Wednesday, 23 November, 2011, 08:13 AM - BrookRating 4 out of 5 (Highly platitudinous)
Thought For The Day involves a great deal of attention to topical events combined with deep thought about their spiritual significance. This is how TFTD is able to so consistently deliver the profound, life enhancing reflections that so brighten up everyone's day, and thus why it is so universally popular.
But I haven't got time for all that, have you seen what's been on the telly lately? I've just started watching the compelling Danish drama series, The Killing. It really is brilliant and with series 2 just started on BBC4 there really has never been a better time to indulge yourself with a box set of series 1, available at the superb bargain price of only £33 from the BBC shop.
You might think that watching DVD drama box sets was all there was to being a busy, celebrity, Christian writer - far from it! I've got no end of books to read, albums to listen to, magazines to flick through. It's all just work, work, work. Sometimes I think it's never going to stop!
With this hectic modern lifestyle that we all live, we sometimes forget to put aside time for what's really important. I am of course referring, not to family and friends, but to thinking about the Invisible Magic Friend.
Scripture says that thinking about the Invisible Magic Friend is just fantastic, even better than watching boxed sets of Danish crime drama. So if you're days are entirely taken up by works of fiction, in whatever medium, try to calm down dear. Lay aside an hour or two to ponder on just how invisible and magic the Invisible Magic Friend is. Be like the preacher who spent three hours every day, heroically doing nothing but thinking about the Invisible Magic Friend. Being invisible, thinking about him, involved a delightful image of nothing. Now there was a life well spent.
Jesus said to forget about time, "Hey man, just like calm down, take it slow, have a puff of this," he would say.
I don't have any more time to waste giving you the benefit of my thoughts. I've got so many DVDs to watch, so many books to read, then there's time thinking about the Invisible Magic Friend...
OK, so a major European economy is about to go down the pan. What's the big deal? I mean, it's not as if it's going to push the world into recession, make millions of people unemployed, crash the financial system, and destroy investments and pensions, is it? Does it really matter if your bank goes insolvent tomorrow and you lose all your savings?
It's about time we let those who are too big to fail, fail. I mean look what happened when Lehman Brothers failed. It's not like the stock market crashed to half its value, and those forced to buy annuities ended up getting half the pension they expected. Even if it did, those pensioners are all rich and powerful and they deserve it.
Time and time again, big things fail and it doesn't really cause that much harm. Look at the Roman Empire, can you honestly, honestly sit there and tell me that any one was worse off because of the fall of the Roman Empire? See what I mean? Look at me, I'm a celebrity Christian writer and I'm doing OK.
This fetish for big economies, big banks and big ships like the Titanic, is something that we, and by "we" I do of course mean "you", seem to hold as an irrational belief. I can only conclude that you are all utterly delusional.
Which brings me to the Tower of Babel, which definitely existed. This is the story of how people worked together in harmony to do something constructive. Not being irrational or delusional myself, I am able to inform you that the Invisible Magic Friend intervened. "I'm not having this," he said. "That tower's nearly twenty stories tall. You'll be up here with me in the clouds soon. You've got no business with all this evil bigness, that's my job. I'm going to confuse and scatter you so that you'll mistrust each other and have frequent wars."
Now some people think this was a negative, petty, spiteful thing for the Invisible Magic Friend to do, but it's really all just part of the Invisible Magic Friend's 10,000 year plan which I'm not going to tell you about.
What we need are not things that are too big to fail but things that are too populist sounding and trite to fail.
Thursday, 3 November, 2011, 08:47 AM - BrookRating 5 out of 5 (Extraordinarily platitudinous)
And in breaking news, aren't Cathedrals just fantastic? I mean, like WOW! They're just so BIG! Isn't it just amazing to think that they're held up entirely by faith? I mean WOW! Just WOW!
The other day, me and a packed capacity crowd of over 20 people, were busy worshipping the Invisible Magic Friend in the magnificent Guildford Cathedral. During all this worshipping, my thoughts began to wander. I thought to myself, what about all those millions of people who are just dying to get to such a brilliant cathedral as this one but can't make it? They won't be able to go WOW! It must be just terrible for them.
If you're one of those people, then DON'T PANIC! It suddenly occurred to me, in the middle of all that worshipping, that if you don't have access to a magnificent cathedral like Guildford Cathedral, then you can just worship the Invisible Magic Friend at home! Yes, it really is that simple!
But you don't just have to take the word of a celebrity, Christian writer like myself though. I can prove it to you. Jesus, whom you'll no doubt recall was the visible bit of the Invisible Magic Friend, actually said it himself. He said, "You don't have to go to the magnificent Guildford Cathedral to worship me. Feel free to worship me absolutely anywhere you like."
