Wednesday, 2 January 2008

Back from holiday, but what did we miss?

Dear reader, our blog has moved to a new address.

Do come on over (and change your bookmarks accordingly):

So, the holiday is over and most people are returning to work. As the New Humanist Blog storms back into action, it's worth asking ourselves what we missed over the festive break.

Well, no one stole Christmas, for a start. This seemed to worry many people in the run up to the big day (including such luminaries as Vanessa Feltz and Stephen Green), but I checked on the 25th and everything seemed to be in place. Not that this prevented outbreaks of seasonal bad will, least of all in the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, where rival broom-wielding Greek Orthodox and Armenian Apostolic priests brawled over Christmas cleaning rights inside one of Christianity's holiest shrines.

Back on these shores, Rationalist Association honorary associate David Starkey "angered royalists" (i.e., the Sunday Express) when he suggested that the Queen is poorly educated and uninterested in culture, telling the Guardian: "I think she's got elements a bit like Goebbels in her attitude to culture. You remember: 'Every time I hear the word culture I reach for my revolver.' " Naturally these comments angered the right-wing press, the Express, which devoted its leader to a dismissal of the historian that in earlier times would surely have involved a call for his head. Unfortunately it seems they don't publish their leader's online, but here's the accompanying article, unsensationally entitled "Historian Nazi Slur on Queen".

Meanwhile, the NH blog has continued to be overrun by members of the Strong City cult, after we ran a post about Ben Anthony's documentary The End of the World Cult. The cult's leader Wayne Bent, AKA Michael Travesser, AKA The Messiah is unhappy with the way Ben represented him in the documentary, and has subsequently dispatched his followers to flood message boards where the cult is being discussed. You can see what has been left on our blog by reading the comments on this earlier post. Some seem to be from Bent's young followers, which is a little disturbing to say the least.

Finally, the assassination of Benazir Bhutto seems to have further confirmed the grim forecast for Pakistan's future made by Maruf Khwaja in our September/October issue. With January elections looking increasingly unlikely and violence continuing across the country, we can only hope that Maruf was wrong in his prediction for the nuclear-armed state: "If the slide continues, Pakistan hasn't much mileage left".

And with that I wish all our readers a sincere, if slightly unfortunately positioned, happy new year.


Geoff said...

Nit-pick: you (probably) mean "uninterested", not "disinterested".