Open Microphone Post

Sunday, 20th September 2009 at 8:00 UTC 9 comments

With lots of people reading this blog at the moment, how about this: an open microphone post. The idea is that you comment what you’re thinking, what’s frustrating you about the world at the moment, whatever. If you’re going to post a link to a blog post, please write a paragraph in summary. If you want to ask me something (within reason) please go ahead…


Entry filed under: Guest, Open Mic.

Iran: from embers to flames Liberals, Evangelicals and Deep Church

9 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Hann  |  Sunday, 20th September 2009 at 14:02 UTC

    Why can’t we all just get along?

    Also, we know your views on Rainforest Alliance. What about “community trade”, a term that I generally see on bottles of shower gel from Body Shop.

    • 2. Graham Martin  |  Sunday, 20th September 2009 at 14:11 UTC

      Hmmmm, I shall have to go and look this one up. Thanks for mentioning it. I mostly only know about Rainforest Alliance, for instance, because I’m a caffeine addict. My cosmetic purchases, on the other hand, are minimal, and almost all designed to support Climate Activism in the UK; go Lush. Goes a googling…

      • 3. Hann  |  Sunday, 20th September 2009 at 14:51 UTC

        I would buy lush products, but so far the stench has kept me out of the door and away from any useful information. That, and we don’t have a lush here…

  • 4. Jonny  |  Sunday, 20th September 2009 at 14:21 UTC

    Mate saw your open mic thing on facebook and thought I’d let you know i’ve been looking through your blog. Keep it up mate.

  • 5. Danyel  |  Sunday, 20th September 2009 at 14:40 UTC

    this might be entirely inappropriate, but if someone announces that i can talk and they won’t stop me…

    in days gone by (i don’t know exactly when; my knowledge of history is awful) people used to believe that things such as illness were caused by things such as ‘god’ or ‘the devil’. accordingly, they used to look for explanations of an almost circular nature; they would not only look for an explanation (‘answer’) where they already knew they would find it (because that was their starrting point) but it helped affirm their belief in the strength of their belief in the whole ‘god’-‘devil’ thing. (don’t try to argue with this point yet. it’s not a bad argument – it’s just common knowledge written down by an inarticulate person. stay with me on this, my point isn”t until later…).
    that into consideration, i would like to point out that nothing has changed. such ways of thinking allowed their society to be stronger. for example, if i were in their society and started to bend the rules a little and have sex before marriage, should i get ill at some point in life (which i inevitably would), i would automatically look for an explanation (i think all humans do this) and would probably come to the conclusion (perfectly rationally) that it was punishment for my misdeeds. it would be a thought process that would occur naturally, and everyone in the same society who knew of my misdeeds would probably come to the same conclusion. this way of thinking means that although a person is thinking rationally and ethically, that very way of thinking has been taught to the individual in order to preserve society.
    the equivilent now is ‘risk’. if i, in this society, were to get ill, i too would look for a rational explanation. i would probably come to the conclusion that it was because i didn’t drink enough water, or smoked too much, drank too much alcohol and didn’t sleep enough. even when we are informed that we have an illness that was inevitable – a hereditary one, for example. well, we should have got checked sooner..
    this way of thinking teaches us to be afraid to take risks. this is something society teaches us. it’s circular, and we are preserving it. we do this in the way we think, so if we ever want change (which we don’t, we think there should be – but we have been taught to be too scared to really make it happen), we have to challenge our every thought.

    i’m still young and stupid enough to believe in revolution; so go out, challenge society – nobody lives forever anyway. break the boundaries and show everyone else how it’s done. it can be easy and fun; you can even go out and ignore anything preceded by the word ‘recommended’, eat whatever you feel like eating, and drink however much alcohol you want, whenever you want – go and get absolutely wasted!(

    that was a joke, by the way – adding that website in. it proves a point, though.

    yeah. so going out drinking might not start a revolution, but if it makes people change the way they think then it’s on its way.

    stop looking at causes. it’s the conservatives’ job to look back.