You see, Christianity isn't really about magnificent Cathedrals. We don't really need all these bishops and clergy to help us to do some worshipping. Right from the beginning, Christianity has been all about, simple, ordinary, worshippers, quietly worshipping away. What's really important, is that when you do your worshipping, you worship the right Invisible Magic Friend and not one of those made up ones. I just prefer to do my worshipping in a magnificent Cathedral like Guildford.
Very few of us are rich, and by "us" I do of course mean "me". As a celebrity Christian writer, I am gradually becoming ever more fabulously wealthy. Naturally, I'm inclined to give all this wealth to the poor but I prefer not to. It's the job of the tax system to do that. If you can't be bothered to elect people to take the money from me then I really don't see why I should bother myself with you.
You can argue all you like over the 50% tax rate. It doesn't matter to me. You see I have a secret weapon, I have an accountant. Thanks to my accountant, I will always be able to find ways of hoarding my money that are eligible for tax relief.
As I sat at the harvest festival celebration I thought to myself, people used to share out the fruit of their labours. What a good idea. Wouldn't it be nice if people still did that? Yes, that would be really nice. A bit socialist, but nice all the same. I'm sure I'd do that if I were a farmer. Unfortunately I'm not a farmer, so I'll be moving my money from a savings account to a portfolio of investments that attract a more favourable rate of Capital Gains tax.
Jesus himself, whom you'll recall was the visible bit of the Invisible Magic Friend, had wise words for farmers, "Don't hoard your grain - share it out."
As far as I recall, Jesus didn't do any parables about tax avoidance, which presumably means its OK.
How should we respond to lots of tragic news, like the death of Amy Winehouse, or the massacre in Norway, or the famine in Somalia? There's just so much of it.
One way to respond is with words. "Histrionic" is a good word. Another good word is "calibrate". "Inure" is pretty good too. How about "vicarious"? Oh, yes, I'm really on fire today, but then what else would you expect from a celebrity Christian author such as oneself. Oh, wait, wait, wait 'till you hear this one: "insouciant"! Wow, what a word!
Amazing as all these amazing words are, it doesn't get us much closer to knowing how to deal with tragic news. I'd just like to mention Evelyn Waugh at this point and his portrayal of an inept foreign correspondent in his comic novel, Scoop. It's the kind of thing a well read celebrity Christian author such as oneself does. But even this doesn't get us any closer to knowing how to deal with tragic news.
In order to to know how to deal with tragic news, you need to pray to the Invisible Magic Friend for something called "discernment" (a beautiful word, I'm sure you'll all agree). "Discernment" is the ability to know how to deal with things. Once you have the ability to know how to deal with things, you'll know how to deal with things and that is the secret of knowing how to deal with things.
Jesus, as the visible bit of the Invisible Magic Friend, didn't have to pray to himself for discernment, as he already had lots of it. In the wake of things happening, Jesus very often did or said nothing. This was because of his ample supplies of discernment, or possibly because he just couldn't think of anything clever to say. Or possibly he trusted in the very moral universe we live in. Some universes are rather immoral, but fortunately we live in one that knows how to behave itself in polite company.
There's nothing much in the news these days, so I thought I'd talk about what was on the telly the other night. Did anyone see the final of the The Apprentice last week? It was really good to see the nice guy, Tom Pellereau winning for a change. He's such a nice guy. Even afterwards, on Your Fired, he was still a nice guy. which pretty much goes to show what an all round nice guy he is.
Some of the people on the show are not nice. They're pushy and loud and really quite full of themselves and not as nice as Tom. Although sometimes, when they appear on Your Fired, they turn out to be quite nice too and they were only pretending to be pushy and loud and really quite full of themselves because they thought that sort of thing would impress Lord Sugar.
This is very much how the disciples behaved towards Jesus. They tried to out compete each other to prove to Jesus how much holier they were. Week after week, Jesus would take them into the board room and say, "No, disciple, I know I said the meek would inherit the earth, but you've got to be a bit more business savvy. You've got to look after all the money that's going to be flooding in, learn how to cover up the occasional worldwide scandal. You've got to learn the knack of appearing to be really holy while really being the exact opposite."
And thus the Christian Church was founded.
Still, it's nice to see Lord Sugar being nice to a nice guy for a change.
Thursday, 14 July, 2011, 08:26 AM - BrookRating 5 out of 5 (Extraordinarily platitudinous)
The continuing story of the fall of Rupert Murdoch is really exciting, isn't it? This is a story about power. Lots and lots and lots of power. It's not an easy thing to measure. You can't get the box out from under your bed and count how much power you've got this morning, but you sure know when you've got lots of it. And let's face it, haven't we all wanted to be supreme dictator of the world from time to time? Haven't we all occasionally wanted the entire human race to fall on its knees and worship us? Yes of course you have.
