Humbug day approaches.

I notice sales of books have risen slightly. Electronic rather than paper, but there is a hell of a price difference so that’s not really surprising. Still a long way from retiring on the proceeds but they’re moving in the right direction. I hope all those shiny new Kindles will log on and buy my books on Christmas Day. I’m also on the Apple ibooks thing, Sony and other places too. I’m not having a January sale.

Apparently the January Sales now start on Christmas Eve.

Sales traditionally start on Boxing Day but retailers are now using every trick in the book to steal a march on their rivals, both in the High Street and on the web.

Well, traditionally, the January sales started in January. Nothing was open on Christmas Day or Boxing Day. Apart from a brief opening of pubs. Local Shop is closed for both days, unlike Tesco which closes for, I think, 24 hours. Their cleaners must have a hell of a time. One day a year to clean it all.

There are people panic-buying as if the shops are closing for a month. Some will be open on Boxing Day. All will be open the day after. Shopping will be fully available long before most people run out of turkey. I’m avoiding shops – except I plan to try for a haircut tomorrow if the barber is open. She tends to take the traditional ‘sod this, I’m off’ approach to the High Street frenzy. I hear there are male barbers but why would I go there?

There is much wailing and gnashing of teeth because Amazon will be available on Christmas Day. Why Amazon? All the online retailers will be available on the day. None can post anything on that day. I don’t intend to go online shopping on Christmas Day and it has nothing to do with any kind of moral judgement. It has more to do with a certain bottle-shaped present which feels like the distinctive open-sided box of the Penderyn.

Former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Carey said: ‘Christmas Day is a time to be together with the family, to focus on the children and to have a great time together.

Does he believe that families spend the rest of the year in sullen silence? Some probably do.

‘This day is precious. We are now in danger of the gadgets taking over our lives and we are not in control of them.’

It’s not precious to me. I’ve worked on Christmas day in the past. Not being Christian or Pagan, the festival part of it is irrelevant. The Christmas decorations aren’t Christian either, nor are the presents, the mass genocide of turkeys, mince pies, Christmas pud, brandy butter… none of it is Christian. Even the day is a Pagan sun-worship festival that the early Christians tried to overwrite. I seem to recall that someone worked out when Christ would have been born, based on historical events around that time. I think it came out as around July.

Some people get really upset when you point that out. I’ve had another one-star review on ‘A Christmas Contract‘ that had me rolling with laughter.

This is a terrible book. Does not promote the Christmas spirit.

None of my Christmas stories promote any kind of Christmas spirit. They are labelled ‘horror’ so expecting a jolly happy ending is a bit on the silly side. They are all pure fiction and labelled as such. I think this one might have touched a couple of raw nerves though. I wonder if the Daily Mail will write a shock-horror-terrible-man story about it? Maybe there aren’t enough offended readers yet. I’ll leave it free until after Christmas because the members of Offended Anonymous only complain about the free ones. They’re too cheap to buy any.

Food is already well stocked so there’s no need to go anywhere near a supermarket until January, and then only to check for whisky bargains.  I’ll definitely have Christmas pud on the day because I like it, and will stock up after Christmas so I can have some the rest of the year too. Turkey always seems dry, tough and stringy so I’m considering whether to go with beef or pork instead. Sprouts are right out. You either love them or hate them. I hate them. I also don’t see the point in wrapping little sausages in bits of bacon. Keep that bacon intact and have a bacon sandwich later.

Tomorrow I work the afternoon until 6 pm. Everything will be closed by then and a blessed silence will fall. The tills will no longer ring, crossing the shop will no longer be like taking a short cut across the Dodgems, and all those furious-faced people intent on clearing the shelves of everything before the Day of Nothing to Buy will be gone. It seems that Christmas cheer has an ‘off’ switch that is triggered when the shop door opens. I wouldn’t be surprised to see one or two of those furious middle-aged women turn into the Hulk if we run out of sprouts or pre-bacon-wrapped mini-sausages.

