I’m not, nor is my wife (My Name is Eddie Humbert, This is a Day in My Life)

I’m not, nor is my wife (My Name is Eddie Humbert, This is a Day in My Life)

You are probably asking yourselves ‘Who the hell is Eddie Humbert… And wh… nah, sod that. Who the hell is Eddie Humbert?’

If you are not, then I would tentatively ask you for your bank details… As I have a very rich uncle in South… Oh, that one has been exposed? Ok. My bad. But as they don’t seem to be asking the most obvious of questions, maybe I could get away with emptying their bank accounts.

Oh, did I just implicate myself? I must stop doing that.

But seriously. I wanted to know who this Eddie bloke was. I was reliably informed that the Eddie Humbert referred to does not exist, and that it was a name used to inspire literative narrative.  While there may be persons either living or dead that share the same name, no comparisons should be drawn between them.

I think that is what I was told when I asked about the name.  I can’t remember the exact wording.  Gimme a sec.  It’ll come back to me…

Yeah… Got it… ‘I made it up’.

But surely Eddie Humbert must have lived and breathed and existed somewhere, at some point.

As it turns out, he did… or does… or something! But I get ahead of myself.

A few years ago my Mum and I started working on our family tree. It was a slow and arduous process. Partly cos, if it involved using computers, I had to do it (with her on a remote access link so she was involved)… and partly cos if they had the same name it must be them! This was my biggest headache.

But the point that I am limping towards is that I have done a certain amount of pratting about in the realms of ancestry. So when I decided to check into the origins of our Mr Humbert, I felt that I knew where to start. The registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages.

***NOTE: Mr Humbert may have cropped up a million times across the globe. But I only checked the British stuff ***

I thought it through. Ed may not have got married. He may not yet be dead. But I’m pretty sure that if he ever was an ‘is’, then he was probably born at some point.

I looked with an almost anal amount of care (I’m flippant quite a lot of the time, but when I’m on a mission… I’m ON A MISSION!!!).

I could not find an Ed, Edward or Edith Humbert born and registered as such, in the UK after 1893.  (I worked backwards from the most recent records and this was the first I found)

Edward James Humbert was born in the Pancras district of London in September 1893, and died in December 1893.

Eddie Humbert‘Surely he can’t be the only Eddie Humbert’, I thought. So I did what most people would have thought of first… Googled him.

It turns out that Ed Humbert is a senior director at CBRE (don’t ask me, I don’t know). But according to the official records, he was never born (in the UK). I now have a malicious desire to find out who CBRE are, phone them up and point out that at least one of their senior directors was never born. Or at the very least, died in 1893 at the age of 4 months. You think that would cause a minor panic?

So, if I did…

A Day in the Life of Eddie Humbert
‘What? Are you serious? Do I look like a 4 month old that has been dead for 120 years? Thank you Trevor, that sort of comment is not helpful!

Of course I am me. And yes… I was born a little more recently than the late 19th Century. What is this all about? I do have better things to be doing with my time you know!

#click# Sylvia… Please call Roger and tell him that I may be held up here for a while. If I’m not there in time that they should tee off without me. #click#

Now what is this about? Seriously??!!’

Addendum
It turns out that Eddie is French. Or a dope smoker who kinda loves himself (probably more than we do). Or a boxer. Or five people who live ‘in places like South Carolina; Texas; Washington; Florida’. (Thank you Google… How like South Carolina, Texas, Washington and Florida are these places? Or did you mean actually these places?)

But in the UK he is only an extremely dead four month old senior director at a Real Estate company.

Now you know.

 

Serial Killer

Serial Killer

Yup, again I fail on the month’s theme. Shit happens…

 

I am not a ‘Real Crime’ fan. I don’t watch the shows that (I feel) promote despicable acts for the voyeuristic gratification of the masses. I’d rather sit here behind my rose tinted blindfold.

I know bad shit happens. And that it happens a lot. But I do not feel the need to revel in the fact that it does. I’d much rather try and notice the overwhelming number of good things that go unheralded, because they’re not shocking or gritty enough to be promoted.

However, when one of my friends brings something to my attention with ‘Wow… This is like… Wow!’ kinda enthusiasm… I’ll take a look.

