Sunday, 15 July 2007

Dog adopts rejected panther adopts rejected panther

"A two-week-old black panther cub rejected by its mother at a Serbian zoo has been adopted by a dog." Follow the above link for video footage.

Friday, 15 June 2007

Resitance Fall of Man

Recently, the Church of England has been waving its Aspergillum at Sony Entertainment, for what it sees as a desecration of Manchester Cathedral. Follow the link and read the news article.

This event regards a video game by Sony, entitled 'Resistance Fall of Man', which features a topographically accurate nave of Manchester Cathedral. The producers have taken photographic imagery of the edifice and created a virtual representation of the church, in which a gun fight scene takes place, presumably between aliens and men, since the game is clearly about humanity's fight against an alien invasion. According to the Church, Sony did not obtain permission to use the interior of the church within the game. What the Church arrogantly doesn't realize is that Sony officials don't really need permission; you see, they can pretty much do as they please.

Being a video game based on a fantastic alien invasion (unrealistic), the game does not have anything to do with reality at all. The landmark within the game is merely a prop designed to add atmosphere to a game that is to do with a 1950s retro fantasy epic, and certainly not gun crime, as the Church has insinuated.

But why is the Church so annoyed about all this?

In the video through the link directly above, the Manchester Bishop says:

'I mean, even if it weren't Manchester, any cathedral, any house of God to be used as the context for a game about killing [people] – I think is just so appropriate, and offensive.'

He has made a slip of the tongue and given us ample opportunity to hurl abuse at him. Well, I will refrain from such bad behaviour. However, the man clearly has his head inserted firmly into his rectum. For you see, he has lied. The game does not feature the killing of people. Only the killing of aliens. Something God would be proud of, I believe.

The reporter in the video through the link above says, 'the church wants these sacred surroundings to be seen as a sanctuary, not the venue for a computerised bloodbath.'

This is also a glaring mistake. The church is not portrayed as anything but a sanctuary, for the men who are besieged by attacking alien invaders, have no choice but to retreat into the nave of the church. Shame really, as such a beautiful building should not be a place of violence. The aliens weren't thinking on that wave length when they forced the men into the cathedral, though.

The Bishop of Manchester's and the cathedral authorities' raison d'ĂȘtre seems to be to do with concern over Manchester's gun crime. This seems strange, when taking into consideration the nature of Resistance Fall of Man; the game itself sees mankind facing off alien invaders, and there is little if nothing relating to gun crime.

In the news article, the Dean of Manchester Cathedral, the Very Reverend Rogers Govender, was quoted to have said the game was undermining the work of the church. He said, 'We are shocked to see a place of learning, prayer and heritage being presented to the youth market as a location where guns can be fired.'

That was the point in the news article when I began to formulate my suspicions regarding the true reason behind this outcry. How can a game about humanity's heroic stand off against alien invaders be seen as something that undermines the work of the Church? I should like to entertain the notion that the church has a specific bias toward video games, regardless of their content.

Tuesday, 15 May 2007

Endangered tiger

It seems fear of danger has distorted the outcome of a council decision to allow a Siberian tiger to take up residence at a farm in Wales. Hopefully the animal won't be put down, and the Longleat officials will find a home for it.

Thursday, 12 April 2007

Knut the Polar Bear

During March, through my usual ponderings of Youtube, Wikipedia and BBC News online, I discovered various articles relating to that baby Polar bear which is being looked after at the Berlin Zoo. I was very intrigued and interested by all this, not because of how cuddly and lovely the little bear is, but because of how much hate the situation has elicited from certain members of society.

What I'm talking about is the animal rights activists who have taken it upon themselves to denounce the loving care of zoo keepers, suggesting that instead of caring for this rejected animal, we ought to kill it instead, thus protecting its animal rights. We have been advised to murder this little animal so that it can be saved from the indignity of being loved and cared for by a man.

I can't help but feel slightly confused by this projected logic from an already vitriolic and, as some would say, man-hating leftist group. Animal rights activists have displayed contempt for humans, even children, in the past, leading to a three year old's death. Follow this link to read about a typical violent activist: ( What is amazing is how tortuous their intellectual standpoint can be: on the one hand they campaign for the rights of aniamls to such an extent that a clear froideur toward mankind surfaces, sometimes even deadly hatred; and yet on the other hand they can be so moved by what they percieve as the mal treatment of aniamls that they would recommend the killing of such animals, the rights of which they wish to protect.

I am quite moved by the relationship between Knut and his keeper: In a CNN article it is reported that, 'The head keeper likes to play guitar to Knut, sometimes serenading him with Elvis Presley tunes.' In this article, Ragnar is quoted to have said, "Knut understands some things. When the head keeper calls his name, he comes. Otherwise, he's like a little child. He has his own mind -- he's really a bear."

