Archive for March, 2005

Beyer finds speed eating documentary hard to stomach

The Sun today (no web link) tells of the “outrage” sparked by Channel 4 plans to broadcast a documentary about the UK competitive eating championships, in which contestants strive to eat as many hot dogs as possible in twelve minutes.

John Beyer, the Black and White Minstrels fan who likens himself to St Paul, was consulted, of course:

It’s not appropriate to show the programmme when there are so many concerns around the issue of obesity. It seems to be normalising overeating. It’s setting a bad example at a time when there’s a lot of concern about children’s diet and junk food,

said the chubby smut campaigner.

The world record is held by a 27-year-old Japanese man who devoured 53 hot dogs in 12 minutes, The Sun notes with relish.

(Thanks to Dan Factor for the Sun-spotting)

What would Jesus hunt?

The Observer today carries an article about the various Christian political groups vying for attention and influence. Interestingly, it is the first article to put a rough figure on the size of Christian Voice’s membership, at “under 1,000”.

Swivel-eyed Stephen Green gives an intriguing insight into the other issues that concern him, when he’s not obsessing about “homos”:

There’s a whole range of issues, from the war to speed cameras to the countryside, that the government is failing to address.

Will we soon be seeing Christian Voice campaigning for the god-given right to hunt foxes and drive too fast?

We don’t go into these things unless we sense God is with us.

You never know.

Stephen Green Flashbacks, Pt 1: Pickin’ on the sick

Being the first in a series of articles resulting from digging around the archives for old stories about Stephen Green (thanks to our diligent Mediawatchwatch researcher).

This first one demonstrates that the Maggie’s Centres episode was not the first time that Green deemed it appropriate to attack the seriously ill in the name of the Lord.

The Independent, August 27th, 1991 reports on the reaction of the Conservative Family Campaign, of which Stephen Green was once press officer and chairman, to a declaration of the rights of people with HIV and Aids. The declaration was launched by 17 voluntary organisations, including the Haemophilia Society and the National Aids Trust. It had the backing of politicians and church leaders.

Green said:

It is outrageous for Christian bishops to support the ‘right’ of people with HIV variously to start a family, mingle with other prisoners in jails, prepare food for the infirm, treat patients . . .
The bishops are in the unseemly company of seasoned homosexual campaigners. The support of these anti-Christian individuals and bodies confirms the ‘declaration’ as a Trojan horse containing a hidden agenda of homosexual rights.

You’ve got to hand it to him – as paragon of uninformed bigotry he has few peers. Tory MP Jerry Hayes resigned as a sponsor of the CFC as a result of this “offensive statement”. It wasn’t long before Green would be doing the same…

Lukewarm welcome to Springer on ITV

The arrival of the Jerry Springer show on daytime ITV has provoked a cool response from Mediawatch-UK’s “Massah” John Beyer, the Black and White Minstrels fan who likens himself to St Paul. Speaking to the Daily Express he acknowledged that Jerry was “a very clever man” (how would he know?) and could not understand why he involves himself in such programming.

I am glad to know that ITV have promised that the show will be “toned down” and I hope that will not focus entirely on conflict and dysfunction

Talk to the hand, Johnny boy.

Comix fans go CRACCAs over Constantine

Yet another pressure group has sprung up, this one provoked by Keanu Reeve’s latest blasphemy-fest Constantine. Concerned Readers Against Crap Comics Adaptations (CRACCAS being the apposite acronym) was founded by Nick Barlow on the eve of the film’s release in the UK. They are upset at the choice of lead actor for the Hollywood adaptation of Hellblazer, one of the group’s sacred texts.

We’ll be protesting outside cinemas who show this offence against taste, decency, and legendary characters and urging people to avoid Constantine and find redemption at their local comics shop instead.

CRACCA’s membership figures remain the subject of much conjecture (by Mediawatchwatch), but estimates range from 2 (there is at least one other member) to 50,000.

John Beyer, advisor to Church of England

England on Sunday, the online version of The Church of England Newspaper, carries a review of the horror film Constantine, which opens in the UK tomorrow. Starring Keanu Reeves as a dead exorcist who returns to earth for a second try at redemption, it has already been described by as “blasphemy of the highest level”. The BBFC gave it a 15 certificate.

