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The Homelessness Sunday Pack contains exactly 20OO reasons and resources to

make a difference to homelessness and bad housing. L4.4O each from CHAS, 209 Old

Marylebone Road, London NWl- 9QT. Final posting date for resource 25/r/2000

movement n. 7. a moving or being

moved. b instance or this (watched his

every movement). 2 moving parts of a

mechanism (esp. a clock or watch).

3 a body of persons with a common

object (peace movement). b caffLpaign

under taken by them. 4 (in pl.) person's

activities and whereabouts. 5 fabulous

magazine published termly by SCM.

Available for f15 for two years and

free to affiliated groups. (I must get my

copy of movement now !) See address

opposite.

movement

recommended

on good

authority


Zoltan Helsey argues that the less gtamorous environmental issues are being

sidetined because we'd rather hear sensational predictions about rising sea [evels

than about [oca[ wettands.

Global warnfng

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catastrophe is about to engulf us. When

there is a hot summer or a strong hurricane

some scientist, almost inevitably, will

appear on TV spouting warnings of human

induced climate change and how things will

only get worse. But how true are these

apocalyptical predictions? With what

confidence can we believe scientists'

predictions?

The research for climate change is

undertaken using huge supercomputers

which are able to simulate the Earth's

climate. By changing parameters in these

models - such as a doubling of

greenhouse gases in the next 50 years -

they can try to predict what the climate

will be like in the future. Most of the

models predict the Earth's climate will rise

in temperature by an average of 1.5 to

4.5'C. You will, no doubt, have seen these

kinds of figures in the news, but just how

accurate are they?

The problem with these predictions is

that they rely on models which are far from

perfect, since they operate at a relatively

coarse resolution; moreover they are trying

to model a system which is inherently

chaotic. To verify these models, scientists

try to predict past climate changes from

which we do have some data. This is not

ideal, because whilst Europe has many

years of past data, vast parts of the globe

(the oceans and Africa) have little recorded

climatic data. Even if these global predictions

are accurate, what is really needed by

policy makers is regional estimates of

climate change. Again, the climate models

face difficulties here and it is very difficult

to predict regional climate change.

Despite these criticisms, many

scientists argue it is best to be cautious

and make plans for various climate change

scenarios. The difficulty is implementlng

the restraints needed to reduce

greenhouse gas emissions. Most people

agree with cutting greenhouse gas

emissions; but it is hard to get people to

use public transport more regularly or boil

less water in their kettles and so on. To

effectively implement climate change

controls would require a radical change in

the economical and political structure of

society. lt demands a stop to economic

growth, perhaps through the

implementation of large taxes on fossil

fuels.

Such a policy is very unlikely to be

taken up and hence what will probably

happen is that nations will adapt to the

effects of climate change as they happen

The effects will not happen overnight, but

over a period of time which gives us the

chance to build bigger flood barriers or

whatever. Remember also that the

greenhouse effect will also lead to positive

changes like larger areas for cultivation at

high latitudes. This may lead to larger crop

yields and the possibility of growing a

greater variety of crops in the UK. Maybe

with average temperatures in the UK

increasing, British wine will taste better!

We, of course, have a responsibility to

look after the planet. However, despite the

media attention this gets (perhaps

because stories of doom are always

popular) we must not forget other equally

important yet less glamorous

environmental issues. These include land

fill sites, the protection of wetlands, the

effects of oil drilling on British coral,

desertification, urban pollution, heavy

metal pollution....

These issues do not get the same

amount of attention in the media, or as

much research funding, because they

often operate at a local level and are

perhaps less dramatic stories compared to

global changes. For example, wetlands are

vital habitats for migrating birds, they are

great absorbers of pollution and they

provide flood protection. But when did you

last read a story about wetlands in the

press? lt would seem sensible that we do

not over focus our efforts on climate

change and neglect the rest of the

problems the environment is facing. ls

climate change worth worrying about? Yes,

but we must not ignore other environmental

issues as a result and one should

remember that the scientists' predictions

are far from perfect.

,tn_

Zoltan Helsey is a member of Leeds SCM

and is a Research Fellow in the School of

Geography.

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lssue 104

Winter 1*912ffJfJ

Movement is the termly

magazine of the Student

Christian Movement,

dlstributed free of charge

to members and

dedicated to an openminded

exploration of

Christianity.

Edltorial address

2/2 167 Hyndland Road,

Hyndland, Glasgow.

G12 gHT

r (0141) 339 7343

e: movemag@aol.com

SCM central office

Westhill College,

t4/75Weoley Park Road

Selly Oak, Birmingham.

829 6LL

r (0121) 4712404

f: (0121) 474 1257

e: SCM@charis.co.uk

Editor: Tim Woodcock

Editorial board: Diccon Lowe, Sara

Mellen, Carolyn Styles

SCM staff

Coordinator - Carotyn S9les

ProjedWorter: Groups - Elinor Mensingh

Website: www.charis.co.ulvscm

Disclaimer: The views expressed in

Movement arc those of the particular

author and should not be taken to be

the policy of the Student Christian

Movement.

Membershlp fees:

-915 (uaged)

t10 (urMraged/$udents)

Next copydate

1jlh Mar$ 2000

UrEoliribd materhl uelcome.

AskbrguitelirEs.

Adveltbil€condab

20fi March 200O

lssN 0306.980x

Cfnrity No.241t€o

@1999SCil4

movement 1


,t s

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Thank you Stephen

We bring you the news that our Project

Worker for Publications, Fundraising and

Membership Development, StePhen

Matthews came to the end of his contract

with SCM in November. SCM's Project

Workers are employed on a two year basis,

to ensure fresh energy and new ideas.

Stephen began working for SCM just

before the 1997 Annual Conference and in

his time here became a familiar and

friendly face at all of our events. He was an

excellent fundraiser (a dull but essential

job) and gifted in the art of persuasion, he

made more people part with their cash than

anyone before him! He is now headed for

greater things in the big city and we wish

him well.

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Beatltudes or

platltudes?

IE

HE RECENT SGM CONTCRENCE

U'lrurutt*ti:iffiir;;'

everyone seemed to know what these were

at the start of the conference, but I hope

that they felt they'd learnt something about

it by the time they left! Not unsurprisingly

then the weekend focused a lot on

persecution, but I left feeling hopeful about

Christianity in the next century, having learnt

that the Beatitudes tend to focus on

reversal and that things don't always have to

stay the way they are.

We had three very powerful speeches,

particularly profound was Chris Kitch's

account of her own time as a 'bag-lady' and

her experience of'reversal. I think we all

learnt something from her, if nothing else to

listen with our hearts.

The workshops were good too, I wasn't

able to sample them all but I can say that I

had fun with the drama and I believe the

general consensus was thumbs up. The

weekend was nicely rounded off with SCM

joining in with the service of the United

Reformed Church, where we were staying.

Not only was it nice to be able to take part

in their service and spread something of the

message of what SCM is and what we do,

but it was also good that we were able to

SCM staff and conference speakers (l-r: Stephen Matthews, Nick Bradbury' Chris Kitch'

Carrie Styles, Mary Alfonse, Ellie Mensingh)

give something by contributing pieces from

our various workshops.

We also had Kopanang, a fab band, on

the Saturday night, which nicely mixed

entertainment with the telling of a message'

And spread throughout the weekend,

worship from Cambridge, Lincoln and Leeds

and group activities.

Overall I think the last SCM conference

of the century went out with a bang! I really

enjoyed being part of the planning team and

I hope that all those who attended enjoyed

it as much as me. We can now look forward

to a new millennium and whatever SCM

conferences that will bring us!

(ELSIE RILEY)

SEE ALSO PAGE 4: creative writing and art

from the conference.

movement 2

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I

The Taize Experience!

Get your dlaries out now and make

sure you remember to keep the flrst

weekend of March free! The organlsers of

the Ecumenical Gatherlng 2OOO (SCM,

CSC and Methsoc and St Alphege's

Church ln Solihul) are lnviting you to a

weekend's taste of Talze ln the charmlng

city of Blrmingham. To make the flavour

of the weekend more authentic, the event

wlll be led by Brother Paulo, a welFknown

member of the Talze community.

There wlll be plenty of chances to

partlclpate in the beautlful Taize style of

worshlp, as part of a large group of young

people. As well as the worship, you'll be

able to find out more about what the

Taize communlty is and what lt stands for,

Various workshops will offer you the

possibility of exploring themes about

whlch Taize is concelned, such as peace

and reconclllatlon. Booklng forms wlll

soon be avallable from the SGM offlce.

coming up: Ecumenical meeting

2000. BrRlrrrucHnm, 3Ro - SrH

Mnncn 2000.

Child soldiers

Stuart Ullathorne of

Pax Christi writes:

Since January 1982

no less than ninety

two 16 and L7 year

olds have died

during service.

Britain has the

lowest (equal)

minimum age of recruitment, the largest

recruitment of under 18s into the armed

forces, and the lowest age of deployment.

On 10th November the Coalition handed

in a 6O 000 strong petition to the Prime

Minister which strongly urged him to

support the introduction of an Optional

Protocol to the UN Convention On The

Rlghts Of The Child. This would raise the

minimum age of recruitment and

participation in the British Armed Forces to

18 years of age.

Ethnic minorities and young people who

are economically deprived are often the

focus of recruitment campaigns, as it is

assumed that possibilities for further

education and good employment will not be

available to them elsewhere.

However, the question should be asked:

is the recruitment of young people into the

armed forces a suitable means of

compensating for their lack of

opportunities?

For more information on the issue p/ease

contact Pax Christi. t: 0787 203 4884 or e:

p axc h r isti@ gn. a p c. o rg.

Cockney Catholic Workers?

A group of people in London are

thinking about the possibility of beginning a

Catholic Worker community. There are

already groups in Liverpool, Glasgow and

Oxford. The Catholic Worker movement is

committed to actions of resistance and

hospitality and emerged from 1930s

depression in the USA.

A group of people have been meeting

once of a month to discuss the possibilities.

