Those poor Solomon Islanders are paying for our rebelliousness!

Discussion (106)¬

  1. smelter says:

    I love it. I had this discussion with an acquaintance and apparently meteorologists are some sort of priest now.

  2. steeve says:

    They’ve brought it down upon themselves, I think. Serves them right

  3. WalterWalcarpit says:

    Ha Ha! Wonderful!

  4. IanB says:

    Nailed. For those who are interested the guardian has a list of how your MP if you reside in the UK voted

  5. The James Christ Story says:

    Who’d have thought a demonstration of love could cause so much trouble?
    Praps now they’ll realise that following a glorified sub medieval superstitious version of chinese whispers, really ain’t that clever…

  6. Swisswatch says:

    Another small advance in human understanding of true morality; in this case, an advance in equality.

    How is it that every major moral advance humans make, is achieved in spite of, not because of the religious community?

    Curious how one of the major excuses of the religious when trying to justify the moral failings of their saviors and prophets is to plead temporal moral relativity.

    That is; we should not judge their actions by modern moral standards, as it was perfectly OK (to enslave foes, marry minors, commit genocide) in those days.

    I thought these people were meant to be moral leaders? How is it that Humans seem to make the moral advances which the priests and mullahs grudgingly admit later on?

    Could it be that morality is a human led and developed concept, and nothing to do with divine revelation?

    Surely not.

  7. Nothing happened. What a surprise. Good one, Author.

  8. John B Hodges says:

    Probably they will argue that “God” will “remove his protection” from the country that flouts His Law, and so anything bad that happens in the future can be blamed on this vote. I’ve heard that argument before.

  9. Mary - Canada says:

    The earthquake may instead be due to J & M sleeping together

  10. Swisswatch says:

    so perhaps the earth DOES move – if you are doing it right!

  11. Greg G says:

    Whenever a hurricane makes landfall in the USA, the Christian preachers say it’s because we’re not Christian enough while the Muslim Imams say it’s because we’re too Christian. Jesus and Mo sho7ld have that discussion if they haven’t already.

  12. DerekA says:

    I find it odd that that it’s “all about the gays” getting married – but no one seems to mind Hindus going around saying they are – and they’ve got a different god.. there’s an actual official commandment against that sort of thing.

  13. John3932 says:

    Holy Spaghetti Monster, Author! This one is perfect. And the comments are wonderful too. Particularly like the words of James Christ Story and Swisswatch. Keep up the great work.

  14. Maggs says:

    If marriage, as voted on in parliament, is purely a religious state how come there is civil marriage (as practiced in the registry office) and why should the two have the same rules?

  15. botanist says:

    Don’t take this the wrong way Author – I love this strip too, but….
    This is the first time I have not been excited to see a new strip. I’m still enjoying all the comments on the last one so much. I really hope you carry on the comments here everyone, please.

  16. Play a little game with me. For the moment, set aside the fact that bashing people who don’t conform to a certain set of Puritanical sexual standards comes from the clueless religious hate mongers. Let’s just pretend for the moment that it really is a fact that “God hates fags”. Given that hypothetical fact, do J & M’s expectations make sense?

    So God is 10 miles above us, in the waters above, up in heaven, a few miles above the firmament that holds all the stars and the sun and moon. (You’ve got to love Bible cosmology). And God sees gay people having homosexual sex. “No problem” says God. God is not concerned that gay people may not be fruitful and multiply. God’s priests complain that gay men are better dressed, better groomed, and better interior decorators. God says “Why do you think I had them design the pope’s dress, his penis hat and the Vatican?” God hates fags, but none of these things bother him. Then parliament passes a law recognizing gay marriage and suddenly some gay person somewhere is able to send in less money on a tax bill. God flies into a rage. “That fag took a tax deduction! Do you see now why I have always hated fags? I think I’ll send a tsunami and a plague of locusts to punish all of the people who had very little to do with this!”

    Ok, so I had fun writing that. The clear theological implication from J & M (and that is the same from xians over here in the USA too) is that god does not hate when gays do homosexual things. Rather god hates when gays do NON-sexual things. Their god is such a wanker.

    I tip my hat to the British Parliament. I think our congress will follow soon. Not because they are smart, but because the USA demographics have been moving steadily towards having a majority that favors fairness.
    FKS (hat tip to AoS)

  17. So how come Mo didn’t yell at Jesus, “Wait, you’re supposed to BE God, why didn’t YOU do anything?!”

    No, I know, they must have agreed – tacitly or otherwise – to shelve that claim for the sake of living together in mutual amity.

  18. MarkyWarky says:

    @floridakitesurfer, there’s no tax benefit to being married in the UK any more. In fact, some people here argue that there’s no need for gay marriage because it conveys no additional benefits at all. My question to those people is “so why did you get married then, and whatever the reasons are (clearly not fiscal ones), why do you seek to deny the same to others?”.

    But more importantly, J&M are misinformed. Something DID happen. After 25 years of blissful marriage to a woman (I’m a bloke), parliament has completely destroyed everything I had. My marriage has been diluted beyond recognition, and it no longer means what it meant before. It’s exactly as the religious idiots said it’d be; allowing gay marriage has destroyed the institution and my marriage is no longer worthwhile.

    Can someone else tell my wife please; I’m not sure I have the heart to do it myself.

