It was pretty gratuitous.

Thanks to Ian Paisley for inspiring today’s strip.

└ Tags:

Discussion (74)¬

  1. Trevor H says:

    The lack of self-awareness – even whilst admitting his beliefs were stupid – lol

  2. Max T Furr says:

    For some reason, today’s image isn’t opening on my computer. Previous images do. Is it my computer or did something change on your front, author?

  3. Clive Page says:

    I understand that what Edwin Poots actually believes is that god was sufficiently powerful that he created the universe around 4004 BC together with all the evidence (fossils, radioactive elements, photons from distant stars and galaxies, and a vast amount more) that makes it *appear* that the universe is actually much older. That, it seems to me, is a perfectly tenable hypothesis, except that the date appears rather arbitrary. If I were to claim that god created the universe last week, together with all our memories of having existed for a lot longer than that, and the rest of the stuff, that would be equally valid, given a sufficiently powerful god. Unless we rely on Occam’s Razor, or the power of ridicule, it’s hard to disprove either of these hypotheses.

    So perhaps we should just let him get on with it, and be grateful to him for giving the rest of us some quiet amusement. At present every joke is welcome.

  4. Author says:

    Max, it seems something is going on with the website. We are possibly under attack, but it is hard to tell because we are very well defended.

  5. Jesus F Iscariot says:

    Richard Dawkins addresses this in detail in _The God Delusion_. He does a lot of debates with apologists for assorted Abrahamic superstitions. He says he gets complaints about tossing out questions to them about semenless virgin births, the three-god monotheism, resurrection, Mary’s assumption and transubstantiation. He says his educated(?) theological adversaries accuse him of “being 19th century” in his focus on such trivial details. Curious response from the advocates for generally medieval beliefs.

    The website is working well in the Holy City of Toronto—the thirteenth holiest site in Christendumb.

  6. Jveeds says:

    Very clever…though, strictly speaking it’s not Jesus & Mo who believe the co-existing thing…it’s their followers and reporters.

    Website is working fine in Phoenix, which I guess is the 14th holiest site 🙂

  7. And yet the pub is called Lambasting Arms.

  8. tfkreference says:

    Reminds me of the mocking billboards that don’t mention Jesus or Christianity, yet Christians recognize that they are the target of the mockery.

  9. Laripu says:

    Ophelia, I don’t mean to be argumentative, but I thought the pub was called The Cock and Bull.

    Maybe that’s a cock and bull story.

  10. samhuff says:

    RE:Jesus Falcon Iscariot
    Not medieval beliefs rather Roman Empire beliefs from 325 council of Nicea IIRC.

  11. samhuff says:

    RE:Jesus Falcon Iscariot
    Rather Roman Empire beliefs from 325 council of Nicea IIRC.

  12. samhuff says:

    Actually the Universe was created last Thursday, by the Invisible Pink Unicorn.

  13. Troubleshooter says:

    Have to ask: just how many “stupid beliefs” DOES the barmaid subscribe to? My personal suspicion is: Not Bloody Many!

  14. MarkyWarky says:

    Site is working great here on Lindisfarne, literally THE holy island!!

    (OK so I’m not actually in Lindisfarne, but I am very close to there 🙂 )

  15. Max T Furr says:

    Re Author on possible hack attack.

    Thanks, Author. I still can’t get the cartoon to come up but I appreciate knowing that you are aware of a problem and therefore it is not my computer. Love your work!

    Re: Jesus F. and Jones, I was aware that Phonix was a province of Hell, but didn’t know the “holy city” of Toronto was as well. Thanks for the update folks.

  16. Max T Furr says:

    Re Jveeds (not jones). My spell check apparently changed it without my notice. Sorry ’bout that.

  17. Rrr says:

    Max T: To me, Phonix sounds like an imaginary hell-hole. So that could be right I guess.

  18. M27Holts says:

    Like I have said before. Religion is given far too much respect. When I have been to church due to family pressure. The buffoon in the dress should be laughed at as if he was wearing grease-paint…bleeding heart liberals are.more to blame than the religious knob-cheeses….

  19. Son of Glenner says:

    M27Holts: I don’t know about Manc-land, but here in Aberdeen, it’s quite likely that the buffoon in the dress is actually a buffooness but the dress is still a bit strange.

  20. M27Holts says:

    My wife is nominally catholic, so are two sons tho my youngest is more of an anti-theist than I am. I got a week long sex ban from her indoors, when I was at a christening at a catholic church…during a prayer bit, I got a text…”He’s not the messiah, he’s just a naughty boy” the python voice echoed round the church….I forgot to mute my phone…

  21. samhuff says:


    You got a week long sex ban inside? So you had to do the sex outside?