It is most likely to be in east London. Fr

Martin Newell said: "At this stage there are

lots of if and bits and maybes. We are just

drawing people together." lf you are

interested in living in a radical intentional

community, contact Martin Newell on 0171

4764L29. Spread the word...

Summer challenge

Doug Hemin! of World Vision writes;

ln her recent article Beki Bateson explored

the complex issues which Palestinian

Christians face in the West Bank and Gaza

Strip ('Surface Tension', M103). Most

tourists to the Holy Land tend to be

cocooned away from the harsher realities

which these 'Living Stones' of the

Palestinian Church now face. Beki's

challenge to readers was to look under the

surface of this beautiful land from beyond

the comfort of air conditioned coaches.

Here in the Church Relations

Department at World Vision UK we have

been sending teams of Christian students

to the West Bank for some years now. We

offer UK students the chance to visit some

of the communities most affected by the

lsraeli Occupation. World Vision works in

these areas as part of its wider

commitment to the issues of justice and

reconciliation world wide.

The Student Challenge Programme is

run over the summer break for a period of

five weeks which include an initial week of

orientation with local Church leaders,

human rights lawyers and development

experts. The teams take part in various

educational and research projects which

contribute to the longer term work of World

Vision in the Holy Land.

For more information about these teams

p/ease contact Doug Heming at: 599

Avebury Boulevard, Milton Keynes Central

Milton Keynes, MKg 3PG.

O r e-mail : Dou g.He m i ng@worldvisi on.org. u k

movement 3

The Cairns Network is an "international

network of people whose spiritual way

involves: being committed to the earth;

wrestling with faith; daring to contemplate;

being creative." They have just published a

32 page booklet called By Heartfor the

Millennium. Further details from available

from 0114 243 Ll82 or cottercairns@

compuserve.com.

The Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement

has launched a website at http://members.

aol.com/gcm. lt features information about

the organisation and an archive of articles

on gay and lesbian issues.

Spotted in the Guardian letters page

(25/9/99) in response to a piece earlier in

the week about 'hard partying missionaries

who turn pub chats into moral debates

about masturbation and home-taping':

"All the views could have come straight

out of the 1950s. Christians who don't

want to get caught up in the CU right-wing

anti-intellectual bigotry can still do what

those of us who were pursued and prayed

for did then. Join the Student Christian

Movement, which is still very much alive

and as intellectually robust as ever.

Dr Jack Priestley, Exeter."

WSCF-Europe's Regiona/ Asse m bly took

place in ltaly at the end of November.

Outgoing Chairperson Eilidh Whiteford and

former Movement co/umnlst was

bombarded with gifts from well-wishers.

The new European Retional Committee,

who are responslb/e for the next two years'

program, was e/ected and it includes Kate

Wilson of British SCM.

WSCF-Europe is working on a series of

international and ecumenical projects and

events, details of these can be found on

SCM's website when they are announced.

National Fairtrade Fortnight is running from

6-19th March 2000 and is being used as a

focus to promote fairly traded goods. There

are already 75 products that have earned

the Fairtrade Mark. To complement

Caf6direct coffee and others, a chocolate

called Divine has been launched ("Heavenly

milk chocolate with a heart").


Some creative hightights from SCM's recent conference on the beatitudes.

Creme de la creativity

Blessed are the rich

The creative writing workshop explored the gap between the claims and the reality of the

church. Here are some 'anti-beatitudes' by David Anderson.

* Blessed are the rich for their taxes will be cut to encoura$e enterprise.

* Blessed are those with transferable skills, for they need not fear chan$e.

* Blessed are the poor, for they shall be the subject of award-winning

documentaries.

* Blessed are the revolutionaries, for their portraits shall decorate student bedrooms.

* Blessed are those who believe advertisements, for they shall always have

something new to dream of.

* Blessed are the pure in body, for they will all have bought the latest product'

* Blessed are the ironists, for we need never commit ourselves to anything.

* Blessed are the realists, for they will ensure that nothing changes.

I

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People from the music workshop sing with Kopanang

Banners by Cathy Clarke, bottom one made duringthe conference.

Words from the beatitudes being rearranged.

Collage poem

by rearranging the words of the beatitudes

(Matthew 5: 3-10, NIV).

Who are the blessed?

Who is the God of the persecuted?

Who are the kingdom?

Are their sons blessed?

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Wlllthe blessed be poor?

Will the blessed be less blessed in the fulness?

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Manifesto

The following was written last summer in

response to some of the wilder claims I

have heard from some evangelist types

during my time at university. A small survey

among friends sugElested that mY

experience was not unique, since most of

the people I showed it to could relate to it. lt

has even been described as 'therapeutic''

"l do declare myself to be in twenty-four

hour communion with God being one of His

chosen ones (and it is to be remembered

that we do not choose God but He chooses

us) after my death my body shall not

corrupt and my corpse shall give off a floral

odour and I do also declare that my

understanding of faith is the only true

understanding and that anyone who differs

from that which I proclaim is mistaken and

their faith is not the true faith and

furthermore The Bible shall be the one and

only absolute source of all knowledge the

very words written there having been

dictated by God Himself (and all objections

raised on grounds of difficulty of translation

or that the original scriptures no longer exist

shall be dismissed on the grounds that

such objections are based on intellectual

reasoning and should therefore form no

part of any religious discussion) My

Statement of faith is embodied in the

KikYoo ten-point doctrine and no other

creed (for after all shall not a group of '60s

students have greater wisdom than any Sth

century Bishops)? none of my words or

actions may be subjected to valid criticism

since I refuse to accept that anything I say

or do intending well could cause anything

but good (and I therefore have an absolute

right to state my opinion of anyone else's

words actions or beliefs and to act on

anyone else's behalf if I consider it right to

do so) and any criticism of such words or

actions shall not deter me for those

subjected to persecution shall be

considered blessed."

(CATHERINE CARFOOT)

Piece not from workshop.

After the earth will they mourn for it?

Because they thirst God,

[and] hunger in their heart for heaven,

they will be filled.

(COLLECTIVE EFFORT)

movement 4


I

El3g,3i":Ig,il#-i

some with ten people. All of them had any

of a number of diagnoses: schizophrenia, bipolar

disorders, borderline personality

disorders, epilepsy, depression, dissociative

identity disorders (formerly multiple

personality disordeO. They varied from low

to high functioning, learning life skills, job

ski I ls,' how-to-f u n ction-i n-society' ski I ls, etc.

And despite the support of the mental

health care 'system', they always needed

more.

We could never meet their spiritual

needs, never able to answer why it is they

came out the way they did, and what place

God had in their lives. We were actually

prevented from doing so. Any religious

questions or interest they expressed meant

an immediate referral to a local church. This

was done to protect them from the personal

beliefs of any staff, but still, I always felt

that we were never able to connect with

these people, whose lives clearly needed

some kind of solid foundation, other than

therapy and pharmaceutical medication.

Mental illness is contagious. lf you don't

have good boundaries, you can easily get

seduced by the despair that many of these

people face in having minds and psyches

that don't work the way most minds work.

For this reason, we had a fairly high

turnover in our staffing. There was an

understanding among my co-workers that

few people could deal with doing this kind

of work for much more than three to four

years. I was in my fifth year of this work

when I had my first bout of active

depression, in the form of 'post traumatic

stress disorder'. I think I learned at that

point how vulnerable I could be, something I

hadn't even considered before. I was always

popular, had good grades, and was active in

my community. But when I collapsed from

the pressure of my work, I realised that

anyane could have a seemingly normal life,

and secretly be harbouring an inner world of

deep anxiety and pain.

A boy and his brain

Rrcr GnnnNo

At first I treated my condition as an

illness, something I could confront, treat

and leave behind me. But as I explored my

past through counselling and with friends, I

began to realise that what happened to me

wasn't simply based on pressure from work.

It was, rather, an extreme example of a

pattern I had been living for most of my life.

This was not an illness that I could 'defeat'.

This was a chronic condition that I had to

live with. I don't know if it is possible to

explain to you what this

means, exactly. I had to

accept the fact that my

emotions do not

function the way others

do. I had to become

accustomed to overreactions

and

misplaced feelings and

extreme highs and

lows. As a man, I had

been taught that these

things were signs of weakness. As a

Christian, I had been taught to listen to the

voices of passion and compassion. As a

student of political and social analysis, I had

to develop a relationship between my heart

and my head, and have my feelings inform

my thoughts, and vice versa. How could I

trust myself anymore? How could I be

responsible, if I couldn't trust my

responses? The only conclusion I was able

to reach was to be as honest as I could be

about my world, and share that with my

friends and family. Honesty is a key to

dealing with all this, and although I am not

sure whythis is, I have certainly seen it

prove to be my best self-support.

I am sure this must seem somewhat

opportunistic, using this column to testify

about my life experience. I did not initially

plan to focus on my own story as I have, but

I think people need to have a better grasp

on this condition in determining how it fits in

to our overall analysis of the world we are

trying to save. Depression is debilitating to

millions of people around the world, as are

other mental illnesses. lt keeps people from

realising their potential, and often expresses

itself in the form of self abuse and suicide.

This is a rapidly growing illness in a world

that has lost its sense of meaning, its

spiritual centre, and its belief in our

traditional institutions, and hope for the

future. Depression is a serious symptom of

our central issues in the Student Christian

Movement.

I do not believe for a minute, however,

that it is anything that can defeat us in the

work we do. ln my study of liberation

Mental ittness is contagious.

lf you don't have good

boundaries, you can easity

get seduced by the despair

that other peopte face.

theology, I have learned that the forces that

oppress us are weaker than we are because

they interpret their strength in money,

muscle and political might. And it is the

study of these powers that is the key to their

failure. ln the case of depression, it is no

different.

I use the illness as a lens through which

I can look at the world. Just as I interpret

the world differently as white, as male, as

gay, and as middle class, I interpret it as

someone who has depression. I also accept

that mental illness is a social construction

that will have ownership of me, unless I

have ownership of it. lt is still a struggle, but

facing struggle is one of those things that

we SCMers do. And it is the way that we

address issues that is our real message to

the world.

lf you are a reader, you could be a writQr,,.

mOVement is always interested in new ideas.

