Purveyor of Bollocks to the Crowned Heads of Europe
Monday, 6 April 2015
40 year-old white-goods
The real Brent Knoll. A prime example of Christianity putting it's foot on the dragon's neck as it has been since St George.
There was an atheist (actually, she described herself as a 'humanist') talking on the radio the other day, and she said that although she thought that all societies should be run by secular governments, there was the possibility of religion having a moderating effect on the less attractive traits of human behaviour. So far it's just a possibility, but overtly atheist regimes seem to be even worse than ones which use religion to set the moral standards.
Our Kuwaiti friend is in town now, and H.I. asked her what the rest of the Muslim world though about I.S. She said that when they weren't in fear of their lives, they were acutely embarrassed by I.S. and that - say it again - true Islam is probably even more tolerant than fundamental Christianity.
It is 1436 in the Islamic calendar right now. When it was 1436 AD here, we were doing pretty much everything that Saudi Arabia is doing now, and we had the blessing of the Church.
When our friend comes to England - she comes about once every couple of years - she brings gifts for absolutely everyone that she is expecting to see, and she sees a lot of people. Not just one gift per person, but literally dozens of gifts for everyone. She once hired a shipping container to take home gifts for all her friends back home, and filled it with all the sweets that everyone with teeth here would never dream to eat - Curly-Wurleys, Wiggley-Worms, etc. I'm not exaggerating.
Let me list the gifts she gave us last night:
About four pounds of assorted sweets made from gelatine, nuts and rosewater.
The same quantity of assorted nuts.
A miniature plastic laundry-basket.
A shiny lidded metal pot with no particular purpose.
A replica of a Portuguese ceramic bowl with a label saying, 'Genuine Melamine'.
A ceramic ashtray of the sort used by Portuguese cafes.
A Chinese plastic raincoat.
Some very sweet incense sticks.
An elaborate silver keyring with glass bead tassel and a blue 'Evil Eye' set in its centre.
A lurid, plastic net bag with Sun and Moon motifs in gold.
I think that's it. The miniature plastic laundry basket is about five inches in diameter. I am pretty sure that she goes for quantity over quality.
We have to remind ourselves that it was only about three generations ago that her family were Bedouin who carried all their possessions with them from place to place, and now the things that we in the West think of as wonderful - hand-knotted carpets, etc. - are thought of as old-fashioned when compared to all the white-goods and chintz which are on offer in all the air-conditioned super-malls with fountains in the courtyards where there was once desert.
This little glimpse into the psyche of just one Arab nation is as nothing when trying to understand the tribal and religious nuances which have caused the uprising of groups like I.S. or Al Qaida. We really don't stand a chance when it comes to imposing Western foreign policy on immensely wealthy, Middle Eastern kingdoms.
About 40 years ago, she bought us a refrigerator as a little present, because she noticed that H.I. didn't own one. We are still using it. Now who's behind the times?