 

In Baltimore (US), 1999, a teenage girl was murdered. Adnan Syed was convicted of killing his ex girlfriend, Hae Min Lee. 15 years later, Sarah Koenig starts to look into the case.

I know. It sounds like the back of a Crime Fiction dust jacket. But it is real.

Sarah and her team have put together a weekly ‘podcast’ called Serial, taking us through her investigation. I put the ‘inverted commas’ around podcast cos it isn’t your usual ‘a few drunk guys laughing at their own jokes and being rather uninteresting’. It is slick, polished, professional and very bloody interesting.

At this point I am going to say nothing more about it. What I will say is…

 

STOP READING NOW!!!

 

Go and listen to it. You can find it at http://serialpodcast.org/

 

It is broken down into 12 episodes of about an hour each, so it may take you a while. But listen to it all before continuing here.

If you can’t be arsed to make it through all 12 episodes, then I wouldn’t bother reading the rest of this. It won’t make sense.

Trust me. Listen to it before you scroll down.  It is engrossing.  It’s ok. I’ll wait for you…

 

Hae Min Lee

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ok. I’ll assume that you have sat through it all.

Um… What? I was thinking that Adnan was the good guy. Then I thought Jay was ok. Then the experts came in and told me that that the evidence was limp. Then Adnan was evil. Then Jay was scared for his life. Then they pull an Agatha Christie and introduce a protagonist who has not been introduced until the last minute??!!

I don’t mean to cheapen the reality of the actual situation. But I do feel that features/shows like this do cheapen the reality of the situation. I honestly don’t believe that this is the intention. But as a consumer, I feel that this is what it boils down to.

I fell into it as much as anyone else. I was busy wondering if Adnan was honest, or full of guile. Was Jay really threatened by Adnan?  Was the expert opinion thrown in in Ep8 correct (that was a ‘Wow!’ moment for me)?  Or were they simply working on a similar lack of facts and idealistic hope, like the rest of us?..
Or was the Agatha Christie introduction of an obvious and more than plausible suspect at the last minute, the bad guy that means we can feel better about thinking well of the two leading characters in our tale?

And this is where I felt my distress… I was engrossed by the tale. I engaged with empathy for Adnan. I then had empathy for Jay. I was then shocked by the introduction of the new guy.

… All the way through, I feel that it was treated like a thriller. I’m pretty sure that Ms Koenig didn’t see it as such. But she was writing a story. She is a journalist. So her job is to find out shit and present it in a way that entertains us.

I was entertained. I was engrossed. I was examining the minutia to try and work out what actually happened.  I had fun trying to work out whodunnit.

And then I realised… This is not a Whodunnit! A girl died. A real girl. Not a fictional character. A person.

And then it stopped being fun, and I remembered why I’m not a fan of ‘Real Crime’.

I’m Sorry | My Bad

I’m Sorry | My Bad

If you asked (most of) my friends, they would say that I’m a good person. That I am kind, compassionate, warm, fun, snuggley and pretty damn cute.

They are not completely wrong. After all, I am devastatingly attractive. And I do strive to be a better person, every day. But this is mainly cos I know that I’m not as nice as people think I am.

I am a bit of a dichotomy. I’m quite open and candid about many things in my life. Including things that a lot of people shy away from or feel would be seen as weakness or failings. I don’t agree with this view. These are things that happen… to many, many people. They are a huge part of who I am now. And I’m not gonna be embarrassed about talking about me.

The flip side is that I am emotionally tight lipped. I internalise. I don’t discuss many things that affect me quite fundamentally. Be they large or small. I like to think that I deal, but I’m not sure that I always do. But what I don’t do is talk about them.

I Can't Speak
In the spirit of this month’s theme, here are a few of the things I’m not sure that I have dealt with…

 

 

 

When I was at school, there was a guy in my class called Anil. He had a really rough time. It was a Grammar School (in the UK, in my time, Grammar Schools were the top end of state funded schooling. They were selective, based upon academic ability), the level of abuse was more psychological than physical. Anil was the only Indian guy in the school. In fact I think he was probably the only non-white guy in the school.

