Archive | September, 2014

Talking of Sex

29 Sep

lovers photo: lovers thAnime_Love.jpg“At some time in our so-called evolution,” suggested Gringol Barnacle, “it became unacceptable for natural behaviour to be called decent and proper…”
“You mean … procreation?” murmured Jodish Pariah.
“Real love, true affection, were tarnished,” sighed Gringol.
“Best not talk about it,” chided Jodish, “best not air things that are properly kept secret…”
“That’s not like you!” protested Gringol. “You’re always talking about everything, with a sneer on your face and a shake of your head!”
“I know. I’m merely giving you an example. We mustn’t talk about the joys of the flesh. We mustn’t even acknowledge they exist because they shouldn’t!”
“I don’t got hat far,” Gringol told him. “I’ve got a great deal more on my mind than discussing fleshy excitement with a clergyman!”
Jodish adjusted his dog-collar, and grinned. “What difference does my profession make to an intellectual conversation?” he asked. “All I was suggesting is that somehow it’s become infra dig for sensible people engaged in soulful matters to acknowledge the existence of certain bodily parts and suggest that they might perform any but the most mundane duties, and that’s got to be attributed to evolution. Somehow we’ve populated the entire planet as a consequence of being squeamish about sex!”
“Nonsense!” growled Gringol. “It’s nothing to do with evolution, which I’m shocked to hear you’ve got the sense to believe in…”
“Evolution is merely Creation by another name,” smirked the Reverend.
“Have it as you will, what I was saying is you and your ilk, thousands of years ago…”
“What’s my ilk?” demanded Jodish Pariah.
“Your ilk is that wart on society that wants to claim the right to a rich life and yet has no intention of putting much into it. Who wants his stipend…”
“Clerical wages…” Pariah told him.
“Stipend,” emphasised Gringol. “Who wants his stipend together with a nice little pile of tithes gathered from the poor and in return preaches nonsense and advocates a grey life in a grey room!”
“You might call it nonsense…” began Pariah, “but I couldn’t possibly agree. “Me and my ilk, as you choose to put it, do the Lord’s work! We spend the year round baptising, marrying and burying our flock… we have spent eternity preparing them for Heaven!”
“And as a by-product have provided generations with layer upon layer of guilt for doing what’s natural because what’s natural is a far more attractive alternative to what’s profitable to you! Fear: that’s your tenet, and you take the natural thinking man’s fear of the unknown, of his own mortality, and trowel guilt onto it. You tell him there’s a god, which there plainly isn’t, anyone with the least little bit of understanding of the mighty cosmos knows there can’t be any gods anywhere because if there were there’d be millions upon millions of the wretched deities all drooling over their own Adams and Eves carelesslsy munching on forbidden apples in millions upon millions of special gardens on millions upon millions of worlds all spinning in a joyful dance round millions upon millions of suns…”
“You’re just a cynic,” protested Pariah. “Who said anything about millions upon millions of anything?”
“The men of science,” sighed Gringol, “the clever men with their telescopes gazing into the heavens and actually looking at them…”
“And what’s all this got to do with … what did you call it? Fleshy excitement?”
“You forbade it,” murmured Gringol. “You saw how young men and young women fell in love and danced erotic dances under the starlit heavens with joy in their hearts and experiencing the only real love worth contemplating, and you decided to take it for your own. So you invented love for your deity and made all who couldn’t feel it into guilty sinners, and then you invented the opposite to an idealised Heaven and called it hell! Then you told them that’s where they would be going on their demise because they worshipped each other and not your make-believe bearded fancy somewhere in the heavens, though where no telescope can find him…”
“Blasphemy!” growled Pariah. “Sheer unadulterated blasphemy. You talk of Heaven and Hell, who don’t believe in either!”
“Oh, I do,” wept Gringol, “I believe in Hell all right, because Hell is where you’ve sent me, here on Earth, with your preaching and promises of life everlasting! I was happy once, with the lass of my dreams, and we loved and kissed and cuddled and forgot, for a short while, the wretchedness of your faith – until you found us, knocked our door, sipped our tea and even drank our wine with smiles on your faces and the good book in your hands – and undermined our love. You took my angel and called her Eve! You spoke of original sin, you taught us to hate!”
“To hate? We never did!” protested Pariah.
“But you did, spineless clergyman … you taught us that what we did was wrong, the kissing, the cuddling, and, yes, the hours of pleasure we found in each other’s bodies, you taught us it was evil and ungodly and instead replaced it with a theoretical kind of love for an impossible deity that you lot made up some time centuries ago…”
“It’s how you interpreted it,” grinned Pariah.
“It’s our hell,” wept Gringol.
© Peter Rogerson 29.09.14



26 Sep

There was an item on television (The One Show, I think) recently in which a doctor suggested that making critical comments about diet to overweight people might be counter-productive.

