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Tuesday 25th May 2004

CNPS numbers spotted 0 (731).
For the Okapi-Curious there is now a picture of an Okapi in the downloads section of this site. One of the contributors to the guestbook has found a website that reveals that the okapi is the only mammal that can clean its own ears with its tongue. Just when my interest was starting to wane those whorish okapis come back with something to grab my attention. There's nothing more dirty than an okapi's ear. Nothing!
I am appearing on a Radio 4 show called Beyond Belief this week (not sure of the day of broadcast) to discuss the blasphemy laws in this country. I had a preparatory phone call with a researcher from the show today. Apparently it is against the law to blaspheme (so looks like the police should be coming round to get me any day soon) and they want to discuss with me whether I think as an "artist" I have the right to be blasphemous in my act and if religion is a fit subject for comedy. I think you can probably guess what I think. I think it is. It is a comedian's job to question any closed system of thought. And also to make a joke about some pooh. If you can do both at the same time (perhaps by writing a joke about God doing a pooh) then that's all the better.
Of course it is only an offence to blaspheme against the Christian religion in this country: you can say what you like about any of the others. But if you think about it they can't make it illegal to blaspheme against every religion because if you are religious then any religion that isn't yours is blasphemous. What's more blasphemous than saying your god isn't real, but something else is god instead? You'd have to arrest all religious people if all religions were included in the law.
But which branch of Christianity are we talking about? If you are a Catholic then presumably you find the Protestants insistence that the bread and wine don't turn into the body and blood of Christ to be blasphemous and vice-versa. It is clear that a law to prosecute blasphemy could never work in practice, unless the government can decide which god is the right one and which stories and traditions are the correct ones to follow from the many on offer.
As she was talking to me the researcher said, "I've just been passed a note by my producer and she says the evangelical Christian on the panel has said he will pull out of the programme if anything blasphemous is said by any of the other contributors, so can you promise you won't blaspheme?"
This made me quite cross: not least because this meant that this fellow had decided that he was the one who could decide what the exact correct religion was going to be and was not even prepared to countenance anyone saying anything different. What a great discussion this promised to be.
"How can I promise that?" I replied, "How do I know what will constitute blasphemy in his opinion? I suspect that me thinking there is no god and that his Holy Book is mainly made up might be seen as a bit impious."
The researcher seemed as perplexed as me. But in any case they are prerecording my segment so I said, "You know, if I happen to say something like "Jesus sucks a big dog's cock", then you can probably bleep out the "Jesus" or the "dog", just to keep it kosher." Though, of course, keeping it kosher would be just as offensive to the Christian on the panel.
But, I'm not going to say anything like "Jesus sucks a big dog's cock", partly because I am fairly sure he never did (there's nothing in the Bible about it and I think someone was bound to mention it if he had - you wouldn't be able to help yourself), but mainly because I don't think we can talk about Jesus doing anything in the present tense as he has been dead for almost 2000 years.

All I know is if this uppity fella says anything derogatory about the CNPS gods (especially if he dares to talk about them having a pooh) I will be right round there to chin the fucker. And he better turn the other cheek or there will be Hell to pay.

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