Wednesday, October 29, 2008
I went to Games Soc today. There was no Al Marshall.
I'm using Al here as a metaphor, Al was a guy who I have known over the last few years, he's a member of Games Soc. I seem to have spent quite a lot of time with Games Soc since back in the day when they became the first society I ticked off on my Society-a-thon. Last summer I got invited to the annual Games Soc summer party which is called RABIES for some reason (any readers who know why - there is a button marked 'comment') There, in addition to learning how to do something with a long pole, I got talking to Al. Al had had a bit of a rough ride through a couple of Universities and he had finally decided to leave.
Al is not someone who the chaplaincy crowd know. He has, as far as I know, never come to the place, but he was someone I knew and now he's gone the place doesn't feel the same without him.
As I thought about RABIES, and about Al it seemed to me that this was what I was supposed to be doing, turning up in random places and talking to random students. Instead I have spent this last year stuck in chaplaincy doing admin. Like today my Bishop has written to me requesting I send him a copy of my job description, I don't have an electronic one so it means photocopying, writing a covering letter and finding time to get to a post office. The only reason I have a copy of my job description in the first place was because one was sent to me when I applied for the job. By the Bishop!
I don't want to do any more admin, I don't want to be stuck in chaplaincy I want to get out spread my wings, and meet more Al Marshalls before they leave.
And that it what I am going to do, starting tomorrow.
So long Al, you'll be missed.
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
The trouble is though, I'm not sure it is that easy. In the 20s there was a massive stock market bubble. People borrowed money from the banks in order to buy stocks using other stocks as collateral.
The stock market was up, before this crisis, but there was no bubble. No one was going out and spending all their money on stocks. No one was saying silly things like "Stocks always go up in value"
The bubble clearly was in property. In fact in some senses it's still there, I still here people talking about pent up desire, "getting in and making a killing".
All of that, I think means that stocks may in fact bounce back, but I think the housing market has a long, long way to go down.
It's not 1929.
Thursday, October 23, 2008
I am a bit of fan of the ol' two wheeled transport. Especially the kind you have to make go all by yourself. Living on the other side of the common from the University -the common is a large bit of green which seems to have sneaked into Southampton- it seems silly to try to get home by car.
But the nights have been drawing in and it a moment of sensible reflection I decided to invest in a high-vis jacket (I say sensible reflection, the fact they came in yellow helped).
Having put it on, I have noticed something. Other people who cycle in high visibility clothing have started acknowledging me on their way past. Just a nod, a wink or some other sort of connection.
It's all a bit worrying.
"You're one of us", they seem to be saying "You too place safety and practicality ahead of not looking like a twat."
I seem to have joined some sort of hi-vis club.
It would appear that from what they regularly shout at me that people who work in the construction industry are not actually members. In spite of their attire.
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Friday, October 10, 2008
The Psalm for morning prayer today
I cry aloud to the Lord; •
to the Lord I make my supplication.
2I pour out my complaint before him •
and tell him of my trouble.
3When my spirit faints within me, you know my path; •
in the way wherein I walk have they laid a snare for me.
4I look to my right hand, and find no one who knows me; •
I have no place to flee to, and no one cares for my soul.
5I cry out to you, O Lord, and say: •
‘You are my refuge, my portion in the land of the living.
6‘Listen to my cry, for I am brought very low; •
save me from my persecutors, for they are too strong for me.
7‘Bring my soul out of prison,
that I may give thanks to your name; •
when you have dealt bountifully with me,
then shall the righteous gather around me.’
This all got started because people believed something that was not true, that the price of houses always climbs, that when it does everyone who owns a house is better off and it is normal to earn 10% a year on an investment.
This is not about greedy bankers, they just did their job, maximising their shareholder's dividends selling a product everyone wanted to buy. This was about everyone of us wanting to be better off and now it is about everyone of us fearing the worst.
If this is primarily a social phenomenon rather than an economic one then it is only going to come to an end when there is an event, that puts down a strong marker that change has happened. I think this can only be clear and obvious change at the top, something that seems to herald a new dawn, even if it does not actually do that.
I believe that a break with the past is the only thing that will bring about the end of this crisis and the opening of what happens next.
And I think that the American Electorate is now, decisively and irreversibly, also coming to this view.
Wednesday, October 08, 2008
In the last few years, I have accused the Archbishop of Canterbury of being a bit of a wassock, I have regularly posted comments on a Bitchy Jones' Blog of S & M Pain, I have posted blog entries under the influence of Alcohol, and yet in spite of this I am no closer to my stated aim of becoming Britain's first dooced Vicar.
Today I am utterly pissed off because it seems that someone else is going to beat me too it.
Yes in my long list of blogging-sins-and-reasons-to-dooce-the-vicar I seem to have completely left out number 238 "Behave like a total Nazi by posting the vilest homophobic bile".
The Revd Dr Peter Mullen has today hit the news by arguing that Gay men should be tattooed for public health reasons. He is almost certainly now going to be sacked for posting something on a blog, the official urban dictionary definition of "Doocing". This is a shame for both of us as I suspect he doesn't actually want to be sacked. Amazingly he has managed to write something that even the Daily Mail felt the need to express it's disapproval of. Though the among the commentators their is the usual complaint that although we live in a so-called free society the moment you criticise Gay people you are condemned.
HE DIDN'T CRITICISE GAY PEOPLE HE SAID BRAND THEIR FILTHY HIDES
Apparently this is all a huge mistake, the Rector claims he has many Gay friends (though none have appeared to defend him) and he was just being satirical.
Satire, Rector, is about ridiculing the powerful and pricking the pompous, what you did was attack a minority for being too disgusting for social interaction. You total and utter, utter, utter.....*&^%$£
Still he has ruined my week, I can only take comfort from the fact that he himself is likely to have the mother of all shite weeks as he learns that while people who live in glass houses probably should not throw stones, people whose address, telephone number and e-mail address is in the public domain should avoid inciting the entire world with their Hitler-esque opinions.
Saturday, October 04, 2008
This is my Christmas and Easter all rolled into one. We have served breakfast to about 600 freshers (I say we, I mean the students, especially Tom). we have served tea and coffee, and we have chatted,
As for me personally, I began the week by inducting a bunch of nurses and inducing a bunch of midwives (c'mon that deserved a groan dammit!) Following on from that there were Engineers and Computer Scientists. Even Sports Studies student. Man they were a tough crowd! The same talk that the nurses and Engineers laughed their way through was greeted with a stony silence by the Sports Studies students.
For the bunfight we were moved away from student societies and put insted with nightline. All very logical but it halved the amount of sign ups we received. It also meant I didn't get to sign up for the newly formed pole dancing club. Apparently Atheist Society was put next to Christian Union this year at Atheist Societies request. I am sure they were both happy with this because it would have given them someone to
I have gone to bed late evey day this week and got up early. I have eaten a fatty cooked breakfast every day and twice gorged myself on the chaplaincy free burgers.
It feels to me like we have had more visitors to chaplaincy than in previous freshers weeks and more people coming back.
I finished the week by going to see some live music with show stoppers, and hanging round in a burger shop watching a slightly pickled Tim Berryman play on slot machine.
Yet more fatty foods.
I must hate my insides.