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Saturday 5th April 2014

4150/17069

Slight fear setting in about the amount of stuff I have to do before September. Most pressing worry is the upcoming Meaning of Life for which I thus far have next to no script, no expert and not much of an audience. On the plus side the first four have been relatively easy and this is how I felt the day (not the week) before pretty much every AIOTM. But given the fact that they take at least two months to edit and animate I wish we'd recorded them at the same pace. Part of me wonders about postponing next week's show until after Edinburgh, but I don't think I will take that step. I will just find myself in the same position. Perhaps the fear and the risk of failure will spur me onwards. I have a preview gig tomorrow night so am hoping that I can spend the whole day putting together the material. We'll see.

The whole point of Meaning of Life was to push myself and see what was possible. It is like writing an Edinburgh show every month, without the requisite time to preview the shit out of the material until I've knocked all the rough edges off. It was certainly ambitious, maybe over-ambitious, but I am glad I took on the challenge. I am slightly concerned it might impact on my work for Edinburgh, but I can't really beat myself up too much. I have been working pretty much every day this year. I've probably taken on too much, but I think it's still manageable. Though let's see if next Sunday I step on stage with nothing to say and no one to talk to.

Today I caught up with my audio blogs and wrote my Metro article for next week and set about tidying up my office a bit. I've had some new shelves built and a cork board and white board put up and am hoping that that can make me much more organised. When I finally start writing the play I can pin up cards to my board and work out what goes where. I did a small amount of reorganising today (plus had about three weeks worth of post and receipts to deal with) and it's already feeling like a much better work space. I've got all my various projects collected up in Box files and they stand as a testament to perserverance on my shelves. Chedwood has joined the long list of scripts that have been written, but not yet made as it got turned down earlier this month. But such setbacks spur me on to just get on with things myself. I Killed Rasputin is definitely going to exist in some form. It might prove the commissioners right or wrong, but at least (hopefully) people will get to see it.

And I did manage one vague notion for the Good and Evil Meaning of Life. How do the people who claim to have been visited by angels or God know that the apparitions have definitely come from where they say they have? Presumably these mortals don't have much experience of identifying deities, so how do we know that the beings they saw came from Heaven and not Hell. After all the devil and his demon hoards are cheats and liars and vagabonds and so they could easily dress up as angels or make themselves appear all sweetness and light and then just spread all kinds of shit. Any supernatural being would be impressive to us mere mortals, especially ones living in a desert. How do we know that they weren't visited by Satan who deliberately fucked them over, giving them loads of bogus commandments and contradictory stuff to put in the Bible? You might think God would intervene and point out the subterfuge, but that's not something He seems very keen on. In fact He basically seems to want us to believe in Him without evidence or facts, but based on faith. So He might very well see the Devil's tricks as another faith-testing device. If we're meant to be able to work out which God is the real one without any direct proof, then presumably we were also meant to sniff out the fact that the angels and Heavenly emissaries and talking burning bushes all came for Beelzebub.

I am not sure we can really presume that the creator of the Universe is all good anyway. The way the thing operates suggests to me that it was created by someone who was at best ambivalent to morality and at worst was seriously fucked in the head and only intent on creting pain and misery. Good and evil are such shaky concepts anyway, but is there any reason why the being that created the Universe would be "good" or even "right" about everything. Lots of shonky and idiotic humans manage to create stuff - it doesn't make them divine.

As you can see morality and whether exists is a great philosophical area to get into (are there any moral absolutes at all or are they just codes by which we allow civilization to flourish?), but it's hard to make them amusing. I'd better get on and try.



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My new stand up show, Lord of the Dance Settee will be on at the George Sq Theatre at 10.45pm every night of the Edinburgh Fringe Buy tickets here.
My new play, I Killed Rasputin will on at the George Square Theatre at 3.35pm every day of the Edinburgh Fringe. Buy tickets here
Buy a season pass to Meaning of Life, or make a donation for a badge, either one off or monthly at gofasterstripe.com/rhmol
You can watch most of the RHMOL shows for free on my vimeo channel
You can get video downloads of Richard Herring's Leicester Square Theatre Podcast from Go Faster Stripe
You can still download the audio for free from the British Comedy Guide or iTunes
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