I don’t believe that the abuse he received was racism. But this may be that at that time, I’d never heard of racism. He was a loner. Socially inept. Shy, quiet and didn’t kick back. He was ostracised, spurned and treated pretty badly. He wasn’t the only one treated this way, but he had it the worst… and is the only one I have seen since.

I wasn’t the one that picked on him (I think). But I didn’t stand up for him.

A couple of years later we ended up on the same course at college. I actually went up to him and apologised for the way he had been treated at school. I hope this helped a little.

 

More recently, I have hurt a couple of my closest friends. I was asked to be the best man at one of their weddings. My words and actions caused sufficient upset that things got messy. My inability to deal with the situation well (I had my own stuff going on at the time) means that I missed the wedding and the subsequent birth of a child. The other friend, I hurt. That was entirely my fault. I needed to deal with a situation, but handled it badly. Very badly.

(Please note, when I say ‘hurt’ I don’t mean physically. I mean in the way that causes significant, invisible damage)

I hope to fix one of these broken friendships. The other, I don’t think I will be able to.

 

And finally…

I have a death on my conscience. How and why is all part of my not sharing the truly personal stuff. But suffice it to say that he died, and I feel that I could have done more to prevent it.

Wow. That was pretty big for me. I’ve never even mentioned that much before… To anyone.

Anyway, before I get too emotional…

 

I am sorry.

To everyone I have hurt, upset or failed… I am truly sorry.

 

I’m not sure if this is what was intended by the month’s theme… But this is what I’ve got to give.

iMead

iMead

I think I may have got a bit muddled about my evening when I typed the title.  My bad.  You never know, I may still manage to tie it all up.

 

I’ve had a good day.  Seriously.  I’m still a little giddy.

What happened to make my day full of giddy joy is largely irrelevant (and, sadly, did not involve the removal of any clothing).  But the fact remains that I walked out the end of it full of bubbly happiness.

So I went down the pub.  What else are you going to do when you are a little bit smiley?

 

At one point during the evening I was sitting at the bar, in a small cloud of contented smileyness, between two good friends.  When I’m in a bad mood, I tend to scowl at my beer and not want to engage with anyone.  But as I was in an unusually good mood, I was smiley and chatty.  But both of them were busy fucking about on their iPhones.  And both were on facebook.

I don’t get down the pub too often these days.  And when I do, I’m rarely in such a buoyant mood.  I love both of them, and I know that they love me.  But they both found the stuff posted, which they could have read at any time, was more important than engaging with me… or any of their other friends.

This is not a strange or unusual phenomenon.  MANY times I have found a conversation falter, only to notice that the other person is busy being distracted by stuff on their phone that they could be reading and replying to later.  I’m pretty damn sure that I’m not boring.  Ok, not consistently boring.  So why do people need to check Facebook when sitting in the pub?  Mid way through a fucking conversation??!!

If I was in the middle of a conversation with someone and then started doing a crossword, talking to someone else or began building a scale model of the Alamo from matchsticks, fag butts and Rizla packets, they may feel a little miffed.  And rightly so.  (Although I’d hope that they were at least a little impressed at my artsy-crafty talents).

So when did the iPhone become the ‘get out of being an incredibly rude fucktard’ card?  Just cos everyone else is being an offensive cock, doesn’t mean that you can too.

I hate iPhones (including all touchscreen shite that people use with self felt impunity, completely ignoring common manners and politeness).

I would, however, like to congratulate Apple.  Not only for their record breaking profits.  But also for creating a phone that manages to completely destroy the art of conversation.  Can anyone spell iRony?

 

So that must be the ‘i’ part of the title.  I guess the next bit has got to be about ‘Mead’.

 

Have you ever had mead?  Have you ever heard of mead?  In case you haven’t…
iMead‘Mead is an alcoholic beverage created by fermenting honey with water, and in adulterated form with various fruits, spices, grains or hops’ (thank you Wikipedia)

I describe it slightly differently.  It is ambrosia.  It is the nectar of the gods.  It is Aphrodite and Venus making sweet, sweet (metaphorical) naughtiness upon your tongue.

It’s quite nice.