Since Local Shop only does food, a limited range of booze and a few other extremity things like socks and gloves, we won’t have a January sale to worry about. We’re not likely to sell a lot of booze for New Year because Tesco is nearby and they’ll undercut anyone. So tomorrow should see the end of the madness for us. It’s likely to be fairly busy next week but nothing like the last few days before Christmas.

After that, it’ll probably feel like a holiday. I can then add to my CV that I have experience of retail work over the Christmas period, and with a couple more months of experience will be able to look at upgrading to a better-paid version of the same thing so I can do fewer hours for the same income. What? You thought there was no devious plan involved in taking the lowest-paid job in the area? They are a training ground, they will always only employ the totally inexperienced because once we get experience, we’ll all upgrade. That they don’t see it is to be admired: if they paid the same rate as the other shops, they’d be able to demand experience and I’d never have got in.

The others? Two have very young children and working husbands. When their kids reach school age they won’t work these hours. They don’t really need the job, it’s something to get out of the house, feel a little freedom and earn a bit extra. The other is young, on her first proper job and will probably move on before I do. As for me, I’m just looking to cover the bills. This job does it, a better paid one would do it while taking up less writing time.

It’s going to take me a very long time to build up the writing income to the point where I could live on it. Like the self-employment, it will never be reliable either. Books can go in and out of fashion in the blink of an eye. Therefore my career plan is not to move up the rankings and end up as a manager (most of whom still have no idea who they have employed!) but to move up the janitorial pay scale by working fewer hours to get the same income. Cover the bills, leave a booze and baccy fund, and no more. I don’t want to help this Government waste money and as long as there is a non-negotiable smoking ban, they will get no more than the basics from me.

Copies of ‘Samuel’s Girl’ arrived too late for Christmas but I now have some. I had 30, I have already sold 14 signed copies and I have to send some to the company who kindly sent me 12 bottles of red wine again this year. It’s bigger than ‘Jessica’s Trap’ but the book is wider and taller, not too much thicker, so it should still get through as ‘large letter’ unless I overload the packaging. I can sell signed copies at below Amazon’s price – £12 including postage – but I can’t get them to anyone in time for Christmas unless they live next door. Bugger! Plastic Man next door cannot possibly get through a 90,000 word book with no pictures. Boozy Man on the other side warrants a free one since I drank almost all of his Monkey Shoulder at his last party.

Maybe one of these books will be picked for World Book Night one day. Since the current publisher concentrates on eBooks so the print versions are costly, that might never happen. I have logged myself as a volunteer to give away books. Don’t know if I’m in yet. I went for a graphic novel because I  haven’t seen one before – well, apart from all those MAD magazine books I bought in the seventies and ‘Fat Freddy’s Cat’ which surely everyone has read. They weren’t proper graphic novels, just a collection of graphic stories in one book. The MAD cartoonist Don Martin’s ‘Captain Klutz’ and his story ‘The Hardest Head in the World’ in ‘Fester and Karbunkle’ were probably the closest I’ve read.

I have rambled enough. So online shops will be available on Christmas Day. They are available every day for 24 hours. It does not mean anyone is actually there. None of the orders can be sent out until the day after Boxing Day at the earliest so nobody needs to be in Amazon’s warehouses on Much Food And Too Much Booze day. It is not, and never has been, a Christian festival. In fact Scrooge was right.

It’s all humbug.

 

An appeal.

I am appealing. Not very, I know.

Here it is. A roll-up made by me is about 6 mm thick (I just measured one). Readymades are bigger but I doubt they are over 1 cm thick. So let’s take 1 cm as a maximum.

For 1/24 scale I’d need 0.4/0.5 mm fibre optic to make scale cigarettes. The smallest I have is 1 mm, which looks reasonable but is really more of a Savile cigar than a Benson’s.

For 1/72 I’d need 0.1 mm. Does that even exist?

For N gauge (I’m not going to try, I refuse) I would need 0.06mm fibre optic, which I probably can’t even see. Someone else can try that.

So, does anyone know where I can get 0.5 mm and smaller fibre optic, and can it be bought at a price I’m likely to afford as Dr. Janitor?