Fancy doing a review? Having a rant? Generating ideas?

lf so, please get in touch - see address on page one.

movement 5


Richard Holloway on the government's attempts to embrace the market economy

and combat poverty. Can weatth creation reatty be for the benefit of the majority?

And do we need to find new ways to talk about inequatity and social intergration?

RED

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MUD

or slD 7 o

NE OF THE MOST SEARCHING

diagnosticians of the human

condition was Karl Marx. Dr Marx

was a lousy therapist, but his

diagnosis of human social pathology is still

powerful and searching. He understood how

political economies functioned, so his

analysis is a good place to start thinking

about the effect of global capitalism on the

human community. His main insights, like

most brilliant perceptions, once you get hold

of them, are startlingly simPle.

The central claim is that power always

justifies itself, not necessarily by brute force,

though it is rarely reluctant to do that, but

by theories or ideas. That is why the ruling

ideas in any era always justify the position

of the ruling class - they are always used to

legitimate the way things are done by the

people in charge. lt is important to

understand that this is not necessarily an

accusatory insight, though it is a critical

one. A moment's thought will show how

obvious and necessary it is for any

institution to be able to justify itself to itself,

if it is to continue to operate effectively and

not paralyse itself into critical gridlock. The

importance of the Marxist insight is that, by

helping us to understand how institutions

work, it puts us in a better position to strive

for their improvement, or, where necessary,

their complete transformation. The main

point I want to make is that people who are

doing well out of a system rarely call for its

reform. That is certainly how Kenneth

Galbraith understands global capitalism

today.

ln his book, The Good Society, he writes:

'There is the inescapable fact that the

modern market economy accords wealth

and distributes income in a highly unequal,

socially adverse and also functionally

damaging fashion'. Galbraith knows better

than most how good the market economy is

at generating wealth, but he is concerned at

the way those who benefit from the system

refuse to address the damaging effects it

has on the most vulnerable members of

society. Few people today argue for the

complete abolition of the capitalist system.

lncreasingly, however, they are calling for a

candid acknowledgement of its failures. 'We

created the thing', they say, 'so why can't we

learn to modify or correct it?' And we have

started to do this in certain areas. We have

learnt about the cost to the planet of

unregulated industrial activity, so we no

longer tolerate businesses that pollute our

rivers and destroy the quality of the air we

breathe. So far, however, we are uncertain

about how to respond to the effects of the

global market economy on the human

environment. We could make a start by

acknowledging that the system that has

made most people in this country more

prosperous has plunged a significant

proportion of our fellow citizens into poverty

and despair.

One of the undisputed facts of the

history of human industry is that change in

the methods of production always has a

disproportionate impact upon the most

vulnerable in society. History, like nature,

seems to be indifferent to the pain it causes

the weak. Think of the way the industrial

revolution chewed up and spat out

generations of the poor, before we learned

how to protect them from its worst

depredations. The paradox of our time is

that it is the death of heavy industry that is

now devastating the poor. Much of this is

J.K. Galbraith has argued that wealth is

distributed in socially damaging ways.

movement 6

the consequence of global economic

changes. Heavy industry has been replaced

by the knowledge economy, and we are only

now trying to catch up with its

consequential impact upon the poor and illeducated.

And, as if that were not enough,

social change has combined with the

economic revolution to destroy the cultural

cohesion of the most vulnerable sections of

our society.

History, like

nature, seems to

be indifferent

to the pain it

causes the weak

When the cultural revolutions of the

sixties met and married the economic

revolution of the eighties, there was created

a potent instrument of social change that

has transformed the social landscape of

Britain, and its most devastating impact has

been upon young, ill-educated workless

males. The institutions that once gave them

a motive for responsible living, such as

holding down a tough, demanding job with

its own culture and honour, and presiding,

however clumsily, within a marriage and

family that was the primary context for the

nurture and socialising of children, have

largely disappeared, and with them the

main ways the human community

traditionally disciplined and integrated what

the Prayer Book calls, 'the unruly wills and

affections of sinful men'. This shattering of

the structures that once gave the poor

significance and purpose has created a

breeding ground for despair and alienation.

Whenever I refer to these facts at the

dinner tables of Edinburgh someone

inevitably points out that no one in Britain is

starving today, because absolute poverty

has been eradicated. That may be true, but

minority poverty has a peculiar cruelty of its

own. When most people were poor, there


ti

nonsense

enjoyed. lt has occurred to the new Left that

this engine of the market, steered carefully,

might be used to drive towards a more fair

and equal society. So, with brilliant

effrontery, they have united the two ideas

together in Holy Matrimony. lt's as though

the Left wing daughter of the shop steward

at the Mill, fresh from the London School of

Economics, and determined to do

something about life in the Valley for her

people, has married the owner's son, a nice

lad, good at making money, a bit challenged

intellectually, but mesmerised by the charm

and cleverness of his unexpected bride.

was a camaraderie and cultural cohesion in

belonging to the working class that gave

them a strength and pride that transcended

the structures that excluded them. But in a

society where most people are prosperous,

and the poor are a minority whose culture

has disintegrated, the pain and anger they

feel is heightened.

It is the mark of a humane and civilised

society to acknowledge this pain and try to

tackle the factors that produce it, though

generations are always sacrificed while we

learn to make the necessary adjustments to

the great engine of change that drives its

way through time. Because the Government

has acknowledged that the endurance of

poverty in a prosperous society is a scandal,

we are currently embarked upon an

ambitious programme to tackle the tragedy

created by the revolutions of our time.

We have acknowledged that the system

that benefits most of us has had the

unintended effect of excluding many of our

fellow citizens, so we have to learn to

correct that tragic imbalance. The

paradoxical thing about the Government's

The Government's programme to end

poverty and social exclusion no longer

conforms to the otd prescriptions.

determination to end poverty and social

exclusion is that the programme of change

no longer conforms to the old prescriptions

of the Left, though it is clearly prompted by

the Left's traditional passion for a more

equal society. lt has been argued that the

Left won the ethical or cultural argument in

Britain, but that the Right won the economic

argument. lt is claimed that the market

economy is the best instrument for the

creation of prosperous societies, even

though the prosperity is not universally

II PEOPTE OF OOOD WILL

must pray that the project will

succeed in bettering the lot of the

excluded. So the intention behind

the Government's anti-poverty campaign

has to be commended, but that does not

mean that we should refrain from critical

analysis of the methods used, nor that we

should retire Dr Marx because we have

nothing left to learn from him. His central

diagnostic insight is still helpful, though we

may have to apply it in a subtler way. The

domination system is more likely to be

spiritual today; we are more likely to be

imposing a moral or cultural agenda on the

poor, because we are convinced that we

know what is good for them.

There is some evidence that the

Government is in the grip of this kind of

thinking; in current social administration

jargon, they have been seduced by SlD. SID

is one of three types of discourse that are

applied to the whole area of poverty and

social exclusion. The three are RED, MUD

and SlD. RED is what is called a

redistribution discourse, because it believes

that there can be no permanent bettering of

the poor without significant elements of

redistribution. MUD is a moralising

discourse that blames the poor for their own

pathologies. SID is a social integration

discourse, which believes all problems will

be solved if we get people back into work.

There is little doubt that the Government

has recruited SID in its campaign to

eradicate poverty in this country. Can he do

it on his own without RED? That is the

question./{t-

Richard Holloway is the BishoP of

Edinburgh and Primus of the Scottish

Episcopal Church. He has written several

well-regarded and provocative books, the

latest being Godless Morality: Keeping,

Religion Out of Ethics has been published

by Canongate.

movement 7


Tim Woodcock meets Dave Andrews, an Austratian ideatist and author of Christi-

Anarchy. Here he tatks about tiving a spirituatity without hierarchies.

Accfdental lffe

of an anarchfst

rv:AxonewstsADnEAilER.

Perhaps the biggest dreamer I

have ever met - and, no, that

isn't meant pejoratively.

Mordja Amari Boradja. lt is an Aboriginal

saying that he invokes: those who lose their

dreaming are lost. Andrews talks about

compassion and inclusiveness and

community, fully aware of how fanciful and

abstract it can sound, yet unlike so many

others, he did not leave such ideas behind

in the 1960s. Dave Andrews has a fount of

quirky anecdotes that demonstrate dreams

can impinge on reality.

For ten years Dave and his wife, Ange,

lived in Delhi, where they set up an open

house for disillusioned travellers. lt became

'against

the home for hundreds. After the murder of

Mrs Gandhi by her Sikh bodyguards, and the

ensuing backlash, he organised sanctuaries

that offered to the Sikhs. Back in Australia

he gained notoriety in the seventies for

almost starting a riot, when he and a friend

stood in a shopping mall handing out $2

notes (their own hard earned

cash) as a protest against

greed.

More recently he has

moved away from grand

gestures and grand standing.

He is based in inner-city

Brisbane, which is a bustling,

cosmopolitan yet violent

place. He is involved with the

Waiters' Union - about thirty

households committed to

'waiting' on people, working

towards community. "ln spite

of our illusions we are only

little people. lf we ever do

great things it is an

accumulation of a lot of little

things. We need to get back

to discovering our littleness.

We need to do little things

with a lot of love and integrity

and dignity - I'd encourage

people to be far less

grandiose."

Andrews has always been a

movement 8

'Christ'

a saY

aod to

as srcn

dissenter. He soon noticed the disparity

between the church's actions and its claims

and spent his teenage years sermonising

and sniping. "lt was only when I got to the

a1e of 20,l realised it was a pretty selfindulgent

response just to lash people. I

came to the conclusion that I if thought

" l came to the conctusion

that I if thought things

needed to change, then

I needed to change. "

things needed to change, then I needed to

change. For the whole of my life, since I was

20, that is the journey I have been on: to

develop an alternative rather than sit back

and take cheap pot-shots..."