My pub serves Mead, and I love them for it.  Before I left tonight, I asked for a small Mead.  The only problem with this was, it was a band night.  The policy of the establishment is that when bands are playing, all drinks will be served in plastics. No exceptions!  (The sign says so)

I much prefer to drink from a glass.  But I can suffer a pint in a plastic, as long as it is a hard plastic… Not one of those squishy ones.  (Knowing and getting on with all the staff helps with achieving this simple life goal).  However, drinking Mead is a step above simply ‘necking a pint’.

I’m not for one moment suggesting that your average Mead drinker is in any way superior to your average beer drinker.  Ok, some are.  But many are annoying and pretentious cocks.

What I am saying, is that to properly and completely enjoy a glass of mead, it has to be served in the right glass…  The key word is glass.  (The other key word is right).

For many years I have known that Brandy should be served in one of those huge bulb shaped brandy glasses.  It should be swirled and sniffed before being sipped.  The movies told me that this is so.  But I’ve never liked brandy, so I just took it for pretentious bollocks.

But now I am a believer.

If you are drinking Mead (especially if it is your first time), demand that it is served in a round wine glass.  (NEVER a straight sided glass, preferably not a ‘tulip’ wine glass.  I’ve not tried it in a brandy glass, but I REALLY want to).  Never fill your round glass more than half full.  And don’t dive straight in.  Leave it for about ten minutes without touching it.

When you can wait no longer, pick it up with gentle care.  But don’t drink.  Bring the glass slowly up to your nose and smell the aroma.  Don’t sniff.  Breathe in slowly and deeply.  Inhale…  Then recline upon the honey flavoured clouds of joy!

I know, right?  This sounds a lot of snotty arse.  It’s booze!  Neck it, get pissed!

But it really isn’t.  And there are very good reasons for every point I’ve made.

If you more than half fill the glass, there is no room for the vapour.  If the mouth of the glass is about the same size as the body of the glass, all your vapour is gonna float straight out.  If you have a glass full of vapour and ambrosia, you can spend 20 minutes just occasionally enjoying the aroma (ever done a balloon?  It’s nowhere near as intense, but the same idea).  After 20 minutes of minor head rushes, that smell idyllic…  you still get to drink it.  Sip, don’t quaff.  Revel in its elegance and beauty.  And not only cos it’s not cheap.

So, anyway.  After my good day and my irritation with iPhones…  I ordered a glass of Mead.  It was the new lass that served me.  She doesn’t know me too well yet.  As far as she is concerned I could have been one of the hordes of arseholes.  She has yet to learn that I am one of the special arseholes.

So when I asked for a round glass, on a band night, she eyed me dubiously.  Then she glanced at Sam for confirmation.  Fortunately I have known Sam for years, and she gave a subtle nod of affirmation.  So I got my Mead in a round wine glass and spent the next hour blissing out.  Which was nice, cos the bands weren’t really my cup of tea.

I will tick today in the ‘overall win’ column.

 

Oooh…  Does this count for the ‘Unrequited Love’ theme for the month?

Well, my love for my buds was unrequited cos they were busy seeing who’d had a bad day at work, or missed the bus home.  However, my love for the amber ambrosia was completely requited.  Indeed, it’s often requited.

Yeah.  Ok.  I’ll try harder next month.

When Christmas Goes Bad

When Christmas Goes Bad

I think I’ve just had the worst Christmas of my life.

If you pay attention to my ramblings you are probably aware of the fact that I quite like dogs.  That I have been volunteering up at my local Dogs Trust rehoming centre for the last two years.  And that I have properly bonded with one of the pups that I’ve been working with for the last few months, and that I have been trying to sort things so I could bring him home.  (If I didn’t mention it here, I did in the other home of the ‘Musings‘…  Don’t go looking for it.  You won’t find it.  And those are just filler.)

On the 21st of Dec (Monday) I wended my way up north to see the family.  I left late, got there late and was greeted with smiles and hugs from all (well, smiles from all…  Hugs from my Bro and one of my nephews [who I had to harang into it.  The other one was on his computer, and I am not one to break up a raid]).

They knew about my plans to adopt Chalky, but didn’t know who he was.  So I logged onto the Dogs Trust web site so I could show them pics of him.

Quite a few of my vital organs dropped to subterranean levels when I saw that he had been reserved.

