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The Liverpool Nativity was shown on BBC 3 this evening, and is repeated on BBC 1 on the 23rd of December. [Update: you can watch it here for a while at least - might be UK only, I'm not sure. Thanks Rhys.] I thought it was really good, but I’ll let some others tell you about it as I am suffering from mild cartoon malaise.
This was no cynical re-telling, but a contemporary, serious, politically aware take on the Christmas narrative, writ large as public spectacle. Thousands and thousands had turned out to the Dockside to join the spectacle, performed live throughout the city. What is fantastic about these events is that they appear to tap into the rich Christian root in our heritage – a heritage that I think people are beginning to see is vital to our coherent future, rather than being consigned to our past. I think this could be interpreted as a move into clear post-Christian water, where people are happy to be part of events like this without it being tied to ‘the church’.
The Flashmob Operas, the Manchester Passion, the Margate Exodus and tonight the Liverpool Nativity: all of them affirm the ongoing English love of gathering for a celebration of the deep mysteries which link people, music, story and place. And the latter three events also acknowledge that, as one writer put it this week, “ours is historically a Christian culture.” That writer goes on to share a concern that “children who grow up ignorant of biblical literature are diminished, unable to take literary allusions, actually impoverished,” and a great thing about events like these is that they play a significant part in helping these narratives resurface and be reborn, in the mainstream.
Posted by Dave at 12:04 am on December 17, 2007 and filed under Advent, Religion, Spirituality, TV.
As I’m sure many of you are aware there is now a television channel called ‘Dave’. UKTV have renamed one of their channels in this way. If you have Freeview in the UK, you can find it on channel 19, which is actually channel 12. Don’t ask me to explain.
This of course comes after the news last year that there was to be a magazine called Dave. I sometimes see it in Basildon library.
This new channel will now give people the opportunity to say ‘oh so witty’ things like:
- ‘Let’s watch Dave for a bit.’
- ‘I wonder what is on Dave this evening.’
- ‘Did you see Dave last night? I’ve never laughed so much!’
…and so on and so forth.
I am concerned that our society is becoming more and more Davist. The name Dave is being treated as a figure of fun. Davism is rife.
I don’t know what can be done about it really, but I can at the very least post some links to a few of my fellow Daves as we weather this storm together.
Right, off to put Dave on.
Posted by Dave at 7:29 pm on October 15, 2007 and filed under Current events, TV.
In recent days there have been complaints from certain circles that there is not enough religion on BBC Radio 1. This has mainly been from Bishops who, one assumes, have the radio on whilst on the way to do confirmations and ordinations the like.
The BBC Editors weblog has replied to Arun (a Cartoon Blog reader and occasional commenter) who contacted them on the subject. Their reply was that the Bishop’s Easter sermons were not interesting enough (or did not ‘cut the mustard’ to use the exact phrase) to make the news because there was some news happening at the same time.
Perhaps the Bishops need to come up with a new approach. Hence the cartoon.
In unrelated (but related) news, the BBC is to end the Heaven and Earth show. I have a friend that works on the show who I hope is being employed by the programmes that will replace it.
[This cartoon can be posted on your blog if you post a link back here. Thank you!]
Posted by Dave at 3:30 pm on April 29, 2007 and filed under Religion, TV.
The BBC filmed the Christmas Songs of Praise and the Easter Songs of Praise on the same day, reports the Telegraph.
After filming the Christmas edition, flowers were swapped, lighting boosted and congregation members reportedly asked to shed their winter coats to record the show for the Spring time festival.
I was thinking there might be some scope for a combined festival:
One Bishop has admitted to being in on the act:
the BBC explained to us in advance the cost and difficulty of rigging such large and beautiful cathedrals such as Lichfield.
Something was certainly rigged, and it wasn’t the cathedral.
[Feel free to blog this cartoon with a link back here. I can supply a high-res version if any subscribers require one.]
