Wednesday, June 13, 2012


This is kinda long, but when our pals at Delancey Place dropped this clip from Timothy Beal’s book The Rise and Fall of the Bible: The Unexpected  History of an Accidental Book into my inbox I was intrigued. Over the years I have listened to so many idiots spouting so much nonsense and using The Bible as the ultimate authority because it was supposedly written by their monotheist God (above). The truth now emerges that a large number of the aforementioned idiots and their ilk haven’t even read the damned book and are devoid of too many clues as to what they’re talking about. 

"According to the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, 78 percent of all Americans say that the Bible is the 'word of God,' and almost half of those believe that, as such, 'it is to be taken literally, word for word.' Polling data from the Barna Group indicate that nearly half of all Americans agree that 'the Bible is totally accurate in all of its teachings' (88 percent of all 'born-again' Christians believe the same), and the Gal­lup Poll finds that 65 percent of all Americans believe that the Bible 'answers all or most of the basic questions of life.' These statements are shorthand descriptions of the idea of the Bible as God's magnum opus, the first and last word on who God is, who we are, why we're here, and where we go after this. ...  
"Yet ... recent polls and surveys offer these biblical revelations:
"Less than half of all adult Americans can name the first book of the Bible (Genesis, in Hebrew Bereshit) or the four Gospels of the New Testament (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John).
"More than 80 percent of born-again or evangelical Chris­tians believe that "God helps those who help themselves" is a Bible verse. ...
"More than half of graduating high school seniors guess that Sodom and Gomorrah were husband and wife, and one in ten adults believes that Joan of Arc was Noah's wife. (Those two must've been multiple-choice questions.)
"Almost two-thirds of Americans can't name at least five of the Ten Commandments. Some of these people, moreover, are outspoken promoters of them. Georgia representative Lynn Westmoreland, cosponsor of a bill to display the Ten Com­mandments in the chambers of the House of Representa­tives and Senate, could remember only three when Stephen Colbert asked him to recite them on The Colbert Report (Col­bert, who I hear teaches Sunday school at his church, would probably have done considerably better). ...
"Even among the majority of Christians who identify themselves strongly with the Bible, Bible reading is a rare activity. In a 2005 nationwide study of religious values, practices, and behaviors by Baylor University's Institute for Studies of Religion, more than half of those identifying themselves as 'Bible-believing' said they had not participated in any kind of Bible study or Sunday school program at all in the past month. ...
"While biblical literacy is about as low as it can get, Bible sales have been booming. The biggest Bible publishers in this highly competitive business guard their sales data closely, but reliable industry sources estimate that 2007 saw about 25 million Bibles sold, generating revenues of about $770 million in the United States alone. That was an in­crease of more than 26 percent since 2005, which saw U.S. sales of about $609 million. In fact, the Bible-publishing business has been enjoying a healthy compounded growth rate of close to 10 percent per year for several years. Even during the high point of economic crisis in late 2008, when other book sales were hurting badly, Bible sales continued to boom, with an estimated $823.5 million that year. ...
 "So biblical literacy is low to zip, even while biblical reverence remains high and Bible sales rise. What's going on? Could it be that biblical literacy is being replaced by biblical consumerism? In today's consumer culture, we are what we buy, wear, and carry. We identify ourselves by our patterns of con­sumer choices, by the market niches we buy into. It's gone beyond that post-Cartesian proof of existence, 'I shop, therefore I am.' Today, it's closer to 'I shop for what I am.' "    

Click here for Siouxsie and the Banshees

The secret word is Writ



Labia Frozdick generated her own subtitles.


Monday, June 11, 2012


The write up reads…

"Legendary writer, singer and provocateur Mick Farren is due to perform a one-off spoken word show in Brighton this Friday (June 15th). Farren will headline the Midsummer Poetry Ball at Brighton’s 100-capacity Westhill Hall, reading from his recently-published collection of verse, Black Dogs Circling (Sea Urchin Editions), among other work. The counter-culture veteran will be backed for the occasion by guitarist Andy Colquhoun and percussionist Jaki Windmill, both current members of Farren’s recently-reactivated proto-punk freak band the Deviants." (Click here for more)

Tickets are just £4.00 and the really good news is that you can bring in your own booze. (And the post code is BN1 3PS)


Click here for The Tornadoes

The secret word is Brane


Sunday, June 10, 2012


Whatever today’s repast might have been, it wasn’t preceded by a lude or a mandy. Mandrax in the UK, Quaaludes in the US, they made you horny, cosily stupid and the world turned very slowly and every casual contact was beautiful. They were adored by tattooed love boys, party girls, and Elvis Presley. And, many a morn, if it hadn’t been for the coke, you might next have risen from the bed, and even then it was only to stagger out for a wobble and if one wobbled in the direction of some alcohol the God Lord save us all. Wikipedia rather stiffly recalls…

“Quaaludes became increasingly popular as a recreational drug in the late 1960s and early 1970s. The drug was used during sexual activity because of heightened sensitivity and lowered inhibition coupled with relaxation and euphoria. The drug was often used by people who went to glam rock clubs in the early 1970s and at discos in the late 1970s. (One slang term for Quaaludes was disco biscuits.)” 

The drug was methaqualone and its vogue was sadly short if intense. It was just too much fun for the authoritarian squares. The global drug enforcement industry leaned heavily on the big pharm to simply stop making ludes and mandies. Big pharm instantly caved despite the popularity of the product. The seductive white pills just plain vanished. Bootlegs are manufactured in Mexico but they were powdery rubbish. Large sections of hedonist/airhead drug culture were bereft and distraught. Some expressed their distress by becoming full blown junkies. I joked in my 2001 novel Darklost that Robert Evans had the very last Quaalude on the planet in his private safe,  

“Gene Haislip, the former head of the Chemical Control Division of the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), told the PBS documentary program Frontline: “we beat 'em.” By contacting governments around the world and manufacturers of Quaaludes, the DEA convinced them to halt production. Haislip said “we eliminated the problem.”


Click here for David

The secret word is Stumble


“I’ll take twenty!” 



(see last Friday)