  19. Sondra says:

    You know how good puns make you groan and jokes make you laugh. This observation took my breath away. It’s potentially very, very, very funny, once I recover from the shock of realizing that there are really people who will think like Mo and I never even suspected. My world is not populated with those types, so I tend to forget they exist.
    Whatever. I enjoyed this. I always enjoy have my mind and eyes opened. 😀

  20. Dan says:

    I thought the opposing speech in the parliamentary debate was particularly weak.
    Does anyone think we haven’t already re-written the lexicon?
    Everyone I know refers to civilly partnered couples as married.

  21. fenchurch says:

    I am getting very suspicious about the causal relationship between human legislation/rights, and supernatural-being-hissyfit-induced global weather patterns & seismic events– did anyone notice that the conclusion for the disaster is never drawn as something only the supernatural being cares about, but humans don’t emphasise?

    Example: An earthquake takes place in a god-fearing area, causing death and destruction. You never see Pat Robertson announcing his divine revelations that this clearly is a sign from their supernatural figurehead that an insufficient number of goats are being slaughtered during sacrifices, or that folks aren’t enslaving their fellow man in a doctrinally-approved method.

    Even an unclear message now and then would make it believable “God sez: ‘Gargel wargle fashes’??? WTF does that mean?”)

  22. charlie bear says:

    Excellent strip and the vote in Parliment. BRAVO to the UK for this.
    I fail to understand why so many object to “gay” marriage. After all, does the world not need all the caring and love that it can get? The fact that a gay couple love and cherish each other is to be celebrated. NO, I am not gay nor lesbian, I just believe that ALL humans have the inalienable right to be happy and to enter into a caring, loving relationship and marriage if they so desire.
    I fully understand that this belief of mine means that when I die, I will be sent straight to some version of a mythical “hell”, well, big damn deal. In my 65 years on this planet, I have been told countless times I shopuld go there, so, I figure why not? Hey, it may be a place I could get used to. Having been a US Marine and served 13 months in Vietnam in 1970-71, I think I have seen pretty much what that “hell” may be like. As to the “fiery furnace”, well, the warmth and exercise just may do me some good. Sure ought to help my arthritis.Author, I look forward to each new post of yours. May you continue for many years to come.
    In my humble opinion, you are on the right track with your strip and you are quite courageous doing this.

  23. Nassar Ben Houdja says:

    Their is a profound lack of divine retribution
    Over humanities trivial contribution
    To insignificant social behaviour
    In the daily progressive flavour
    More trivial, lame stream media elocution.

  24. MarkyWarky,
    You ask the rhetorical “So why did you get married?” I think at that point it is important to specify legal matrimony or holy matrimony. I suspect you were exaggerating when you claimed there was no benefit to legal matrimony in the UK. But if that were completely true (Maybe it is. I certainly don’t know) then I would expect few people to bother registering their legal marriage and would instead just work through the church. Over here there are many advantages to having legal marriages. So people like me get a legal marriage but don’t bother with the expensive holy matrimony. Currently there are many gay people in the USA who are married in holy matrimony and can’t get registered as having legal matrimony. I think that failure to specify what marriage is meant frequently leads to a break in communication when speaking on this subject.

  25. MarkyWarky says:

    @floridalitesurfer, I’m talking about legal marriage, because I don’t recognise holy matrimony (there is nothing holy). The debate, here at least, is about legal marriage for gay people, and in fact our new law will give religions a free pass to discriminate.

    Yes I see that when people talk about not allowing gay marriage, they may be talking about holy matrimony, but whether or not that is allowed for gay people is entirely on the hands of the churches. The point is that many argue that gay people don’t need marriage because they already have civil partnerships, which confer the same rights, but they neglect the emotional value of marriage.

    The pragmatic benefits of legal marriage only really come into play when a couple want to separate; without you have minimal legal rights. The emotional benefits, which apply to those of us who will be together for life, are what is denied to gay people, for no good reason.

  26. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    MarkyWarky, it will be interesting a few years down the line to compare divorce rates among same sex couples against those of heterosexual pairings. You can bet your life that if the statistics show that a higher ratio of same sex marriages end in divorce, the religious will see that as a sign that their god doesn’t like gays after all, and will crow it from every rooftop. If hetero marriages have the higher divorce rates, or if there’s no significant difference, the silence from certain quarters will be deafening.

    FKS, re;

    ..Currently there are many gay people in the USA who are married in holy matrimony and can’t get registered as having legal matrimony.

    Given the amount of vitriol and bile aimed at gays by the leaders and the rank and file of the major religions it beggars belief that any gay man or woman would want anything to do with them. I assume that those gay couples in ‘holy’ matrimony that you mentioned had their services at the lesser-known churches that have no affiliation to the ‘big boys’, because I can’t see that many ‘mainstream’ clergy going against head office rules on such a massive (non) issue.

    The vote in Parliment really was excellent news, but the cynic in me has to ask; were we British not in the grip of recession, with a weak coalition government punishing the poor and sick with policies that would have made Thatcher blush with shame (and that evil old crone didn’t do shame); with flak still flying over the greedy and incompetent bankers, and with so many more problems that they would rather we didn’t give thought to; if everything in the country was rosy and the government didn’t need to use whatever techniques they could to divert attention away from their incompetence as a government, do you really believe that the marriage bill would have been on the political agenda at all?
    Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad that the bill was proposed and approved, whatever the motive, but I would have preferred it to have gone through on merit alone, rather than being used as an appeasing diversionary tactic.
    One can’t help but wonder just what terrible state the country would have to have been in for the government to do the job properly and force the churches to comply fully with our discrimination laws.