His thesis was that people react against the intention of genuine criticism and if they are obese and get told to cut down on their food intake or else they actually gain more weight.

It got me thinking and I suddenly realised that it makes sense in quite a few other fields of human behaviour.

Take religion (any religion, I don’t care which, they’re all based on fiction) and suggest to a believer that there might be something wrong with their belief and that they’re cuckoo for holding it then the tendency might be to make them believe more. And if the objective of criticism is to wipe the curse of false belief from the face of the Earth in the certain knowledge that the planet will be a happier place once it’s been eradicated, the suggestion might encourage belief and not go someway to erasing it for good.

So if some Christian or Muslim comes on this piece I might actually by encouraging them to pray more devoutly than ever.

There’s no winning, is there?

The Wangle Genesis

23 Sep


spiders photo: Spiders Eyes RSCN0784.jpgIn the beginning was the land of the Wangles.

It was like an oasis of beauty in the desert of unreality. And in the land of the Wangles lived, quite logically, the Wangles.

There were He-Wangles who treasured their privacy and kept themselves (and their bodies) very much to themselves. They dictated that no She-Wangle should catch even the least glimpse of their skin. And they also dictated that She-Wangles must cover themselves up so thoroughly that the light of day never touched even the smallest patch of their skin, which is why they mostly had rickets.

And that was in the beginning.

In that beginning there was also Somse. Somse was a wise Wangle and he knew great and important things. He knew the Past, which very few other people knew because the Past implied that this wasn’t actually the beginning, and Somse insisted that it was.

It had to be, or his word would hardly count for much – not if there had been other words before his.

So he drew a line in Reality with his Words and said that everything that occurred before that line was, in actual fact, a lie.

“There was no Land of the Wangles,” he droned if anyone suggested there might have been. “There was only a great big Void. It stretched everywhere, across the heavens, into the deepest oceans, under mountains and where forests now grow. It was a miracle of nothingness! And the Omnipotent Wangle came along and moulded it. Using the tools of his hands and brain, he moulded that Void until it had Shape. And that, my friends, was in the Beginning…”

It was written down, and because it was Words, the first ever words of them all, it was believed. It had to be, else why would they have been written by the wise Somse at all?

Somse had uttered them and then written them, and they were the substance of Truth.

But Some said other things. He had discovered the power of words, and he wanted to glory in that power.

So he said that he, Somse, demanded Respect.

“I order you all, beloveds, to look under every rock and stone and into every corner of Creation and find Spiders,” he said. “And whan you have found Spiders you must destroy them! You must pull off their legs one by one and cast them into fiery pits! For Spiders are Evil!”

There was, in the Land of the Wangles, a She-Wangle called Vee who had a mischievous heart, and she heard the Word and understood what Respect meant. She understood that it meant that Somse was arachnophobic. It meant that Somse had a weakness and she meant to exploit that weakness for all it was worth.

So she went amongst the newly-made hills and mountains and searched under stones and rocks, and collected a huge number of spiders. She collected large ones and small ones, but it must be admitted that the greatest number that she collected were medium-sized. And she placed all of the spiders into a bag and when Somse was away from his home (the first of all homes, being in the beginning) she emptied her bag into his bed.

Spiders crawled everywhere.

Somse had a receptacle in which he kept his false teeth next to his bed, the very first receptacle for the very first false teeth, remember, and that became like a spider-magnet. Spiders of every imaginable size and a rare number of colours crawled hither and thither all over it. And when the receptacle was full and his false teeth were totally covered, they swarmed up the sides and hung over the edge until it resembled a hairy beast watching his bed with superwangle malevolence through myriad tiny eyes.

