Some nice photos of the protest on the Zion Baptist's website
. They seem to be looking forward to the DVD appearance - almost as if they're doing this for the publicity rather than to protect the supposedly slighted reputation of Jesus - who I will reiterate I think is a fantastic guy. It's not surprising that so many of his followers fail to live up to his example, because he did set the bar pretty high.
And they will be happy because the protest made the papers
, so everyone ends up getting publicised. Maybe that's all that matters. I have heard tell that some of the more backward people of East Anglia (and imagine how backward that must make them) are planning on protesting against the Lowestoft gig, which is probably great news, as that is the one that is selling about the worse so far, so getting in the paper may help me a bit. There will be enough room for them to come and see the show too, if they want to actually find out what I say before protesting about it. But why bother. After all you don't need to see a child being abused to know child abuse is wrong.
If I was a proper Christian who believed in not judging stuff and forgiving people and turning the other cheek I might be tempted to organise a picket of the picket, because, you know, these people are making the rest of you look like pricks. And I strongly believe that most of you aren't pricks. In fact if you genuinely pull off the whole Christian ethos of pacifism, love and charity (as I understand it at least) then you're amongst the best of people in the world. The great thing about our country is that we're allowed to believe and say whatever we want (so I have no problem with Christians protesting, but would prefer it if they did it from a position of knowing what was in the show), because any religious or anti-religious position is a blasphemy to all other religious positions and we can't all have got it right (in fact there's a pretty strong chance that none of us have), so we can either get angry and pig headed when someone thinks something different than us, or we can live in a somewhat more pleasant world, where we're all allowed to think what we like and express it as we choose and maybe discuss it calmly and open-mindedly.
You may call me a dreamer... but I'm not the only one.
In fact I remind myself a bit of another long-haired, be-bearded dreamer who wanted to change the world.
I am, of course, talking about Charles Manson.
But unfortunately it seems that most religious people are unable to countenance the fact that they might have backed the wrong horse - at least these vociferous ones - and don't stop to consider that maybe one of the other religions might be the right one. Or none of them are. Or maybe all of them are. What if all religions are right? Wouldn't that be beautiful. Though I suspect Heaven will just be full of people still furiously fighting each other, insisting that they are most correct. And refusing to even allow anyone to voice an opposing opinion.
I thought the lost hour and my late bed time might play havoc today, but although I was a little bit groggy, I went to the fabulous Virgin gym in Edinburgh (which provides towels and whose shower gel doesn't smell of faeced - well done Ian Virgin for once) and had a swim and felt a lot better afterwards. Coming to Edinburgh feels a bit like coming home, I have spend so much of my life here (probably two years all told). And it was especially cosy today as we were staying in the luxurious Stand flat, which is not only right opposite the venue, but is equipped, amongst other things, with a kitchen, washing facilities, an X-Box and beers in the fridge. Pete was able to wash his pants and I cooked myself some cod wrapped in parma ham. After a week of the UK's most budget hotels it was an oasis of wonder, normality and calm. Not surprisingly there is massive competition to stay here during the festival.
The Edinburgh Stand is one of the best places to perform stand up comedy in the United Kingdom and I had a smart and appreciative crowd in tonight and no protestors outside. Early on when I discussed the size of Christ's manhood, an angry voice shouted out "Bastard" and I wondered if one of the angry mob had managed to buy themselves a ticket tonight and if I was, as I have predicted to the anger of militant knitters, about to be stabbed in the face with a knitting needle. But it was just a drunk man, who I learned later had actually shouted "Massive.' He was quite desperate to join in and when I came to discussing the 10 commandments and whether God was going to list every single animal that couldn't work on the Sabbath and suggested a few of my own, he then shouted out "giraffe", which was indeed an animal, though he seemed incapable, when challenged to come up with any more. It did at least give me a chance to riff about how clever he had been to think of another animal and I chided the rest of the audience who didn't seem able to think of a single one.
The man in question was ejected during the interval when he, or one of his group was seen urinating in the courtyard outside the venue (which does have toilets, so it was an odd decision to make) and then attempted to punch a member of staff who didn't think this was a particularly pleasant thing to do. We didn't miss his presence and luckily there wasn't a point in the second half where I needed any help thinking of another example of an animal.
I risked a pint of Guinness after the show, which I did enjoy. I managed to resist the lure of a second pint and hoped that I have not reached such light-weight standards that I would be hungover from one drink. It's always a delight to see the staff here, who are friendly and helpful and good at their jobs. And with our beds only feet away from the venue it was cool to shoot the shit with Chris who is a rare familiar face on a tour like this. I am delighted that I will be doing my daily podcast show from the venue this August (2.20pm daily, but it will be available online for free as always and have no irritating Mr Bean voiced Andrew Collings in it, ruining it). I wish I could stay in the flat then as well, but suspect there will be a lot of people higher up the list than me. But I am looking forward to returning to this beautiful city for another Fringe. And that's 6 out of 13 gigs done on this run of the tour, so it won't be too long before I am (very briefly) home in London. But at least then I will for a few nights be home home in Cheddar. Back in the house where I lost my solo virginity.