Blogs in general #3 – the quiz blogs

May 11, 2005

(Blogs in General #1 and #2.)

Sometime ago, someone came up with the idea of stifling blogging creativity by simply encouraging people to take a series of quizzes and post the results on their blogs. I’ve been partial to the odd quiz every now and then but it’s far more interesting to read about people than discovering ‘what letter of the alphabet are you?’, or whatever. Here’s roughly what’s happening with the quiz blogs:

Which World War Two battle are you?

You scored: Battle of Stalingrad 72%

You are cold and brutal and hate fascism and communism in equal measure. You enjoy needless bloodshed and see it as necessary to halt the advance of German military power. Your favourite weather is snow and your hobbies include sniping and starving to death.

Other battles you matched:

Battle of Britain: 17%
Battle of Arnhem Bridge: 23%
D-Day: 15%

What is your German aristocratic name?

Your name is: Isabella von Mitzy-Bratwurst

Who should you vote for?

You read the Daily Mail and other right-wing propaganda leaflets. You hate immigrants and hope to one day re-establish the British Empire. You strongly support the death penalty for sodomites and in fact for most things, and are in favour of the arming of teachers and the use of deadly force to deal with yobbish behaviour in the classroom. You should vote for the Nazi Party or join the Young Conservatives.

How patriotic are you?

You rated: Damn straight I’m patriotic! 99%

You are so patriotic that you are utterly convinced the only wrong your nation can do is not kill everyone. Your favourite weapon is the H-bomb and you are mortified by the idea that anyone else should even consider wanting to have one. Your love for your country is so great that you even imagine God is exactly like you and that he won’t hold you to account for all the killing, torture and bloodshed for which you are directly responsible.

Are you a chav?

Your answers were as follows:

1) Do you own a Staffordshire Bull Terrier that has a piece of string for a lead?
2) Do any of your seven brothers and sisters all have different surnames?
3) Is your idea of a good night out drinking a bottle of cider in the park and trying to get off with an orange tan minger?
4) Argos sell high-quality jewellery that looks classy. True or False?
5) Your highest ambition is to drive a Ford Escort with shiny alloy wheels and homemade twin exhaust, yes or no?

You scored a chavtastic 100%. Report to your nearest Job Centre for immediate sterilisation and reassignment. Don’t forget to pick up your giro!

What gender are you?

Male: 50%
Female: 50%

You are an hermaphrodite. Other hermaphrodites include earthworms and some kinds of tropical fish. Your teenage years may be confusing and you may find solace in poetry, solitude, and music.


R.I.P Thérèse

May 10, 2005

Thérèse, who died as she lived, chuckling away on MSN

It is with heavy heart – but light kidneys – that World of Sven announces the tragic blogging demise of shoe-lover and megalomaniac Thérèse. Thérèse announced earlier today that she was to suspend blogging and MSN-related activities in order to go ‘on hiatus’, though she is believed to have died as a result of hiatal complications, and has not been seen since she cruelly tore herself away from Jonny, VJ and I earlier this afternoon.

The loss of Thérèse is a cruel blow to the universe, coming so soon after the death of John Paul II and the relegation of Stockport County into League Two. How will the citizens of earth cope now that their bright ray of Canadian sunshine has been extinguished and replaced by some kind of cosmic death-ray?

Already being hailed as ‘the people’s blogger’ by some and as ‘Mother Thérèse’ by others, Thérèse never lost her common touch or sense of humour and all of us who knew her will have a Thérèse shaped hole in our lives. Here’s what some mourners had to say:

“Now I don’t have any friends with accents on their name” – President Sven

“This is a darker day than when the sun blew up” – Jonny

“*dies*” – Valancy Jane

“I cried uncontrollably” – The Queen

“I’m so overcome with grief I want to die” – Dalai Lama

God bless you Thérèse, blogging buddy 2004-2005

President Sven announces cat policy

May 10, 2005

Katzen sind ein blödes Tier,
machen Augen rot.
Und Hustenreiz im Hals, dafür
besser Katze tot*

This policy was partly inspired by German punk band Wizo. Click here to hear the chorus (bandwidth permitting).

*Cats are awful animals/They make your eyes go red/and they make your throat tickle/therefore cats are better dead

Why I like Brian Mclaren

May 10, 2005

I like Brian Mclaren because he says things like this:

“I have felt for a long time that Western Christian theology (in its Catholic and Protestant forms) had somewhere become preoccupied with getting individual souls out of hell after death, and had too often lost a sense of God’s continuing love for all creation in this life – in other words, we had substituted something else for the gospel of the kingdom of God, which was at the heart of Jesus’ message. It was as if the doctrine of the fall had eaten up the doctrine of creation. The issue of hell-avoidance became the centerpiece of salvation, and I felt this perspective was neither true to Scripture nor healthy.”

Brian McLaren on his new book The Last Word and the Word After That.

Of course this is likely to have you branded as a liar and a damned heretic by a lot of folk, but I think there’s a lot of merit to his arguments.

My tuppence worth on the election

May 9, 2005

Well last Thursday was the General Election and now it’s all out of the way I’ll chip in with a few thoughts on the subject…

Tony Blair and Co won though with a hugely reduced majority of just 67 seats. Historically speaking, a parliamentary majority of 67 is still pretty large although it does of course seem rather small when compared to the two huge majorities that Labour won in 1997 and 2001. I think it’s a shame that Blair didn’t use his majority to introduce some changes to the electoral system, which is incredibly unfair when you think about it. Consider this:

Labour vote: 35.2% = 356 seats
Tory vote: 32.3% = 197 seats
Lib Dem vote: 22% = 62 seats

But I’m not holding my breath for them to change the system to a more proportionate one anytime soon.