The 'alternative' has led to Andrews

identifying a vital but submerged tradition,

what he calls Christi-Anarchy. lt is an idea

explored by Jacques Ellul, the French

sociologist, who calls it 'Tradition X'. He

identifies Ellul as a fellow pilgrim, and

name-checks him along with along with

Dorothy Day, founder of Catholic Worker

movement and 17th century digger Gerrard

Winstanley. Andrews argues that we need to

discount Christianity as a religion,

but still try to remain true to

Christ's teachings. "l want to

replace the ideology with a

sensibility. We need to

reconstruct the idea of what it

means to follow Christ."

This new paradigm demands a

thorough critique of structures,

and this easy-going Australian

becomes unusually didactic

when he starts talking about

church structures: "The

leadership structures in

Christian organisations are

totally contradictory to what

Christ was all about. Jesus

was quite explicit. He said

to his disciples, 'With the

pagans their bosses rule it

grouPs


q

all over them. lt shall not be so amongst

you'. He explicitly forbade it."

"We've negotiated with the local

Anglican Church lin Brisbanel to take over

the evening service and to make it a space

for the most distressed and disadvantaged

people in our neighbourhood. So they not

only attend but they control it. Anybody can

speak. Anyone can lead the service.

"There's an open invitation - people

volunteer, then the organiser, if they have

never done it before, will help them do it.

We have people who actually live on the

streets who check themselves into

psychiatric institutions to get on medication

so they can have a greater degree of

stability. They go to a library, plan their

sermon, come and preach it, and check

themselves back out of hospital and go

back on the streets. Now I don't know of any

other church in the world that does that.

"lt is a place where, for us, the good

news is not only the content but the

process. The good news for the poor is not

that the rich telling them the that Christ is

good news for them, but the poor have

access to Christ for themselves. They are

not just an audience."

Such stories should makes those groups

who claim to be inclusive - be it New

Labour or SCM - reassess that fashionable

claim. To truly empower people and to be

authentically inclusive is a terrifying

prospect: it th reatens trad ition, cliq u ish ness

and orthodoxy.

HAI ANDREWS ADVOCATES IS

not a simply anarchy-with-aspiritual-twist,

or a hippy vibe, or

even a progressive'world ethic'.

ln a throwaway epigram, Andrews says: "The

longer I live, the less and less I believe. The

little I believe in, I believe in more and

more." There is an absolutism that jars, an

seemingly unshakable faith in "who God

revealed himself to be in Jesus."

Many people have tried to pinpoint the

moment when Christianity all went wrong -

was it when Christ's teaching was

Hellenised by Paul or embraced by Emperor

Constantine? l\4aybe so, but we can't shift

the blame in this way, says Andrews. Even if

we inherit a corrupted Christianity, it doesn't

" People who live on the streets go

to a [ibrary, ptan their sermon,

come and preach it, and go back on

the streets. "

mean we can't recover the essence of the

gospel. We are responsible for doing that

here and now - Christ's life is still relevant,

his teachings are still compelling.

To illustrate this he mentions the use of

role-play in community disputes: "lf we [the

Waiters' Unionl are working with people that

are in a conflictual relationship we'll

encourage them to role-play different ways

of dealing with that conflict. Sometimes they

come up with ways that are really quite

creative - crossing boundaries of enmity,

relating to

the enemies

as friends.

They'll try

that, and

we'll say after

they've done

it: 'lt worked

didn't it?'

And they'll

say, 'Yeah it did.' 'lt's very interesting that

what you've found is a productive way of

solving a problem which is quite consistent

with the kind of approach Jesus

advocated."'

Or similarly, he remembers being

involved with a group who were going to be

driven out of the slums by the city councils'

bulldozers. "They said to me, 'What do think

Jesus would do?' Do you know anything in

the Bible about how to deal with bulldozers?

I don't. And then I remembered that parable

that Jesus told about a I'il lady and the big

ole judge. She kept on hassling him until he

gave her what she wanted. I told them that

story and said, 'Does that mean anything to

you?' ('cos I didn't say it had to mean

anylhing). They said 'We feel like we are

little people. Maybe we can do what the li'l

old lady did,' and they devised a scheme to

harass the council until they relented."

Andrews' methods are Christ-centred, not

because of an evangelical guilt-trip or need

to prove himself orthodox, but because he

finds them the most effective way to

improve relationships between people.

A key ldea in Andrews' Christi-Anarchy

(Lion, 1999) is that we must abandon a

closed-set conception of following Christ -

movement 9


Lllr'

that which defines a Christian, through

either beliefs or behaviour, with 'in' and 'out'

clearly demarcated. He suggests an 'open

set' perspective with fluid boundaries -

becoming more like Christ is the only factor.

ln this new model, conversion still has a

place: "turning towards Christ, whether we

know him by name or not, beginningto

judge our lives, for ourselves in the light of

his love... We can move beyond the

scriptures, creeds, rites, rituals, ceremonies,

and even religions that divide us."

This is not a concession to a complex

and post-modern world (although it deals

with that admirably), but the open set is

drawn from the gospels. Following Christ

does not mean the same thing to all people

- one person is expected to leave home,

and other expected to go home; one told to

sell all his wealth and give it to the poor and

another only half. There are not fixed

standards, but "variations on a common

theme."

Andrews' maverick views and

provocative stances have, inevitably, landed

him in trouble. 'At the moment I've been

called to give account of my theolo$/ at the

local Baptist Theologian College. They said I

could only continue to teach theology if

another member of staff was in the room,

monitoring what I said." His response to this

threat was charmingly unconventional - "l

invited that person to contribute to the

class. Then I invited the staff who were

critical round to my house for a meal, and

took them round the community." By

refusing to play victim, and by exposing his

whole life, it undermined the accusations.

History has shown Christianity to have a

dark side: the lnquisition, colonialism and

wars have all been justified by claiming it is

o c

rl

l v

lrt

What's your favourite possession?

My books.

What are you reading at the moment?

Myth of the Millennium byTom Wright.

Whats yourfavourite film/ play?

Life of Brian.

How do you relax?

Play and listen to music. Write and read a lot.

Tennis.

li

What's your favourite journey?

To the foothills of the Himalayas.

God's will. More significantly, those

tendencies can be found in regular

churches: using orthodoxy as a way of

bullying, using leadership as a way of

controlling people. These things cannot be

brushed away as aberrations, argues

Andrews, they are in fact true indicators of

the nature of Christianity.

So Dave Andrews sets off on a lonely

and hazardous route, trying follow Christ but

What do you like most about yourself?

l'm gutsy.

What do you dislike about yourself?

I'm shy.

What's your favourite word?

Hope.

lf you could be someone else who would it be?

Gandhi.

When did you last cry?

Today.

What are you scared of?

Failure.

Describe a recuning dream that you have.

Flying...

What do you never miss on TV?

Premier League.

What music do you listen to most?

Van Morrison.

What pet hates do you have?

Burmese cat.

What would your motto for living be?

Macsicca! Make sure!

without imperial Christianity. He is not the

first to do it of course. This way predates

Christianity... and, you can only dream, but it

might out-live lt too. f4-

Tim Woodcock is the editor of Movement

and is a student at the Scottish Centre for

Journalism Studies.

d

l

I'

I

i

Who's afraid of the big bad world?

tr*jH**fu$+.=*t.

graduate, and a sinking sensation. I'd been

a student for so long, I wasn't sure I knew

how to do anything else. No more discounts,

no more lying in bed all day, no more union

prices. A proper job'loomed - lcould smell

office coffee, nine to five hours, a

mortgage...

I'm not the non-student I dreaded

becoming. Two weeks before the start of a

new term, - they don't have terms in the

real world, do they? Except in schools - |

had a phonecall from the post-graduate

course I'd applied for, way back when. There

was a space. Would I like it? Would I ever!

Up until I had that call, it hadn't occurred

to me how terrifying the 'world after college'

can be. Most of my friends are out there

now, working in Somerfield to fund their

MAs, or trying to break in to the graduate

Snnn

ELLEN

job market. lt's a big adjustment to make,

and some people never manage it. The

world of university is a bubble, a little

sphere of safety and rules, populated largely

by people of your own age. The rest of the

world doesn't have an Equal Opportunities

policy, or free internet access, or a nicely

priced gym. lt doesn't give you the chance to

be really important to your peers through

politics, or societies, or working behind the

bar. You're not a bigfish in a little pond any

more.

Remember going from primary school up

to high school? lt's a bit like that.

movement 10

But it's not all bad news, for those of us

who make it through. You'll have more

money, for a start - well, that's the theory.

What actually happens is that getting a job,

buying non-studenty clothes and starting to

make repayments on your loan (if you're

lucky enough to earn that much) can take

away any extra money you might have had.

That's for the people who are able to go

straight into the job of their choice. The

reality for most people is at least six months

back under your family's roof, trying not to

get nostalgic about being able to stay up all

night in halls. (Were 3am fire alarms really

that much fun?) One thing that might not

have occurred to your undergrad persona is

that you won't be in an SCM grouP any

more. lt's time to move on.

And there is a bright side. lt's unlikely

your boss will expect you to stay up all night

to meet a deadline. And nobody will snarl

'flipping student' at you any more.


I

r

t

fn D

th

neXt

r

Pnoresr

IS CHANGING.

Writing letters and

marching on parliament

no longer cuts the mustard.

We demand to be out there, we

demand community. We want to know

we're not alone, we want to join together.

Everyone at d demonstration has a common concern

and everyone seems prepared to shout about it, Militant

protesters and the old dear who makes the tea on Sunday are

stood side-by-sicle, shouting.

tn the 60s it was enough for tots of peopte to be there, in one place with one goal. That in itself

was radical. This is no longer the case.ln June 1997 there was a protest. whose size surprised

everyone. it attracted an estimated 120 OOO people. The cause? 'The Countryside rtrvJrus Alliance' nrrrqrrvs - dedicated to

the protection of country sports and the rural way of life.