  22. M27Holts says:

    Her indoors is a reasonably polite term for the wife…

  23. Son of Glenner says:

    samhuff: Outdoor sex can be quite exciting, with the constant fear (or maybe even hope!) of being “caught”!

  24. M27Holts says:

    Gateway activity to dogging obviously…

  25. Laripu says:

    Dogging is another UK term, but I easily found this Wikipedia reference:

    Among other things, it says “Public sex is a popular—and quasi-legal—activity in Britain, according to the authorities and to the large number of Web sites that promote it.”

    If all parties are willing, I see nothing wrong with this activity. I can also understand why some people would find it objectionable, particularly parents. Most people don’t want their children to be shown such things.

    I imagine the term comes from the idea of having sex outdoors like dogs. Is that the case, or is there a different etymology?

    M27Holts, I imagine it wouldn’t go down well with her indoors. 🙂

  26. Alverant says:

    I’m getting blank images for everything. Is anyone else having this problem?

  27. Author says:

    Alverant – are you getting blank images instead of the comic?

  28. Son of Glenner says:

    Author: Early this evening, I had difficulty finding this week’s comic and comments. When it finally came through, it only showed the comic strip and the comments up to Ophelia Benson’s comment on 19 May. Later this evening, everything to date seemed to come up as per normal.

  29. M27Holts says:

    Laripu. Er indoors is an enigmatic puzzle box. Maybe I should have read the instriction manual better not thrown it away like most men do…

  30. Laripu says:

    M27Holts, while I understand that term, I’ve never used it. However I have completely adopted one UK term, learned from Rumpole: SWMBO.

    I learned later that it originated from the novel “She”, which I had read when I was thirteen and then completely forgot.

  31. Author says:

    Thanks for the info, SoG. There’s something off about the network. I just hope it sorts itself soon.

  32. Choirboy says:

    Laripu, the etymology is actually from the verb ‘to dog’ or to follow closely behind, as in ‘dogging his footsteps’. Twelfth Night has, ‘I will dog him like his murderer’.
    I believe the activity originated with ‘peeping Toms’ following couples surreptitiously and developed into a more participatory exercise.
    It’s a common misconception that a domestic pet is referenced and I’m not sure it would be the obvious choice of an animal which mostly copulates outdoors.
    Also the idea that taking the dog for a walk as an excuse to indulge raises all kinds of questions of practicality, there being little evidence I think of participants simultaneously controlling excitable pets while taking their pleasures.

  33. Laripu says:

    Ah Choirboy, thanks for that. I know that usage too, from blues songs. “If don’t love me baby, please don’t dog me ’round”. Also from our two dogs, who stay close to my wife every minute of the day.

    But I hadn’t remembered that Shakespeare reference at all.

  34. Mockingbird says:

    Jesus FI _ Everyone knows that London is the thirteenth holiest site in Christendumb. That’s why St Paul spent all his cash building this bloody great dome.

  35. Son of Glenner says:

    Mockingbird: Now called the O2 of course.

  36. postdoggerel says:

    I am Misanthropos, and hate mankind.
    For thy part, I do wish thou wert a dog,
    That I might love thee something.

    Timothy of Athens – Shakespeare

  37. Jarmo Haapala says:

    image doesn’t open

  38. M27Holts says:

    Everything is binary I tell ya. Two types of people in this world, those that quoteth Shakespeare and the rest of us who preger to quote anybody but the boring bard…

  39. Son of Glenner says:

    M27Holts: “… anybody but the boring bard …”

    90% of all quotes are either Shakespeare or the Bible, King James Authorised Version. I take it you prefer Bible quotes!

  40. Son of Glenner says:

    Author: The comic panels and the comments seem to be back to normal for me, but the post-submission edit function seems to have died a death.

  41. Author says:

    SoG – I switched comments-editing off when I was troubleshooting. It’s on again now.

  42. Son of Glenner says:

    Author: This is a tryal coment to see if its working.

  43. Son of Glenner says:

    It is working after a fashion, but it’s very slow and my corrected version did not get back to the comment display.

  44. Author says:

    SoG – I may just get rid of it. I know people like it, but it’s quite buggy and I think it slows down the whole site.