  27. WalterWalcarpit says:

    My partner and I have never been interested in marriage – whether legal or holy matrimonial. (I’m not sure what the former is but presume it to be a registry office thing.) It has suited us fine for half our lives.
    But I wouldn’t mind some of that equality stuff myself; take civil partnership – I would go for one of those, but we are not gay so we can’t. Pity really, the whole family would have had a much easier time migrating across the planet – amongs many other benefits denied.
    I’m still hoping such a provision is in the act somewhere.

  28. MarkyWarky says:

    WalterWalCarpet, legal marriage is any marriage recognised as legal by the state, whether its conducted in a church, a registry office or jumping out of a plane. Holy matrimony is marriage in the eyes of god, and so simply doesn’t exist outside of people’s imaginations.

    If you want the legal benefits of a civil partnership without the fuss of a wedding, just get married without ceremony and without name changes. I see no point in civil partnerships for anybody; they are a false necessity created by not allowing gay people to marry.

    Legal marriage is no more than a civil partnership at its core. It can be so much more (and is in my case), but that’s a personal choice.

  29. infiniteimprobability says:

    Hey, New Zealand calling… About two years ago G*d zapped Christchurch (gotta love the name) with a killer earthquake, and right now there’s a gay marriage bill before Parliament. Which just proves that G*d is not only omniscient, but clairvoyant. 🙂

  30. Isn’t there more to it than tax benefits? Hospital visiting rights and decisions? Death benefits? Recognition as the spouse? I suppose all that comes with civil union. Or does it?

  31. MarkyWarky says:

    Legally they are essentially the same. See

    Thus the argument is about the emotional and traditional nature of marriage. If you believe it’s just about your tax and legal position, then why fight for marriage when you can have a civil partnership (this being the closest the religious freaks get to a logical argument), but if you believe that being married says something to each other and the world about your commitment, and that there is no possibility whatsoever of the legal provisions for dissolution becoming necessary (as is the case in my marriage), then a legal contract doesn’t cut it.

    I’m not suggesting that if you’re not married you’re not committed to each other, just that different people have different ways of expressing that commitment, and marriage is an important way for some of us. I see no reason at all to deny that to gay people if they want it.

    Of course there is a third view of marriage; that it’s designed for procreation, but I don’t see any of the people who espouse that idea and use it to object to gay marriage objecting to infertile men and women marrying, or even making the desire to have kids a qualification for marriage. We have friends who will never ever have kids, from choice, and say so, but the vicar never once thought he shouldn’t marry them as a result.

  32. hotrats says:

    All of those currently bleating about the damage done to the concept of marriage by extending it to gays, including the archbish of Cant, are not as critical as they might be of some of its existing meanings and connotations.

    While it is trivial to glamourize heterosexual marriage, as practised in affluent countries with secular democracies, as an ideal of biology and sociology, marriage elsewhere still embodies the medieval treatment of women as the property of men, with no choice in the selection of their owner.

    In 2009, in enlightened, Western-backed, post-Taliban Afghanistan, a 16 year-old girl, after being raped by her cousin’s husband, was sentenced to 12 years in prison for “forced adultery”. A year later, having given birth to a daughter fathered by her rapist, she was pardoned from prison on the condition she agree to marry him; which given the option of shaming her family, and she and her daughter risking ‘honour’ killing, she has now done.

    Do we hear a peep out of any of the defenders of ‘marriage’ as an immutably noble concept, about what a sick travesty of a marriage this is? Do they rush to denounce the imprisonment of the victim of a violent crime, or her attacker’s legally mandated license to rape her, so long as they both shall live? Or any of the annual 10 million forced or arranged marriages, that put a price tag on a girl’s life, take her out of education, and expose her to physical and psychological abuse?

    Of course not. The real threat to the concept of marriage, as always, is those horrid perverts who insist on taking ‘God is Love’ at face value, and rubbing our noses in the ignorance, intolerance and bigotry of the Word of God.

  33. HaggisForBrains says:

    Lots of good contributions here. I’ll just add my own approval of the change, which is still not law, but unlikely now to be derailed.

    Nice one Nasser, apart from “their” and the usual poor scansion.

    Mrs Brains has still not quite forgiven me for proposing marriage (after four years of cohabitation) on the grounds that both our company pension schemes had death benefits for spouses, but not for cohabitees. I guess I’m just an old-fashioned romantic.

    I’m not sure if the above logic still applies, but DH has a valid point – there are many circumstances where it is easier to say “my wife/husband” than cohabitee (or bidey-in, as we say in Scotland) followed by an explanation.

  34. MarkyWarky says:

    Hotrats, I agree with all of that, except that our don’t believe that “heterosexual marriage, as practised in affluent countries with secular democracies”, is either a glamorisation nor exclusive to affluent countries, just as oppressive marriage is not exclusive to poor ones. Glamorisation suggests that it’s not all its cracked up to be; that it’s being looked at through rose tinted specs. Marriage, as I and my wife and thousands of others practice it, genuinely is “an ideal of biology and sociology”. Not the only ideal or way, but one of them.