The wortd seems to become ever more

inter-connected and yet more

fragmented. Diccon Lowe

offers a vision of what

But if marching and picketing has become a respectable activity, and if every creed and class is prepared to shout for their

rights, then where do the militant go to be radical? Where can you go to make a difference?

pfOteSt COUId [OOk

tike in thg

fUtUfg'

movement 11


,, 4r.

Well... that's not entirely clear. The net

is one 'place' where alt.protest is thriving.

It offers unprecedented opportunities for

making connections and for causing

mischief. Noone really knows how

effective the web is as a medium for

protest: it is hard to believe that a

forwarded email is as powerful as a handwritten

letter. Anyone can get hold of

software to bring down a website. lt is

there waiting to be taken and used, all you

need is some co-ordination. Aside from the

point€coring, is it worthwhile? A

corporation knows that it can load up its

web site tomorrow without hassle; it knows

that it can just delete any mail from

certain addresses as it arrives. So what is

the point?

The internet is about community and

communication. lt is relatively cheap and

transcends geography, it allows numerous

groups to use their own style of action at

the same time for the same goals.

An effective protest has to be in the

'real world': the net doesn't remove the

need for creativity and planning, it is no

substitute for blood, sweat and tears. I've

never heard of an cyber sit in...

Alternative culture is, and always will be

about, taking the normal and subvertin$ it.

Subvertising, whether it means

deliberately using a corporate identity

against them or spontaneously graffiti-ing

a billboard, makes use of the strong

associations we have with certain images

and products. Mark Thomas' or Ali G's

irreverent interviews only work because we

are familiar with the pomposity of most

political journalism.

So where will alt.protest go from here?

As the media becomes a greater and

greater influence in our lives and the net

replicates itself, becoming ever more

labyrinthine and ever less trustworthy, how

do we get the "righton' message across? I

can see two camps developing. One

pushes radicalism to its limit - it uses

every new tool of protest as it arrives, and

constantly inventing new ways to irritate

corporations and glovernments. lt seeks

ways to transform social spaces into

political ones.

The second embraces the corporate

and bureaucratic structures. lt uses the

system in place tg get its message across.

Gafe Direct are currently runnin$ a very

agglressive marketing campaign for its

fairly traded coffee. Likewise Jubilee 2O00

advertise their campaign very powerfully in

The Big lssue and the Guardian. These

advens play on my psyche as skillfully as

any other company's; but because their

products are considered to be 'ethical',

somehow I don't object. In fact I applaud

the success, and pat myself on the back

because I was buying lt before it was a

household name - and my brand loyalty ls

enforced a thousand fold.

I am not alone in having an automatic

hatred of transglobal companies. But

Oxfam, Christian Aid, Traid Craft,

Caf6direct, these all operate transglobally

- it is inherent in their aims. As charities

and campaign groups like these make

greater use of mail shots and advertising

to promote their message we will have to

learn how to discern who the 'good guy'

multi-nationals are.

And there are the stories of GM crop

trashers, Hawk-Jet smashers, nuclear base

crashers: committing an individual act,

knowing they could be arrested, and using

the courts to gain publicity. lt's not that I

don't support these actions or their wish to

use the law to give mandate to the

campaigning. But I long for people comin$

together to protest. Not necessarily about

the same thing, but protesting in the same

space,

And this is the final innovation in my

eyes. Although it is not an innovation at all:

it is simply people getting together to

protest. This may sound like the marching

and picketing of the past, but there is a

difference. This new way is decentralised.

No one says why it is happening - it just

happens. We protest about everything -

and nothing.

I am talking about thingg (can we call

them campaigns?) such as Critical Mass

and Reclaim the Streets. A group of people

get together and cycle round the city with

no reason given. A group of people block

of a street and have a party with too many

reasons given. There are no obvious

leaders in these activities. Of course

someone must instigate the action, but no

one controls it. No one says what you have

to be protesting about. They don't court

publicity, they just do it. lt is this I love.

Some cycle because they hate the

dominance of the car. Some simply

because they like to cycle. Others to meet

friends. This is multi-layered, multi-lssue,

multi-tactic campaign democracy. No

longer many people with one voice. I want

to hear many people, many, many different

voices,

. Diccon Lowe is training to be a nurse in

Huddersfield and is a member the

Movement editorlal team.

Woody Allen in A Brief, yet Helpful,

Guide to Civil Disobedience=

"ln perpetrating a revolution, there

are two requirements: someone or

something to revolt against and

someone to actually show up and

do the revolting. Dress is usually

casualand both parties may be

flexible about time and place but if

either faction fails to attend, the

whole enterprise is likely to come

off badly."

movement 12

Making a mark

A ittre:f gLr iile io rtltc,rtri't Iitrc ttittl

crca']ti\./o foi i't ts ci1' llr.olers;is,.

[\/ait\' ita-tt'c rjr;r.,rtloiitrtl irr illt:

Ir,rst tJct.at.lc ll(:)r'l i.rl ;ls

.'-' lt r..rri, I I t r,: \i,' at)i i I I Lc) i. I t tt t I r.l:r. i.

t rtilir,rrtrtittrtl.

1 liit'1 iL tli

Compiled by Tim Woodcock. With help from

Louise Ashyard, Bob Cuff, Katy Gordon, Diccon

Lowe, sara Mellen and Stuart Ullathorne.

Two groups have developed

in the nineties which are

notable for their spontaneity

and decentralised structures.

lntriguingly both have

transport issues at their

core.

The tactics of Reclaim The Streets have

included DIY cycle lanes painted overnight

and, on one occasion, taking a jackhammer

to the tarmac of the M41 and

planting trees there. Another time they

tried, unsuccessfully, to seize a BP tanker

on the M25!

It is the impromptu road blockades,/

street parties that are RTS' mark. According

to Mark Lynas, "They have evolved into

festivals open to all who feel exasperated

by conventional society. A carnival

celebrates temporary liberation from the

established order; it marks the suspension

of all hierarchy and prohibitions." RTS

events are - at their best - celebrations of

community albeit a temporary and fragile

one, with street theatre, safe games of


t-|

*r

0,

o

s,

football, sound systetrs, face painting, fireeating

and so on.

Because of the need to keep the police

at bay very few people know the location of

an RTS event before the day - everyone will

meet at the town square or a tube station

and go on from there. Wlro will come is

largely down to word-of-mouth amongst the

dispersed anti-roads sub-culture, although

they always hope to to drag in the

occasional local shopper or policeman.

Reclaim the Streets are "for walking,

cycling and cheap, or free, public transport;

and against cars, roads and the systenr that

pushes them." The car has become

symbolic of the individualism that

denigrates communal quality of life,

especially in urban areas.

There were two local campaigns where

polite resistance had proved futile, and

RTS's approach proved invaluable. Most

famously there was TwYford Down, in

Berkshire, which was primarily an ecological

issue, with Swampy as a media-friendly

mascot; and the M11 in East London,

where the road proposed would fragnrent a

whole community and disPlace manY

people.

As RTS put it: "The cars that fill the

streets have narrowed the pavelnerrts - our

streets have become nrere conduits for

motor vehicles to hurtle through. RTS want

to re-create a safer, lnore attractive living

environment, and to return streets to the

people that live on therr and perhaps to

rediscover a sense of 'social solidarity'."

On the last Friday of everY month

Critical Mass happens, meets and slmp/y is in London. There

are other froups in most major cities - it is an international

phenonrenon. Critlcal Mass is group of cyclists, enough to clog

the traffic. lt is an international phenor"nenon. With obvious-yetrevelatory

slogans such as 'We are the traffic!', it is the

comnronality of being bike-riders that is emphasised. lt is not

planned in much detail - other than a tinre and a place - and

has been described as "a monthly organised coincidence".

Matt Seaton, in article for the fimes Magazine remarked

that: "Critical Mass is a post-modern political phenomenon: it

has a plethora of web sites devoted to it, but no PO box. lt has

no office, no staff, no budget - it is not a campaign in the

conventional sense. lt relies simply on word of mouth, informal

networks and the lnternet, as well as its own momentunl, to

muster about 10OO cyclists in summer and several hundred in

to the Waterloo Brid$e ride."

Perhaps what is most fascinating about Critical Mass is its

spontaneity. lt is not conceived of as demo but as a ride, it is a

social space that can be become a political one'

Chris Carlsson, a rider from San Francisco put it this way:

"l've heard people not liking Critical Mass because: it's too

disorganisecl; it's too organised (self-appointed organisers

impose their own idea of acceptable behaviour; good'spirited

rnass makes a boring ride); it's too apolitical (no demands; no

relationship with politicians); it's too political (too many people

aren't having enough funl)"

Such observations are

signiflcant. People still want

to nleet together and be

cornmunity if only for a few

hours - even if they don't

share the same objectives,

or understand each others'.

Does this represent a

'paradigm shift' in grassroots

politics?

movement 13

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It is almost impossible to encourage a

company to behave ethically from the

outside - which is why sometimes

shareholders and comedians are needed

to embarrass a company into action.

The Ethics for USS campaign is giving students throughout

the UK a unique opportunity to affect change within some of the

world's most unethical corporations. We all know that big

businesses frequently put profit before people in an attempt to

make money for their shareholders. However, if those

shareholders demanded that corporations clean up their acts,

the corporations would be forced to listen. 'Ethics for USS' is all

about putting pressure on corporations via the only people that

really matter to them - their shareholders.

80% of academics and administrative staff are members. of

Universities Superannuation Scheme. USS is the official pension

fund of lecturers employed at 'old' Universities, and it is investing

1,18.6 bn in massive corporations on behalf of our lecturers. This

represents 0.5% of UK stockmarket. Students throughout the

People & Planet network are raising awareness among their

lecturers who are shocked to discover that their hard-earned

money is being used to support such paragons of immorality as

Shell (whose pollution of Nigeria is disgraceful), British Aerospace

(which sells arms to lndonesia's genocidal military), Nestle

(involved in unethical marketing of baby milk formulas) and

British American Tobacco (whose aei€iressive marketing in the

Third World is having a devastating effect). Students and

lecturers are working together, demanding that USS respond to

questions about the 2O0O companies in which it is investing.