  45. Choirboy says:

    I always find it desperately sad to hear comments like, ‘the boring Bard…’, usually from those who were frightened by his wonders at an early age.
    Unlike others, at the age of thirteen I was captivated by the activities of Shylock, Bottom, Mark Antony, Juliet, Rosalind etc and the examination of the human condition in language of a beauty that has never been surpassed.
    What was genuinely boring were the meaningless arbitrary squiggles that my chemistry teacher filled the blackboard with that failed to engage the imagination in any way.
    The same with Hardy, Dickens, Bronte, Elliot, Buchan et al, who created worlds infinitely more engaging and insightful than barren lists of cold chemical symbols.
    I’m tempted to quote Matt. 7:6; Cast not your pearls before swine!
    “If you cannot understand my argument and declare, ‘it’s Greek to me’ you are quoting Shakespeare. If you claim to be ‘more sinned against than sinning’, you are quoting Shakespeare. If you act, ‘more in sorrow than in anger’, if your ‘wish is father to the thought’, if your lost property has, ‘vanished into thin air’ you are quoting Shakespeare. If you have ever refused to, ‘budge an inch’ or suffered from, ‘green-eyed jealousy’, if you have, ‘played fast and loose’, if you have been, ‘tongue-tied’ – ‘a tower of strength’ – ‘hoodwinked’ or ‘in a pickle’, if you have ‘knitted your brows’ – ‘made a virtue of necessity’, insisted on, ‘fair play’ – ‘slept not one wink’ – ‘stood on ceremony’ – ‘danced attendance’ on your ‘lord and master’ – ‘laughed yourself into stitches’, had ‘short shrift’ – ‘cold comfort’ or ‘too much of a good thing’, if you have ‘seen better days’ or lived ‘in a fool’s paradise’ why, ‘be that as it may’ – ‘the more fool you’ for it is a ‘forgone conclusion’ that you are ‘ as good luck would have it, quoting Shakespeare.
    If you think it is ‘early days’ and ‘clear out bag and baggage’, if you think it is ‘high time’ and that ‘that is the long and short of it’, if you believe they ‘the game is up’ and that ‘truth will out’ even if it involves ‘your own flesh and blood’, if you ‘lie low’ till ‘the crack of doom’ because you suspect ‘foul play’, if you have ‘teeth set on edge at one fell swoop’ – ‘without rhyme or reason’ then ‘to give the devil his due’ – ‘if the truth were known’ for surely you have a ‘tongue in your head’ you are quoting Shakespeare.
    Even if you ‘bid me good riddance’ and ‘send me packing’, if you wish I was ‘dead as a doornail’, if you think I am an ‘eyesore’ – a ‘laughing stock – ‘the devil incarnate’ – a stone-hearted villain’ – ‘bloody minded’ or a ‘blinking idiot’, then ‘by Jove’ – ‘O Lord’ – ‘tut, tut’ – ‘ for goodness’ sake’ – ‘what the dickens’ – ‘but me no buts’ – ‘it is all one to me’, for you are quoting Shakespeare.
    All of course taken out of the context of the wonderful plays themselves but I venture to suggest that some, if not all of that has been of as much use to most folks as e=mc2.

  46. Donn says:

    Though to be fair, it seems unlikely that Shakespeare (or whoever really wrote that stuff) was born to a language devoid of idioms and invented every one of those expressions.

  47. Choirboy says:

    Donn, no writing is created in a vacuum and it may well be that some expressions were recycled for his purposes (as were some of his plots) although many were in context and scanned and judging by the whole body of work his poetic ear suggests that much was original. As it is, his works are the only known sources of these expressions so the fact remains that in using them we are quoting him.
    Shakespeare wrote the plays and there is no good reason to believe otherwise. I can recommend ‘Contested Will’ by the American Shakespeare scholar, James Shapiro, which pretty efficiently dismantles all alternative claims.

  48. Son of Glenner says:

    Choirboy: Has it not occurred to you that it might have been the chemistry teacher that was casting pearls before swine?

    Perhaps you are one of those arts graduates who are brilliant Latin and Greek scholars but who take pride in their ignorance of science and mathematics. The English ruling classes contain many of them. And of course plenty of science graduates appreciate literature and/or music and/or paintings and sculptures. Some of them can even read Latin and Greek.

    But all due respect to the contributions literary authors have made to the development of vaccines against Covid-19, be they AstraZeneca, Pfizer or Johnson & Johnson.

  49. Choirboy says:

    Son of Glenner, I was simply responding to a series of comments belittling literature and especially Shakespeare as ‘boring’ and felt constrained to defend it.
    I don’t recall any claims by authors to have contributed to vaccinations or conversely by scientists to have developed the arts. Why should they?
    ‘Man shall not live by bread alone’ and as E M Forster’s famous call for balance in Howard’s End suggested; ‘Only connect the prose and the passion and both will be exalted’. Science (the prose) is vitally important to us all but so are the arts (the passion) and to dismiss one in favour of the other is silly.

