March 31, 2004

I have been sweating and slaving over the next installment of the God Interview - do you think it's easy? A double episode this time and I'm almost sure it will be ready to post tomorrow. No, this is not an April Fool joke. Don't anybody go away.


March 27, 2004

MESSAGE FROM AUGUSTINE TO MEL GIBSON: Re your sado-maso cartoon film
(This link is to an excellent review by David Denby in The New Yorker)

My "message" is also currently at Open Source Politics SocialEyes.

I had to see it in the interest of research, Mel, and I'm glad to report that my local cinema in London was half empty this afternoon. But I hear that in America the punters are arriving by the coachload and you've raked in a cool 350 million bucks already.
Mel, you are forgiven since you obviously didn't know what you were doing.
Did you imagine that a Kill Bill - sorry, kill Jesus - blood fest was going to inspire people to love one another and forgive their enemies? Did you think it would make Christians more Christian and unbelievers into believers?
Well Mel, if you're interested in credibility, here's what you should do:
Give all the money you will make from this travesty and its merchandise to the poor, the hungry, the weak, the innocent, the oppressed, the persecuted, the tortured and to all those who suffer because of fanaticism, of whatever religious or political persuasion.

Jesus in Pasolini's filmAnd take a lesson in simplicity from Pier Paolo Pasolini's "The Gospel According to St. Matthew" (1964) also filmed in Matera (the only thing your film got right, Mel) but with a non-professional cast and no special effects.

(btw, Matera was the birthplace of my sorely missed brother-in-law, brilliant writer/critic, the late Gerardo Guerrieri).

Far from being a believer, Pasolini nevertheless put more truth and holiness into his portrait of Christ than your sorry gory expensive high-techmess of hyped up religiosity has done. Get thee to a monastery, Mel. A real one.

( Above: Enrique Irazoqui as Jesus in Pasolini's film)


March 24, 2004


The sense of foreboding and despair we feel about world events - more fuel poured on an already raging fire, all in the name of "security" - threatens to push us all onto the very path which we condemn others of following. Don't the slogan-makers understand the language they use? "War on terror" : war is terror so how can you conquer terror with terror? Where is the language of solution? The language of the heart? If we spend our time condemning evil, rather than searching for and expressing, as best we can, what is good, are we not losing our hearts and becoming our own enemies?

Footnote to the "Strawberry Parable" : digital picture of threatened strawberry. The God interview will continue in a few days.

A strawbewrry threatened by bigger fruit d



March 22, 2004


Rain and gale force winds discouraged me from going to the demonstration but others were not so cowardly - at least 25,000 people marched in London and many more all over the planet . What all these hearts and voices are saying is : "another world is possible". But the world leaders who could make it possible are, it seems, too cynically deaf to hear the message.

Here on my own small planet, some very good news. I have discovered and been discovered by the excellent poet Ivy, currently in Dublin. And a Real Live Preacher has featured Part Three of the interview with You-Know-Who (who must be well pleased at the sudden surge of hits here at our humble home). The Preacher is like no preacher you're used to: he tells it like it is. Read his blog and his story and, even if you are not a believer, you'll have to admit that here is a real live amazing human being.

Now for the next episode of the interview. I'm archiving these strips on a new page and that's where you can see them all in the right order and comment there as well.


March 18, 2004


These are some of the places around the world where people in their thousands will be marching for peace and justice, against war and violence, this Saturday March 20, the one-year anniversary of war on Iraq. Courtesy of Further information from United for Peace and Justice.