    Yes, to assume that all marriage is like that IS a glamorisation, and everything possible should be done to free people (mainly women) from what you describe, but please don’t underestimate the value of marriage done right.

    It’s precisely because marriage, done right, does have such huge value that I think it should be available to everyone, gay or not.

  35. HaggisForBrains says:

    Good point hotrats. I also get pissed off with the religious telling us that this change in the law alters the “traditional” marriage. Well, which tradition? Old Testament, New Testament, Muslim, Mormon etc? Marriage has meant different things in different times and different cultures, as has the age of consent or indeed the concept of consent, as hotrats points out.

  36. hotrats says:


    ‘please don’t underestimate the value of marriage done right.’

    I don’t think I do underestimate its value. When I said it was ‘trivial to glamourize’ heterosexual marriage in our culture, I didn’t mean that there was anything ‘dodgy’ about it; more that for us, it goes without saying that it represents a mutually desirable agreement between willing adults, so it takes little effort to portray it as a defining ideal; I should have made clearer that I meant the definition, not the institution.

  37. hotrats says:

    Sorry, I didn’t mean to be so bold – only ‘defining’ merited the treatment.

  38. MarkyWarky says:

    No problem at all Hotrats. I was pretty sure you meant it that way, but just wanted to be clear about it, AND about the fact that that’s exactly why I think it should be available to all; male, female, gay, straight, poor and affluent of all cultures and races 🙂

  39. Mike N says:

    Dear Haggis for brains, don’t be so convinced that this will become law, it still has to go through the house of senile idiots and as it wasn’t part of the manifesto at the last election, if defeated it cannot be sent back. Also, as we are a theocracy (one of only two countries with places in the legislature reserved for the state religion, I believe), the bishops could filibuster it into oblivion. If anyone is interested the only other theocracy that I know of is Iran.

  40. MarkyWarky says:

    @ Mike N, depressing isn’t it. Makes American atheist complaints about prayers at government meetings look a little petty eh?

    (With all due respect to our American brethren, obviously 🙂 )

  41. MarkyWarky says:

    To be fair though, Wikipedia defines a Theocracy as one which is “based on a state religion where the head of state is selected by some form of religious hierarchy”. Our ceremonial head of state, the monarch, could be said to be that, though it’s more a blood line than a religious hierarchy (I’d love to see what would happen if William declared himself an atheist mind you!), but our executive head of state, the PM, isn’t.

    None the less, religion has way way too much influence in the UK, hence the requirement for a “broadly Christian” collective act of worship in schools, as just one example.

  42. MarkyWarky says:

    Meant to say, Wikipedia does list only two theocracies, but we ain’t one of them. They are Iran and Vatican City.

  43. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    Darwin Harmless says:
    February 7, 2013 at 9:46 am
    Isn’t there more to it than tax benefits? Hospital visiting rights and decisions? Death benefits? Recognition as the spouse? I suppose all that comes with civil union. Or does it?

    I’m not sure how it works over there, DH, but in Britain it is enough to have one’s partner named as ‘next of kin’ on medical records and insurance forms to qualify them for most of the benefits, irrespective of whether married, common law partners (simply living together as partners) or even living seperately. I could theoretically have you, or HFB, or hotrats, or Nassar (I’ll never be short of a verse for greetings cards), or Author (imagine that; “Next of kin?” The anonymous Author. “Full name?” Fuck knows! Address?” Ditto), in fact, absolutely anybody I wished to have as next of kin as long as both parties agree.

    HaggisForBrains says:
    February 7, 2013 at 11:24 am
    …Mrs Brains has still not quite forgiven me for proposing marriage (after four years of cohabitation) on the grounds that both our company pension schemes had death benefits for spouses,…

    Thanks, HFB, I giggled my tits off at that. You’re not doing much to dispel the stereotypical Scot image though.

    Another excellent thread in the making here, but I’ll check in later to catch up fully having only skimmed the comments from today. I’ve just returned the demonic duo grandsons to my daughter, having had them since 3pm yesterday, and I’m in need of a lie down in a darkened room, with a very medicinal -ahem – herbal cigarette.
    “But, just how exhausting can two babies (the eldest isn’t three until April, the youngest just 15 months) really be?” you may ask.
    “VERY!”, is the only honest answer. Especially when the little buggers tag-team throughout the night – one nods off, the other wakes up, and so on throughout the night, something they never do at home, where they sleep through from 8pm to 7am every night. I get the feeling they recognise a soft touch when they see one! And as Mrs. o’Sagan could sleep through an earthquake, that leaves me to cop the lot.
    Good job I love the brutes (the boys andMrs o’Sagan,as you ask.

  44. Mike N says:

    Hi MarkyWarky, I bow to your superior knowledge, it just annoys the shit out of me that as the UK becomes more secular the education system becomes more religious. My lad at 15 is in one of the academies started by the car dealer from Sunderland who believes in creationism, gensis, the lot. Luckily he has the same attitude to religion as his mother, older sister and I, its all bullshit and he wants nothing to do with it. A good dose of reality is needed for all the religiously challenged especially where it comes to equality and human rights. After all an imaginary friend is something that you should grow out of.
    About the prayes before council meetings, what makes me laugh is that before each session of Parliment all the MPs have to turn around an kneel on their seat (the green leather ones). Thats why the cameras have to be turned off and the Strangers Gallery emptied, to preserve the little darlings’ dignity. Just imagine Cameron in this position next time you see him spouting his crap. At least Clegg and the wrong Milliband are professed atheists.

