Sunday, 19 September 2010

Wide Open

It was fed back to me recently, that my other Blogger blog is becoming more like a diary, and less like a way of achieving my ambition of taking one photo a day and publishing it on line.  As soon it was mentioned, i knew it was right.

As you may know from reading this blog, I do go on a bit sometimes, and that's ok - here.  The other blog is not the place for it.  On top of that, my Twitter and Facebook lives have started going the same way.  I was almost laying my life, and that of my family, wide open for anyone and everyone to see.

For those who really know me (and that's nobody as no bugger reads this!), you will know that deep down I am shy.  On reflection, I never saw Facebook or Twitter as.... reality.  I protect my profiles on both of them so if you are Tom, Dick or Harry you can't look at them.  Based on that, I gave myself a false sense of security and almost felt that I could comfortably post anything I liked, not only about me, but about my family, too.  It is for that reason that I haven't tweeted or said anything on Facebook for a few days now.  I have taken stock and I shall approach them in a different way from now on.

In my real life, I have always been guilty (if it's a crime), of befriending people too easily.  I will meet someone and work with them for a short time, and believe that they are good friends.  It's not always the case.  Being honest - sometimes it IS the case, but other times, not.  I have transferred that "crime" to the virtual world, too.  I have followed complete strangers on Twitter - people I've never ever met, and they have followed me back.  We've had discussions about all sorts of things, and in my head - I had got to the point where I thought these people were my friends.

Now, because access to my profiles is restricted and also because of how choosy I am, these people might actually be really nice, and would make lovely friends in real life.  But it's the difference between real life and my virtual life, that has become a bit grey.  So - I'm not going to close my Facebook and Twitter accounts, but - I do intend to "hold off" a bit on there.

Whilst typing all this shiz, it's got me thinking as to why I felt the need to be everyone's friends, and to hold people close to me and consider them friends.  Having analysed myself, it comes back to me being one of the following.  Too trusting - easily led - desperate, and generally yearning for affirmation from everyone I come in to contact with.  I'm proper weird, me.  I might need to speak to someone.

Wednesday, 15 September 2010



So - George Michael, or to give him his actual name, Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou, is going to live in Pentonville Prison for the next four weeks.  He smoked one hell of a lot of cannabis, then went out for a drive in his Range Rover and crashed it into Snappy Snaps after apparently blacking out.  Well done George.  Well done more to the person who wrote "Wham" on the wall of the shop he crashed in to.  Most amusing.

Pope Benedict XVI visits the UK tomorrow.  I remember standing on the streets of Liverpool with my mum and dad in 1982 to catch a glimpse of Pope John Paul II.  It was billed as a tremendous moment in my life and one not to be forgotten.  To give my parents credit - I haven't.  The whole place seemed to be filled with such love, and happiness it was quite strange for me as an eight year old to understand.  John Paul II seemed like such a lovely, warm man - and everybody thought so.  Not so, for Benedict XVI.

Before being inaugurated as Pope in 2005, Cardinal Joseph Alois Ratzinger was head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), an institution set up by the Catholic church to deal with child abuse by Catholic priests.  He had exposure to how widespread this problem was like nobody else before him because before the creation of the CDF, child abuse allegations had been dealt with at diocese level.  Almost all of a sudden, the Catholic church and Cardinal Ratzinger in particular, could see the full, disgusting picture.

The way the church chose to deal with these disgusting individuals was to move them.  Remove them from their parish, and move them elsewhere.  Not go to the authorities and say "we've got a bad one here, chief", no - just move them on. 

I was brought up a Catholic. I served as an altar boy for many years. My beautiful mother rediscovered her Catholic faith in a huge way in the early 1980's, and that gave her tremendous strength and belief, which no doubt helped her through the darkest of times whilst she fought cancer.  It is because of that - that I find myself in a difficult place right now.  I have always called myself a Catholic. I don't attend mass with any regularity - not at all if the truth be told, but I know that when I fill forms out and it asks for religion or faith, I always tick the Catholic box.  I'm not sure I can do that anymore.  Faith is about having faith in something - believing in something.  How can I say that I believe in the teachings and ways of a church that has - and let's be blunt about it - covered up known instances of child abuse.  Not only that - the current Pope was responsible for some of those cover ups!

It pains me to say, but - I'm putting my faith on hold.  I am fully aware that I am judging the whole church by the actions of a tiny minority, but one of those minority is sitting at the top of that very rich, very powerful, and was I perceive to be very corrupt church.

I'm sorry mum, but at the moment - even in the smallest of ways like ticking a box, I can't be part of a religious group like that.

I know that if mum was still around, she'd want to sit down and talk with me about this.  I await that chat - however she wants to do it.