Meascra na mblaganna

It’s a good long while since we’ve done a blog roundup here, which in itself is a good enough reason to do one now. Here are a few stories from around the interwebs that have caught my eye in the last week or so.

The big news has been Mr Tony Blair’s demonstration of ham acting at the Chilcot Inquiry. A big shout out to the indefatigable Madam Miaow for being able to sit through it all and give us a balanced assessment; George Pitcher’s reflections on this have been genuinely excellent; and Chris has a thought on sincerity and egotism.

Locally, the P&J negotiations are ongoing, but there has been consternation at Reg Empey dipping his toe into the “unionist unity” quagmire. Mark has an assessment, whilst Chekov says Reggie’s got some ‘splainin’ to do. Meanwhile, Daithí reports that Ballymoney council are still hostile to erecting street signs as Gaeilge.

I was just mentioning a few days ago Pope Benny’s call on priests to get blogging. Via Father Z, the Catholic Herald takes this opportunity to big up priestly bloggers, in particular His Hermeneuticalness. Elsewhere in the world of religion, the Salvadorean hierarchy is campaigning to get Archbishop Romero beatified; Sandro Magister has details on Catholic-Orthodox unity discussions; young Damo points us to this wonderfully bitchy pisstake of the ageing hippies behind “Stand Up For Vatican II”; and while Cranmer is unamused by the latest outburst from Pope Dawkins, George is a bit more sanguine:

Dawkers is a great recruiting officer for faith. He repels tolerant atheists and inspires uncommitted inquirers to look further into what he so ludicrously and entertainingly misrepresents. I think he should be made an honorary bishop.

Yesterday was Ken Livingstone’s big Progressive London hootenanny. Sunny and Andy were there and give us reports, while Adam is droll on the matter. Elsewhere on the left, the RCN has a thought-provoking analysis of perspectives for the Scottish Socialist Party.

The PFLP has a tribute to Dr George Habash on the second anniversary of his death, while Phil at Progressive Alaska reflects on how difficult an issue Palestine is for American progressives. Tabloid Watch does a brilliant deconstruction of how the Daily Star uses reality shows to manufacture lurid front-page splashes that turn out to be complete bollocks. And in fashion news, Tesco bans the Lower Falls Tracksuit.

Finally, in tune with this blog’s unerring instinct for the lowest common denominator, I couldn’t resist this story, via Jamie:

Australian Classification Board (ACB) is now banning depictions of small-breasted women in adult publications and films. They banned mainstream pornography from showing women with A-cup breasts, apparently on the grounds that they encourage paedophilia, and in spite of the fact this is a normal breast size for many adult women.

Now, sophisticated journalistic techniques (Google) reveal that this isn’t quite true. The Aussie censors are in fact cracking down on the “barely legal” genre featuring actresses who are over 18 but look younger. In any case, the only Aussie porn star I can think of is Angela White, and given her proportions she has nothing to worry about. In fact, she’ll probably be in the inevitable Fosters ad about how everything’s bigger in Australia.


  1. robert said,

    January 31, 2010 at 7:23 pm

    Interesting the Catholic-Orthodox rapprochement talks. If successful this could be a huge step forward in parts of the world like former Yugoslavia and those lands like Poland and Ukraine bordering Russia, where historically conflicts can be traced to the split between the two Churches.

    • splinteredsunrise said,

      January 31, 2010 at 7:37 pm

      JP2 meant well, but carried a lot of baggage as far as the Russians were concerned. Benny, on the other hand, is well known to and respected by the Orthodox, and there have been friendly noises coming out of Moscow. In the manner of these things, there may not be movement for a long time but when it does come it’s likely to be very quick. Much more exciting in the scheme of things than the dialogue with the SSPX.

      • February 1, 2010 at 12:19 pm

        since the 60ies, the relationship between the popes and the eastern and oriental orthodox churches have improved but I don’t think, there will ever be a union in the next decade due to identity issues (especially where rank and file members had some problems during the past centuries e.g. in Ukraine or in former Yugoslavia) on all side and the unsolved problems with the uniate churches … meanwhile, Zoroastrianism is becoming popular again in Iran:

  2. January 31, 2010 at 8:32 pm

    That GCC pisstake was interesting, because one iron-clad law of politics seems to be that conservative attempts at satire just aren’t funny, but mean and shrill (cf An American Carol, anything from the FOX network). Amazingly, that site was actually quite funny, although perhaps that’s because I’m young enough to think of “old people” as an acceptable target. I have a distressing amount of sympathy with trad Catholics for someone who’s an extremely heretical Marxist and kinda gay to boot.

    Still, I think the real point is that there aren’t any young liberal Catholics because why would a young liberal Christian be involved in the Catholic Church in the first place, when there are plenty of Anglicans and Quakers and episcopi vagantes around the place?

    • splinteredsunrise said,

      January 31, 2010 at 8:44 pm

      Most of the liberal theologians, certainly, are Benedict’s age or only slightly younger. But conservatives can be good satirists – PJ O’Rourke in his prime was brilliant – and the trad Catholic bloggers have a pleasing waspishness about them. It may have something to do with targets that resemble a barn door.

      • Dr. X said,

        February 2, 2010 at 9:46 am

        Saying ‘you smell’ isn’t good satire. And the Vat2 hippies may be fish in a barrel, but I’ll still take them over the Falangists any day of the week.

  3. Liam said,

    January 31, 2010 at 10:03 pm

    Those Catholic blogs are a window into a closed world inhabited by people whose interests are not well understood by a larger audience. They remind me of something but I just can’t remember what.

  4. skidmarx said,

    February 1, 2010 at 1:50 pm

    I think George Pitcher is “weary, worn and poorly researched” rather than sanguine.

  5. darren redstar said,

    February 1, 2010 at 6:30 pm

    angela seems like a lovely lass

  6. johng said,

    February 2, 2010 at 3:39 am

    In other news:

    (For once I agree with critics of the SWP and their slow uptake on the net. Failure to get our own stuff out on the right to work conference, although its up on the Tomb now, meant that we missed out on Splintered Sunrise’s blog round up. Given that he is a potential George Orwell prize winner candidate (you should put ‘Orwell prize winner candidate 2010 after) this is a big disaster and A TERRIBLE BLACK EYE.

    Still, the conference looks like it was pretty good. Right. Lets see what splinty has put up about the Maoists in Nepal.

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