mention a ferret called Shagger, or say Arse. Mayhap I'm on the mend: Shagger,  There is a way to go for my redemption. Arse.