Everytime I see the bear on the news, I get the feeling that he is very happy and enjoying a kind of treatment he wouldn't have had in the wild. This bear is actually very lucky to be alive. I would argue that life itself is a gift, even when the person who is alive must spend their life in a form of a prison. But I doubt Knut feels imprisoned. I doubt he is subjected to violence from sociopathic inmates; what seems clear is that his level of care is luxury; this is one lucky bear who was rejected by its mother. The mere fact that he has been kept alive is a testament to the intervention of an intellectual human who can rationally examine the state of nature and cirumvent it in the name of love. This is what the animal rights activists don't understand. The act of love is an end in itself. It serves no direct purpose.

The acts of animal rights activists are not ends in themselves; they are calculated, acts of malice which serve to revolutionise society. The cause seems to be a twisted notion that a man shouldn't have the right to utilize the resources of his own planet for his own benefit. If man cultivates pigs and bovines on his farms, he may do with them what he wishes. It is this kind of basic human right that the activists wish to circumvent. It is similar to Ludditism. Only in the fact that these people despise something which serves to further empower humanity. We're facing the same opposition to stem cell research, genetic engineering, and even synthetic meat production (a form of meat farming that will not require any animal to be reared and killed in the process). It seems a trend comes to mind here: the desire to stifle human progression. Much of the growth of human civilisation will require questionable practices like animal testing; but what's important is reaching the heights which we can reach, and not the processes which lead to reaching them.

Thursday, 29 March 2007

Tony Benn scores big this time, attaking scientists

The video at the link above contains a Sunday chat show style discussion between two presenters, both of little note, and Tony Benn and Richard Dawkins.

Immediately in the discussion, Benn shamefully brings a Socialist rant into the playing field by talking about the conflict between the 'Kings who had power' and the 'prophets who preached righteousness'. The question isn't about power, class issues, morality. Dawkins defends his love of scientific empirical discovery, and he claims that such an issue is legitimately seperate from any ethcial consideration, which is the main focus of his standpoint. Dawkins needs no God, as some of the things he has been able to grasp by way of his intellect, probably provide him with more emotional impact than some mythic deity could. The way he understands evolution most of us may never be able to relate to; but what's clear is that he has found something more powerful than faith. That thing seems ineffable.

But Benn claims that scientists do nothing to give us moral guidance. His key point is that 'scientists can build atomic bombs but don't advise [us] as to whether to use them or not'. He accuses the science community of great arrogance; he says, 'they claim that they can explain the world, but they don't tell us how to live'; according to Benn this is actually the 'weakness of the [humanist] position'.

Dawkins' point that scientists don't try to tell people how to live is followed by the explanation that how these atomic weapons are used is not up to scientists. A broader explanation was not possible because Benn kept interrupting Dawkins throughout the interview, a method of attack dog style debate he employs often. However, I can guess quite easily what his explanation would have been, indeed, what the explanation of various humanists would be: although a small group of scientists in the field of technology helped to create horrible weapons, the science community as a larger group did not have any moral responsibility for such an occurrence. The point of scientific discovery is to learn about the universe and to pass that knowledge on to be applied in the separate field of high tech industry. What happens in the political and technological spheres is irrelevant to armchair science. Moreover, it is certainly not the aim of the scientific community to get involved in telling people how to live their lives.

One of the key points Benn expressed was that Dawkins was a good man, not because of his scientific/humanist position, but just because his character was good. Benn was suggesting that somehow Dawkins' humanist point was hinged on the idea of science claiming a moral high ground. While Benn was yapping and demanding that scientists offer guidance on how to live, Dawkins was trying to explain that science doesn't tell one how to live, because moral concerns are not relevant when considering what science is for or about. Science is for discovery. Industry/technology is for making human civilisation more advanced. Politics is for human organisation and moral decisions, or lack thereof. Benn talked about how one of his constituents had once written to him requesting a better Bus Service in Bristol (when he was Technology Minister under labour gov.). This was a clear example of his contempt for human technological progress as an end in itself. He doesn't seems to care much for such technology, only the sort of stuff that can make people's lives better in the short term. Well, that's fine, but he needs to be less vitriolic about it.

What amazes me is that Benn can't have the vision to create his own commandments for living, that he has to complain about the coldness of materialist science, and that he suggests he might need guidance from a scientist even though he expresses clear repugnance toward them. Benn ought to create his own vision for a future society, rather than expecting a scientist to do it for him. Scientists are too busy understanding the material world for us, to get involved in petty moral concerns.