So Swizzels, the candy company that has been making Love Hearts for five decades, has brought out a new line of sweets.
Where Love Hearts bear cutesy-wutesy messages to make you feel good, Whatevers will bear new-fangled words like "Chav" and "Minger". In other words, insults. Not just any insults, but particularly ugly ones that reflect a new wave of snobbery and prejudice in the UK.
Maybe we could add "Paki" and "fag" to the line-up? Oh, the fun children could have swapping those in the playground with their friends.
I'm glad to see that I'm not alone in how I feel about that trash. I
too participated in a performance of this affront to decency and
I'd have to agree with him when he writes:
It does need to be stopped. I wish there was something to do about it.
I guess we can all do our bit simply by exposing these things if and when they come up. There are times to be quiet and let sleeping dogs lie, but Heaven's Gates, Hell's Flames is no sleeping dog. It's a blatantly abusive propaganda tool, and I see from the website that it is still alive and well, including in the UK.
I found Geoff Pullum's analysis of Dan Brown's writing style interesting - and amusing. Check it out here. He links to several of his previous pannings of Brown, the funniest of which was this gem. (Raises eyebrows.)
Make no bones about it, the Daily Mail is Britain's worst newspaper. And I say that as a bit of a lefty who still reads - and enjoys - The Telegraph. But there is good reason to buy the Mail for the next couple weeks. They're giving away a series of 12 great British films, beginning today with Kind Hearts and Coronets.
And on Monday (I think) they'll be giving away Billy Liar, my number one favourite film of all time. If you haven't seen it, don't miss it. The story was a book by Keith Waterhouse, and then a hit stage play co-authored with the late Willis Hall, but for me the defnitive incarnation was in this 1963 film starring Tom Courtenay and Julie Christie.
Other treats include several Ealing comedies: The Man in the White Suit, The Ladykillers and The Titfield Thunderbolt, among others.
Please welcome my old friend Richard "Gill" Gillingham to the blogosphere. Gill is a bit of a theological and philosophical boffin with Anabaptist sympathies. According to one of those "Which theologian are you?" tests, he's Neo-Orthodox in the vain of Barth. His recent entries deal with John Howard Yoder, Pentecostalism, pacifism and Elmer Gantry. He used to be in love with Meg Ryan, but I think she has been replaced in his affections by Reese Witherspoon. I think lots of you guys will like him.
Not often I get genuine hate mail, but this puzzling comment arrived from a certain Frederick Wierschke this evening, with the heading "Your Comments About Heaven's Gates and Hell's Flames":
What makes you think you know anything? From reading your article it’s apparent that your own IQ is barely above a cucumber. You’re so legalistic in your line of theology that you’d blow your brains if you tried to sneeze and fart at the same time.
Do those of us who do not adhere to legalism a favor. Go blow your brains out.
The last few days have been quite exciting, as I've been researching for an article on "ex-gay" ministries in the UK. Talked to lots of fascinating people. I'll keep you posted on when and where it will appear.