    10 commandments:


    thou shalt drink 8 pints of water per day

    thou shalt take vitamin tablets

    thou shalt not eat junk food

    thou shalt not smoke

    thou shalt not exeed more than 2 units of alcohol

    thou shalt not come into contact with anyone who has a contagious illness

    thou shalt not exeed 4 doses in any 24 hour period

    thou shalt get the recommended amount of sleep

    thou shalt wash the hands frequently.

    (enjoy… but please notice that although my point is serious, this has been written in a lighthearted manner)

    • 6. Brain Duck  |  Sunday, 20th September 2009 at 16:47 UTC

      Drinking 8 pints of water a day would make you ill. Vitamin tablets carry risks as well as (often oversold or simply non-existent) benefits. Avoiding exposure to contagious illness may prevent your immune system building up a response to stuff, as may excessive hygiene. Sleep deprivation is an effective anti-depressant over the short term, though not good for you in other ways. Smoking’s still a bad idea, as is getting smashed.

      Being self-destructive does not constitute a revolution, in fact it’s likely to make you ineffective at changing anything. I’m not sure what your point is?

  • 7. Adam  |  Sunday, 20th September 2009 at 15:15 UTC

    Over the course of the last couple of months in particular, I have been becoming increasingly interested in theologies which infer the “negation” of God in some way. I suppose this has been borne somewhat out of experience, having worked closely with disadvantaged groups of people and pondering the apparent meaninglessness of their suffering (as we as suffering in general). It often seems that existence itself is bizarre, devoid of meaning, and fundamentally absurd; it is an existence where life must necessarily feed upon life, and the importance of one thing over another seems extremely arbitrary and subjective. The question is, how do we reconcile such nihilistic observations about our world with the idea of a loving God?

    Liberation theologians seem to have hinted at the idea that, actually, God is in fact powerless. Powerless by choice, and that is how He has revealed Himself in the person of Christ – Christ only becomes glorified in His deepest, darkest moment of suffering upon the cross. He has become the Slaughtered Lamb, weak and powerless, the slain sacrifice, and indeed it is only in this mode that He is (paradoxically) powerful to do anything about the suffering of the world at all.

    I was also intrigued by something I heard Pete Rollins say in one of his talks at Greenbelt: That when Jesus cried out upon that cross “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”, it was the act of God becoming an atheist – it is within the negation of God that true meaning is discovered, and salvation comes.

    I know these thoughts are all too disjointed, but you did invite everyone to come and express themselves!

  • 8. Brain Duck  |  Sunday, 20th September 2009 at 20:13 UTC

    I am confused by the point of an ‘open mic post’, surely if we have something to say we can write it on our own blogs / facebook / email / stand in the Parliament Street fountain shouting at passers-by.

    However, since I’m here: anyone know good veggie recipes to make in slow cookers? I am immensely proud of tonight’s ‘make-it-up-as-you-go-along’ slop – chickpeas, aubergine, cauliflower, curry paste, raisins, all cooked in orange juice, with rice. Suggestions for further tasty goodness much appreciated. Don’t forget to soak & boil beans first.

    • 9. Graham Martin  |  Sunday, 20th September 2009 at 21:28 UTC

      The purpose is that I have a lot of people reading my blog, possibly more than some others, and also, I write on different topics to other people. Also, many people don’t have their own blogs. The idea is partly to parade your blog, so other readers of mine find it (right of admission reserved), partly so people can talk about things they think other readers might like, partly so people can ask me random questions about things that aren’t quite relevant to blog posts I’ve written but are similar enough to guess I’ll have something to say.

      For me, its partly so I can read what people are interested in, and maybe go right a post or two of my own derived from topics my readership want to talk about. Partly its so I get some good blog recommendations. Partly its so I can feel like I’m engaged with my readership. Its not meant to be about me feeling good about things (thanks Jonny 😉 ) but to remind me of the diversity of interests and opinions (thanks Danyel 😉 ) amongst my blog readers.


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