May 1 -
May 4, 2003
Merciful Heart - Go
I’m a big fan of Southern
Gospel music, which sadly is virtually non-existent here in Australia.
That’s why I’m always looking for internet resources, and I’ve
written several times about my favourites.
So I’m grateful to Jeff
Purdue of the
Merciful Heart gospel group for alerting me to several others.
The first is a local station out of
North Wilkesboro, North
Carolina. We actually charted number five there once. Anyway their link is
www.12403wc.com. They stream live 24 hours a day and take requests.
The other station is out of
Texas and they also
stream live 24 hours. They have less talk and more music. Their link is
http://www.thegospelhiway.org. They also take requests.
Merciful Heart have their
own fine website, and are generous in letting you enjoy online half-a-dozen
of their songs. Go and listen.
I must get out more. How
come I missed
The Wibsite, a low-key, humourous British Christian site? It’s a
showcase for some gently amusing
cartoons, there’s a collection of articles (including one by a personal
favourite, New Zealander
Mike Riddell, whose course on the church and post-modernity I took here
in Melbourne several years ago) and the site offers some excellent links.
At great political risk
we Aussies send troops to help you Yanks and Brits in your Iraqi adventure,
and what sort of thanks do we get?
Hard to believe, but a
British Methodist minister has just used an
American website to declare a classic Aussie hit recording as “worst
disco song ever”.
Shaddap You Face by
Joe Dolce, recorded here in
is an icon. It’s been the most successful popular Australian single for 23
years – overtaking Slim Dusty’s 1957 classic The Pub with No Beer –
and has sold four million copies worldwide. It was the Number One song in
eight countries, and won Joe, who spent $500 to make the recording, the
Advance Australia Award for Export Excellence.
I think Joe himself has
right words for all this ingratitude:
matta you, hey,
Gotta no respect, whatta you think you do,
Why you looka so sad?
It's-a not so bad, it's-a nice-a place,
Ah, Shaddap You Face.
(repeat as many times as possible!!!)
Pushing and Nagging
I’ve been brooding all
week on John Derbyshire’s
superb essay on the problems of today’s youth, and how teenagers from
even the most caring and loving families can go horribly wrong. (The essay
struck home. My three sons are aged 14, 13 and 10.)
What we have to do is push them and push them, nag them and
encourage them, towards the bourgeois virtues, and hope to God we succeed.
Here something that might
help them stay on track: ticket prices for forthcoming performances in
Sydney and Melbourne –
Avril Lavigne - $69.90
Cold Chisel - $98.00
Eric Burdon and the New
Animals - $75.90
Percy Sledge -
Jack Welch - $895.00
Who’d choose to drop out
to become a pop singer if, like Jack Welch, former CEO of General Electric,
you can get away with charging $895 for a 2˝-hour talk on leadership?
Party happening over at
Come On, Get Lively blog, to launch her latest novel,
Saints Preserve Us. Open bar, and all (I couldn’t get it to work for
me). The first two chapters are available free; you have to pay for the
Best of luck, Kathryn.
I’m more than a disinterested observer. I’m putting my own first novel up on
this site, probably next week.
Not Just Matters of
Gasp. An Anglican
clergyman who actually believes his church’s teachings. So newsworthy that
The Australian gives
two entire pages to the story in its Media supplement.
Phillip Jensen, new Anglican Dean of Sydney, also understands the media
To the media, everything is opinion. To the media, religion
itself is just a matter of opinion. And because religion is just an opinion
– and there's no such thing as right or wrong – tolerance is just allowing
everyone to get on with each other. So one thing I must not say is that
other religions are wrong. That's one thing you're not allowed to do.
Not that I think the media are evil people….Nor that it's a
thought-out conspiracy. It's that they're writing in a framework that is
hostile to Christianity. They don't understand that of themselves. They
think they're being neutral and very tolerant….
Most of the media are ignorant of the content of religion.
For example, Islam teaches that Jesus didn't die on the cross, but I hardly
ever met a journalist who knew that about Islam, though it's fairly basic.
Christianity teaches that Jesus did die. They can't both be right. And
they're not just matters of opinion.
Thursday 1st May, 2003
Hail Chairman Bush,
Albert Langer is,
according to the biography at the end of his Mayday message in
The Australian this morning,
Maoist (anarcho-Stalinist) who was sentenced to 18 months in prison for
attempted incitement to assault police as a May Day speaker in 1971.
Released on appeal after six weeks, he is still at large, and still supports
the overthrow of tyrannical regimes by armed force.
Here is part of what he
Both Bush and Chomsky know the
US cannot be secure from
medievalist terrorist mosquitoes while the
Middle East remains a swamp. But Bush also knows that modernity
grows out of the barrel of a gun. That is a genuinely Left case for a
revolutionary war of liberation, such as has occurred in
Iraq. The pseudo-Left
replies: "That's illegal." Well, of course revolutionary war is illegal.
Legal systems are created by revolutions, not revolutions by legal systems….
The revival of the Left in the '60s only began once it was
widely noticed that the remnants of the previous movement were reactionaries
obstructing progress. After it tried so hard to preserve fascism in
Iraq, even after Bush Jr
had wisely given up on Bush Sr's policy of keeping the Iraqi dictator in
power, can anyone deny the pseudo-Left is reactionary?
I think Glenn Reynolds
would write “Heh” here.
BAM – the ABC of
In his latest Breakpoint
commentary Chuck Colson
writes again about the spread of AIDS in
Africa, and efforts by President Bush to enlist Christian
groups in the battle to stop its spread.
He notes the president’s
belief in “the power of the Gospel to change destructive behaviour. It's the
only way we are going to stop the carnage.” He wants faith-based groups to
be allowed to work freely, and he cites approvingly the Ugandan ABC campaign
– Abstinence, Be faithful, Condoms.
I’ve written several
times on this issue. Might not a more effective campaign be BAM – Become A
Muslim? As I
pointed out last July, the HIV/AIDS rate is generally highest in
Protestant Africa – where Christian missionaries have been active for
decades – and lowest in Muslim Africa.
A major writing
assignment – five or six months of work - is virtually complete, and the
manuscript heads for the publisher tomorrow. Now I can devote a little more
time to the website, and I’ve decided to revive my blog.
In theory, I’ve always
been a blogger. Check with
blogs4God and they still list me. But my twice-weekly jottings haven’t
really been bloggery; more like lighter reflective essays. Now I should have
the time to comment more often on our world.
So if you’ve been
visiting just twice a week, you have an excuse to
visit every day.
Casualty of War
As expected, my visitor
numbers fell in April from the previous month. Unique visitors were down 18%
(to 16,000), page views down 12% (to 24,000). Blame the war, or, rather, the
end of it.
In the build-up to the
war I saw a sharp increase in traffic, particularly to my
Christians and War page. Once the shooting began,
traffic levelled off, and by war’s end it was falling.
Anyone with similar
(By the way, I’m dubious
about those visitor numbers. Not infrequently, I check my visitor stats
service, and find, say, 20 visitors, of which 18 are Google or Inktomi