And so it was that after he returned when his day’s work was done (his work being the conjuring of New Words into the language he was creating) he went to his bed, he actually lay upon it and reached for his false teeth in order to consume an apple. Apples in those distant days, remember, were excessively crunchy and unpleasantly bitter, don’t forget. False teeth were really a pre-requisite when it came to eating apples.

And he saw the spiders.

All of them, from tiny weeny little things to monstrous, hairy-legged monstrosities, and he screamed loud and long.

It was the first of all screams, and the loudest.

Wangles everywhere heard it, and so, of course did Vee.

“I’m so clever a She-Wangle,” she crowed, “for see what I have done!”

It took Somse many days to recover his normal miserable persona, and when he did he cast a spell that would reduce all She-Wangles to servitude for the rest of time as punishment for the trick played on him by Vee, and because she had gone against his express wishes.

Which, my friends, is what occurred.

© Peter Rogerson 23.09.14

The Naked Wangle

22 Sep


mountain stream photo: Silk Stream. Silk_Stream.jpgThe He-Wangle Grogola planned to have a shower.

He took himself to the rocky shelf above a mountain stream that trickled and wriggled musically down the mountainside from the snowy peak – still snowy in June, but then it would be snowy all year round, it always was – stripped off his clothes until he was as naked as the day he’d been born, and stretched under the sun.

“If any She-Wangle comes this way and spots me I’ll be for the high-jump!” he told himself, and giggled. “Never let it be said that a She-Wangle let her eyes fall on my beautifully toned flesh!”

“I’m a She-Wangle,” came a whispery voice from behind the old Oak tree that was already casting a nervous shadow on him.

“Then shut your eyes!” he ordered in the kind of voice that normally demanded instant obedience. “I am a He-Wangle, and I have parts that are forbidden for you to look upon! We’d both be for the pillory if the Lord-Wangle knew you were gazing at my nakedness!”

“I’m not exactly gazing,” sniggered the feminine voice of the She-Wangle, “my eyes might be vaguely pointing at you, but the last thing I want you to think I’m doing is gazing at you! Why, gazing is scarily close to staring, and that’s most impolite!”

“That’s neither here nor there,” grumbled Grogola. “I’m standing right here and feeling naked and you’re hiding behind that tree, and gazing! And I’ve read the Wangle-Texts, all of them, and I know that the most forbidden of all things is for a She-Wangle to let her eyes fall onto the naked flesh of a He-Wangle!”

“This is a public place,” grumbled the She-Wangle, stepping from behind the beautiful old Oak tree. She was a youngish elf dressed in wool from head to foot and with her head totally enshrined in a black cloth scarf wrapped round and round and round, leaving the least of apertures for her eyes to see through.

“Now stop staring…” growled Grogola. “In the village, if I were to kill you dead, they would say I was justified! A She-Wangle able to see the masculine flesh of one such as I!”

“The fat belly, you mean,” she giggled.

“Now that’s quite enough of that sort of talk!” he almost thundered, “I am as the Lord-Wangle made me! I have the beauty of his design and, what’s more, I am planning on having a shower!”

She giggled again. It was possibly the most pleasant sound he had ever heard and he tried to tell himself that it was horrible and that it grated and was truly awful. “I was going to have a shower as well,” she murmured when she had stopped giggling. “I was going to strip myself down to my skin and have a beautiful crystal shower under this mountain stream!”

“No you don’t, then!” he almost exploded. “It is unknown for She-Wangles to shower! The Lord-Wangle wrote it in his great Wangle-Text!”

“Then, in defiance to such trite conventions, I will remove my togs,” she decided. “You can watch if you like, though, to be quite candid, I’d prefer it if you didn’t!”

“And why is that?” he asked, curious.

“Well, and I hope you don’t mind me saying this, but if I am as hard on the eyes as yo are, then it would be quite a cruelty letting you see me naked,” she sniggered, and she started removing her many layers of black woollen cloth.

He stared at her. He couldn’t help it. And when she was totally naked he fell to the ground and ate a dandelion flower-head.

“I abase myself,” he moaned, “I have gazed upon you and I abase myself!”

“Why? Am I that ugly?” she asked, shocked.

“It’s not that. Far from it,” he gurgled, cramming a handful of daisies into his mouth. “I can see you and … and I know … the lies that are told … in the Wangle-Texts, in the Wangle-Sermons … they are all wrong!”

“They are?” She sounded as shocked as she felt.