Europe: Aberystwyth, Akureyri, Alicante, Almer’a, Amsterdam, Asturias, Athens, Aude, Augsburg, Bad Hersfeld, Barcelona, Beja, Belfast, Belgrade, Berlin, Bern, Bilbao, Blata L bajda, Bremen, Bridgwater, Somerset, Bristol, Brussels, [2], Budapest, Burgos, Cadiz, Copenhagen, Cordoba, Donostian, Dresden, Dublin, Duisburg, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, Freiburg, Gasteizen, Gelsenkirchen, Girona, Glasgow, Gothenburg, Granada, Greifswald, Halmstad, Hamburg, Hannover, Heilbronn, Helsinki, Huelva, Irunea, Irunean, Jaen, Jerez de la Frontera, Joensuu, Jyvaskyla, Karlsruhe, Kuopio, Koln, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Lisbon, Ljubljana, Lleida, [2], Logrono, London, Madrid, Malaga, Menwith HillÊ(19/3), Motril, Murcia, Munchen, Oslo, Oulu, Paris, [2]Ê(14/3), Porto, Prague, Puerto de Santa Mar’a, Ramstein, Reykjavik, Rome, Rostock, San Roque (Campo de Gibraltar), Santander, Sevilla, Siguenza, Soria, Stockholm, Stuttgart, Tampere, Tarragona, [2], Teruel, Torrelavega, Ubeda, Vaasa, Valencia, Vienna, Warsaw, Zaragoza. Latin America: Belo Horizonte, Buenos Aires, Guadalajara, Managua, Mexico City, Presidente Prudente, Rio de Janeiro, Rosario, [2], San Juan, Santiago, Sao Paulo, Vieques. Asia, Pacific: AdelaideÊ(21/3), Canberra, Hiroshima, Hobart, Kobe, Kyoto, Melbourne, Osaka, Otsu, Perth, [2], Sydney, Wakayama, Wellington Asia: Aliaga, Ankara, Bangalore, Bangkok, Dhaka, Istanbul , Izmir, Jakarta, Mumbai, [2], PampangaÊ(21/3), Quetta, Quezon CityÊ(19/3), [2], Sapporo, Seoul, Tokyo, [2] North America: Calgary, Edmonton, Grand Rapids, Michigan, Halifax, Kahului, Maui, Hawaii, Montreal, New York City, Ottawa, Quebec City, [2], Seattle, Stevens Point, WI, Toronto, Vancouver. Africa: Cairo, Cape Town, Durban, Johannesburg, Port Elizabeth



March 15, 2004



March 12, 2004


Common Beauty has done it again: dropped a gentle pebble of suggestion in the pond, causing ripples of remembered childhood in the form of letters between those who have volunteered to take part, Natalie among them. Tender and melancholy revelations are emerging from these exchanges: linking childhoods could be the deepest way to connect to others.

Talking of childhood memories, here's one of N newly arrived in Los Angeles out of Paraguay - and Paris before that. Looks like she wishes she was back in the wilds.




March 9, 2004


Augustine & RalfAnother live encounter with live bloggers: the Cartoonist Ralf Zeigermann (that's him next to the Mask) and the Aardvark , Horst Prillinger (that's him next to Ralf) last night at Belgo in Covent Garden. Annie Mole was supposed to join us but unfortunately, had to cancel at the last minute due to a work emergency. Natalie insisted on coming along but I brought a mask so that when a photo was taken, I could make her vanish. We had a good time but my head is not where it should be today. Belgo is known for their moules, pommes frites and huge variety of beers. I had chicken and three large glasses of whatever was recommended by the experts. This was too much for a small cartoon but then we went to a nearby 16th Century pub known to Horst , the Lamb and something, and it seemed a good idea to have another beer. So if you don't mind, no more blogging today.

Horst & Ralf






March 6, 2004

Very nice meeting on Thursday with Debra Ramage of Deborama at my local spaghetti house. No time to do much except eat, talk and drink a bad decaff from the Literary Cafe - nice place, shame about the brew. Sorry Deb, next time I'll de-caf the beans myself. Anyone with good books to review, let Debra know: she writes fine reviews, as well as astute political commentary.

And now, what you have all been waiting for........AUGUSTINE INTERVIEWS GOD: Part Two


March 4.2004



March 2, 2004


The Unofficial Secrets Act forbids me from mentioning who exactly I will be interviewing exclusively for readers of this blog, but trust me, you will never believe I have managed this scoop. I am at this moment being vetted for my suitability as interviewer and my nails are bitten to the quick. It may take another few days to get clearance so don't go away! Keep all fingers crossed that nobody changes their mind. I am trying to decide what to wear for the occasion.



March 1, 2004


Another glowing review of our little manual The Joy of Letting Women Down - Secrets of the Worshipped Male has appeared - this one by reformed WM (so he says) Cass Brown. Since he has now been elected President of the Galaxy, some worshipping must still be going on somewhere. Go and read this expert's confirmation that our book hits the bull's eye, gently. Here's the last part of his review:

"I don't remember reading anything relating to men that was written by a woman, which was so totally devoid of point scoring and or scorn. This book is a revelation. I've looked and it is available at Amazon .....Buy it."

Marriage WM-style

Natalie d'Arbeloff. From "The Joy of Letting Women Down". Chapt.7: Marriage WM-Style