The question then arises, where does power ultimately comes from? I wonder what the answer will be? Hmmm... that's a tricky one. Oh, I know! It comes from the Invisible Magic Friend! That must be why so many dictators are such kind, selfless, holy men. Rupert Murdoch must be one of the holiest people on the planet with all the power the Invisible Magic Friend has given to him. Although he's a bit less powerful now, so maybe he's not quite so holy as he used to be, even though he remains a good buddy of the Pope.
Powerful people don't usually accumulate or take power through their own actions. They typically sit quietly, praying, waiting for the Invisible Magic Friend to give them the power they pray for. Jesus, the visible bit of the Invisible Magic Friend, famously said, "I'm the most powerful being in the universe you know. Here, have some of my magic power," shortly before being executed by the Roman Empire, who he had foolishly already given rather too much power.
Sex, sex, sex. Why does everybody keep going on about sex? You can't get away from sex. Everywhere you look, it's just sex. Did I mention that I've got an 11 year old girl? We danced to Rihanna's Only Girl in the World. I just want to mention Rihanna and Lady Gaga because they're always on about sex and mentioning them makes sure you know what a hip, cool, with it, sorta celebrity Christian writer I am.
TV, radio, newspapers, magazines, they're all full of sex. Even Thought For The Day can't stop talking about sex. It's as if everyone is just totally obsessed about sex. Sex, sex, sex. Well, as a celebrity, Christian writer, let me tell you a thing or two about sex.
You wouldn't have got Jesus going on a slut walk. Jesus didn't do that sort of thing. When a prostitute met Jesus, all the dirty, lecherous old men sat around in the room with their hands under their gowns, going "oh, isn't she disgusting," "yeah, what a tart" "yeah, I bet she does some really filthy things, she does." But the visible bit of the Invisible Magic Friend didn't say, "You're a nice curvaceous young prostitute, would you like to have sex with me?" That's because Jesus never talked about sex. He was far too holy to have sex. Not that there's anything dirty about sex, it's just that Jesus was too holy to have any sex.
Anyway, meeting Jesus was as good as having sex with him, not that Jesus would have sex with you, what with him being so holy, but it would make you feel like you were the only girl in the world, even if you were a boy. That's how good not having sex with Jesus is.
I wish everyone would just stop talking about sex.
Monday, 9 May, 2011, 08:58 AM - BrookRating 3 out of 5 (Fairly platitudinous)
Has anyone mentioned Osama Bin Laden yet? He's dead you know. Yes it's true, it happened only a week ago. Since then we've had a picture of the president watching the whole thing live on TV, and Osama Bin Laden watching himself, not so live, on TV. He didn't have access to Google so he had no other way of knowing what people were saying about him.
There's so much more to things than what we see on TV though. I expect we'll have a hit movie soon: "The Life and (mostly) Death of Bin Laden." You see, to get the full picture of what happened we have to make things up. Facts and accuracy can only go so far. That's why we need poets, film-makers and celebrity Christian writers like me.
Take Gore Vidal for instance, the author of "Julian", about the apostate emperor, and "Messiah" - how a cult can be transformed into big business. He wrote Live from Golgotha, a touching fictional account of a 400lb Jesus with an eating disorder, and Paul, a rampant homosexual and former Mossad agent who knows how to found churches and rake in the money.
Making things up is being spiritual. As the psalmist says I can't believe it's not butter - seems pretty made up and spiritual to me. If that weren't convincing enough, the Invisible Magic Friend knows everything. If that isn't made up and spiritual then I don't know what is.
Has anyone mentioned the Royal Wedding yet? Happy day-after the-day-after the-day-after the Royal Wedding everyone! Did you all enjoy your street parties? I certainly enjoyed ours. As you all know, as a celebrity Christian writer, no one is more sceptical about these sort of events than me. I certainly started off very cynical indeed, but as I got drunker and drunker I began to appreciate all the pomp and ceremony, time to "stop being pompous about the pomp." (That's just a little celebrity Christian writer soundbite that I thought I'd throw in there.)
My daughter certainly loved all the pageantry. It was like a really good reality TV show - the kind of thing we normally recommend so highly here on Thought For The Day. There are differences though. Unlike a really good reality TV show, the whole thing isn't at all trivial and escapist. That's because it involves the Invisible Magic Friend. The Invisible Magic Friend got mentioned quite a lot on Friday, which just goes to show what a serious and important occasion it was. Kate only has to hang on in there for a few decades and one day she'll be the Invisible Magic Friend's anointed queen.
It's soooo... good not to be discussing reform of the voting system, who we're bombing and killing today or all the public sector cutbacks. They're all rather tedious and generally happen to other people. So as a celebrity Christian writer, my advice is to just lay back and enjoy the sunshine and rejoice that you live in a country that really knows how to put on a show. I'm sure it's what Jesus would have done.
It's a bit like Christmas. You can enjoy it even if you're a heathen, but the Royal Wedding is best appreciated if you understand the true meaning of the Royal Wedding.