The Ninth New Sermon of the Neo-Catholic Church

Thank you for inviting me here today. I am going to speak to you about the books of the Bible.

Mostly about how we don’t have enough of them.

The Roman Catholics started it; they added in a load of special texts that some people call the ‘Apocrypha.’ Then the Eastern Orthodox Church added in a few more (probably to make the bumper book of Christian theology bigger and more thumpable). The Ethiopians, seemingly keen to not only expand Jewish Scripture added in not only more books of crazy religious fervour but obviously decided to start a whole new section which I will call the ‘Even Newer Testament.’

We, brothers and sisters, must do more. Not only more, but better.

Which is why Cardinal Darmeus (freshly returned from his adventures in the 23rd Parallel) and I have decided to petition anyone who will listen to add the following texts to the Bible.

One: King Lear – Poor Tom’s a-cold… in Hell!
Two: One Hundred Years of Punch – A pictorial history of Victoriana becoming Post-modernity
Three: Seven Things I know about my Mother… The Giant Robot (to be written) – bound to be a mantlepiece
Four: The Manifesto of Self-Revocation – Already a mantlepiece
Five: The Number 23 (which is to say that we want a page with 23 printed in bold, preferably in Garamond, standing somewhere between the Old and New Testament)

Modern people, especially modern theists, want, nay, need, a modern Bible filled with modern texts that mean as much to them as the current crop of dogma. It’s been near one thousand and nine hundred years since the last book was written and near one thousand and five hundred years since the canon was fixed. ‘Jeremiah’ was all fine and good for Hey-zeus (hmm… Maybe we should add the new, JMS overseen, ‘Jeremiah’ TV series as ‘Jeremiah II – DVD edition) but modern peoples want the wisdom of Paris and Britney, Hunter and Gore.

We need to rise up together as a literary group and reimage the most popular and best-selling book of all time. And find me not guilty of ‘Light Treason.’

The Defense rests.

PS. We could go the other way; get rid of any books with a numerical suffix and reduce the synoptic Gospels down to one (and write John into it). I’m thinking of a 300 page potboiler.

PPS. Not guilty.

The Eighth New Sermon of the Neo-Catholic Church

The Prologue.

Many is the time I have spoken loudly and less fondly about the current fashion with placing diaries in the public view. Indeed, the first iteration of the modern ‘Manifesto…’ contains much to dissuade the faithful on this matter.

I understand the attraction, however; everyone would, at some time, like to express some of their views on matters private in a very public space, especially those thoughts that we really want to voice but can never can begin to form (due to the usual mores and restrictions of decent society).

You all know of what I speak, don’t you.

Brother Morthos, in a more lucid moment, once told me that my chief problem was that, as Pope, I speak my mind, and this has lead to a trail of discontinued friendships and the cessation of non-hostility on many fronts. Certainly, it has meant a wholesale reduction of those unsanitary business school-types that used to circulate the New Vatican of the Church and I have no issue at all in corrupting evangelists… Still, those are matters for another time. Still, even I must admit that there are moments where I bite my tongue, sometimes wisely and sometimes not so wisely.

Public diaries give you a second chance to ‘Sin(TM).’

And what a chance it is. A chance to tell a select audience that, had you had your wits about you, you would have said this, rather than that. That when someone thought you were thinking A you really thought B. That you wish something else had obtained when the crap hit the metaphorical fan.

Oh yes, important stuff.

I see the point of public bullentins when you go away. I see the (perverse) point of angsting to strangers because you have no friends. I even see the point of further supporting a burgeoning journalistic career. But when you use the public space to air your dirty laundry and to piss off people you either need to do it on a massive scale or not at all.

And now, children, without any further ado, I will read to you from ‘Run, Spot, Run.’

DVD Reviews

Due to the tactical advantage of living with the Designer of the University of Auckland’s Student Magazine (Cracuum) I have now become a DVD reviewer.

It is an interesting task, writing a 200-400 word review of a film/DVD. Being rather fond of the New Journalism (which is starting to show some great things in the area of videogames (more on this later)) I like to mention my take on things, but to do that and give prospective buyers something to work with is not exactly easy. Give me a thousand words, I say.

The DVD job technically means that I get review copies of films, but in reality the flat gets them. The fact that we are gifted the DVDs makes me wonder what would/will happen if/when I tell the student populace to avoid a film like the plague. More on this later (and, I suspect, soon).

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy has this to say on the subject of its movie trailers…

It’s lucky that I have said remarkably little on the subject of the cinematic version of Hellblazer, ‘Constantine’ because I might have had to eat crow. Thoroughly enjoyed the film and really only had issue with two characters, acting wise, and neither was Keanu Reeves. I’d see it again, and if that was my first directorial effort I would be very pleased.

But enough about comicbook films; it’s back to the ‘…Guide…’

As well you know I was not entirely fond of the first proper trailer. I’ve now seen the other two trailers, which are both Guide entries on the subject of movie trailers, which is much more DNA in flavour. You get to hear Stephen Fry as the voice of the ‘Book’ and Alan Rickman as the voice of ‘Marvin.’ All in all, a far better experience and one that gives me more hope in re the film.

Not as much hope as I had expected to gain, though.

Alan Rickman as the voice of ‘Marvin’ will need time to grow on me; Stephen Moore’s voice is so iconic that any other will need to become an acquired taste. Stephen Fry sounds like Stephen Fry; a little to confident as the ‘Book’ I feel (Peter Jones always sounded as if he didn’t really feel conident in what he was talking about and thus made the ‘Book’ seem like it was the hastily-cobbled-together-by-vagrant-reporters text it was meant to be.

Still, I did hear a snippet of ‘Journey of the Sorcerer,’ which made me vaguely happy. All in all I don’t know that this marketting campaign will get the established fan-base rocking in their… towels? But I suspect that isn’t what they are looking for anyway. True fans are not new fans, and I shouldn’t complain. I converted to the ‘…Guide…’ via the TV series, oft thought to be the weakest of the various versions of the story.

Also, must start writing on subjects other than that of the ‘Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.’ Really must.