Incidentally, I found out today that one of the stockroom workers has a degree in biochemistry so conversations on the death of science are ongoing. Like me, he went into science thinking it was about chasing knowledge, and found it was actually about chasing money. The religions threw the money-changers out of their temple. Science seems to have welcomed them in.

I don’t think there can be a science Messiah so the whole lot of it is going to die of this spreading rot. Shame. It was once a very good career.

 

The Dancers at the End of Time.

There is a lot of hoo-ha about the Mayan ‘long count’ calendar ending in December. It’s supposed to mean the Earth will turn upside-down and all the Australians will have to buy umbrellas and bowler hats while the Brits have barbies on the beach or some such thing. End of the world, perhaps, and good riddance to it.

Actually, the nearest real translation suggests that what the Mayans had planned was the mother and father of all New Year parties. Oh, there would be oblivion all right, and many sore heads in the morning, but like all calendars, theirs would just start again once they’d sobered up.

In Hindu philosophy, we now live in the era called Kali Yuga. Western sandal-clad beardies think this is really, really cool and nice but if you look at an image of Kali, you might notice something. She is standing on a corpse. She has weapons and a severed head in her hands and a necklace made of heads. Her followers used to be called ‘Thuggi’ and it’s no coincidence that the modern term ‘Thug’ is so similar. Kali is very dangerous indeed.

I enjoy discussing the end of the world with the Jehovah’s Witnesses when they call. They regard the United Nations as the many-headed beast of Revelations, you know, and I can definitely see their point. There is also the matter of the discord predicted by Timothy, which is uncanny in its reflection of what is left of society.

I’m not going all religious on you, the point here is a little less direct. The current world is almost universally crap and everyone would like it to be better. It’s no surprise that people look to these ancient texts to seek some hope that the world will improve, all on its own, and that they won’t have to fight for it. We’ve had two World Wars and although not many people have seen both of them (and people my age and older saw neither) we really don’t want another one. Wouldn’t it be great if there was some supernatural agency ready to say ‘It’s okay, it’s all over now, I made the bad things go away’? This will not happen, even if you are religious.

I’m not going to say all religion is nonsense because I don’t know for sure and don’t really care. Can they all be right? There is actually a scenario in which they could be, which I’ll write up one day, but it’s a scenario none of them will like. The various religions do have a lot of things in common though, beyond the usual ‘have a miserable life here and you’ll have a better one when you die, oh and suicide is cheating’. Many of the things they predicted for this world match up between texts, and even if you do have to employ a little bit of vague interpretation here and there, many have come to pass.

I ignore Nostradamus’ drug-fuelled ramblings because I cannot make head nor tail of a single one of his bizarre outbursts.

At the moment, Israel, the people who started the three most popular religions (yes, that one too, Mohammed studied with Jewish priests, remember, and most of the religion stems from Abraham and Moses) are shouting about bombing Iran. When you look at Iran’s leadership, and note that they have, as a country, declared war not on another country but on a couple of people who live there, it is clear that poking Iran is like throwing gravel at a psycho. The response will be out of all proportion to the abuse, and the response is guaranteed.

In fact, the psycho could well retaliate if he thinks you’re about to throw gravel. He might not wait until you do.

The Iranian people don’t want war. The Israeli people don’t want it. No people of any country ever do. However, as one of Hitler’s cohorts (or maybe the Chaplin impersonator himself) once said, it is a simple matter to take people along with you into war. All you need is the threat of invasion, real or imagined. Almost every government in the world has been hyping up the threat of invasion of one sort or another and this world is now a powder-keg rolling towards a bonfire.

Incidentally, why did 1930s Germany vote in a Chaplin impersonator? Was it because they felt he might cheer them up a bit? He didn’t. Perhaps if Nick Griffin fiddled with his tie and said ‘This is another fine mess you’ve gotten me into,’ he might get more votes. The moustache would be the same…

So we have the Persian Gulf filling up with warships, openly practising what they’ll do when Iran kicks off. Not if, when. That practice session alone will certainly enrage the evidently unhinged leaders in Iran and Israel’s threats just need to be carried out. They don’t need to be carried out by Israel. If it happens, Israel will get the blame. Every other country on both sides of this fight knows that.