  45. MarkyWarky says:

    Yep. Ironic isn’t it; we get two declared atheist politicians at last, and I couldn’t vote for either of them!

  46. steeve says:

    The comments each week are so valuable. Now I think I really understand the issue. Let me get this straight: gay marriage is now compulsory and I have to change my (female) partner for a man.

    Sounds reasonable to me. what’s all the fuss about?

  47. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    Steeve, there are alternative courses of action. If you want to stay with your current partner either she or you can undergo gender reassignment: you could convert to AIM (All Inclusive Mormonism), whereby you can have one or more of each sex, including your current partner (she, of course, will also have to be married to at least one woman, so you might want to check that she’s fine with bisexuality rather than assuming she’ll still want to be unnatural and sleep with a man). Or, of course, you can apply for Conscientious Objector status; membership of one of the less progressive religions gains the applicant an automatic qualification.
    It’s unclear as yet whether we get to choose our new partners or if they’ll be allocated to us by the Homonazi Marriage Bureau. If the latter, please gods don’t let me get Jeremy Kyle. One of us would take a wedding night, pre-nuptial, ‘accidental’ plunge from the 15th floor of the honeymoon hotel, and it sure as shit won’t be me.

    As Larry Grayson said; “What a gay day”.

  48. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    Almost forgot; Charlie Brooker came out with a clever one-liner on C. B’s Weekly Wipe earlier. Talking about the recent Islamic rebellions in Mali, and about Islam-inspired rebellions in general, he showed a clip of a mass book-burning outside a library, then wondered aloud what they had against libraries before concluding that they “probably think the Dewey system was invented by Jews”.
    I like Charlie Brooker; he’s intelligent, very funny, deliciously sarcastic, and he hates Jeremy Kyle too. In fact, if I were allowed under the new law to choose my gay husband……Sorry Konnie, but look on the bright side; Mrs o’S has oft’ commented on how attractive you are!

  49. MarkyWarky says:

    @Steeve, AoS, it’s a lot simpler than that. If you want to stay with your female partner, simply declare yourself to be lesbian. In my case it’s undeniable that I am, because I definitely fancy women, and can prove it 🙂

  50. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    Marky, prove it; let’s see you take off your strap-on without screaming 🙂

  51. steeve says:

    Thanks guys (?)
    I can definitely take IN a strap-on without screaming.

    Too soon?

  52. hotrats says:

    The film trade has some amusing jargon; any narrow lighting shade, as might keep an actress’s breasts in shadow, is a ‘charlie bar’; the soft chamois leather cover for the camera’s rubber eyepiece is called a TBA – teddy bear’s arsehole; and any temporary bodged-up extension, held together with gaffer tape, is known as a ‘strapadictomy’.

  53. “The film trade has some amusing jargon…” Ah, now you’re in my territory. Like the black windsock for the shotgun microphone, affectionately known as the Sammy Davis Jr.. But of course the best is the T system for describing the framing of a shot. 1T see the teeth. 2T see the throat. 3T see the tits. 4T see the tummy. 5T see the twat. And 6T see the toes. A surprisingly accurate way for the director to tell the DOP (director of photography) what kind of shot he wants, as in “Give me a 3T on her for this one.” I believe it was a system that originated in England, but I always found it very useful despite this.

  54. How the he’ll did we get this far off topic?

  55. Fuckin’ autocorrect. Hell, not he’ll.

  56. mjusiq says:

    ha ha ha… Thanks!

  57. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    steeve says:
    February 8, 2013 at 2:13 pm
    Thanks guys (?)
    I can definitely take IN a strap-on without screaming.
    Too soon?

    Life’s too short for too soon.

    Darwin Harmless says:
    February 8, 2013 at 4:52 pm
    How the he’ll did we get this far off topic?

    That’s what happens when a bunch of Meanderthals get together, DH. We always start – and usually end – somewhere on topic, but we do tend to go from A to B via a random tour through the rest of the alphabet.

  58. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    (If this post is a duplicate I apologise, but I’ve tried to post it once and it didn’t appear, so I tried again and got a ‘Whoops, looks like you already posted that, you technophobic fool’ type message. I double checked, still no post, tried again, got the same message, so I’ve added this to avoid being patronised by my computer yet again.)

    steeve says:
    February 8, 2013 at 2:13 pm
    Thanks guys (?)
    I can definitely take IN a strap-on without screaming.
    Too soon?

    Life’s too short for too soon.

    Darwin Harmless says:
    February 8, 2013 at 4:52 pm
    How the he’ll did we get this far off topic?

    That’s what happens when a bunch of Meanderthals get together, DH. We always start – and usually end – somewhere on topic, but we do tend to go from A to B via a random tour through the rest of the alphabet.

  59. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    Ah bollocks!

  60. HaggisForBrains says:



    Mrs Brains is not too well, but in the immortal words of big Arnie “I’ll be back”. Just behave yourselves while i’m not here.

