Sunday, 15 December 2013

Funny......absurd even......but just not fun

Someone close to me came home giggling today, after hearing a Creationist refugee from non-sectarian 'Norn Eylan' claim that I wrecked his chance to fleece Manx tinfoil-hatters - sorry, that's 'organise a challenging weekend of seminars from an eminent geologist', sorry, wrong audience again, maybe that should be 'offer a prayerful exploration of alternatives to the atheistic theory of evolution for the benefit of true believers'........
Oh, you probably guessed it!
Actually, all I did was send a letter to the papers a few months ago pointing out to any churchgoer about to pay to hear a career creationist that said tinfoil-hatter also believes his Imaginary Friend commands bigots to execute gay people.
I wouldn't presume to tell anyone capable of believing six impossible things before breakfast to abandon their 'sincere beliefs'. There is very little point arguing with anyone who lives in a hermetic thought-bubble within an alternate universe, so I never bother. But even they have a public duty to consider if their odd ideas actually excuse genocide in what the rest of us recognise as the real world.
It appears that this odd character (clearly unable to distinguish between the results of several centuries of rigorously tested hard scientific exploration and the amanita muscarita-influenced ramblings of bronze age goat-herders) also does not understand why such views might be a problem.
My spy on the spot observed that he is considered an oddball even amongst his funny friends, so did not attempt enlightenment. For myself, I do not intend to follow the tongue-in-cheek example of experimental artist Joseph Beuys, who once performed a piece entitled Explaining art to a dead hare. It isn't just that it would be pointless, because I quite like the absurd.
It just wouldn't be fun.

Sunday, 8 December 2013

So many possibilities, so little creative thinking

Someone pointed me towards , posing the question “How long before we see something like this on the Isle of Man?”
Strictly speaking, of course, we already do. For a start there's every Manx schoolchild’s nightmare “field trip” to the God World theme park (or as Manx Heritage insists on calling it, Rushen Abbey). There impressionable children are chased round a muddy field by the strange folk from Scripture Union, who want them to consider how much fun it would be to be a mediaeval monk. As any kid who watches Horrible Histories knows already, the answer to that is 'Absolutely none'.
Apparently SUMT get paid for this, which I've always found odd. It seems to me if little children are keeping care-in-the-community candidates off the streets it's the kids who should get paid for performing a public service, not SUMT. An over-literal interpretation of the Bible might well be an early sign of psychotic illness, but it doesn't excuse a failure to look for a proper job.
Then there are some of the Tourist Department's odd niche holiday breaks.
A couple of years back, I'm told, they were offering discreet discounts to off-island churches to organise Celtic Christian tours of the island. I suspect they got the idea from a wily cleric who used to strike deals with local travel agents for tours to various Christian pilgrimage sites, both UK and much further abroad. In return for rounding up a bus-load of punters, said cleric and Mrs Cleric got more annual free holidays than he already racked up as fact-finding missions to sunny climes for various government bodies on which he......well, not so much served as turned up and collected benefits.
But as there aren't actually any functioning island churches which date back more than three centuries, and towns have changed so much since even the 19th century that these are in semi-abandoned villages, the Celtic Christian trail is a bit thin. The presumed sites of any worship prior to that are windswept places in the middle of nowhere, so in practice the tours consisted of dragging pious elderly types up moors, through bogs and down slippy cliffs on wet days during Force 9 gales. I'd have thought the insurance alone would have made the price too high for all but the most determined masochist.
And talking of masochism....maybe we could clean up on another Manx fetish - birching. I'm sure the UK S&M scene is over-run by wealthy ex-public schoolies who would pay through the nose (possibly even other orifices) for a spot of corporal punishment. At last, a useful and valid economic role for all those sensibly shod ladies, built like battleships, who marry diminutive Old Barrovian heirs to Manx businesses then spend decades angrily polishing churches to within an inch of their lives.
Or again, for those who remember the chimp's tea parties that used to be a feature at UK zoos, how about putting up public seating behind a splatter-proof screen at the side of the dining area in large Manx hotels which specialise in corporate affairs and political receptions? Surely foreign visitors would pay to watch what happens when one of our more excitable Rotarians or MHKs hears a polysyllable uttered by a fellow free-loader?
So many possibilities, so little creative thinking from the so-called experts.
Is it any wonder Manx tourism is dying?

Friday, 6 December 2013

Do E Mek E Larrff, Nelson?

As someone who during the 1980's (and even the late 1990's) got grief for constantly pointing out that our finance sector was originally built on helping apartheid era South Africa avoid economic sanctions I had to raise an ironic eyebrow at
So would that be the same Terry Toohey who (prior to being offered a job here by a former punter) ran publicity at Sun City, the notorious 'Seff Effrican' whites-only venue no international entertainer worth watching wanted to play?
And in the late 1980's didn't the Manx government, having just created a tourist policy based on subtly attracting ageing Brit racists to 'Look forward to going back' , then come up with a new resident policy intended to entice thick and wealthy 'white flighters' fleeing countries about to experience democracy?
What sniggering noise?