Most Iranians will neither know nor care about those ships. Those that do will only know what their State tells them, like the rest of us. Whichever country you live in, one thing is constant. The State tells you what it wants you to believe.

There is still this matter of the End of the World, or of ushering in a Golden Age or a New World Order. It all sounds the same to me. There are people in positions of power who actually believe it can be done – not by God, but by man. Well, not by the likes of you and me, of course. No, this will be done to us, not for us, by idiots who think they are intelligent because they have money.

It might be that those ancient religious texts have caused their own prophecies to be fulfilled, through the creation of a situation where those who believe have risen to power, since those who don’t believe have always been sidelined.  It doesn’t matter which flavour of religion they follow, all of them have a New World Order at the end of the book.

Except one. Those who follow the Satanic ways must surely know that in every religious book out there, the devil gets his arse kicked in the end. Many people claim the world is run by Satanists and maybe it is, I don’t know. As I’ve said before, it doesn’t matter whether any of the supernatural stuff is real. What matters is when someone in a position of power believes it is.

Aleister Crowley (I read his stuff too, in the interests of equality) came out with the line ‘Do what thou Wilt shall be the Whole of the Law’. This is often wrongly considered to mean ‘Do whatever you like and hang the consequences’. It doesn’t, because he intended it to apply to everyone. It was a Libertarian idea, not a libertine one. He meant that if you want to do something, do it. Don’t sit on your arse talking about it, get up and make it happen. He also made clear that doing things that harm others can have consequences.

Gerald Gardner, the inventor of modern Paganism, modified this to ‘An it harm none, do what you will’, which is a clearer Libertarian statement. Pagans are not Satanists, there is an entirely different set of beliefs involved and far less blood. Crowley couldn’t really be considered a Satanist since he believed he was the Beast 666, and therefore it would have been silly to worship himself. He wasn’t the Beast, as it turned out, since he’s dead and the world hasn’t ended yet.

Satanists have backed the underdog in the religion game. They support the guy whose kingdom is going to get battered and perhaps they believe they can forestall that predicted end somehow.

The point, if there is one, is that all these New World Order change-predictors want different outcomes. There is no concensus on what the Golden Age would be like. For me, it would involve pubs with no juke boxes serving free booze and with an ashtray on every table to tap your no-tax cigarettes into. For others, it would have no pubs, booze or tobacco at all. For them that is Heaven, for me it is Hell. And vice versa.

There can never be a Golden Age for the simple reason that no proposed scenario would please everyone. The new religion of the Green God wants us all back in Mediaeval mud huts, scooping up cow dung and drying it for the fire, while windmills swirl above us mincing birds and providing just enough power to keep the hall light on in the Green Lord’s mansion.

How many people want that particular Golden Age? How many want one with no cars, a return to the days when travelling from the mid-UK to France took a couple of weeks? How many want to go back even to my youth, with a small screen black and white TV that was on for a few hours a day, no such thing as VCR, when CDs were the stuff of ‘Tomorrow’s World’ and computers with less power than calculators occupied entire buildings, twin tub washing machines, cooking ranges built into to the fireplace, and still in many houses (fortunately not ours) outside toilets and a tin bath in front of the living room fire? Hardly anyone had a phone in the house and mobile phones were baked bean cans joined with string.

How many want a Golden Age of free electricity and no wars and doctors who actually treat the problem rather than blaming it on lifestyle? That one isn’t on offer. There is no profit in free power and if nobody is buying bullets or paying into crazy ‘health’ schemes, several party sponsors go bust.

There is a fuse burning low these days, and it looks like it’s going to reach its explosive charge in the Middle East. If not Iran, then maybe Syria will blow. Iraq and Afghanistan are unstable. Many governments in that region are even more deranged than the British one. Our interventions there have not poured oil on troubled waters, they have poured petrol on a fire. Nobody in government has noticed that all of those lost lives, all of that fighting has made things far, far worse for the real people while enriching those at the top. They don’t care. Well, they don’t care about their own people, why would we expect them to care about someone else’s?

