Monday, December 9, 2013


I guess we all have heroes. I’m not sure a sportsman can ever be called a hero as they’re just entertainers and I suppose with that rationale I cant call my beloved Ian Hunter (lead singer of Mott the Hoople, but you knew that yeah?) a hero although performing at aged 74 is pretty heroic. 
Looking good Ian!
Heroes inspire, heroes make a difference, I was up in London on Friday night and I walked past the South African Embassy and it was mobbed with mourners with placards ‘Viva Mandela’ placement of candles, flowers, worshipful chanting. Its too easy to write a tribute to him, but because I never met him and its done to death, I’m not going to. 

However I will say one thing, if you’re looking for an example of true forgiveness,  you need look no further.

In religious circles my hero has always been a geezer called Tony Campolo. He’s an American but I’ll forgive him that. He’s getting on a bit now but in his prime he was a radical. I hope the following anecdote is not apocryphal, but I would not have put it past him:

Tell it as you see it Tony!
 Speaking in front of 10,000 Southern Baptists at their annual convention  Tony addresses the crowd. He starts to click his fingers…click….click…click and then states ‘Every time I click my fingers a child dies of a preventable disease and you people don’t give a fuck!’

The crowd gasped! Some stormed out in protest. They had not come to church to hear swearing!

And then he said ‘..and do you know the biggest tragedy? You are more concerned that I swore, than the fact that  click…click…every time I click my fingers, a child dies of a preventable illness’ What a radical!

Have you ever taken offence at the smallest of things and denied yourself the benefit of a friendship, or being part of something radical and life changing? Sometimes the visionaries are not the best at inter personal skills because they are so focused, so driven. They don’t have the time to cuddle sensitive egos. But they change the world.

Sometimes I think Christians are their own worse enemy. I found this T shirt on line which I would love to wear to church on Sunday. 


It could be looked on as terribly irreverent but it’s actually sold by a Christian charity which works with people in the porn industry! It’s called XXX Church and they believe that where it says in the bible that ‘God so loved the world’ that is an inclusive bunch including all breathing human beings which also includes pervy tattoed body building actors  playing the role of the plumber and top heavy actresses playing bored house wives!

But I know that some Christian would take offence deeming it blasphemous or something. I’d just hate to be so judgmental and negative. (Footnote- I love the church I go to and 99% of the people that go there are really cool)

There’s a proverb which talks about the hypocrisy of trying to remove the speck from your brothers’ eye whilst having a plank in your own. Hey, guess what, Christians are flawed. This one particularly so! It’s because I’m human. But it also nicely gives me a reminder of why 2000 years ago a baby was born in a stable. Can I request that somewhere in the craziness of Christmas we give that baby a nod?

So I suppose it is worth taking a leaf out of Nelson’s book and try to look at the bigger picture in everything.  As we approach a new year and make our resolutions, it’s a good time to re evaluate what are those things that really matter to us, our ideals, our passions and to not let the petty get in the way of what really matters.

Finally, on the subject of Christmas Ads (see last blog) we have hit a new low with the McDonalds one. It’s called ‘Somewhere near you’  and again it has promise because its got the hauntingly beautiful music from Edward Scissor hands (Jonny Depps finest hour!) but I had to do a double take at the words in the poem narrated by some welcoming old crooner:
And beside all this glass made from fire blasted sand is a door you’ll adore when its pushed with your hand’

Desperate or what! Lads, what rhymes with hand? Er Sand? Yeah, how do we get the word sand into this poem?
I'm not!