  50. Son of Glenner says:

    Choirboy: “… to dismiss one in favour of the other is silly.”

    My point exactly! Your previous comments looked very like an attack on the sciences.

  51. Laripu says:

    Donn, when you wrote about Shakespeare “or whoever really wrote that stuff”, you reminded me of this:

    A bawd in a brothel did waken
    To find all her sex organs achin’.
    She thought ’twas Will’s doin’
    But all that rough screwin’
    Was authored by Sir Francis Bacon!

    That was from the 1967 novel and 1970 movie “Getting Straight”.

  52. Choirboy says:

    SoG, I think we agree, as any sensible person would. As I said, I was simply attempting to redress a balance which possibly gave the impression that I was leaning a bit too heavily on one side of the scale. I have to say it’s more than a novelty to have myself associated with the chinless wonders who sadly still have far to much influence in our governance.
    Laripu, more evidence of prejudice against the Bard’s ability to use his own quill for creative purposes! I reckon it’s mostly a kind of snobbishness which likes to believe that a mere commoner from the sticks could have achieved such wonders.
    The Grammar School at Stratford, it seems, provided a more than ample classical education without having the handle of ‘Sir’, although I’m reminded of the old adage; ‘Once a king always a king- once a knight is enough.’

  53. Son of Glenner says:

    At least Shakespeare is given some credit for his literary output, whether or not correctly attributed.

    As far as I know, none of the translators/authors of the “authorised version” bible got any credit for their literary contributions, and the AV does have some beautiful passages as well as an awful lot of rubbish, nonsense and bullshit. As I said before, 90% of all quotations (est!) are either Shakespeare or the AV.

    If the names any of the AV authors are known, I plead ignorance and would be glad to be enlightened.

  54. Choirboy says:

    Ironically most of it was translated by William Tyndall and the King James Version is based almost entirely on his work. It was a bit too soon for his own good and he was burnt at the stake on the instruction of Henry VIII before he decided that it might actually be ok for English folk to have access to God’s word in their own tongue.

  55. Choirboy says:

    Tyndale. No pesky edit!

  56. M27Holts says:

    As with anything subjective. As I sat stupified bored to death but hoping that I might get a glimpse of the st michaels triangle of the delicious Miss Todd-Jones (think of catherine zeta-jones much fitter sister). I was more than likely thinking. Jebus, the emperor is stark fooking naked again….

  57. M27Holts says:

    And….to compare the boring bards intellect with that of true Genius…Newton. Is preposterous. Newton’s law of gravity is the approxmation that will most likely hold true till the heat death of the known universe. Shakespeare had nothing to teach me in 1976…Terry Pratchett is a far superior wordsmith….discuss…

  58. Choirboy says:

    Why would anyone want to discuss such a ludicrous assertion, even with someone who actually had the attention span to make it through a whole play, didn’t have an ear like a zinc bath and were in an informed position to comment.
    Newton had little to teach me in 1956 and the insights into the human condition by the man widely acknowledged to be the greatest poet and dramatist ever will be relevant for as long as people exist.
    I’m reminded of the local miner making a claim for injury when the judge asked his barrister, ‘Is your client aware of the maxim, ‘res ipsa loquitur?’ to which the lawyer replied,’ My lord, they speak of little else in Barnsley,’
    I think he might have got a similar response to a question about the First Law and most folk down our street take rather more interest in questions of their own mortality and relationships than with why some random fruit falls on their head.
    Of course Newton was a genius but there are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamed of in your philosophy.

  59. M27Holts says:

    I had a similar spat with a miss beaman in 1982. The principle of the college insisted that students studying 4 science a-levels like me must do 2 hours lit with the humanities students. We were reading “sons and lovers” by D.H. Lawrence. When asked about the cherry tree scene where the main protagonist loses his virginity. I postulated that they were in fact playing speed chess…because nowhere in the description did the sentence “he pushed his penis into her vagina” occur…my hypothesis was as valid as hers. QED….

  60. M27Holts says:

    And humanities graduates, are proud to be ignorant of even simple scientific principles. To be able to quote “The quality of mercy is not strained….” and yet not know that the earth orbits the sun in 365.25 days is worn as a badge of honour and is a sad indictment of our education system….rant over…

  61. Dr John the Wipper says:


    In the Netherlands (in woke circles; and more and more in politics also) the official standing nowadays is “Scientific facts are also just an opinion”…..