TChalkyhe next day I phoned the centre to find out what was happening.  I was clinging to the hope that they had reserved him on my behalf.  After all, I had expressed my desire to adopt him loudly and to many people.  And the only reason that I hadn’t already was because he is a nervous pup and would need a bit of time to settle in before driving half way up the country to hop between various new places with lots of new people.  So, fingers crossed!

You ever had one of those conversations where you start of filled with hope (even though you try and tell yourself not to get your hopes up), and end up with you looking down at the bloody heart that has just been ripped out of your chest and casually cast to the floor?

Yeah.  It was one of those.

Chalky has been reserved by other people.

This hurt me in so many ways.  I had fallen in love with the little fella.  And I know that he has fallen in love with me too.  You just have to see his reaction when he comes into the room and see’s me.  And this is not just a rose tinted opinion.  A couple of the staff have commented upon it to me.

Also, I have made it clear for many weeks that I want to bring him home.  But policy dictates that a dog cannot be reserved for more than 10 days.  My plans were to be away for just under a fortnight, so… nope.

I have had a tough time since I fell ill.  Being a cripple, I can’t do a lot of stuff that you people with two working legs take for granted.  You can run, skip, jump, dance… and you can clean your own homes.  Out of necesity, I’ve had opened myself up in ways that I am totally not comfortable with.  My place had got into a right state.  It had got way beyond what I could manage.  Asking my friends for help to clean my home was incredibly humiliating. I was both touched and humbled by the responses (some people drove for two hours just to help me out).  But the only reason I did it was to make my home into a place that I would be happy to bring an innocent animal into.

I have spent many hours on the internet sourcing, pricing and budgeting for all of the things he would need to live here.

And then I discover that people walked in on the 21st and reserved him.

The fact that it had happened at all upset me more than I can say.  But there is more…

I have spent the last few weeks looking forward to Chalky living with me, with more fervent glee than should be allowed for a man of my age.  I have dreamt about him being here.  I have sat there smiling, imagining him curled up on the sofa next to me (and I don’t smile often these days).  I have spent more weeks working hard to get to the position where I felt that I would be happy to bring him into my home, and that I could care for him properly.  I humiliated myself to achieve this goal.

And now he won’t be.

That is the upset side of things.  Neatly layered upon that (like a well made cheese and pickle sandwich) is the anger.

I am OH so fucking angry!!!  I have spent two fucking years volunteering for those bastards.  I have been nothing but nice and friendly.  I have cared for the dogs in the best way that I could. And when I found myself wanting, I asked how I could do it better next time.  I have put over 200 hours of time, effort and consideration into helping the centre.  I’ve got a certificate to prove it!!!  (In all truth, I don’t…  I forgot to pick it up when I left work.  And the next time I was in, they couldn’t find it.  There is one though, somewhere.  Honest).  But when I wanted something from them, how much help did I get??!!!

I was told that I could not reserve a dog for more than 10 days.  I pointed out that I could have adopted Chalky straight away, but as he was a nervous bunny… I wasn’t comfortable with the short amount of time that he’d have to settle into his new home before would have to endure the long drive and the family Christmas thing.  I didn’t want to put him through that.  I was told that this was good and right… but I could not reserve a dog for more than 10 days.  I told them that I would be heading up on the 21st  of December and returning a day or two after my birthday (1st of Jan). That is more than 10 days…  ‘But he’s been with us eight months.  You’d be incredibly unlucky if someone comes in for him before then’.

So someone came in before then.  On the 21st.  During the day, before I’d left to head up to see the family. They were approved and he was reserved before I had even left for my Bro’s.  When I phoned up the next day to find out what was going on, I was told that ‘yes, he is reserved and will be going to his new home on the 3rd of Jan’.

This is when my anger piqued.  Jan 3rd was the day that I said I could take him (or thereafter).  So some monkey walked in off the street, pointed at my bud and said ‘I want that one!’ And then they allowed them to reserve him for the period that I was told that I could not reserve him, cos it was more than 10 days.

Yes, I am fucking livid!  I want to burn people’s faces.

But what am I to do?  I’m not gonna get Chalky.  They have already proven that they are cunts.  But if I stalk in brandishing a sawn off, I’m not going to be able to continue spending time with the pups up there.  And that time with the pups is hugely important to me.  And yet I want to burn people’s faces.  A lot!!!