Furthermore, when USS speaks, companies will have to listen,

illustrating how this campaign has the potential to ensure that

the power of t18.6bn is used to change the way companies

behave.

Over the past few weeks, support for the campaign has been

gathering real momentum. Already 3500 lecturers are in support

of the campaign, and this figure is increasing following the 'Ethics

for USS' Week of Action, during which numerous students

encouraged lecturers campus-wide to support the campaign.

Meanwhile, the campaign has started to attract the support of

some very influential people at Universities including Vice

Chancellors and has been favourably received by USS

committees. We are even more excited by the progressive

response we have had from the USS Management Committee. ln

fact, we are on the verge of winning this campaign!

Contact Louise Ashyard at People and Planet (01835 24567e)

for further information.

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Mark Thomas is currently making his

fifth TV series for C4. Wlth his mix of

comedy, investigative journalism and

haranguing companies and governments,

Thomas has made more headway than a

thousand other more earnest attempts. For

instance, he pranced in a rabbit costume at

the launch of Nestle's new logo, whilst

telling children about how their promotion

of baby milk in the Third World breaks WHO

guidelines.

On another occasion he went to a huge

arms fair called Defendory lnternational

("Algeria, lndonesia, Kenya, Saudi Arabia,

Colombia - all your top torturers are

there...") and formed a company called

Mackintosh Morley, offering PR to arms

companies and regimes. He had the Deputy

Commander of the Kenyan Army

complaining that Amnesty lnternational do

not understand their culture's values of

child abuse, wife-beating and other human

rights abuses. And the Zimbabwean

Minister of lnformation boasting that he

gets "better at lying every year."

The TV progam and website encourage

people to get involved and apply pressure

on the companies that he names and

shames. The comedian-campaigner said: "lf

you look at the television show we asked

lots of people to get involved, and a lot of

them did. I think that it is a very democratic

show as it actually encourages people to do

things and question things which is very

pro-democracy.

"lf you look at all the stuff that has been

eroded in the last twenty years - such as

the trade unions which is democracy at

work and also the power of local authorities

being curtailed. All the real signs of

democracy have been taken away from

people so that they are left with is the

minimum amount, which is parliament."

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John Pilger has

ar$ued: "ln

an age of

media

conformity,

we need to

hear more

dissenting

voices." Here are

some...

Desktop publishing,

camcorders and the web

have all helped to make alternative sources

of news a reality. lt is already quite possible

to go online and be presented with 'the

news' set according to a pre-selected

priorities (nicknamed the 'The Daily Me'). lt

would be foolish, irresponsible even, to

discard traditional sources of news in favour

of only what interests you.

Nevertheless the mainstream media

could be said to promote a top-down

approach to change, marginalise and

Ploughshares is a movement committed "to peace and

disarmament by nonviolently, openly and accountably disabling

a war machine or system so that it can no longer harm people".

This is a modern application of the biblical injunction to the turn

swords in ploughshares. lt emerged from the dissenters who

had publicly burned their draft cards during the Vietnam war as

a commitment to non-violence. The increasing number of

nuclear weapons demanded new tactics and first Ploughshares

action was in 1980.

Cairon O'Reilly, who has been jailed for disarming a 852

bomber that was headed for the Gulf in January 1991,

said:"There's been 80 such actions. The first in Britain was in

1990. One of the more well known actions was four women

disarming a Hawk fighter at British Aerospace. lt was ready to

go - already painted in lndonesian airforce markings. They were

acquitted by a Liverpool jury in 1996. One of those women was

Angie Zelter, who then began the Trident Ploughshares 2000

movement andJlas a heavy emphasis on legality as ruled by the

World Court."

Most recently in October this year three women, including

Angie Zelter, were charged with causing 180,000 of damage to

a floating laboratory at Faslane naval base in Scotland. They

were were acquitted when the judge agreed with their defence

that Trident was illegal under international law, and their actions

were justified because it prevented a greater crime. The

decision, however, is by no means secure: it has been

challenged by otherjudges and is subject to an appeal.

Cairon O'Reilly says that acquittals are "pretty rare" - one

activist in the States is serving an 18 year sentence, and the

1996 decision concerningthe sabotage of Hawkjets was the

first to go in Ploughshares'favour. "l would personally put that

down to the courage of the Liverpool jury."

caricature protesters and fail to make

connections between different stories.

ln May 1989 a group of Belgrade media

activists asked for permission to open a

radio station for experimenta! programs.

The Serbian government,

anticipating nothing more

than an apolitical but funky

student radio show, initially

granted them a 15-day

permit on an FM frequency.

With irreverence and

imagination, B92 opposed

war and promoted ideas

of democracy, economic

reform and respect for

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ethnic minorities.

ln December 1996 after huge and brutal

election fraud during local elections in

Serbia, massive anti-Milosevic

demonstrations sprang up across major

cities. 892 informed people about the

election fraud and covered demonstrations

virtually round-the-clock, with live

broadcasts from the streets. A few days

later, the government banned the station.

Through OpenNet, an embryonic internet

provider in Belgrade, B92 immediately

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redirected its program and began live

broadcasts over the lnternet.

ln 1992 892 initiated a network of more

than 30 local radio stations, which could

receive and rebroadcast from a BBC

satellite. For the first time, Serbs and

Montenegrins could speak to each other in

uncensored radio programs. The conflict

between B92 and the Serbian government

goes on - but with shiftingtactics and

creative use of technologies B92 has

continued broadcasting.

One of the most impressive (but sadly

unsustainable) attempts in Fritain to an

follow an alternative agenda was

Undercurrents. lt was founded in 1994 and

produced ten videos of alternative news -

showing images of protesters being cut from

concrete bunkers at the M11, sensing the

anxieties about GM food way before anyone

else. The mini-documentaries are fleshed

out with music videos and subvertisements.

the time-lag is too great for it to be called

news and they make no claims to be authoritative

or balanced - but why should they?

ln a recent essay co-director of Undercurrents,

Paul O' Connor wrote:

Take a wander around a gathering of

alternative news reporters and you will

hear debates about creating a society

where people are not expected to live

with foul air and radioactive waste in

their waters, and where entire nations

are not forced into famine and war over

national debt.

The mainstream media 'industry' is

being redesigned to produce desires

rather than visions and talks in terms of

profit rather than community benefit.

Minfle amongst mainstream hacks and

the talk is routinely dominated by the

/atest ratings, po I iti ca I scanda/s, gossip,

competition, celebrities, fashion, money,

war and power. Two very different worlds

beingcreated and reinforced by people

with different agendas but both usinS the

sarne persuasion tool - 'the media'.

Oneworld follows a progressive and

international news agenda (oneworld.org).

The reader comes away feeling informed but

passive. SchNEWS, however, is a Brighton

based, direct action weekly newsletter

(www.schnews.org.uk) and has a weekly

readership of 25 000. There are over 500

entries in their database of alternative

organisations. And come summertime, you'll

be glad, to know the site has good links if

you want to track down the latest news from

festivals and free parties.

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As advertisers become ever

more sophisticated, some

activists have adopted the

very same techniques of

persuasion to undo the

advertisers' message.

All adverts say, more or less, the same

thing: "Buy this!", "You don't really need it,

but we'll persuade you want it". The average

American will have seen seen a million

adverts by the time they are 21. A million

adverts and all say, more or less, the same

thing. Except a few.

The key idea behind "subvertisements"

is that these are both subversive and

advertisements. They encourage you notto

buy more. Or to not watch more television.

Or to live more simply - the very opposite of

what corporations want.

Adbusters take glamorous imagery and

rework it to make the connections between

hidden issues: the elegant curves of a

bulimic wretching into a toilet bowl

(Obsession). A fashionable drink to point out

that alcohol - in the words of Shakespeare

in the caption too small to read -

"increases the desire, but takes away the

performance" (Absolut lmpotence). lt is the

precision and wit of subvertisements that

make them so powerful, compare that to

the recent riots in Seattle and London

'against capitalism'.

Subvertisements is aimed at the

consumer as much as the negligent

government and irresponsible companies. lt

doesn't hope to unite workers of the world,

or wipe out this or that evil, but its aims are

modestl to challenge individual choices. lt

thrives on parody and exposes how our

desires are manipulated. They are not

attacks on particular products, but rather on

our habits and thgefforts of companies to

manipulate our desires.

Adbusters use the work oftop designers

- yet they are distributed gratis to them to

anyone who wants them. The magazine

adverts have been widely reprinted. but the

television adverts, whose potential are

much greater, have revealed how unlike

conventional adverts they are. Even though

the Media Foundation, who make them, had

the money to buy airtime, the networks have

denied them their right to broadcast. As

justification, CBS said: "Fhe advertsl are in

opposition to economic policy in the United

States".

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The director of the Media Foundation,

Kalle Lasn is an East European emigr6 who

moved to the States and discovered that its

celebrated freedom is conditional: "l came

from Estonia where you were not allowed to

speak up against the government. Here I

was, in North America, and suddenly I

realised you can't speak up against the

sponsor." Eventually they did manage to

have ads aired - with remarkable results

and unprecedented interest.

The Adbusters team have their

precursors. One of the sparks for the whole

project is fascinating document called First

Things First written by a group of

disenchanted British designers in 1964, it

begins:

We, the undersigned, are graPhic

desrgners, photographers and students...

who have flogEed their skill and

imagination to sel/ such things asi cat

food, stomach powders, detergent, hair

restorer, striped toothpaste, aftershave

Iotion, beforeshave lotion, slimming

diets, fattening diets, deodorants, fizzy

water, cigarettes, roll-ons, pull-ons, and

s/ipons. ...We think that there are other

things more worth usin{ our skill and

experience on.

We, in the West, are affected by

"affluenza": we suffer from the ennui and

constant strain brought on by too many

choices and over-consumption. So to

combat this, one day in late November has

been declared Buy Nothing Day. lt is

celebrated (at least by some) in around a

dozen countires, but has most resonance in

the States where it is on the day after

Thanksgiving, which traditionally kick-starts

the Christmas shopping season.

