Month: April 2014

The Mail on Sunday, Foodbanks and Self Esteem

Thank the Lord it is self esteem Friday, perhaps now I can finally pay these bills.  Hi, is that British Gas?  I’m skint but I feel fantastic.  I’m wondering, are you prepared to accept self esteem?

I’ve been a bit busy of late. When we finished the final shout of “he is risen indeed” I discovered that the Mail on Sunday chose the day of resurrection to… not to put too fine a point on it… Lie despicably to steal food from the poor. Here’s the strap line:


The reporter then details how lots of questions were asked but he… how do I put this…  lied through his teeth.

As a trustee of a food bank I was interested in the developments. There have been some good things to come out of this. There has been a huge surge in donations to Foodbanks. Thank you humanity for restoring my faith in you. More importantly, there has been a backlash against the Mail on Sunday as they have exposed themselves for what they really are.

Thanks to @jamiedm


Here is an open letter to the MOS from a parent of a two year old.

I’ve got a little boy. His name is Isaac, and he’s nearly three. Like any little boy, he loves cars, balls, and running around. He’s barely ever still.

A few days ago though, he was. I took him to the supermarket to spend his pocket money, and we passed the donation basket for our local food bank. It was about half full – nothing spectacular, in fact, mostly prunes and pasta – and he asked what it was. As simply as possible, I tried to explain that it was for people to give food for other people who couldn’t afford it.

This affected his two year old brain fairly deeply. After a lot of thought, he decided to spend a little bit of his pocket money on some treats to donate, because “children haffa have treats when they mummy and daddy is sad!” Nothing exciting. A chocolate swiss roll (about 29p), some angel delight (about 40p). Just a treat for a child, from a child who cares.

Daily Mail, I’ve got to ask. Why does my two year old get it better than you do?

Please go and read the whole letter. Kevin Bridges gets it: “Imagine working in a shop where everything is worth a pound except you” . A two year old gets it. The Mail on Sunday don’t get it.

Next week you will probably find an expose about me gracing their pages because I’ve written this blog. It’s probably all true. Or not.

Punk Rock Jesus | Graphic Novel Review

I’m not going to spend a lot of time reviewing Sean Murphy’s Punk Rock Jesus but here are a couple of thoughts.


Good imagery but difficult to follow because of the lack of colour. To depict the dark and gritty future we are left with vast swathes of black in which we have to try and pick out the detail.  In comparison, I just grabbed a copy of BPRD off my bedside cabinet and the many and varied shades of blue make for an easier read whilst keeping the gritty feel.


Simon Cowell gives up on X-factor and makes a reality show out of the Turing Shroud by cloning Jesus.  After fifteen years of staring in a morally bankrupt reality show Chris (the clone) breaks out to tell the world that “God is Dead”. Everyone dies.

My Thoughts:

My main criticism is that this is a very one dimensional story.  We see an ongoing battle between a caricature of US Christianity and a caricature of new atheism. At the end of the book, the author explains in his own words of how he was a Catholic who became an atheist and PRJ comes across as an out working of an internal angst. There isn’t so much a story on which arguments are hung but angry teenage angst with an absence of storyline.

Anyone who knows me is aware that the most important thing I look for in any story is the development of the characters and their relationship with each other.  Everything is a vehicle for the interplay of characters.  Sadly, there was little in PRJ to appeal in this department.  The villain is a pantomime villain. The ‘hero’ is a pantomime stroppy teenager. The martyr is quickly dismissed as a drunk. The most interesting character is the ex IRA bodyguard, Thomas.  We get a good glimpse into his past life, his background in the IRA and haw that influenced him to this point. Sadly this is a small glimmer of character development. In some respects, I wish this story had been fleshed out over three or four times as many issues to give a storyline that had potential some room to grow.

One aside about the theological worldview of this narrative:  For a world with no overarching deity or “guiding power”, there is a surprisingly strong sense of an “inescapable fate”. It is as though the characters are being dragged to the end kicking and screaming by an external force.


Thomas McKeal telling Chris that he was just the same as his opponents operating through “blind idealism”.


No belly wheels. No stogie. Little storyline.