“Because … you are … there is no doubt…”

“I am? Of what is there no doubt?” she gurgled.

“Perfect,” he sighed. “Beautiful,” he added. “Wangle perfection,” he concluded as he slit his own throat with a shining silver blade he kept in his pocket just in case, as punishment for looking on perfection and not obeying the Wangle-Laws.

And, of course, for not having that shower.

© Peter Rogerson 22.09.14


17 Sep

 photo IMG_1321_zpsa5d5826a.jpgOne thing we discovered during last week’s jaunt across Ireland and the days we spent in Killarny is that Ireland is a beautiful and welcoming country. There are areas where the scenery is breathtaking, admittedly not quite on an Alpine scale but in its own way gigantic.

The jaunting cars of Killarny are a fascinating way of seeing the countryside around that lovely town. The drivers (or at least the one who entertained us) have a rich repertoire of amusing tales that they offer, with bits of information, local folk legends and other material hidden in.

We were taken through the woods by the side of the three lakes that nestle up to the town and learned, to our everlasting joy, that all the rain the area is famed for receiving is a consequence of the leprechauns peeing out of a 747!


16 Sep

I’m a believer in progress. I adore the idea that we alone of all creatures on this planet can look back into history and learn from it.

But knowledge changes with time: it’s got to as understanding grasps new interpretations of old concepts and moulds them to today’s circumstances. How else could we progress from one age to another? How could the stone age of five and more thousand years ago have progressed into metal ages, first bronze and then iron? New skills were learned and added onto the tried and tested old ones, eventually replacing them.

Note: the stone age, when technology was limited to implements made solely from stone and sticks, lasted for many, many thousands of years. Mankind was in the stone age for considerably longer than he’s been in all the other ages put together. Very considerably longer.

Learning progressed as discoveries were made. Technology was given a feeble infancy two thousand years ago and remained in that state until quite recently.

Note: the ancient Greeks knew all about the power of steam but were unsure as to how to make a steam engine, and even used the power of the wind to make mechanical music. And that was before the nativity allegedly occurred.

So we come to the big question.

If there has been a phenomenal burst of knowledge and discovery since the bronze age and the enlightenment provided by forging artefacts out of metal, why have the minds of some of us remained trapped in the stone age?

Why do printing presses still churn out religious texts (bibles, qur’ans, any of them) and sell them as if they represented the height of modern thinking? We don’t make internal combustion engines out of sandstone or granite, so why do some of us linger in beliefs that were modern when flint-tipped spears were all the rage?

The truth, it seems, lies in the nature of progress. It seems that we believe that we as a species have moved from good times to worse times and that once upon a time our ancestors stumbled upon a great truth that we are ignorant of, unless we try to make sense of the dreams recorded in biblical texts.

It’s nonsense, of course. But it seems that we are genetically disposed to adore nonsense.

That’s why ISIS exists. That, and the bullies in its ranks.


15 Sep

What is it about the belief in a patently non-existent deity (aka god) that seems to convince some people that violence and murder are both perfectly all right and acceptable. They are part of a cause. They are essential ingredients of spreading the Word (whatever that word might be).
I’ve never particularly enjoyed taunting people of faith because they believe in something I cannot accept largely because it’s personal, but the ISIS nonsense going on in Iraq and Syria … they bring me to conclude that the root cause of murder and mayhem must be obliterated (peacefully, using legal means). And the root cause is god-based religions or faiths or call them what you will. The only “evidence” for their deities lies in books initiated in the Bronze Age (or earlier) and it’s about time they were seen for what they are.
Until there is clear evidence to the contrary (and I can’t see that coming any time soon) that those gods are puffs of fantasy from diseased minds long ago there should be a dissolution of all god-based religions and a worldwide acceptance that the dark ages are, finally, coming to an end.
While the belief in gods persists there will be violence. Men will be beheaded because it looks good, and it’s for a “cause”. Take away that cause and it will be seen for what it is: thuggery by creatures with the most feeble grasp on sanity and with no excuse for what they do save for the wretchedness of their own selves. And should you be tempted to think this is an attack on Islam then think again: the various sects of Christianity have done much worse than merely beheading those it perceived as enemies. Emissaries from Satan were burnt at the stake not too many centuries ago and with the full cooperation of church authorities. They were little old ladies with warts, and perceived as a threat to an unbelievably cruel god.