Speaking to the paper, “Massah” John Beyer, the Black and White Minstrels fan who likens himself to St Paul, said:

The BBFC guidelines don’t deal with the occult or blasphemy. Yet we’ve seen recently a preoccupation with exorcism, the occult and the demonic, as with The Exorcism [broadcast live on Channel 4] the other week. It is a trend in films that the church should take a position on.

John Beyer believes in demonic possession.

Regional theatres urged to book JS:TO

JS:TO producer John Thoday has issued a challenge to regional theatres to “back and book” the production. He told The Stage that there are 25 theatres who “100% want it to happen”, and that he expects a 27-week tour to start in Plymouth on January 2006.

We are doing everything we can to make it happen. [Springer authors] Stewart Lee and Richard Thomas want it to happen and we thank the theatres that are being supportive. This is a brilliantly funny show and we cannot let these people stop something so good. Jerry Springer has won more awards than any other new musical written by British writers. That small group of reactionary individuals cannot stop something being presented.

Stephen “I’m like John the Baptist” Green has confirmed that he has the “financial acumen” to prosecute theatres for blasphemy. He told The Stage

What this will come down to in the end is whether the jury will convict them. Thank God, that despite the best intentions of our wonderful civil libertarian, go-ahead government, we still have a jury system and it will be down to them whether they find it blasphemous

Theatre producers should note that the legal advice from the National Secular Society is that the prospect of a successful prosecution for blasphemy is “virtually nil”.

Green added,

You can’t deny that Behzti closed and so what they did was effective. But we look at things slightly differently. We are a Christian organisation.

They don’t do violence. Just blackmail.

(Thanks again to Flotsam for the heads-up)

Fock around the clock

A couple of complaints to Ofcom were upheld recently. They concerned programmes originally shown after the 9.00pm watershed and subsequently repeated during the daytime. The Big Brother panto and an edition of Faking It, both of which contained lots of swearing, were accidentally broadcast during the day. The controllers apologised, and explained that the wrong tapes were used by mistake.

However, “Massah” John Beyer, the Black and White Minstrels fan who likens himself to St Paul, was having none of it:

The watershed is constantly being undermined.  Having programmes on for 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, is changing the ground rules with no corresponding response from the regulator.

So, an honest mistake by Channel 4? Or part of a sinister agenda by the Media Elite to undermine traditional Christian values and win souls for their master, Satan?

You decide.

JS:TO tour postponed

According to The Times today, pressure from “radical Christians” has forced the national tour of Jerry Springer: The Opera to be postponed, at least until after Christmas. Nearly a third of the venues withdrew on the wake of the Maggie’s Centres blackmail by Christian Voice. Clearly not all theatre directors reacted to the threats like Gwenda Hughes of the New Vic.

Council-run theatres were particularly susceptible, but the production company is being strongly supported by The Ambassador Theatre Group and The Theatre Royal in Plymouth (the starting venue).

Jon Thoday, head of the production company Avalon, said he was determined to continue:

It has become a crusade now. Perhaps that is the wrong word: it is more of a holy war.

Talking of which, Magnus Linklater makes a relevant comment in the same newspaper on Michael Howard trying to make an election issue out of abortion:

In Britain it was once possible to dismiss these groups as part of an irrelevant fringe. With the decline of mainstream religion, however, this country too is becoming fertile territory for the fundamentalists.They will seize on Mr Howard’s pronouncement, and use the backing of the Catholic Church to give extra weight to their own crude campaigning. One can only hope that Britain is too phlegmatic for the kind of tactics they favour. But Mr Howard and Cardinal Murphy-O’ Connor are doing their best to reverse the tradition.

Salman sense

Another good article in today’s Guardian, this one from Salman Rushdie. He starts by referring to his fatwa:

Now, 16 years later, religion is coming after us all, and even though most of us probably feel, as I once did, that we have other, more important concerns, we are all going to have to confront the challenge. If we fail, this particular fish may end up frying us.