  62. M27Holts says:

    Aye. Mr Wipper. And with such equivalence of my truth is “THE TRUTH” with objective proven truth…lies the essence of 21st century schizoid man’s dial Emma…

  63. Laripu says:

    M27Holts, and others, the Shakespeare/Newton debate is silly. If someone finds the work of one or the other boring, it means that they don’t have the ability to understand the details that make the topic interesting.

    Clearly many people have rational reasons for finding Shakespeare’s work or Newton’s work interesting. If you don’t, then that is evidence of an ability you lack: the ability to learn why that work ought to interest you.

    There are many varieties of intelligence. I neither have them all, nor claim to know what all of them are, but among them are: verbal, numeric, geometric, emotional, interpersonal, musical, physical. I would argue that there is also comedic intelligence.

    As an aside, I believe it was the great Canadian humorist Stephen Leacock who noticed that while many people are inordinately proud of having no ear for music, almost no-one is proud of having no sense of humor. You can read the 1916 essay in which he said that in the link below. It’s worth the time. Just make sure that when you get to the word paresis, you look it up.

  64. Choirboy says:

    Wow, I bet the girls were tittering and wetting their kecks at the nerdy scientist on the back row using naughty words in class and good old Miss Beaman (sic) agape at the erudition of her new prodigy. The fact that he couldn’t use capitals for proper nouns, spell ‘definitely’ or construct a punctuated grammatical sentence would have bothered her not a jot in the light of the the exciting new thinking.
    It’s the arrogance of the scientist wearing such nonsense as ‘the boring bard’ as a badge of honour which is really irksome. It should have been Hard Times being studied, a demonstration of the empty philosophy of, ‘facts, facts, facts ‘ in education. Mr Gradgrind lives!
    I’m quite aware of the forces of equal magnitude and opposite direction and dy/dx but they have minimal importance in my and most people’s lives, whereas the awareness that the quality of mercy blesses him that gives and him that takes is ever present.
    It’s interesting that the current dodgy lot who govern us, most of them having benefited themselves from a Liberal Classical education, plan to deplete funding for university Art courses for the plebs and I remember struggling to get a balanced curriculum for my daughters who were obliged to follow courses heavily biased to Science and Maths.
    The brain has two hemispheres and the nurturing of the creative right is as important as the logical left if we are to avoid creating even more philistines.
    Brian Cox is superior to Newton and Einstein and my hypothesis is as valid as anyone’s. QED

  65. Choirboy says:

    Laripu, absolutely; both men were geniuses in their own sphere and to dismiss one or the other because of a difficulty or unwillingness to engage is daft.
    Yes, there are many types of intelligence and to urge one as superior to all others is also daft.

  66. jb says:

    I like classical music. But while the music of Beethoven, Bach, Vivaldi, and many others can entrance me, for some reason most Mozart strikes me as nothing more than pleasant elevator music. No idea why.

    But I certainly wouldn’t use this to argue that Mozart was a lesser talent in some absolute sense, and that all those who see him as a transcendent genius are wrong and I am right. The thing is, in fields like music or literature, the impact you have on people is the whole point. If you can move large numbers of people to the point where they are convinced you are a transcendent genius, then you are a transcendent genius! No further validation is required.

    Science is different. Whatever people think of you, in the end your flying machine has got to actually fly.

  67. Son of Glenner says:

    Choirboy: “… Brian Cox is superior to Newton and Einstein …”

    Which Brian Cox?

    Scientist or actor?

  68. P Niemi says:

    My problem: I see all the other comics in this site normally, but this one is just blank image with text “lambasted”. I’ve tried about 7 days to see this one, but there is no way I can do it. Computers, telephones, different browsers, all th same. (I’m in Finland by the way.)

  69. Author says:

    Sorry about that P Niemi. I’ve messed about a bit under the bonnet – can you see it now?

  70. Choirboy says:

    SoG, good question. I meant scientist but either will serve the purpose.

  71. M27Holts says:

    Choirboy. Ad hominem attacks? Whatever….

  72. Son of Glenner says:

    Ah-ha! M27Holts knows Latin! (Or is it Greek?)

  73. Choirboy says:

    It’s Latin. An example of it might be to accuse someone of being, ‘proud to be ignorant’ in the absence of any real evidence.

  74. postdoggerel says:

    Dulling my lines, doing me disgrace,
    Is it not sinful, striving to mend
    That which before was well;
    For to no other pass my verses tend.


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