Oh, the bad Christmas bit.

I don’t get to see my family often.  They all chose to fuck off halfway up the country, but it’s me that gets a hard time if I don’t make the effort to go see them…  and fork out the £100 fuel costs.  (Please bear in mind that I’m a cripple and live on benefits.  If I ate three cheap meals a day I would have around £20 – £30 a month spare.  I don’t.  I prefer having heat, light, booze and fuel in the car. [I was going to cut down on the booze to feed the dog]).

But they are my family and I love them. This year has been tough.  I’ve been keeping my head down, so haven’t spoken to them much.  So there is much catching up to do.  As for Christmas and Birthday presents, I’ve basically said that I wanted cash for the ‘buying Chalky toys’ fund.

So two days before Christmas I cried myself to sleep (actually, I didn’t sleep much.  The pillow was soggy).  How the fuck was I going to manage to maintain the cheery ‘yes Mum, of course I’m ok’ lie that I have juggled for the last 10 years? Especially when it came to the matter of the dog I was adopting and what everyone was chipping in towards.  I just couldn’t face that.  So I ran away.

I took the arsehole option and fled from my family in the small hours of the morning of Christmas Eve.  (Or ‘sort solitude in my nest’, if you want my thin excuse).

And people look at me funny, as I laugh when I am called a good bloke.

Now you know why.  It’s cos I am not!  And you now know why I cried through most of Christmas day.  A roast dinner is way nicer than pain and guilt.

Before you say that you have had a crap Christmas, ask yourself…  Was it really crap?  Really?

I know that I have a new benchmark for that statement.

Has Science Killed God?

Has Science Killed God?

No…  Next?

Wow, that was a quick one.  Maybe I should put more effort into the next Musing.

 

What?  You still here?  You want more?  OK.  But please remember, you asked for it.  You could have stopped reading after the first or second paragraph.  Shit, you could stop now if you wanted to.  And as I mentioned the word ‘God’ in the title, you just know someone is going to end up being upset, no matter what I say.

 

You were warned!

Science vs God

Lawrence Kraus and Richard Dawkins are kinda the modern poster boys for Atheism.  Yeah, there are many others that fight the cause.  James Rhandi and those like him blazed the way.  Many shout the shout and wave the flag.  But as far as I’m concerned, not one of them has given a conclusive argument to convince me that God does not exist.  Not just the Christian god.  Any god.  Which is quite interesting, because if you pay a bit of attention… they can’t all exist.  According to the various doctrines, some of them are mutually exclusive.  But what can you do?  Who are you going to choose to believe?

Perhaps this is an appropriate time for some self declaration.  I live in the UK.  A Christian nation.  So that is what I am most familiar with.  I have a passing knowledge of several other religions, but would never claim to be an expert on any of them.  Including Christianity.  So if I make any points about any religion that are not completely accurate…  Yeah.  So?  I already said I wasn’t an expert.  And before that I warned you off reading any further.

 

As for my personal beliefs…  That would be a spoiler.  No, I don’t think that what I believe is either exciting or tantalising.  And if I told you now, it would add bias to how you read the rest.  I don’t want that.

So, where was I?  Oh yeah.  Scientific destruction of deities.

[From this point onward… when I use the word ‘God’, please insert the name of your preferred deity.  Trying to cover all the bases would get old very quickly.  But pretty much all of my points will refer to Christianity.  Deal with it.]

Evolution exists, so God can’t.  That seems to be the argument.

This is where I get a little confused.  I know I have oversimplified the issue.  But from all I have read, heard and seen this is what pretty much all of the scientific atheists arguments boil down to.

Dinosaurs were knocking around a few million years ago.  God didn’t put a bunch of bones in the ground to mess with us.  Fish eventually evolved into monkeys, monkeys eventually evolved into us.  This I believe.  But why does this necessarily mean that there is no deity?