Update - Further news reports:
The Sun Online – News: Songs of Praise in trick row
BBC criticised over ‘Songs of Pretence’ | News | This is London
Scotsman.com News – UK – 24 hours after Christmas – it’s Easter
Scotsman.com News – Opinion – Hymns, lies and videotape
Christmas or Easter, it’s all the same to BBC Songs of Praise | Special reports | Guardian Unlimited
‘Cons of Praise’ – or how BBC threw in Easter at Christmas-Comment-Faith-TimesOnline
Daily Express: The World’s Greatest Newspaper :: News / Showbiz :: Cons of Praise
BBC NEWS | Entertainment | BBC defends early Easter filming
Sky News: BBC Faked Easter Show
Posted by Dave at 6:57 pm on March 25, 2007 and filed under Anglican goings-on, Cartoons, Church, Religion, TV.
BBC NEWS | Business | Barclays accused over ‘failings’
BBC NEWS | Business | Mis-selling is ‘rife’ at Barclays
There was a programme tonight about Barclays and their many shifty dealings. This is the company who made 7 billion pounds profit last year and yet charge people £30 to go overdrawn when the cost to them is about £1.50. The programme showed telephone operatives engaging in all sorts of dubious behaviour, such as pretending they are calling as an ‘advisor’ when in fact it is purely a sales call. Then an advisor in a local branch attempting to sell home insurance to a man who can’t afford a bed in an attempt to meet a target. And many other such horrors.
Of course at the end of the programme there is a management-type person saying that what the programme reveals is not typical and that actually Barclays are respectable and lovely. But the fact is that we know (from experience) that Barclays hassle their customers with sales calls, so I know which side of the story I’m believing.
At the end of the day I am never going to be happy with a company which cold calls people. Everyone hates it. It is just not a valid thing to do any more. So there.
These links say more about the programme. Other ‘Whistleblower’ programmes are here – I talked about the estate agents one almost exactly a year ago if you remember.
Update: If you need help reclaiming bank charges (up to six years worth) or other information to do with banks and money then I personally find Martin Lewis and his MoneySavingExpert site the place to go. This is the site the banks don’t want you to know about.
Posted by Dave at 10:14 pm on March 21, 2007 and filed under Slightly grumpy, TV.
The Great Global Warming Swindle
This programme was on Channel 4 this evening. A summary of the views expressed by the programme in my own words:
- Global warming is real, but not manmade.
The warming of the earth causes the CO2 variaton, not the other way around.
- Human beings are in the single digits of co2 production. A lot more is produced by volcanos, dead leaves and in particular the sea.
- The sun is the main cause of the temperature change.
In the 1970s we thought there would be global cooling and we turned out to be wrong.
A lot of people have a vested interest in global warming being true.
- Why should we make the developing world use the most expensive technology when we have benefitted from the cheap polluting kind.
However, having done a litle bit of research there is reason to be sceptical. The progamme was made by someone called Martin Durkin, who has a history of being anti-the environmental movement. After a previous programme he made for Channel 4 the station to issue an apology as it turned out that the programme was nonsense.
Here are some links from the newspapers:
The programme was quite persuasive, but I am fully aware that it is possible to make a persuasive film saying all sorts of things to suit ones own agenda and still be wrong.
I’d be interested to hear other people’s views.
Update: Further news reports.
Posted by Dave at 9:25 pm on March 8, 2007 and filed under Environment, TV.
In the old days when I used to go to Spring Harvest I went to see Tim Vine either doing a one man show or doing one of his double acts with John Archer. Tim’s style is to do lots of jokes one after the other and I remember laughing considerably. His Wikipedia page gives some samples.
Tim has gradually worked his way up the comedy / celebrity ladder via such things as ‘the Sketch Show’ and ‘Not Going Out’ and is now part of the ‘Comic Relief does Fame Academy’ which is on the BBC TV over the next week or so. Tim’s page on that show is here.