Various pranks that have been carried

out whilst not shopping include: planting a

sofa in a shopping centre; handing out

checklists to frantic shoppers ("How many

do I have alreadf Could I borrow it

instead?") and alternative Christmas

carollers. For instance a version of God Rest

Ye Merry, Gentlemen - "Slow down,you

frantic shoppers, for there's something we

must say." And to the tune of Rudolph the

Rednosed Reindeer, "Uh oh, we're in the red

dear."

The Media Foundation, who have

backed it, said: "This is nothing we're

pushing heavily; it's just happening

spontaneously." Unfortunately due to the

timing of this issue you've missed it until

next year. But be prepared.

That's all folks

Further infornration on most of these groups links

calr be found on Movemeut s website: http://

members.aol.com/movemag/'online,'

welcolne.html

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Far flung friends

lN THE JOHN HUGHES movie, The Breakfast

Club, a group of high school students from

disparate backgrounds and social cliques

are forced to serve an all-Saturday detention

together. As you would expect from a mid

'80s teen film, the detention becomes

something of an encounter group. And as

these things tend to go, by the end of the

movie, the jock, the princess, the freak, the

geek and the delinquent manage to break

down their social barriers and become fast

friends.

For the past five years or so, I've been

involved in a Breakfast Club of my own.

Special K is a mailing list comprised of

people of differing geographic, economic

and social backgrounds. Like The Breakfast

Club, it's a place for healthy debates, silly

conversations and honest discussions about

our lives. lts members range from a librarian

in Oklahoma, to a writer for a popular ITV

drama in Yorkshire, to a software writer and

SF author in Sydney, to a tech support

person for an internet provider in Florida, to

a former editor of Movement now living in

Canada.

The Special K Club (the name has nothing

to do with The Breakfast Club but rather a

now-obscure in-.1oke) was initially made up

of members of the usenet newsgroup

rec.arts.drwho. Five years ago several

people on that newsgroup who also hung

out on lnternet Relay Chat (lRC), decided

that it would be more productive to defer

off-topic discussions about their lives (and

complaints about some of the more idiotic

elements of the newsgroup) to a separate

mailing list. Since that time Special K has

evqlved from a sort of virtual pub, if you will,

where people kvetched and cavorted in

equal measures,.to a fascinating experiment

in forming community on-line-part support

group, part speaker's corner, part funny

farm.

Mailing lists are traditionally functional

beasts. (A mailing list is a server that is set

up with instructions to automatically

distribute e-mail to a list of addresses when

mail is sent to that particular server). A

good example of one is the Scottish SCM

malling list; people use it to announce

events and to keep people up to date about

SCM information. Occasionally, you'll have a

mailing list designed to discuss a specific

topic (the mailing list devoted to discussing

the works of musician Bruce Cockburn,

Humans, is one of the best examples of

this, even getting attention in the

mainstream press), much like a usenet

newsgroup.

Special K is not a purely functional

mailing list. Members (it is a members-only

list; new members are nominated by others

on the list), discuss their lives and opinions

in a free and unrestricted manner. The rules

are simple: you don't divulge the list

discussions to others, in order to maintain a

safe space; and you try to not get nasty in

responding to others.

ln the time I have been on the list, I have

been able to freely opine about the latest

Doctor Who novels, rant about my disgust

over Peter Mandelson, and wibble about

ephemera like why leopard skin is supposed

friends. But in some ways, the fact that

there are such struggles indicates to me

how vital and alive something like this is.

And while all this may seem virtual pie-inthe-sky,

the friendships forged over this

mailing list have been very concrete. When I

moved to the UK three years ago, I had,

more or less, an instant base group of

mates from the list members who lived near

London. Recently I turned 30 and I

combined this passage with a vislt to

Boston, where several members of the list

from the Eastern part of North America got

together. My 3Oth Birthday party with this

extended community was great fun. And

although I had not actually "met" many of

these people, I knew so much about them

and their lives, that coming together with

them was a wonderful experience.

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to be sexy. I have experienced the joys of

having works published and the frustrations

of souring relationships. People respond to

these various postings with great wit,

vigorous argument, and warmth. When my

grandmother was dying earlier this year, I

posted to the list frequently about my

thoughts and feelings about this impending

loss. The thoughtful responses giving

encouragement and solace was profoundly

touchi ng.

COMMUNITIES LIKE THIS are not always

easy. There are as many rivalries, political

machinations and personality clashes on

something like Special K as there would be

in an SCM group or your average group of

movement 17

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Special K is not unique - since beginning

work on this piece, I was made aware there

are other, similar mailing lists - but it does

show a way of transforming a mundane

mode of communication to something, well,

special. lt's worth a try - you too could

become an internet version of Judd Nelson.

Graeme Burk has a story in an anthology of

Doctor Who-related short fiction Short lrips

and Sidesteps (published by the BBC in

March 2000), fulfilling his second greatest

ambition as an adult; the first was editing

Movement, which he did in 1997-98.


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Dear Matt,

My basic position is that we can learn

more from others then we can from

ourselves - assuming we have some

knowledge of ourselves.

We are all universalists of one sort or

another. Most universalists of the last

millennium have been the sort who have got

hold of what they thought was a good idea

then attempted to shape the world in that

image (usually letting themselves get in the

way in the process).

Bernard of Cluny in the 11th century

was a prime example. He had this vision of

Jerusalem, as Zion, the city of God. He

takes a good idea and makes it his own -

from northern and southern Europe now

face each other along the border between

southern and northern America.

I'm never quite sure whether these

crusades actually have yet come to an end

in the minds of Christians. Those images

have got down deep. I accidentally sangthe

song where Bernard of Cluny expresses his

vision of claiming Jerusalem. Strange but

true - it was in the middle of an inter-faith

gathering at St George's, Windsor, looking at

conflict resolution and united initiatives

between religions for the next millennium. I

think the first time I have had to actually

repent of my attempt to worship God -

makes me think you cannot be too careful,

you never

I have had to rePent of mY

attempt to worshiP God - You

never know where the words You

find in your mouth have been.

he takes God into his own image, as it were.

When the idea spreads, problems start' He

is implicated in the founding of the Knights

Templar, one of the first Jesus Armies. They

set up the pilgrim houses on the way to

Santiago in Northern Spain - St James'

bones are said to be buried there. St James

is some how resurrected and turns into this

Pilgrim figure; over a period of several

centuries this Pilgrim figure transmogrifies

into St James the Moor Slayer'

Now this is all very handy as Spain at

this time is full of Muslims. The crusades

against lslam start - and they do not stop in

Spain. Bernard's ideas about Jerusalem

now have to take material form at the other

end of the Mediterranean - through modern

Turkey into Palestine.

ls that enough? Well not reallY. The

Spanish head webt, find America, and guess

what - St James on a big white horse is

there as well. This time he has decided to

go for the lncas, the Aztecs and anyone who

does not quite fit the images they are

carrying with them. I found a recently-made

sculpture of St James with his sword and

white charger in the old mission station in

Carmel, just south of San Fransisco. lt could

fit on your mantelpiece. 'Beware they may

be round the next corner!'

We develoPed our own images - and

these took us (or did we take them?) on our

own pilgrimages, crusades and missions

across the globe. ln fact the same images

know were

the words

you find in

your mouth

have been.

Well what

about the

next

millennium?

Are we going to keep all this stuff going? I

certainly hope not.

The other form of universalist is

basically the one who wants to explore the

universe and desparately seeks not to make

it in his or her own image; or conquer it and

make it into an emPire.

We learn more from others then from

ourselves. This is ancient wisdom. I hope we

can learn it again from the remaining

indigenous traditions of the world, the faith

traditions of the east and in fact the core

elements of the western religions. Jesus'

relationships with the leper, the prostitute,

the Samaritan women, the outsiders were

surely about his learning as well as his

teaching.

We find the other in our relationship

with the stranger, the poor, and the rest of

nature - it is in these relationships that we

find our understandings of the place we

have in the underlying and transcendent

universe. Let us not keep spoiling and

exploiting those relationships, making

others into our own image'

movement 18

Dear Crai$,

Thank you for your letter - I have to say

that I was interested by your idea of the two

types of universalism, and I agree that there

is a real need in this business of religion to

be responsible both for ourselves and to the

others we meet, and to 'the other' as you

call it. However, I disagree with you basic

position and I'm a little worried aboutthe

implications of your 'good' universalism.

I think you are right that (PerhaPS

inevitably?) we project ourselves onto the

image of God we have - which is certainly

not always a good thing, as in your example

of St Bernard (that old dog). Yet' I think

there are subtle differences between the

way that we are made in God's image and

then have to necessarily construct all-toohuman

representations of that God-in-us'

and your negative interpretation of this

projection of an imperialistic self onto God'

We have to start where we are - even if that

is an imperfect place (We all start with

human baggage and presuppositions). Why

do we? Because there is an imperative to

do so: once we recognise that we' as

people, are made in the image of God - and

I am taking that to mean that we are

movements of love and self-giving in

ourselves as persons, just like the Trinity is'

Certainly, there is much need for

Christians to repent of the sins of the past.

We really do not have a glorious track

record. I think that much of the problem

that you outline in your example is part of a

'bad' universalism - in which the politics of

the day use religion to their own ends, and

the politics are applied in the service of a

bad religion.

The exploits of the neo-lnquisition in

Louis de Berniere's excellent, funny and

tragic novel, The Troublesome Exploits of

Cardinal Gusrnan, seem to illustrate this

bastardisation of religion in the service of

(in)humanity. My problem with your

interpretation is that it seems to suggest

that'Christianity' itself was to blame - this,

to me, is not true ChristianitY' and

Christianity has been preached, performed

and, yes, constructed, in ways which are

peaceful and progressive' lsn't it only Jesus

Christ (God in all God's powerlessness and

vulnerability), who can truly judge us, bring

us to repentance, turn us around, and draw

us towards the kingdom of God' the

'peaceable Kingdom'?