The Tories were happy of course, though secretly I think they’ll be a bit miffed. Their support levels have only risen by just under 1% since 1997, which shows that almost no one outside of their core demographic has switched back to voting for them. I think the anti-war factor (amongst others) turned a lot of people away from Labour and towards the Tories, although most of the anti-war vote went towards the Lib Dems.

Blair is now clearly an electoral liability since the Iraq war, though he has announced that he still intends to be Labour leader at the next election, which combined with the coming downturn in the economy (yes) will I expect lead to a Tory government in 4-5 years time, especially if Uncle Tony leads us into another war of dubious legality.

Things that should be on the agenda in this Parliament:

* Pensions – nobody is going to get any by the time people my age get around to retiring but no one seems to be taking it seriously and the government aren’t encouraging people to save.

* War on Terror – Blair won’t risk another war if he wants to keep his job, though I wouldn’t be surprised if Dubya decided to attack Iran, Syria or North Korea in the near future, especially if Iran gets the bomb. I’m not a huge fan of nuclear weapons, but why is Iran a threat to world peace when it isn’t even a nuclear power? I could name one or two nuclear powers who have started more unilateral wars than anyone else since WW2 and who clearly are a threat to world peace (world peace, not peace for the west).

* The 192 bus that runs from Stockport to Piccadilly is always late. It is supposed to run every 4 minutes but sometimes you have to wait up to 20 minutes for one to arrive.

* The economy is slowing down, consumer spending is dropping, unemployment is rising and businesses that are relying on marginal profits to stay afloat will go under. Debt is at an all time high, and inflation is rising so expect interest rates to go up and exports to drop.

* TV – why is there never anything good on? Hm?

* Europe – didn’t feature in the election campaign and with good reason. Generally speaking, the British public are staunchly anti-Europe, so the largely pro-European Labour and Lib Dem parties kept quiet on the issue. The Tories also kept quiet because even though they are largely anti-Europe, the last time Europe was a serious issue in the early 1990s their party was torn in half and with defections and whip withdrawals over the issue John Major almost lost his majority. We’re due a referendum on the EU constitution this Parliament, and given that the EU have still not allowed its contents to be available to the public for them to make their own minds up, I would advise a ‘No’ vote at this moment in time.

* To the person who googled ‘Tony Blair Nude’ and arrived at this blog, I say shame on you.



May 9, 2005

Sven-Reuters news

Trillions of people turned out all over the world to mark the end of World War Two in Europe yesterday. Many war veterans, some of whom are now over 200 years old, gathered to pay tribute to their fallen comrades.

Sadly Adolf Hitler and Winston Churchill were too dead to attend the celebrations, though this didn’t dampen the spirits of those taking part. Trafalgar Square was packed with revellers singing old wartime musical favourites such as ‘My gal’s got rickets’ and ‘Oops Mr Hitler, you’ve trodden on my bloomin’ flowerbed.’

A generic cockney old woman recalled the jubilation felt in 1945 when it was announced that the war was over. “We heard on the wireless that Germany had surrendered and we all celebrated by having an extra half-slice of spam and singing the national anthem. Of course at the time we didn’t know that the Daleks would soon come and annihilate most of London, but you just get on with life.”

Joseph Goebbels is 126.


May 9, 2005

If you’ve read this blog for any amount of time, you’ll probably be aware that my faith is important to me. There are of course a great many things in Christianity that I dislike, and some that I’m downright hostile to (mentioning no atonement theories in particular.)

I think one of the things that is most rewarding is when I’ve written something or said something that has really encouraged, challenged (in a good way), or strengthened them on their journey of discipleship. The flipside is that one of the worst things that ever happens is when something you’ve said bruises someone’s faith and causes them to doubt some parts of their faith in a way that is harmful.

I do believe of course, that part of growing spiritual maturity will almost certainly involve the slaughter of several sacred cows, but there’s a right way to do it and a wrong way to do it. My own journey of faith in Christ has been greatly helped by questioning, and at times by doubting. Questions have never pushed me away from God, they have always drawn me further into his mystery.

I am aware though that some of the things I’ve written on here have caused one or two brains to frazzle and maybe one or two hearts to sink. This hasn’t ever been my intention, and sometimes I forget that maybe not everyone is as comfortable that kind of thing as I am. I still don’t buy a literal six-day creation (controversial), a pre-tribulation rapture a la Left Behind (shouldn’t be controversial, but it is), or the penal substitutionary theory of the atonement (which has undeservedly achieved the status of unquestionable dogma in many parts of the Evangelical world. I criticise it and people look at me as though I’ve just kicked their Gran in the face and robbed her pension money), or a host of other things.

I think the greatest thing about studying the Bible and Theology is that you realise just how much you don’t know, and that there’s so much that everyone doesn’t know. So now when I come across people who think they know it all and that their particular denomination/movement has the answer to everything (you don’t) and doesn’t need to learn from anyone else (“Agh! The Emergent Church – they’re different! Quick, demonise them!”) I think I’ll just quietly chuckle to myself rather than get all worked up and bang my head against the wall.