This is me, Eccles

This is me, Eccles
This is me, Eccles

Saturday, 7 November 2015

Letters to the Catholic Herald

SIR,

I was horrified by the rude and offensive article from Damian Thompson, entitled "Can Bad Catholic Music be stopped?" I have always regarded Damian as a very meek and mild writer, without a harsh word to say about anyone; hence, this sudden meltdown came as a shock to me, and, may I add, to my fellow-members of the Royal Association of Bad Catholic Musicians. In particular it caused distress to Bernadette Farrell (lovely lady, she rehearses all her hymns with the aid of a kazoo before releasing them to a delighted public), and of course The Master of the Queen's Bad Music, Sir Paul Inwood C.H. C.H.

kazoo

Rehearsing a new hymn "Lord, aren't we jolly super, pip-pip".

Damian Thompson's views have obviously been formed by too much listening to classical music (he mentions Haydn, Parry and Vaughan Williams, which are names totally unknown to me and my fellow bad composers). Damian doesn't appreciate that the youth of today want religious services in which the music is produced by guitars - electric, of course - the hymns are all about what a wonderful time we're having, and there is the opportunity to do the kiss and cuddle of peace after a spell of liturgical dancing and a sermon about how God likes football.

Get lost, Damo!
Yours in The Light of the Lord,
Doris Muzak (Ms)

Bad Catholic Music cartoon

Damian Thompson and Paul Inwood do a "gig" together.

SIR,

I'm puzzled that an eminent Catholic historian, Tim Stanley, doesn't seem to understand the role of historical drama. In his review of Downton Abbey, he complains about the historical accuracy of some of the scenes. For example, he thought that the episode where an army of Daleks broke in and exterminated Lady Mary was unrealistic, as there are no recorded accounts of Dalek-extermination among the upper classes in the 1920s. He has obviously forgotten the 1922 Dalek Invasion of Hull, where the whole town was reduced to a wasteland (not very different from today's Hull), including - and this is the key fact - the Duke of Prescott's ancestral home, "Puddings".

Maggie Smith

Davros returns as a woman - note the unconvincing rubber mask.

Academic historians - especially Cambridge ones - should be aware that nobody cares about history. If Julian Fellowes chooses to invoke the atmosphere of the 1920s by writing dialogue such as "I wear a fez now. Fezzes are cool!" or "EX-TER-MIN-ATE", then we should accept his Tolstoyan skills for what they are, rather than heckling from the sidelines.

Dr William Misery-Guts.

Tim Stanley and Daleks

Tim Stanley comments on the latest episode of Downton Abbey.

SIR,

Your correspondent is critical of ACTA's role in influencing the bishops of England and Wales before the recent Synod, apparently sharing the view of many traditional Catholics that ACTA is a quasi-Masonic organization with aprons, rolled-up trouser legs and funny handshakes. Whether or not it is (and I have promised not to divulge ACTA's secrets on pain of having my heart torn out by giant vultures), I am anxious to make it clear that we do not dance naked at the full moon - well, not all of us - we do not sacrifice babies to the god Pan, and we certainly do not stick pins into wax dummies of Cardinal Burke.

It may help your readers to understand us if I mention that we do not attend church and we do not believe any of the standard Catholic teaching. So in that respect we are exactly the same as any other Tablet-reading Catholic.

Andrew Bowman
Lead author of the ACTA report "The smell of the donkeys".

Pope and donkeys

"You fool, I ordered sheep! How will I get a donkey round my neck?"

SIR,

As a very well-known bishop, I am getting increasingly embarrassed by your page of "Bishops' Engagements". My Dean has remarked to me that, whereas some bishops are able to record "Pilgrimage to Lourdes", "Blessing of the camels at the zoo", "Mass in memory of St Tharg", etc., all that I can find to list is "Watching television", "Going to a football match" and "Pub crawl". It would be best if you could omit this feature altogether.

+Paresseux, Bishop of... well, never mind.

18 comments:

  1. Sir,
    I write in reply to the letters you forwarded.

    Wales might well have won the Rugby World Cup if Haydn, Parry and Vaughan Williams had not been out injured. Please note - God prefers Rugby UNION

    I have found that teenagers produce their best guitar music when they find that there are no strings attached.

    May I point out that the Daleks can travel in time but not between channels, they are BBC whilst Downton Abbey is ITV. Dr Who is made by BBC Wales and therefore the Daleks were qualified to play for Wales and not English ITV.

    I think you will find that our correspondent was saying that ACTA were encouraging the Bishops of England and Wales to perform the 'Haka'.

    We at the Herald believe in a level playing field for all ... Rugby League, John Prescott, Hull Kingston Rovers excepted

    Editor

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  2. Walk, Walk, in the light . . .
    Walk, Walk, in the light . . .
    Walk, Walk, in the light . . .

    Catchy, eh ?

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    Replies
    1. Well spotted 'Z' You saw the connection with Rugby Union:
      "He binds us all in unity,"

      Who was that masked stranger?

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    2. Someone from Devon, I think (The Loam Stranger).

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    3. When I become financially solvent, I ain't never gonna need to visit a moneylenders again. I wanna be the Loan Stranger.

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  3. Doesn't the pope know that donkeys are to be ridden through town like Jesus did? What is the matter with him anyway?

