Breaking and Entering Is Not Funny

By September 17, 2011 Blog

Unless it involves Nicholas Cage and a naked man eating a fudgesicle.  In which case it is very funny indeed: “I opened my eyes and there was a naked man in my leather jacket eating a fudgesicle in front of my bed.  It sounds funny but it was horrifying.” (All over the web) And we all know that if there’s one person who does “horrifying” well, it’s Crazy Cage-y. Here for you delectation is a collection of his finer moments. …Read More

Handicapping Yourself

By September 16, 2011 Blog

For months now you’ve been furtively eyeing up/stalking the object of your affection.  Months spent feigning interest in the finer aspects of rugby/shopping/German sci-fi.  Finally, they ask you out.  The night of the big date you turn up late, drink too much and end up talking about your ex. They never contact you again. Or – you’re chasing your dream job.  After a series of rigorous interviews and exams, you’re finally on the home stretch.  It’s basically a formality – …Read More

Strike A Pose

By September 15, 2011 Blog

Imagine if we actually took the world and its messages seriously. If we believed the advertising and the hype.  If we listened to the agenda-setters and the taste-makers and the spin-doctors. If we allowed our brains to swell with the mixed media , mixed messages and mixed metaphors.  We’d be (stylish), but  pretty confused. As would those around us… Here’s a great example.  The Spanish artist, Yolanda Dominguez, has staged a kind of living installation, in which ordinary women take …Read More

Recovery

By September 14, 2011 Blog

‘Recovery’ is a funny thing. How do you know when you’re doing it? Can you ever reach a point where you can say, ‘that’s it, I’ve arrived?’ Or do you just make peace with your own frailty? What are the landmarks? The markers? The mistakes you learned from? The ones you keep making? What have you got to lose by getting better?  What have you got to gain? What resources do you need to recover? If you’ve tried and failed …Read More

Reversals

By September 13, 2011 Blog

The kingdom of heaven is all about reversals. Or rather, our world is about reversals – the kingdom’s got it right.  So much of what we think is good, turns out to be bad, whilst the suffering or discomfort we fear is in fact blessed. Take for example, beauty.  In our society, this is everything. Ask a little girl (and increasingly boy) what they want to be when they grow up, and the answer is beautiful. Who we are is …Read More

Robot Wars

By September 12, 2011 Blog

Here’s a (true) story from the Saturday Telegraph that’s tickled me no end. The world’s first conversation between two robots has ended in an argument about the nature of God. Alan and Sruthi are two ‘chatbots’, designed by PhD students at Cornell University.  Chatboxes are computer programmes that are designed to have conversations with humans. (If you’ve ever tried to use the self-service aisle at the check-out, you may have come across something similar.  Though if your experience is anything …Read More

Death in Context

By September 11, 2011 Blog

As part of a series looking at the impact of 9/11, the author Lionel Shriver has written the following piece, entitled ‘Prepositions’. She’s not writing from a Christian perspective, but it’s a fascinating analysis of how a world without God processes such devastating events. Listen on iPlayer here. Share…FacebookTwitterTumblrPinterestGoogle+StumbleUponDiggemail

Packaging 9/11

By September 10, 2011 Blog

9/11. It’s inescapable. And of course it should be commemorated. But am I alone in feeling disturbed by the way in which it is being remembered? There’s a couple of issues here. One is where you cross the line between honouring the dead and feeding off them. A kind of journalistic vampirism that exploits pain and somehow cheapens it at the same time. At what point do you move from telling survivor stories to forcing them to relive events they …Read More

Active Listening

By September 9, 2011 Blog

This is one of my favourite clips.  Ever. Which goes to show that self-righteousness is probably the world’s biggest communication barrier. Some other thoughts on listening… Don’t: finish sentences check your phone (note to self) change the topic to get to the one you want to talk about look over their shoulder to see who else is here talk to the chest.  Ever. interrupt Do: respect personal space be curious ask questions give feedback Share…FacebookTwitterTumblrPinterestGoogle+StumbleUponDiggemail

Growing Up

By September 8, 2011 Blog

I’ve been struck today by two different passages from the Bible, both about what it means to grow up. The first one is from Proverbs 22. But first, a digression.. I’ve always thought of Proverbs as one of those books that made the final Bible cut by the skin of its teeth.  It comes right after Psalms.  That’s like Elton John as warm-up band for the The Cheeky Girls.  Proverbs mate, get off the stage! You and your home-spun wisdom …Read More