Monday, February 11, 2013

Aye right. But who popes up now?

The reaction to the Pope's resignation on 'health grounds' will surely be 'aye right' if you're Scottish and cynical. And let's face it with a history that encompasses almost all shades of religious mania from Catholic witch hunts to Presbyterian extremists to Orange Order violence and latterly Islamic jihad against Glasgow airport - we Scots have a right to be cynical of religion.

I don't usually subscribe to wild conspiracy theories but it seems as if the nature of the Catholic Church is to cover-up secrets while maintaining the right to stick it's nose into the lives of others. Especially the sex lives of others. So, accepting the premise that a Pope resigning due to old-age is bullshit - how many Popes have we witnessed who were obviously plugged in until eventually the wires frayed? - what could be the real reasons for the Pope's premature ejacu divestment of his responsibilities?

  • The sheer weight of the global Catholic sex-abuse scandal? There seems to be 'a priest a week' being unmasked as a child abuser. With so many cases brushed under the carpet, why stop now?
  • The Magdalene Laundries? Shameful as it was, the collusion between the Irish state and the Catholic Church to enslave and abuse women who they deemed as 'unclean' or 'immoral' was confined to one small part of the global Catholic empire. Not a big enough fish.
  • Pope Ratzinger's Nazi past? Old news and while the RCC was guilty of complicity with the Nazi regime many individuals did resist Nazi tyranny. And while Ratzinger joined up he was probably too young to have too much of say so stories of his hand on the trigger as Jews,  Slavs, Gypies or homosexuals were sprayed with gun fire are unlikely to surface.
  • Financial? Possibly. Maybe some back-scratching with Silvio Berlusconi?
We may never know. But that doesn't stop us speculating on the next old man to wear the silly hat. Some have speculated that a Third World Pope may be in order. Possibly but who's to say that someone from our very own Gr8 Britane could not step into those holy robes?

Let's go fishing...

Racist and homophobic Leigh Griffiths.
Leigh Griffiths - still in his early 20s so no chance of him being too auld anytime soon despite his haggard appearance. He's certainly right-wing enough with a history of racist and homophobic abuse against members of the public. However, even the RCC has sought to distance itself from its Nazi past in recent decades. Bit of a trouble maker though. Fortunately, if the Pope gig falls through Leigh knows that Hibernian FC - the 'holier than thou' club of Scottish fitba - will always give him a home.

Let us prey.
Tony Blair - has converted to Catholicism in recent years, perhaps with one eye on attaining the Vatican throne. Like Leigh Griffiths though, his past is a bit problematic - namely being a war criminal. However, the RCC found it within itself to accommodate Adolf Hitler and Franco as buddies in the past so who knows... Pope Antonio of Sedgefield step forward?

Notorious heterosexual Clarkson.
Jeremy Clarkson - a master of making offensive comments like many senior Catholics. His posh-school upbringing may stand him in good stead but his wide variety of victims could be problematic. Sure he's got problems with women's rights and homosexuality but he also has chips on shoulders regarding the disabled, Mexicans, Indians, Scots, Germans and the Welsh which would leave the Vatican with little wiggle-room in their global contest against Islam and Judaism to covert the gullible.

"In a statement released this week, Pope Benedict said that he has forgiven the Beatles for John Lennon's claim that they were bigger than Jesus and for their Rock & Roll excesses – in the clearest sign yet that the Vatican is working from the bottom of the complaint box." –Seth Meyers

Saturday, February 9, 2013

The year of the horse - the veggie alternative

Eating meat does not offend me. I don't eat it and never will, knowingly, eat it again. Especially when I see the kind of meat which passes for edible these days.

As someone who found the Scotch pies with broon sauce at fitba games the hardest thing to give up during the transition to a meat-free diet, I can also sympathise with those whose intake of flesh is at the 'junk' end of the market. No venison, oysters or shark steaks for me as a teenager.

Onion rings or horse rings?
The recent, and seemingly ongoing, furore over horse meat in Tesco burgers - and elsewhere - does leave me somewhat smug though. And, not being of the Daily shock Mail mentality, the choice of animal does not really phase me. Killing an animal, foul or fish is just that - whatever the species. They have a right to life or they don't.

Horse chestnuts or horse nuts?
What most in the media seem to have missed though is the nature of the meat rather than the species. If those suppliers of Tescos, Iceland, Aldi, Burger King and McDonalds and willing to cut corners on the genus of the animal they slaughter, I'm willing to bet the body part they supply is of no more consequence. Does anyone think the horse meat in a Tesco burger is really in the same ballpark as the horse-steaks served in a Michelin-starred Paris eatery?

Chick peas or chick shit?

Even if I were to still eat meat, I'd probably boke at the thought of getting my laughing gear around minced and seasoned horse testicle. Each to their own though and if having a deid horse's genitals in your mouth floats your boat...

The reasons then for going vegetarian are still much the same as always, even accounting for the fact that soya is the number-one cash crop of environmental misery in the world and really isn't very good for you anyway...
  •  It's compassionate. Unless you live in Greenland or in an Amazonian tribe you could probably live very easily without meat.
  • It's green. Leaving aside the reputed 'fart factor' in the greenhouse gas tally, stuffing cattle with tons of vegetable matter to feed a few, instead of thousands, just doesn't make sense.
  • It's healthier. Let's face it - how many of you catch/ rear, slaughter and skin your meat. Even if you do you'll have to eat sparingly or get a huge protein overdose with a lump of flesh lying barely digested in your gut.
  • It's cheaper. And that leaves more dosh for yon "vegan distilled barley juice".

Some reading...
Food Matters - Not sure of the veracity of all their info, but it's still entertaining and even if half of it is true...
Supersize Me - mind this one? The whole film is on YouPornTube
Fast Food Nation - another, more serious look at the meat industry.
Vegetarian Society - want info?
Is tofu bad...? - discussion on the environmental pros and cons of vegetarianism
The dark side of Soya - article from Ecologist