Posts

Falling in love again

The announcement of Jodie Whittaker as the new Doctor Who has flooded social media with rivers of bile, both from those who loathe the idea with every ounce of their being and equally those who love it but despise those who are even slightly equivocal on the subject. As so often, some people make a great show of tolerating everyone - except those who hold a different opinion.
I have seen a lot of rather sneering claims that large swathes of science fiction fans are lost in a world of fantasy and emotionally inadequate because of it (or vice versa, depending on whether a given pontificator thinks the chicken came first or the egg). Observing these shenanigans, I have been reminded that many readers openly wept when they read the death of Little Nell when Dickens' serial hit the stands in 1841. When one business tycoon read A Christmas Carol two years later, he was so stung by his own similarity to Scrooge that he immediately gave his wage slaves the rest of the day off. People famo…

Journey of a thousand miles

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Tomorrow night I have been asked to give a talk on Kemeticism (Egyptian paganism) at the Lowestoft Moot - which takes so long to get to on the train it might well feel like a journey of a thousand miles. However, the title of this post refers to a story about how the goddess Aset (Isis) began her long expedition across Egypt to flee from the vengeance of her brother Setekh. The opening part of the story - I suspect there were probably many sections to the saga at one point in time, but much of them have been lost, or at least remain untranslated from their hieroglyphic status - details how she acquired her seven golden scorpions.

If you are in Lowesoft tomorrow, come along to the Telecom Social Club, Clapham Road South, Lowestoft NR32 1QR between 7pm and 9pm.


Time to study?

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A couple of recordings to make potential students aware of the degrees which I lead at the University of Suffolk. If you know of any possible Religious Studies and/or Ethics students, do share the link - or get them to contact me via robin.herne@wsc.ac.uk

ETHICS



RELIGIOUS STUDIES







Speaks for Wolf

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Should have posted here earlier, but work has been manic.... On Saturday 17th June, 7.30pm at the Ipswich Oddfellows hall on the High Street I will be telling myths and legends involving wolves as a means of fundraising for the UK Wolf Trust (which looks after a number of wolves in their sanctuary and does a lot of educational and environmental work as well).

Turn up, bring alcohol if you want it (I will provide tea/coffee) and make a donation to the charity tin. Stories are drawn from various cultures and sources - Roman, Irish, Greek, and assorted others.

Driftwood

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I wrote this poem some years ago, and it appeared in the Moon Books anthology (published in 2014). It was inspired by the Greek myths of the sea deities Poseidon, Nerites (who was transformed into a sea snail), and Proteus the seal herder - a lovely idea, of a god looking after seals and steering them through the oceans.
I'm recording this because 2017 is the anniversary of the decriminalisation of gay sex in the UK and so this year is being marked with various events, films etc. Also recording this because I'm sick to death of the General Election, but also more than a bit perturbed by the sudden elevation of the very hard line anti-LGBT Irish political group, the DUP, to the position of "king makers". So, this poem is my attempt to focus on a more positive view of such issues.


London Pride

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Watching the unfurling horrors in Manchester and London, I am as bewildered as anyone else by the level of hatred and malevolence on display. I was born in London and still have family and friends there, so yesterday's incident is particularly close to the bone.

London is a city rich in mythology and legend (I'm sure Manchester is too, but I know very little about its stories) and the incident brought to mind both a favourite song - I am an admirer of the Golden Age of music from the 20s, 30s and 40s, including the Noel Coward number below, which I heard delivered to great effect by Kitt Hesketh-Harvey and Dillie Keane some years back. The song in turn brought to mind a semi-prophetic folk story from London's wide raging traditions. My spin on the story is included below - I hope it does not feel "too soon" to tell it.


Omnomnom

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A revolting little story, of which there are several variations in different regions of Italy. Not recommended as an aperitif, nor for those of an anti-capitalist disposition (though you could chose to see it as an indictment of the degree to which the rich will not be parted from what is theirs, no matter what).