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  4. Since when was 'going to a football match' considered inappropriate for high-ranking members of the Church? I, for one, would heartily encourage Cardinal Vincent to familiarise himself with St. John Stone's praying to the Final Whistle. And as for Cardinal Kasper, well he could do worse than immerse himself in a thorough reading of the Tactics Manual of St.Paul-i. Failing that, how about shepherding (geddit?) both of them into The Shed in the away team's colours, with Chelsea losing 2-0 and facing relegation on the last day of the season. If that don't guarantee a double quick return to orthodoxy then nothing will......

    (I would have woven St.Mirren into my post as well but I'm sorry, I just don't think she should ever have been canonised, especially as she's still alive and notwithstanding her ability to turn Prospero into a woman which can't have been easy).

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    1. Sepp Blatter is to be cannonised ... or was it fired?

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  5. Me has spotted dat dat furst letta is from Doris Muzak.

    Bruv, is dat DE Doris Muzak?? Former Head Dinner Lady at de alliterative chokey dat is Long Lartin? De woman who made Rosa Klebb look like a Sister of Charidee? If it do be er, bruv, me needs to get in tutch wivver. You see, when me was in dat clink for tree months back in de late nineties (iss alright, me was only on remand and de case was dropped after my boyz spoke to de ALLEDGED victim - but dat's just between me and you, rite?) and me was pushing me tray along de cownta collecting me lunchun, old Mood(y) Musak always made a point of plopping a big scoop of mashed pertater from an unnecessary height rite inter the middle of me grayvee and so splashin it all ova me bayje jumpsoote. Me badly needs de address of Doris. You see, me dry cleenin bill was so hi by de end of me strech dat I had to go back to a life of crime juss to pay it off. Dat Doris o's me BIG TIME. Cheers, bruv.

    Post Skrip: Me is surprised Doris likes any sorts of hyms. Anyone who saw her kitchen equipment wud have sed she were a heavy metal and grime fanatick.

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  6. SIR - I note with distress the tendency amongst some younger priests to disparage the use of the tambourine and maraccas in liturgical music. Our Mrs Greebling who plays the theremin to such good effect (people are beating the exit doors down, they are so inspired!) is fearful that she may be next for the chop. Don't they know it's 1977 already? {Oh. isn't it? Don't say anything in case the Archbishop notices.] Goodness me, they'll be trying to ban the liturgical jumping-up-and-down during the Gloria next! Yours, etc. X. Trapnel, Colonel-emeritus of the Ladies' Auxiliary, Boys Brigade.

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  7. Dr. W.Misery-Guts' letter refers to Tim Stanley as an 'eminent Catholic historian'. Whilst I am unqualified to definitively comment on two thirds of that description, I would like to bring to Bill's urgent attention that when said Señor Stanley appeared on that thermal jabberfest called Question Time about a month ago, he highlighted Shiny Dave Cameron's same-sex "marriage" legislation as a GOOD THING. I would therefore respectfully suggest should Billy want to big up Timmers in the future, that he put a minimum of one set of inverted commas around the word Catholic e.g. "Catholic". In fact, it wouldn't surprise me if Tim had his very own subscription to the Tablet for the next lustrum.*

    *little used word nowadays (or ever) that I picked up from the dialogue in 'True Grit' of all places. Proof again that 'watching television' would be a thorougly praiseworthy episcopal pastime.

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  8. Paula N Wood has been asked by The Vat Again to compose some numbers for the year of Mersey in Liverpool which will begin with the "Kazoonter of My Life" followed by the "Jabbering Mass". "Come. Watch Tele and Wait" (till Father Comes Hymn); for the Offering will be "Vin a New Song" and concluded with "I Will Raise You More". For the Communeo-n the folks can sing a birthday special for 70 years of Vinnie, "Renew Him". This will be terminated by "Blasted are Thay Who Sec Thay Fezz' and "Synod: A New Song".

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  9. I forgot to mention that Paula N Wood has also added an extra song for the Bidding Prayers which will be "N.O.is the Compromised Time".

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  10. Just thought you'd be interested to know that there's also a New College in Sarasota, FL (all of you are at Oxford, correct?). At the New College here it was described in one of the college manuals, "If you're not naked on the weekend, you're not at New College." They can go to the beach with no clothes, there's a naked pot luck supper which students can attend, and on parents' weekend members of the naked art club stand naked in the college circle painting each other.

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    Replies
    1. Susan,

      The nearest I ever got to Oxford was watching a complete episode of 'Inspector Morse'* .........and I've never even done that. I think you're right however about the majority of the other contributors (though I suspect that if you delve deeply enough into their CV's, it may turn out that it's more a case of Oxford Brookes for a fair few of them).

      * British detective series of the nineties set in Oxford and now considered incomparably entertaining because each two hour episode contained at least 10 minutes of the eponymous hero sitting in a comfy armchair in his living room, listening to very loud classical music while downing half a pint of brandy and staring wistfully into the middle distance.

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    2. Yes, I agree. I cringe everytime Morse goes home because he always does the same thing...he drinks while listening to his music (his god) and stares into space. The character is a bit nihilistic so they have him drinking in his sorrow (lost love from the past who slipped away?) to depict how thoughtful and intelligent he is for not believing in God.

      Your British shows are better than ours - too much violence in ours...except "Longmire" which is about a cowboy sherrif in current day Wyoming. It's on Netflix. Australian actor Robert Taylor is great as Sheriff Longmire.

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    3. I think the last two posts could win a big yawn prize...YAWN!

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    4. LeonG,

      Well I enjoyed reading them but then again I'm biased and I also suffer from short-term memory loss.

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