This week in the UK, the country has been gripped by Popeamania (I’m not sure if that is a thing, but I’ll go with it for sake of ease). The pope is here for the first time in 28 years. I must admit that did confuse me somewhat. 28 years ago it was a different pope. So did Benedict come here on a holiday, or did the last pope (I presume it was him, he was the pope for ages!) come here? I’m sure that even if I knew that, I probably wouldn’t care. There appear to be two points of contention for this visit as far as I can see. The first is fairly significant in that he allegedly helped cover up paedophile allegations against catholic priests and didn’t take enough of a hard line approach on them when it was found out they were in fact paedophiles. I agree with that second bit – the second it was discovered that a priest was guilty of this evil act, they should be sacked from their role as priest (because let’s face it, if God is real [he’s not] and did set a list of rules that the Catholics believe in, I’m going to guess buggering kids was somewhere in the “don’t do” list....hopefully!) and following the sacking, they should be arrested and prosecuted. Being a significant religious figure doesn’t mean you are above the law until you reach “pope” status. Anyway, the second thing people are a bit annoyed about (and rightly so) is that considering these controversies, he is given Head of State status and immune from prosecution while he is here. Richard Dawkins was planning to place him under citizen’s arrest for crimes against humanity (http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/faith/article7094310.ece) and actually, if it could be proven the pope aided and abetted the molestation of children in this country by not stopping priests and not taking appropriate action when it had become public knowledge, he could be arrested and charged. Anyway, with him being given Head of State status, that means the man who thinks woman who are pregnant via rape/incest or who are in danger of dying due to their pregnancy shouldn’t have an abortion and that condom use would help spread aids has his trip paid for by the UK tax payer. I absolutely disagree with him being given HoS status. Technically speaking the Vatican is a state but it is not one recognised by the UN (which as I understand it, is kind of important when trying to set up your own country). Stephen Fry summed up why he should have a state visit here http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-11316476 better than I ever could.
Not being content with being faced with those two rather significant controversies, the pope seemingly decided to create another one by claiming that atheists are as bad as Nazis and evil. This is wonderful logic (explained expertly by Tim Minchin on twitter [@timminchin] – “#popelogic Nazis killed some Catholics; therefore Nazis are atheists; therefore atheists are Nazis; Nazi = evil; therefore atheist = evil.”) I’ve not hidden the fact that I’m an atheist and yet somehow remarkably, I’ve managed to avoid being a Nazi. I don’t take kindly to someone who has significant influence in the world suggesting I’m a Nazi because I don’t believe in God. Furthermore, Nazis as a rule were not Atheist. It might come across as me being picky, but Hitler genuinely believed he was doing God’s work by ridding the world of the Jewish people who had killed Jesus. So actually, if you are the closest representative of God on earth (allegedly), you might want to get your facts right. Also, it is a little tough to stomach being told that I’m a Nazi, by a former member (I assume he’s a former member) of HITLER YOUTH! Let me just say that again. The pope, a former member of HITLER YOUTH, called me a Nazi because I am an atheist. Hey, stupid, is it possible not all atheists are militant about it like Richard Dawkins? Is it possible that I am a sort of person who has no issue mingling with people of all religions and respect their rights to be religious? According to this idiot, it’s not. I am a sack of shit for not believing in something that cannot be proved. I know that’s not a pre-requisite for some people believing in things, but it is for me. Overall point, I don’t care for being called a Nazi who can’t possibly accept those who are religious. I dislike people using religion as an excuse to be crappy to someone else and I dislike people who force religion down my throat (though as I understand it, it’s not me that’s had something shoved down my throat by a religious leader...)
Damnit, I tried so hard to not make a joke about paedophilia when writing about religion. Ach well, moving on...
So yesterday I went to London. The main intent of the trip was to go to see Bill Bailey perform “Dandelion Mind” again (me and two of the others I went up with went before in June). There were also some smaller intents of the trip as well. Went up via train (by the way, Megatrain is awesome). Walked to Covent Garden and visited the new Apple store there. I really like the layout of the store and of course, some fun was to be had. Changing backgrounds of Macs to show Steve Jobs in a variety of poses – I defy you to name activities more fun (actually, don’t). We visited Cyber Candy which was good. It is quite expensive but it has some great stuff in there, Mountain Dew being a highlight. We also popped into Fire and Stone for dinner. This place does all sorts of awesome pizza. I was tempted again by the Peking pizza but opted to try something new and plumped for one which had bacon and roast potatoes on. Very nice (albeit the cream sauce in the middle seemed odd). There are a few more on the menu I would like to try but the Peking is still my favourite from there at the moment. The pizza however is not how I’ll remember this visit to Fire&Stone. The service was pretty shocking. They took the order fairly quickly and then just fucked off. However considering what happened to another table, being ignored for some time was quite nice. A waitress dropped a tray of champagne over a table, smashing glasses and soaking bags. It was one of those moments where you know you shouldn’t laugh and you’d hate it if it was you, but as its not – it’s hilarious! Bill Bailey was hilarious as expected. He was a bit ill which bizarrely added to the act. I’m sure not intentionally but it provided moments of additional comedy like when Bill discussed being exorcised on stage and Cars in French was ended early but it was genius. I’d love to see his show at Wyndhams theatre but I feel it is not likely to happen again until his next set of warm up dates. Still, I’ll be happy to wait. Also, there were some right cunts on the coach. People who throw elbows and people who turn up 3 mins before the coach is supposed to leave without tickets and enough money. All in all, an awesome trip to London, probably the last one of the year but who knows, might be able to squeeze in another one.
I was able to bet again on football, and it was free rolled which was nice. However my black cloud which briefly lifted quickly popped back to rain on my bet. I think I got 6/9 on my accumulator. Bournemouth and Millwall I know let me down. I’m sure there was another but I can’t be 100%. I will have another go at this gambling thing on Tuesday. It is carling cup day though so it’s a tough call. I am going to a Carling Cup game which would be nice if I wasn’t going to see Portsmouth, the only team in the whole of the Football League not to have won – which is not the best statistic in the world to have. Speaking of football though, I have really gotten into (having only been twice) watching Moneyfields play. The first game was a nice 5-2 victory but the second one was a 2-0 loss. Hopefully if I go more, I’ll see more wins. It costs £5 a game which is quite win. 60p for Bovril when you get in is epic win.