As far as I can see, scientific atheist’s arguments only prove that the Bible is a work of fiction (or parts of it at least).  I kinda worked this out when I was quite young.  Hell, it’s not rocket science.  In act 1, he was a bit of a bastard.  He burned stuff by the bucket load.  He was vengeful and wrathful (and I think that may be a quote).  But in act 2 he had a sudden and complete change of heart.  He got much nicer.  And now we are to respect his nicer side.  In fact if you try to emulate some of his earlier works, people will properly frown at you.

Hell, he became so nice that he gave us his son and let us nail him to a plank.

Just as a small aside, did you know that the Egyptian god Horus was born of a virgin, he was baptised in a river (by Anup the baptiser) and he was later beheaded.  Horus spent a time alone in the desert (before being beheaded…  I think.  I’m a bit hazy on when the beheading actually happened.  I can only assume that he got better at some point).  This may come as a bit of a shock but, during his desert  wanderings…  He was tempted!  In his time he also healed the sick, the blind, cast out demons and walked on water.  He also raised ‘Asar’ from the dead.  (Rumour has it that ‘Asar’ translates to ‘Lazarus’).  Oh, and did I mention that he had 12 disciples?

Would it just be cheesy if he was also crucified?  Guess what…  And three days later he was announced to be the saviour of humanity by two women

Incidentally, Mithras was born on Dec 25th.  As a babe he was wrapped in swaddling clothes, placed in a manger and watched over by shepherds.  He had 12 companions.  He did miracles…  I could go on, but you’ve probably got where this is headed.

And both of these guys were a couple of years before Christ. 

(Of course, I don’t know this for a fact.  I wasn’t there.  This is just what I have read).

Can anyone spell plagiarism?

This is one of the many, MANY, reasons why I believe that the ‘Good Book’ is nothing more than that…  A good book.  Have you read it?  I haven’t.  Well, not all of it. I cherry picked (not unlike some Christian fundamentalists).  Some of it is fantastically written.  There is some beautiful oratory in there.  And I’d bloody hope so too.  It was edited quite a few times over a period of around 800 years.  Shit, L. Ron Hubbard’s works only got around 0.1% of the same care (yes that’s right, around 1/1000th) and he still got a religion out of it.

About now, I’m guessing that some of you are a little confused about which side of the argument I’m going to come down on.  Hang in there.  You got this far.  No spoilers just yet…

You may have noticed that I have thrown in the term ‘scientific atheists’ a couple of times.  This is because I believe that atheists fall into two camps.  Both camps agree that there is no god.  Where they differ is the ‘theology’ behind their belief.  And you really have to spend a bit of time with each of them to work out which camp they belong to.  The ones that quote Klaus, Dawkins and Hawking are the ‘scientific’ atheists.  The ones that use the whole evolution thing (and other scientific facts) as proof that there is no god.  The others are what I dub ‘apathetic’ atheists.  These are the ones that have put no real thought into it, and haven’t managed to come up with a good reason that a god doesn’t exist.

“Well, he hasn’t done anything for me…”

I just wanted to point out that I believe there is a difference.

 

Just as I’d also like to point out that I think there is a difference between the people that believe in God.  Some believe that the book is the word of God.  That there is absolutely no chance that a book that has existed for around 1800 years (yes, manuscripts ‘included’ in the bible did exist way before the birth of Christ.  But the compendium wasn’t put together until a couple of hundred years after his death… or so I have heard) may, possibly have been edited enough to obscure the original idiom.  Incidentally, it wasn’t originally written in English.  So there may have been a few translation discrepancies in the few English versions available.

Oh, did I forget that bit?  Gideon did not do it first.  Here’s a few you could choose from…