  61. botanist says:

    Get well soon Mrs HFB. I’m sure I’m not alone in wishing you a speedy recovery so that HFB delights us again.

  62. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    I can’t promise to be too well behaved, HFB, that’s like asking Ken Ham to talk sense, but please give Mrs Brains my best wishes for a speedy recovery, be sure to look after her, and think yourself lucky you’re not married to a man; we’re such demanding patients.

  63. HaggisForBrains, my sympathy to Mrs. Brains and a short lecture, no doubt unnecessary, for you. There are two types of sick people. Type 1 just wants to be left alone to suffer in peace. Type 2, my type, wants to be mothered and fussed over, have endless deliveries of chicken soup and apple juice, loving application of Mentholated Vaseline etc.. The problem comes when a type 1 is married to a type 2. Then you either get “Why isn’t he paying any attention to me? Doesn’t he give a rat’s ass that I’m so sick? or “Why won’t he just leave me alone. Can’t he see that I’m sick. Often a type 1 will not tell a type 2 that the attention is unwanted, because that might seem ungrateful. And often a type 2 will not tell a type 1 that she craves attention because that would seem so whiny.
    I’m sure you’ve been with Mrs. Brains long enough to know what she prefers. But it’s an interesting thing to think about, isn’t it?
    My best wishes for a speedy recovery, Mrs. Brains.

  64. I wish there was some way to edit comments once the submit button has been pressed. I do hate to see those typos. As AoS said, ah bollocks.

  65. botanist says:

    And DH, “this footage was captured by 20-year-old web designer”.
    How perfectly appropriate, ROFL.

  66. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    DH, all modesty aside, although self-taught I cook to high-end restaurant standards, and my soups are particularly famous among friends and family. I make a chicken soup so good it’s been known to leave Jewish matriarchs in tears of envy, and I can always tell when Mrs. o’Sagan is feeling really ill (she’s a stoic, so she’s always “fine, sweetheart, just a few aches and pains”) because she asks for my spicy tomato and beetroot soup*, served with bacon lardons and freshly baked, gluten-free bread.

    *Before anybody asks, the answer’s no, you can’t have the recipe. Virtually everybody who’s ever tasted my soups have asked for the recipe, and that includes friends who are professional chefs who have begged, offered money, and even, in one case, offered my wife and I free meals in his restaurant, for the chance to have them on their menus.
    That said, were HFB not so far from me, I would have gladly made and sent him a pan-full of this particularly therapeutic soup, both to aid Mrs. Brains’ recovery and to keep HFB’s spirits up whilst he’s tending to her.

    Back on topic.
    J&M may be encouraged by the weather currently hitting the East coast of the USA, though why their boss is punishing America for the actions of the British is anyone’s guess. Maybe geography isn’t his strong point 🙂

  67. hotrats says:

    Ah yes, the T system – as in, “Give me a 4T with a charlie bar.”

    I squirm with retroactive shame at what we used to dismissively call a ‘2CK shoot’ – not to spell it out, but it means a soap-powder advert with two, ah, housewives in a kitchen set.

  68. oldebabe says:

    You’ve got that so right. Jesus, questioning God? Again? Got to put a stop to that, no matter how obviously irrelevant the answer.

  69. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    oldebabe says:
    February 9, 2013 at 8:07 pm
    You’ve got that so right. Jesus, questioning God? Again?

    Isn’t that akin to having a good talk with oneself?

    Hotrats, speaking of soap powder, do you remember the old story about Omo, and the part it allegedly played in extra-marital relations?

  70. hotrats says:

    I haven’t heard the story, and do tell.

    Quite by chance, my Mum once did an Omo advert with the DJ Alan ‘Fluff’ Freeman back in the days of black and white tv. The producers had gone around knocking on doors looking for plausible housewives, and she got the part after a local screen test.

    Imagine their surprise after the shoot, when she produced an Equity membership card from her earlier career at the Old Vic, and demanded – and got – the going union rate. “But we thought you were a real housewife!”. “I wouldn’t be much of an actress if you didn’t,” said Mama, “I’ve been playing the damn part for the last ten years.”

  71. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    I love your Mum already. That’s a quote that deserves to be preserved for posterity.
    The story, as I recall it,was that when a married (there was little co-habiting in the 1970’s, of course) woman wanted her lover to know that her husband (her ‘old man’) was out, and that it was safe for him to pay a visit, she would put a box of Omo in the kitchen window, the idea being that Omo was an acronym (or TLA) for ‘old man’s out’. This story was widely toted as the reason that Omo was withdrawn from the market; innocent housewives supposedly stopped buying it in case it raised unfounded suspicion, and the not-so innocent stopped buying it for fear of giving the game away.
    The truth was more likely that it was a crap product, but since when did truth get in the way of a good urban myth?

  72. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    And I do have vague memories of the OMO ad’s. I don’t suppose your Mum was fair-haired, and had it styled quite high, not quite a beehive but not too far from one? Because that’s the picture that comes to mind.

  73. hotrats says:

    So far from being withdrawn from the market, the Omo brand has a high profile worldwide. Their current slogan is ‘Dirt is Good’ – in the sense that kids should be able to get their clothes dirty in play and still have them come back clean, but other readings are possible. Anyone wondering about the name ‘Omo’, will be reassured to know it is named after a river in Ethiopia.