Something will happen before the end of the year. The sandalled beards will say it vindicates the prophesies and maybe it will, but it will be like cheering when the car hits the blind man crossing the road. The fulfilment of those old books will not be something to celebrate. Iran does not have the firepower to nuke the West, but they have allies who do. Will the West nuke Iran? When Iran gets under way, it might turn out to be the only way to stop them. And then…

It will not be the end of time, because time began when the universe began and ends when it ends, and the universe doesn’t need us. It will not be the end of this planet, it will continue to roll around its orbit whether we are on it or not. Maybe in a few hundred years, some alien explorers will conclude that there could never have been life here because the whole planet is far too radioactive. So much for the conservationists who want to protect an obscure Amazonian spider.

Everyone is piddling about with trivia. The biggest worry among teenagers in the UK is that they might have an embarrassing photo on Farcebook. At government level, Deputy Dawg Clegg is going on and on about gay marriage as if anyone (including most gay people) give so much as one fleck on the bowl after a vindaloo. Meanwhile the world is burning and nobody is trying to douse the flames, some are fanning them for money and some of us are getting a light and watching the fireworks.

It’s not going to be fixed because nobody is trying to fix it. Those prophecies are going to be self-fulfilling. For the sake of profit, this world is done for and what comes after it will probably glow in the dark. The Golden Age is going to be a dull red ember.

(In an earlier life, I would have gone around town with those ‘The End is Nigh’ sandwich boards on)

What can we do? Nothing. The machine rolls on unheeding and it’s not listening to our warnings. The best course is to enjoy life and watch the madness unfold. Easy for me to say, I know, I won’t have to live through much more of it but I have no advice for the young other than the old religious saying ‘God helps those who help themselves’. Religion was never socialist. It used to help the poor through charity, not taxation, which is why the socialists hate it so much. It also once had the message – if you want it, get off the couch and make it happen. There is no easy way out. God isn’t going to do it all for you.

This world is not for the likes of me. I’ve had half a century of fun and it’s time for younger people to have theirs. There are many Righteous people putting a stop to that fun becasue it’s dangerous now. Well I managed to get through it unscathed as did most of my contemporaries and it was, really, bloody good fun. Still is, although I can’t enjoy it as intensely these days. I’m just glad I had the fun in my youth when I could properly appreciate, if not clearly remember most of it.

So really, there is nothing we older and allegedly wiser ones can do. It’s up to the young and energetic to change the world. They and their children are the ones who will have to live in it, if there is anything left. They can live in the grey Righteous world or they can live in their own construction. They can have a good time or they can watch the bombs go off and dance at the end of time. It is not up to me. It’s up to them.

All I can offer is words and when I was young, I wouldn’t have listened to me either.

(Did anyone get the title reference? It’s the title of a SF writer’s trilogy from a good few years back).

Sociopaths aren’t sociable.

Gosh. Who knew, eh? German taxpayers do now. They paid for it.

Apparently, the New Suspicion falls upon those who don’t have a Farcebook account. If you don’t use Farcebook, you must be unsociable and therefore… a witch sociopath!

Employers won’t employ you unless you hand them the means to keep an eye on you, and girls won’t go out with you unless they can verify your name and date of birth on your Farcebook account.

Emily: I’m fine with people not having a Facebook page if they don’t want one. However, I think you’re right. If you’re of a certain age and you meet someone who you are about to go to bed with, and that person doesn’t have a Facebook page, you may be getting a false name. It could be some kind of red flag.

I have one. It does not have my real name, and I make a point of not using my real date of birth online unless it’s essential. This puts me in the rather awkward situation of having to convince some employer or nubile wench that my passport is not faked because it has a different name on it. What the hell, let them call me anything they want.

All those cases of rapists, murderers and paedos who tracked their victims through Farcebook – how many of them used their real names? Not many, I’ll wager. Yet ‘computer says’ is so ingrained in the drones now that if the computer says your name is Phlegmsucker Titsqueeze, then you must be legitimate because it’s there on the screen.

