Dearly beloved… We are gathered here today…
As the Coronavirus takes ever more lives, the responses to vaccine uptake continue to amaze me. Care home workers are refusing the jab for whatever reason, although I suspect they may be Facebook followers.. you know Facebook.. everything there is true. A nurse that lives on my road tells me that the jab may affect her unborn child when she isn’t even pregnant! You’d have thought that somebody with seven years medical training and three years as a nurse might have more sense but it seems the anti-vaxxers have spread their misery to our shores. Then we have the French president telling anyone who’ll listen that he thinks the AstraZeneca jab is ineffective in the over 60’s. Now I would never put myself on the same intellectual podium as Mr Macron, but neither of us is a microbiologist. A touch of mis-placed jealousy that the vaccine is British researched, non?
This week we were all encouraged by Boris to go outside and clap for the memory of Captain Tom. Now I’ve nothing against the man, he raised £35million, good on him. But he shouldn’t have had to. That’s the role of government surely, to inject, pardon the pun, money into the NHS? When a 99 year old feels he has to walk around the garden because the health service can’t afford PPE, then perhaps the leaders of the country should be prepared to fall on their swords? Of course, Boris and his Eton chums think that they are doing a fine job, despite the 100,000 deaths so far. I mean I know the man is a dozy twat but come on.
Hymn number 13, Every Breath Is Borrowed Air
Recently at church I was talking to the priest after mass, this thing whereby they stand outside and catch you as you leave. This never happened at any church I’d attended until a few years ago, although I know it’s been a thing for a long time elsewhere. I never pray while attending mass, so usually I just sit at the back and watch and he must have noticed this. He’s only new to the parish having been there about three weeks or so and asked why I don’t join in with the service. I told him of my lack of faith. This didn’t go down well! I’m used to Father Dave’s attitude of “We’ll get you back into the fold one day”, however this man of the cloth seemed to take it personally. A shrug of the shoulders, and his comment of “Well I don’t see why you come to church” before turning his back on me may well put me off attending that particular church in future. Perhaps his previous parish didn’t like him, I can’t imagine why.
He does “give good mass”, as they say in Father Ted, but his parishioners need tending. A doctor needs a good bedside manner, for example. “Tell me doc, what is it?” “Well..don’t start any long books.” may not be appreciated by a patient. The Catholic church is always awash with some sort of scandal. I say scandal as if child abuse and putting thousands of unmarried Irish mums in workhouses was something to gossip about, rather than something the perpetrators should be expelled then put in prison for. They should be cultivating a congregation by asking why I don’t believe, not turning their back. I don’t care either way, but at least try! Perhaps I should give the Methodist church in Whitley Bay a visit? Word is on the religious grapevine that they do a lovely tea and cake afterwards.
Service of another kind resumed this week, that of the dreadful Steve Bruce and his handling of Newcastle United. One win last week doesn’t make it ok. You lost the previous eleven, and again since. His quote after the game that if we played like that then we’d be alright..no, we’ll be relegated. Even a simpleton like you MUST see this? No wins, no points..isn’t that how it goes, unless you live in an alternate universe? For our foreign readers, here in the UK we have relegation and promotion in our football, not the same old teams playing each other ad infinitum. And at the end of the season we don’t declare the winner world champions.. I digress. Rafa Benitez may have had his faults, but the man is Spanish and yet can still see the passion that NUFC fans have for their team..you’re from Corbridge, just along the road, yet you act like it’s all nothing to do with you! You choose the team, you coach them, allegedly. Nobody’s fault but yours.
Meanwhile other local sports clubs are once again showing what a bit of investment can do, with Newcastle Eagles lifting yet another basketball trophy, and the Falcons rugby team being top of their league. All Bruce can witter on about is taking the gloves off, rolling your sleeves up, and avoiding relegation.
Hymn number 453, Great and Marvellous Are Thy Works.
Every week, in my home city of Belfast, the “troubles” seem to be rekindled. This week a man was murdered. To listen to some in Stormont, the troubles are long behind them. This latest shooting proves otherwise as if we needed any reminders. The man was a dissident republican, basically an ex-ira scumbag. That’s not to say that I agree with the shooting of anyone, nor did I do a little jig when I heard the news. No, my dancing is to be saved for the demise of Gerry Adams. However, the phrase, live by the sword, die by the sword, comes to mind. As well as the tragedy of loss of a life, however scummy that life was, the ineptitude of the Police Service of Northern Ireland shines through..this quote for instance. “Detective Superintendent Murphy said that whoever carried out the murder had no regard for life.” NO SHIT? Sinn Féin described the shooting as shocking. You’d have thought that a party with affiliations with the ira going back years would be able to come up with a superlative greater than that! They also don’t like it when other paramilitary groups, of which Northern Ireland has a few, march on the streets. Forgive me if I don’t share your apparent anger and disbelief. “We need to see calm heads and responsible leadership at this time and not attempts to raise tensions’, said the local MP..fuck off. It’s people like you that raise the tensions. Of course on the other hand you have Protestant prats that support “marching season” and other blatant attempts at religious intolerance. Dicks on both sides.
But religious intolerance is easy. A nun is asking Catholic school students what they want to be when they grow up. The first kid says, “I want to be a firefighter”, another says, “I want to be a priest”. A sweet-looking girl in the front row says, “I want to be a prostitute”. The nun looks at the child in utter horror and says “You want to be a what?” The girl responds “a prostitute”. The nun sighs relief and says “Good, for a second I thought you said you wanted to be a protestant.”
Not all politicians are murderers of course, in the same way as not all Trump supporters are QAnon fuckwits. The minority always get the attention they crave as it makes a good news item. Today in the south of England, a parish council has hit national headlines. Local councillors, who have very little power and an annual budget of only about £2500, are seen on a Teams meeting, squabbling over who is in charge. Makes you proud to be British! The embarrassment to the council though.. I mean, Teams!
Ite Missa est.
May your god go with you.
7th of February, 2021