Wycliffe’s Bible (1388), Tyndale Bible (1526), Coverdale Bible (1535), Matthew’s Bible (1537), Great Bible (1538), Taverner’s Bible (1539), Geneva Bible (1557), Bishops’ Bible (1568), Douay–Rheims Bible (1582), King James Version (1611), Douay-Rheims Bible (Challoner Revision) (1752), Quaker Bible (1764), Murdock Translation of the Western Peshitto (1852), Ferrar Fenton Bible (1853), Julia E. Smith Parker Translation (1876), Darby Bible (1890), American Standard Version (1901), Emphasized Bible (1902), Concordant Literal Version (1926), Moffatt, New Translation (1926), Translation of the Vulgate (1933), An American Translation (1935), Bible in English (1949), Knox’s Translation of the Vulgate (1955), Berkeley Version (1958), Children’s King James Version (1962), Amplified Bible (1965), Jerusalem Bible (1966), King James II Version (1971), The Bible in Living English (1972),An American Translation (1976, the ’35 version was obviously not translated enough),  Good News Bible (1976), Knox’s A Literal Translation of the Bible (1985), Christian Community Bible (1986), Easy-to-Read Version (1989), Contemporary English Version (1995), God’s Word (1995), Complete Jewish Bible (1998, yeah.  This one confused me too), American King James Version (1999), English Jubilee 2000 Bible (2000), King James 2000 Version (2000), EasyEnglish Bible (2001), English Standard Version (2001), Hebraic Roots Version (2004), Holman Christian Standard Bible (2004), The Beloved and I: New Jubilees Version of the Sacred Scriptures in Verse (2005), Dabhar Translation (2005), Clear Word Bible (2006), The Inclusive Bible (2007), Catholic Public Domain Version (2009), HalleluYah Scriptures (2009), King James Easy Reading Version (2010), International Standard Version (2011)…

Yeah, these are only the ‘complete’ versions in English.  This isn’t even the complete list (I got bored about 2/3 of the way through).  And it took me fuckin’ ages to compile and order this incomplete list [please notice and appreciate the amount of effort that I put in to provide a lot of information that you just skipped over].

So why did I bother?  Do you really think that all of these works were rendered from the original texts?  Or maybe they just kinda polished and rewrote a previous version.  But surely someone would have managed to create the perfectly poetic version that contained the entire idiom of the original text within two or three hundred years.  Right?

You ever played Chinese whispers?  Or maybe some of these were the works of one of an infinite number of typing monkeys…

This may sound like I’ve gone off topic.  I really haven’t.  So far it has all been preamble for me to make the point I have been struggling towards.

 

I believe there is a huge and fundamental difference between faith and religion.

For me, religion is all about what is written, taught and told.  And as I think I have indicated, this varies depending on which version of what was written and the interpretation of what has been read.  And there are so many versions that you can choose from.  And then there are many more interpretations of what was read (which can be applied to both those that are teaching, and those that wrote the version that is being taught).  So whose version of ‘the Gospel’ are you buying into?  Is it the ‘right’ one?

Faith is completely different.  It is what you, deep down, believe.  What helps you get through the next day.  It could be faith in a god, or in people or … hell [maybe I could have chosen a better word there.  Oh well]… in a telecommunications company.  The important thing is that it not fixed by a doctrine.  It is yours.  And if you are presented with immutable facts that you were previously unaware of, you can adapt your faith.  This is not so easy to do with a religion.

So, has science killed God?  No, I don’t think it has.  God is where you find him, her, it or them.  God will always be where you need God to be.  If God is an actual deity…  Do you really think that a book written over the span of over 2000 years and reinterpreted many dozens of times will be a concise and accurate rendition of his intent and plan?  Really?

Now…  Has science killed religion?  That is a better question.  Not yet, but fingers crossed, huh?

Still not sure where you stand on the issue?  You better make yer mind up quick.  Christmas is coming, and you wouldn’t want people to think that you’re a hypocrite.

…  Ok, I held out til the end.  Do I believe in a God?

I dunno.  I’ve never seen evidence of one.  But then I’ve never seen electricity, and yet my lights still work.

(If any of you say ‘Ah, what about sparks?’ I will hunt you down and slap you silly)

Darwin vs Jesus

 

 

 

Agnostics are overlooked.  But we exist.

(And I don’t give a shit if people think I’m a hypocrite.  I just don’t want my nephews to lynch me.)

 

[Note:  All of the ‘facts’ I have quoted above have been researched.  But I am only restating the words of another.  A couple of these facts are completely contradicted by the words of yet another ‘another’.  I have tried to stick to stuff that is quoted by lettered ‘experts in their field’ or opinions that are also expressed by other people that do not appear to be zealots or crackpots.  When the balance was equal, I went for the one that fitted the idiom of the post better.  That said…  The only statments that I can confirm are both completely true and factual are the ones starting with ‘I’…  including the one that ends ‘… will hunt you down and slap you silly.’]