Utter trust in what the computer tells you. Dismissal of what real people say if it conflicts with what Computer Says. Willingness – in fact peer pressure – to open your privacy to anyone who wants to pry into your Farcebook page.

We are now one step from “Why have you covered the camera on your laptop? What have you to hide?” And then, we have arrived at Panoptica. The built-into-spectacles computers I envisaged already exist.

Anyway, I decided to shelve Panoptica for now because of real-work with pay, and because I am building some pages behind the scenes here. I will reveal them when they are done, and say “Oh, those? Knocked them out in ten minutes”.

I also have one of those summer colds which has melted my face and makes my voice sound like a bulldog on 40 a day and a gravel-gargling addiction. These don’t usually last too long but if this one does, I’m going to need a quieter keyboard.

Words

Angry Ranting Man has ranted about the lunacy of the Olympics (oops, I’m not allowed to call them that. I’ll refer to them as the Corporate Idiot Bastards instead).

Longrider points out the stupidity of censoring certain words like Au, Ag, copper-tin-zinc-amalgam, that big place on the Thames, the number between 2011 and 2013, and more. I will be taking the utter piss out of all of those bans for the foreseeable future, including the ban on linked rings of any number between 4 and 6.

When did corporations decide they could write laws on the fly and empower pseudoplods to collect fines? Oh, some time ago actually. Parliament has been as effective as an ashtray on a motorbike for at least a couple of decades now. The just do what they are told. This new lot have, collectively,  less spine than a jellyfish.

Ah, those commenters are funny though. “When did we start banning words? When did we start deciding what we can and cannot say?” Someone, I fear, has not been paying attention. Banning words has been happening for a  long time, did you not think it would ever be extended? Do you still believe the slippery slope is a myth?

The laugh of the day is MacDonalds. They claim to have invented chips and have banned everyone British from selling chips because chips are the invention of the MacD.

Fuck you with a greasy chip, as they often say in Glasgae. But then, there is amusement coming.

Maccy D has paid pots of money to be the Sole Chipper for the Corporate Idiot Bastards Sports Day and to be hailed as the American inventor of chips.

Ah, but Corporate Idiot Bastards are not the only ones gibbering in the leprous ear of government. The Puritans are gibbering too, and one of the things they gibber of is fat.

Another is meat.

Oh dear, imaginary chip inventors. You are soon to be hit with the plain packaging and hideous warning label of the Tobacco Template. Think I’m exaggerating? Okay, think that if you like, that’s fine with me, I don’t care at all.

When it happens, you will turn to the people and say ‘Hey, this isn’t fair’. You’ll be right.

But the people will remember how you stopped them buying sausage and chips, egg bacon and chips, black pudding fried bread and chips, spam spam spam baked beans spam spam sausage spam egg spam spam and chips, and they will whisper ‘Yes, you bastard. Yes it is’.

Oily mimpic sponsors, you have all your guns at your own heads. I would encourage you all to pull those triggers but I see you already have.

As for me, I will never buy anything from an Olympic-sponsoring company ever again. It won’t be hard, none of them sell anything essential or even unique.

Oh, and every one of them supports this.

Think of that when you see the Au round badges on ribbons handed out at that place on the Thames in the year between 2011 and 2013 under a logo consisting of not four, not six, but any number in between of linked figures constructed through the mathematical extrapolation of pi.

Sport? This twatfest now has as much to do with sport as the BMA has to do with health. It is all about profit and control.

And still some people think it’s worth paying for.

God is irrelevant.

This is not an attack on religion. Nor is it an attack on atheism. I don’t care what you believe in or what you not-believe in. I am an apathist. Believe or not-believe as fervently as you want, have all the ceremonies and not-ceremonies that you wish, indulge in all the gatherings and sort-of-not-really-gatherings that your heart desires. I don’t care.

Are we clear? There might or might not be a God or even Gods. I am not interested in proving or disproving the matter. I am not concerned by other people’s beliefs in or out of God, I really don’t care at all. Therefore I am not interested in deriding, sneering at, putting down or arguing with either side of the issue because I have no idea which side is right and have no real interest in finding out.

