Vampyres make you mad

It has been a while since Stephen Green has graced the pages of this blog. His pronouncements are becoming increasingly irrelevant and dull, but the photo used to illustrate his latest outburst is so lovely that we just had to include it.

Look into my eyes: The sane and rational Mr Green warns of the dangers of the occult

The object of his righteous wrath is GP Taylor, who is currently promoting his latest book, Vampyre Labyrinth. According to Green, the vicar-turned-novelist is attempting to involve young people in “the dangerous world of the occult”.

Says Green:

Shame on any head teacher who invites GP Taylor into their school with this book. It is up to head teachers to behave more responsibly and if I was a parent at a school that allowed him in I’d be straight up to the school and demanding answers from the head teacher.

Don’t get involved in those weird beliefs and practices. They can send you mad!

UPDATE: (Sept 30) Nanny Pattison of Mediawatch-UK has put her oar in as well, using the cooked-up controversy to push an idea of ratings for books:

The Vampire Labyrinth raises the question as to whether books should be classified as U/PG/15 or 18 and some kind of warning given to parents, as it contains scenes of graphic horror and violence, including stabbing, burning, torture and throat-ripping.

That’s one way to get the Bible out of schools. With all its violence and smut, it would have to be given an 18 certificate.

Why burning a Koran may become your civic duty

Burning books is not illegal. Much as it rankles to defend book-burners of any stripe, be they BNP racists, halfwit Christian fundamentalists, or anti-Rushdie rage-boys, the act of converting paper to carbon through combustion – provided the paper is yours and you are not endangering life or property – is harmless.

So when news comes from Gateshead that six men have been arrested after filming themselves burning copies of the Koran, you know that something is seriously wrong.
As the video clearly demonstrates, these men are idiots. They are probably EDL supporters, and racists to boot. But what they did is not – cannot be – illegal.

They were arrested on suspicion of “inciting racial hatred”. Not only is Islam – represented here by its holy book – not a race, but the only hatred that such an act is likely to incite would be directed at themselves, and would come from a particular kind of Muslim.

The racial and religious hatred law, for all its faults, was not designed to prevent you from committing acts which make other people hate you. Otherwise every homosexual, fornicator, and abortionist would be under arrest for inciting the hatred of some religious loon.

There cannot be a law against burning books. There especially cannot be a law against burning one particular book. If these men are convicted, then such a law is exactly what we will have.

If these men are convicted, the best course of action is a campaign of civil disobedience. Korans must be burned – but not as a protest against Islam, or Islamism, or “Islamisation”. The new wave of Koran burning will be about something much more important than any of those things: the laws of this country, and the defence of freedom of expression.

It is the only time that book-burning is a defensible tactic: to show that it can be done.

Merkel backs Westergaard

We interrupt a long blog silence to bring a rare piece of unequivocally good news. German Chancellor Angela Merkel has spoken in defence of Danish Motoonist Kurt Westergaard.

The occasion was the presentation of the M100 Sanssouci Media Award to Westergaard for his defence of free speech. In her presentation speech, Merkel said:

Europe is a place where a cartoonist is allowed to draw something like this… We are talking here about the freedom of opinion and the freedom of the press… It’s about whether in a Western society with its values he [Mr Westergaard] is allowed to publish his Muhammad cartoons, or not. Is he allowed to do it? Yes he is.

Of course, the Central Council of Muslims in Germany criticized the award ceremony. Ayman Mazyek said:

Merkel is honoring the cartoonist who in our view trampled on our prophet and trampled on all Muslims.

No he didn’t. He drew a cartoon.

Arab European League convicted for Holocaust toon

In a reversal of a decision made by a Dutch court in June, an appeals court fined the Arab European League 2,500 Euros for causing “unnecessary offense” with this Holocaust denying cartoon.

The cartoon was published online by the AEL in an effort to deliberately provoke a prosecution which would prove that

Freedom of expression is only a pretext to make life bitter for Muslims… and if [they] try to bring this hypocrisy to light, that right is denied them.

Abdoulmouthalib Bouzerda, the leader of the AEL, must be happy that he has finally been vindicated.

Westergaard to release autobio in November

Beleaguered Danish Motoonist Kurt Westergaard, the one who created the now-iconic “Turbomb” portrait of Mohammed, is to release his autobiography in November.

Early news reports wrongly stated that the controversial cartoon was to adorn the cover of the self-published book, but the publisher was swift to issue a public correction. The front page is illustrated with Westergaard’s ‘farewell” to the Jyllands-Posten (he retired earlier this year).

The Turbomb will appear in the inner pages, however.

Jam rag red flag for Mediawatch-UK

Jam rags and pile cream: Unnecessary and not particularly helpful

Smut campaigners Mediawatch-UK have been tempted back into the spotlight (well, The Daily Mail) by the inappropriate use of a slang term for sanitary towels in one the the country’s leading soaps.

Director Vivienne “Nanny” Pattison got the call after some complaints had been made about the phrase “jam rags” appearing on a chalk-board in Emmerdale. She rose to the occasion with a deftness of touch worthy of her predecessor “Massah” John Beyer:

Clearly whoever wrote that knew exactly what they were doing, and they certainly didn’t need to,

she began, ambiguously.

It’s not a particularly helpful phrase to refer to sanitary towels as “jam rags” , and it is unnecessary.

It didn’t need to be there at all.

There we have it. Mediawatch-UK has come a long way since the hard campaigning days of Mary Whitehouse. No longer is it the nation’s conscience, standing up for Christian righteousness in the face of a liberal media elite. It has become the leading voice in the fight against the not particularly helpful.

Because research shows that if children are exposed to the not particularly helpful every day in the media, they will grow up to be not-particularly-helpful adults.

30th September is Blasphemy Day



By Xenu, Scientology is surely the most volcanically stupid cult in history. They’ve just triggered an almighty Streisand Effect by complaining about a Welsh councillor’s Tweet, which said:

I didn’t know the Scientologists had a church on Tottenham Court Road. Just hurried past in case the stupid rubs off.

And now the Twittosphere has erupted in a dawn chorus of tweets tagged #stupidscientology – all variations on the theme of the stupid cult’s idiocy.

That’s the trouble with being stupid – you never learn.

(MWW has been quiet of late, and will continue blogging sparsely for the next month or so. Paying work is currently overwhelming.)

Portuguese Playboy shut down for blasphemy

Here’s the offending cover:

It’s a tribute to the Portuguese Nobel Prize winner Jose Saramago.

It was all too much for the magazine’s parent company in the US, who have terminated their relationship with the Portuguese publisher.

More at The Freethinker.

Doctor’s Data doctors data!

Quack laboratory testers, Doctor’s Data, are suing QuackWatch. Here’s the latest letter:

Dr. Barrett,

You have been making false statements about Doctor’s Data and have damaged this company’s business and reputation, and you have done so for personal gain and your own self-interest, disguised as performing a public service. Â Your writings and conduct are clearly designed to damage Doctor’s Data. Â If you don’t retract your false claims and issue a public apology, the lawsuit will be filed.

Today is June 14th, which is the deadline that was in our letter of June 2nd. Because you responded, you have until Thursday, June 17th, to post your retractions. If you do so and show good faith immediately, this will be taken into account in proceeding.

Jeff Levens
Augustine, Kern and Levens, Ltd.

The company specialises in providing “tests” for alternative treatments such as chelation therapy, and presenting the results in a way which is favorable to their clients. Was it clever of them to give the company a name which describes exactly what it does? Or did they not realise that Doctor’s Data sounds like an admission?

The latter, probably. By bringing the lawsuit against QuackWatch, they are exposing themselves to the light.