Tim is a churchgoer and goes to a largish Church of England church in Surrey. I won’t say which one in case hordes of Cartoon Blog readers hound him for autographs after the 10am.
Anyway, best of luck to him. He is a nice fellow and deserves his success.
Posted by Dave at 3:46 pm on March 8, 2007 and filed under Current events, TV.
BBC 1: Just the Two of Us
An opportunity for the public to fritter away their money by voting for the unheard-of celebrity they would least like to hear singing.
ITV: Soapstar Superstar
An opportunity for the public to fritter away their money by voting for the unheard-of celebrity they would least like to hear singing.
Channel 4: Celebrity Big Brother
An opportunity for the public to fritter away their money by voting for the unheard-of celebrity they would least like to see doing nothing.
BBC 2: Grow your own
How to grow vegetables in your garden.
Posted by Dave at 11:33 pm on January 3, 2007 and filed under TV.
The film ‘The Nativity Story‘ is coming to cinemas in the UK from the 8th of December. I do not know whether it is any good, though this image would suggest to me that work is still needed on the costumes if they are going for an authentic look.
I watched a short trailer clip which did not really give much information. The background music suggests a sentimentalised version of the story, but you’d have to watch the film to tell. I do not think there was background music at the actual nativity apart from possibly that provided by angels etc.
There is also a Nativity resources website with art and clips and things you can use at your church or school. I would encourage everyone to go and read through the preprepared sermons. You can be sure that your minister / vicar will use one of them for a Christmas sermon, so if you look at the sermons you will be able to give them a knowing wink as you shake their hand on the way out.
Special message for ministers / vicars: Why not use one of the preprepared sermons for a Christmas sermon? It is very unlikely that anyone will find you out and give you a knowing wink as they shake your hand on the way out.
Posted by Dave at 4:14 pm on November 21, 2006 and filed under Spirituality, TV.
Just a reminder that the deadline for the cheapest tickets for the Greenbelt Festival is at the end of October, ie in a few minutes. However, due to unforseen whathaveyous you now have one more day to order your budget passes at the Greenbelt website.
Talking of Greenbelt (tenuous link), you might remember that a few years ago I and a few others dressed up as Ned Flanders from the Simpsons at the festival and got our pictures in the Daily Star. I posted the photo here. Well, the ‘Ned Flanders Appreciation Society’ have been in action again, this time on the Graham Norton television show. A report by one of the Ned-ees is here on the Ship of the Fools website.
I had the misfortune to watch the programme itself, which really was awful, though well done to Simon and Steve for getting on there. It was quite amusing to see Graham Norton swearing that the Ned Flanders Appreciation Society really is genuine and really has an annual meeting once a year. Somewhat of an inexactitude there I think Graham.
Posted by Dave at 11:28 pm on October 31, 2006 and filed under Festivals and Exhibitions, Greenbelt, TV.
I suspect I was the only person watching Songs of Praise this evening who was taking photos of the screen when there were good shots of people holding hymn books. This was not one such picture, though people with open mouths are useful too.
Apologies to the BBC if taking photographs of Songs of Praise is not allowed. I tried to find out, but couldn’t.
Posted by Dave at 7:19 pm on September 24, 2006 and filed under Church, Photographs, TV.
Tony, from ‘the Monastery Revisited’, on TV here in the UK this evening:
I’ve been to a few churches around town and they just annoy the **** out of me because they’re so fake, and the people look so lost, and the people on the stage just look so plastic and so charming and so seductive, and I just think ‘I don’t believe in these people’. These people are not an expression of faith. So, I’d much rather just slip into a church and sit there for 10 minutes and have a bit of quiet time, or pray at home. I dont feel that you necessarily have to turn up at a certain place at a certain time dressed in a certain way to express your faith and live out your faith. I think there’s other ways of doing it.
See also The Convent, same day and time next week.
Posted by Dave at 10:20 pm on June 7, 2006 and filed under Church, Spirituality, TV.