  74. Hotrats you crack me up, and so does your mom. AoS you are a veritable fountain of arcane information. Thanks

  75. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    Hotrats, so as Omo is no longer available in the UK (or at least, I haven’t seen it since the 1970’s, and certainly don’t recall it when I was managing a local branch of a well-known Northern supermarket chain in the 1980’s), and as the expression ‘old man’ for husband is as far as I can tell uniquely British, the story may have legs after all.
    I’ll have a dig round later to see if it was re-named for the UK market, in the same way that Jif (the cleaning product) was renamed Cif, ostensibly to bring it into line with the rest of Europe (something to do with the way most of Europe pronounce J’s as Y’s), but the myth had it that the maker was protecting itself from the modern compensation culture, pre-empting claims from people who poisoned their pancakes through an inability to distinguish between Jif, the cardboard tubes of scouring powder and tall plastic bottles of bathroom cleaner, and Jif, the lemon-sized, lemon-coloured, lemon-shaped plastic bottles of lemon juice, if they had the same name.

    DH, if by ‘arcane’ you man I have a head full of useless information, you are spot-on. I’ve been told that since I was at school.

  76. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    “ man..”?
    I did, of course, mean ‘mean’.
    Ah bollocks yet again!

  77. hotrats says:

    * as the expression ‘old man’ for husband is as far as I can tell uniquely British *

    No less than Joni Mitchell, proud Canadian, wrote a song called ‘My Old Man’ in 1971 – not for a husband per se, but a cohabitee;

    ‘We don’t need no piece of paper from the City Hall / Keeping us tied and true’.

    It’s clear that she was using it in the husband sense, and everyone understood it as such.

    In fact the conventional British meaning seems to be ‘father’;

    ‘My old man’s a dustman, he wears a dustman’s hat…’.
    ‘My old man said foller the van, and don’t dilly-dally on the way’

    spring unbidden to mind.

  78. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    Yeah, I kind of knew I was wrong about it being ‘uniquely’ British as soon as I posted, but with no edit facility the comments sections would be twice as long if I tried to correct every error.
    Big Yellow Taxi is one of my all-time favourite songs; can’t say I’ve ever heard her My Old Man, though it’s odds-on I have but just wasn’t aware of the title. I shall pay a visit to youtube forthwith.

  79. FreeFox says:

    You are all mad. And reading your bizarr conversations is a cause for peace and comfort to me whenever I feel really down and confused and overwhelmed by life. Thanks mates.

  80. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    You are more than welcome, FreeFox. Nothing puts things in perspective more than a little well-thought out insanity.

  81. hotrats says:

    “In that direction,” the Cat said, waving its right paw around, “lives a Hatter: and in that direction,” waving the other paw, “lives a March Hare. Visit either you like: they’re both mad.”
    “But I don’t want to go among mad people,” Alice remarked.
    “Oh, you can’t help that,” said the Cat: “we’re all mad here. I’m mad. You’re mad.”
    “How do you know I’m mad?” said Alice.
    “You must be,” said the Cat, “or you wouldn’t have come here.”

    Nice to hear from you again, Foxy.

  82. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    Calling Nassar Ben Houdja
    Your talents are required here. Hurry, lexicographers need you.

    And that feckin’ link thing had better have worked this time!

  83. Hey FreeFox. Good to hear from you. And AoS, good call sending NBH to the Cuttlefish and hence to where he is needed. I’m hoping he can top the current champion.

  84. hotrats says:

    I fear NBH’s doggerel will never make it past the moderators on the limerick site, though if he reads enough of them he may get a clue to how it’s done. Despite much patient coaching from J&M contributors, he has yet to write one where the scansion does better than a randomly chosen line length, somewhere between 9 and 14 syllables.

  85. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    DH, the Cuttlefish is a damn fine poet and I’m hoping that Nassar can pick up a few tips to help improve his own work. I hope so anyway, because as I’ve said before, a lot of his stuff is actualy very clever but his technique all too often hides that cleverness behind a wall of bad poetry.

  86. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    And hotrats was posting as I was composing, and has seen through my cunning plan.

  87. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    I’ve just heard that the Pope is resigning due to old age, the first to do so since Gregory XII in 600 years ago. Hmmm. Considering it’s traditionally a job for life, it sounds to me there’s something else to this story.

  88. Dalai Llama says:

    Pope goes, the weasel…

    Given that my feelings about him are readily expressed by Tim Minchin’s Pope Song, I’m not overly sad.

  89. IanB says:

    The first thought that went through my mind is what revelation is coming that he’s running from

  90. Sondra says:

    Ditto IanB

  91. Jobrag says:

    OMG The British Parliament votes for gay marriage six days later the Pope resigns there’s causality for you!

  92. omg says:

    Do you mean the pope is moving to Britain to get maried?

  93. omg says:

    I should have read a little more before posting. In this link:, we can read :

  94. omg says:

    But popes can, and do, resign. Not often, but they do. Back in 1045, the irredeemably outrageous Benedict IX – the only man to be pope more than once, and the only one ever to sell the papacy – stepped down, essentially for the cash. Accused by St Peter Damian of “feasting on immorality”, by Bishop Benno of Piacenza of committing “many vile adulteries and murders” and by Pope Victor III of being a pope “so vile, so foul, so execrable, that I shudder to think of it,” Benedict ostensibly resigned to get married – but not before he had sold the office to his godfather, who became Gregory VI (and had to resign himself the following year because, even by the standards of the 11th century, buying the papacy wasn’t really on).