Besides, if I really wanted to put the cat among the pigeons (if I had pigeons, they would have reason to hate me often), I could suggest that maybe Heaven and Hell are only real for those who believe in them and everyone else just dies. But that sort of deliberately inflammatory rhetoric is for another time and place, in the real world, when I can watch the whole spectacle unfold. No cats among pigeons here. Well, perhaps just a kitten in the sparrows.

Atheists say that religion kills people and point to the Crusades, the Ottoman Empire etc. to prove their point. The religious say that atheism kills people and point to Stalin, Pol Pot etc. to prove their point. Who is right? Both and neither. Religion does not kill people. Atheism does not kill people. Guns do not kill people. Pointed sticks do not kill people.

People kill people. In huge numbers, all the time. Religion, communism, all these things are excuses. People kill people and we say ‘they did it because of some outside influence’. Bollocks.

They did it because they are/were utter gits. There is no excuse.

There is an entire rant-filled book in this subject area but I have so many things to finish already. Could I keep the rage going for a 60-90,000 word book? Oh yes, I could, but that will have to wait until I have rebuilt the bank-account buffer and finished the current projects. That book could well prove exhausting to read.

So, what is tonight’s babbling all about then? Religion? No, not really, but yeah, but no, but…

It’s more about the dismissal of religion as an irrelevance and here we are going into a spiral of argument that might make you sicker than a five-dimensional rollercoaster.

Religion matters and it does not. It is Schroedinger’s God.  If you are religious then it matters utterly to you. If you are apathist it matters not at all. If you are a Dawkinite atheist then it matters utterly to you that it shouldn’t matter to anyone else.

None of what any of us believe actually matters. What matters is what those in charge believe.

We all scoff at the Satanists. We laugh at the idea that ‘someone who comes willingly to the place is a given sacrifice’. Sure, Satan might be bunk, but if you happen to be at that place at that time, they will kill you just the same.

So it is with those who think they are entitled to rule us all. They believe things. Whether those things are real or not is of no consequence to the rest of us. They believe in those things and they will work to bring about their Messiah or Antichrist or Skreebak the Venusian or Bob the Builder or whoever they think is coming. Is any of it real? Doesn’t matter, they are going to try anyway.

There are those who rail at the beliefs of Christians or Muslims or Jains or Buddhists or Atheists and sure, all of those groups have stated they want everyone to believe as they do. But they are not in power.

The ones to worry about are those who have power and who don’t want converts. They want sacrifices. They don’t care what we believe, we are just the calves and the lambs to be offered up.

You can, if you wish, shout ‘mumbo-jumbo’ and claim it’s all a load of nonsense. Maybe it is or maybe it isn’t but that is of no practical relevance.

Those running the show believe it is real, They follow the owl-head of Andras even if no such demon ever existed and they will do what they imagine is his bidding even if he is nothing more than a product of the fevered imagination of some thirteenth-century grimoire writer.

It is not about what is real any more. Truth be told, it has not been about reality for quite some years now. So there is no point shouting about ‘Oh it isn’t real’. You idiot, it was never meant to be real. It was only ever meant to be convincing.

And oh, imagination can be so very convincing.

Everyone is shouting about Christians and Muslims, there are tales of what those naughty Buddhists are up to, story after story of the mad things done by the warrior Sikhs which are as nothing compared to the idiot activities of certain modern ‘Jackass’ movies, and nothing is said against those who worship the darker side of religious orthodoxy.

I don’t believe in any form of Satanic stuff, but those in charge do.

Do not simply dismiss it as nonsense. Maybe it is all nonsense but those who believe in it plan to sacrifice you anyway. Whether it turns out to be real or rubbish, you’ll be just as dead.

Their best hope of winning is if you just shrug and say ‘Hokum’ and don’t bother looking into the subject because you think it’s all silly.

You might be right but… know what your enemy is thinking. Their thoughts might well be the stuff of madness but remember, they have the power to make that madness real.

All they need is for you to dismiss it as silly.