  95. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    I can almost hear Prince Charles;
    “Please, Mummy, if the Pope can do it, you can do it too”.

  96. WalterWalcarpit says:

    Ian Drury for Pope!
    Ah bollocks!

  97. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    Without wishing to brag, I think I may have definitive proof of my own powers of divinatiojn. For evidence, I give you the following, a post I left at the old site three years ago. As with all prophecy I wasn’t 100% accurate, but exchange the idea of his death with his resignation and I think you’ll agree I wasn’t far short of the mark.

    Conspiracy theory anyone?
    The Vatican, pre-2005. A small but influential group of cardinals are becoming increasingly horrified by what is happening within the church, but dare not speak out for the fear of reprisals from within, so instead they begin to formulate a plan.
    “What if” says one of them, “when John-Paul II finally gets his promotion to the side of God, we canvas strongly for his replacement to be one who can help sort this stinking mess out.
    “What we need is a cardinal, preferably one who has a skeleton or two in the closet, who is of advanced age. Once in place, we start to leak stories to the press little by little until legal action can no longer be avoided. The law moves in and all of those who have brought shame on the church are both removed from the Church AND prosecuted along with those who are helping to keep their crimes under wraps. With a bit of luck, if we elect a Pope who is very old then the strain of the scandal, especially if he can be accused of involvement himself, might just finish him off.
    “This way, we can then go before the public and tell them that not only have we publically cleared the Church of of abusers, but the last link to them is dead. Corruption may have crept into the heart of the Church, but that corruption is dead and buried, and the Church can go forward stronger than ever”!
    “That should work” says another, “the rank and file will be desperate to see that God has not forsaken them”.
    “Agreed” says a third cardinal, “and I’ve been hearing some unsavoury rumours about that German fellow Ratzy; he’s getting on a bit too, and he’s held in high regard by John Paul himself. I’ll do a bit of discreet digging around and see what dirt I can find”.

    Fast forward to April 2005, and as a wisp of white smoke issues from a special chimney at the Vatican, a small group of influential cardinals are quietly congratulating themselves on their foresight and effective canvassing.
    “Right-ho, that’s stage one accomplished” says one, “we’ve got a 79 year old pederast apologist in the hot-seat, now who do we have in the media that we can trust”……..

    Monday, 26 April 2010 at 1:41 AM | #462885

    Now get on your knees and worship me! 🙂

  98. Don says:

    I suppose now we’ll have the interminable come back tours.

  99. HaggisForBrains says:

    AoS – just popped back to tell you that I liked your prediction so much that I copied it onto WEIT, with attribution, of course.

  100. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    Thanks, HFB. It wasn’t until I saw in the news about his “we are all sinners” tweet and wondered just what he was obliquely confessing to that I remembered leaving the post.
    Anyway, more importantly; I hope Mrs Brains is doing well.

  101. SPAMMER says:

    Do you actually have to be religious to be opposed to gay marriage?

  102. HaggisForBrains says:

    Thanks to all of you for your kind words regarding Mrs Brains, from both of us; she is much better for now.

    I’ve never been one to spend evenings in the pub with friends, but in the last few years I have really enjoyed meeting friends in the Cock & Bull, having (or just listening in to) deep philosophical discussions, solving the problems of the world, and having a good laugh. We have everything here that makes for a great pub: A fine Landlord who keeps a quiet eye on things from the background, making sure that the discussions don’t get too heated or come to blows, an erudite Barmaid who is the match of anyone who thinks they know it all, a couple of local characters who hang about the bar all evening spouting cod philosophy (occasionally meeting their even weirder friends), and who think that they are much smarter than they really are, and best of all an excellent and catholic mix of friends of all ages and genders, spending time, or just dropping by. It is a place to escape to, forgetting the day-to-day worries – the ideal pub.

    Thanks again to you all. You have no idea how much you have helped me.

    In reply to SPAMMER: No, but it helps.

  103. SPAMMER says:

    Just find myself wondering what such a thing might look like – a non-religious argument against gay marriage. I suppose a few widows and widowers resent the new ambiguity to their status (though others might actually welcome it!). Likewise, some might foresee a dreadful bureaucratic tangle ensuing from diversification of legally acceptable conjugations. More seriously, some social scientists might genuinely believe that a male-female union, raising its own children, gives those offspring the best chance of maturing into successful, well-adjusted adults – if only because they will never be subjected to the opprobrium of a disapproving and prejudicial society.

  104. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    SPAMMER, that’s a real can of worms you’re opening there. Unfortunately it comes just as Author has blessed us with a fresh cartoon, so is likely to be overlooked by most. I’d suggest re-posting it early on in the next comments thread; don’t worry about it going off-topic, we are commentary Meanderthals after all.

    HFB, I’m glad that Mrs. Brains has picked up for the time being. I was serious about the soup, by the way, Mrs. o’Sagan swears it does her better than anything the doctor prescribes. I won’t go as far as saying it puts hairs on her chest (more unwanted hairs to spit out? Perish the thought!) but you get my drift.


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