I fear that Your closing comments

suggest, in themselves, a very subtle

imperialism of their own, that is inextricably

linked to your basic presupposition. I think


Some people would argue that inter-faith worship and dialogue is an exciting and

rewarding experiment. Others say it brings all religions down to the lowest common

denominator. Are Christians capable of engaging in dialogue without proselytising?

Do other faiths have more to offer Christians than contemporary Christianity?

that it is dangerous to assume (or maybe

consume) knowledge of others as if we

could grasp, appropriate and possess

knowledge of wholly other cultures, beliefs

and practices. The western mind-set has

often been implicated in this hubristic

certainty that we can stand back from

ourselves, wipe away our own beliefs and

assumptions, and survey the whole world

from an objective and neutral place - a

form of self-deification of Western Man (and

I use the term on purpose).

I see this in the way that we seem to

have appropriated knowledge of other

cultures and bowdlerized it in the endless

production of those self-help books in 'Mind,

Body, and Soul' sections of bookshops, so

making it palatable for the capitalist, liberal

way of thinking.

lndeed, the only words of which I can

truly know the provenance of are those

words from my own tradition and faith

practice. These words I can interrogate,

maybe repent of, and hopefully I will then be

able to discern and re-iterate the real

Christianity that forever changes and makes

things new. At the centre of this is the Trinity

that eternal relationship of self-giving love in

which we participate and bring to a broken

world.

I like what you say about Jesus and the

way he reaches out to the others, but I am a

bit uneasy with the seemingly anonymous

'Other' which we find in others. lt seems

very impersonal, and it seems to bring all

religions down to the lowest common

denominator of a sense of the divine, an

intimation of an impersonal transcendence.

This seems to reflect our Western idea(l)s of

universal equality and liberality whilst being

fundamentally unfaithful to those religions

you are asking us to respect and learn from.

Jesus did respect the others, and saw God

in them no doubt. But he didn't deny them

their own specificity - and I don't think he

was ever afraid to give them the message of

peace and hope that he himself was - but,

of course, in that wonderfully non-coercive

way that left him open to the possibility of

his death at our hands.

I'll look forward to seeing what you have

to say...

f.,l^ft

Dear Matt,

'Being made in God's image' is a

dangerous place to start. Those who state

themselves to be the closest to God's image

can claim the greatest authority over all

others. Hence the way'divine power' has

been vested and transferred through

priests, pontiffs and kings; and other forms

of ecological and cultural dominance.

lf semiology has anything to show us it

is that the hierarchical systems built

ultimately on the 'image of God' formulation,

were in the end just people battling to see

who could wield the biggest signs.

The second point

you make is to attempt

to extricate unta rn ished,

'real Christianity' from

the politics of the last

thousand years. lt was

not just the politics of

the day it was the Christianity of the day,

that led to the crusades and the colonies.

We have to honestly face that, in the name

of peace and progress, as well as in

reclaiming Jerusalem and embarking on the

missions, Christianity has been directly

implicated.

Learning from other understandings is a

way of being changed by their experience.

This is uncomfortable and challenging, it

brings about the process of change you talk

about and makes things new - it will lead to

upsetting the capitalist and liberal ways of

thinking. We cannot claim a neutral or

objective place and all that we see and hear

will be shaped by our journey so far.

We have to face our place of origin, our

provenance, with clear sight and courage.

Our'own tradition and faith practice' may

have made a major impact on the world,

and they are continuing to change others

into our image. I would like to sit down, as

Jesus did with the women at the Samaritan

well, and learn from the stranger's

experience so that their life may have an

ongoing revolutionary impact on me.

ln that, thanks for meeting with me, I must

confess your opinions have changed me.

-1

Dear Craig,

I still maintain that being made in God's

image is our greatest hope, for this alone

allows us partlcipation in the healing and

dynamic life of the divine. I believe that God

only mediates Godself through signs,

language, creatures and cultures - but I'm

afraid that we are not very good at allowing

an untarnished mediation. So, as you say,

Christianity's cultural renderings haye been

abusive and ungodly. However, I still believe

that the Christian vision for ourselves and

society goes beyond its failed actualizations,

beyond to the creator and sustainer of the

world who promises salvation in all its many

SCNSCS.

I agree with the rest of what you say

here, and especially that dialogue is

necessary but uncomfortable, if not hazardous.

But, through risk and vulnerability, and

The onty words which I can

truty know are those words

from my own tradition.

through others, I hope that we may learn to

see God more effectively, to be conformed to

Christ more closely, and so become closer to

our true selves made in the image of God.

So, here's to conversation and friendship.

Thank you.

f.,I"fi

Graig Russell is an artist

involved in the Art and

Spirituality Network and

the newly formed United

movement 19


The year 2000 is now here - how wilt we choose to mark it? The idea of Jubilee

might have entered mainstream potiticat discourse, but that won't make it happen.

Barbara Crowther on the realpolitik of cancelting Third World debt.

Popes, pop'stars

and Presldents

[##Hn:#';;';'."'T#

credited as the inspiration behind the words

of politicians or criticisms of neoliberal

capitalist ideology. Until now. Writing about

the Jubilee 2000 movement in lhe

Observer, Will Hutton commented, "Atthe

end of an increasingly secular century, it

has been the biblical proof and moral

imagination of religion that have torched the

principles of the hitherto unassailable

citadels of international finance... The leftof-centre

should take note; it is no longer

Morris, Keynes, and Beveridge who inspire

and change the world - it's Leviticus."

Will Hutton was writing in the immediate

aftermath of the annual meeting of the

World Bank and lnternational Monetary

Fund. This was a remarkable meeting. lt not

only endorsed and agreed the financing of

an 'enhanced' debt cancellation plan for the

poorest indebted countries of the world, but

it aiso marked a new schism amongst the

G7 leaders. Having backed the Bank and

Ctinton abandoned the Pragmatic

language of economists and potiticians

ald appropriated the language of

Jubitee and poverty.

Fund package on debt (which gave up to

9O% debt cancellation under certain

conditions), the President of the United

States then used his own sPeech to

immediately step out of line from his

colleagues. He publicly directed his

administration go even further and allow

1OO% cancellation of bilateral debts owed

to the US where the money was needed for,

and would be channelled towards, poverty

reduction. Bill Clinton's announcement sent

US Treasury officials scurrying back to their

offices to try to work out the details of how

t

t

t

+

t

this could actually be done. (They did, by the

way, come up with a workable proposal. The

immediate media ejaculations of "President

wipes debt slate clean" were somewhat

premature. The President and the Congress

locked into a battle over the foreign budget'

from which extra money to finance debt

relief had to be found. The extra debt

package was being put forward against a

backdrop of US reinvestment in defence

and declining aid budgets. During this

battle, however, it became very apparent

that, if nothing else, the political will of the

President was genuine. This gave his G7

colleagues a new challenge.

The Clinton statement marked a new

climax in a remarkable period of Jubilee

2000 campaign activity. When the G7

leaders met in Cologne in June 1999, they

were forced to weather another welter of

Jubilee 2OO0 human chain pressure. They

could not have been pleased when their

long trumpeted new debt initiative was

written off as not even going halfway

towards what the poor countries needed.

The U2 singer Bono likened it to climbing

halfway up Everest - people don't make

history unless they get to the summit. The

campaign agreed - and we weren't looking

for only half a Jubilee.

Tony Blair responded to this criticism in

his speech to Parliament immediately

following the summit, "l would like to see us

go still further on debt.... I will personally do

what I can." Clearly personal commitment

and intensive pressure by both Blair and

Gordon Brown were key to insuring that the

IMF and World Bank meetings agreed the

financing of the new initiative. But by the

time of these meetings, they hadn't "gone

further" than Cologne in any way other than

in their rhetoric.

It was the Pope who pointed this out. ln

a speech to mark the 100 days to the year

2000, he asked, "why progress in resolving

the debt problem is still so slow? Why so

many hesitations? Why the difficulty in

providing the funds needed even for the

already agreed initiatives? lt is the poor who

pay the cost of indecision and delay"'

Having gone halfway, he begged the world

leaders not to let the opportunity of the

movement 20


Jubilee pass without definitely resolving the

debt crisis. The Pope made his statement

alongside other image shattering meeting

with pop stars, economists and

campaigners, spearheaded by U2 singer

Bono. The "funky pontiff" (as Bono cosily

labelled him) apparently tried on the pop

star's pair of wraparound shades, and then

asked to keep them. When the Vatican

refused to release photos of this exchange,

it only succeeded in ensuring the story hit

the tabloids along with pictures of the Papal

Spitting lmage pop star puppet. The real

pontiff is extremely reluctant to be used as

a puppet for any campaign, so his new call

for debt relief was a true indication of his

own desire to see the Jubilee 2000 vision

brought to fruition.

There are few people on this planet that

possess a level of authority to throw down

such a gauntlet to the world's leaders. That

Bill Clinton picked it up was a surprise. That

he abandoned the pragmatic language of

economists and politicians and appropriate

the language of Jubilee and poverty

eradication was astonishing, if rather

disquieting. Jubilee 2000 believes that

regardless of whether he chose his

language to flatter the campaign (and

therefore get them off his back) or whether

it reflected a real change of heart, the US

President injected new momentum into the

debt campaign. The UK team (Blair, Short,

and Brown) must have realised immediately

that to regain their lead on debt they would

have to at least match the US offer. A new

race to the Millennium is on: it's hoped that

Barbara Crowther is Campaign Manager for

the Catholic aid agency CAFOD, one of the

founders of the Jubilee 2000 movement.

rcllef

V nction cards to Japan can be ordered

from to Japan can be ordered from

CAFOD on O20 77 33 79 0O or at

wwwcafod.org.uk/japantorm.htm. Or by

returning the form on the card sent with

the copy of Movement.

Tony Blair will have made his move by the

time he steps into the Dome on New Year's

Eve.

The G7 leaders are not scheduled to

meet again until July 2000. When they do, it

will be in Okinawa, Japan. This will be the

summit of the Jubilee year. But will it go into

the history books as the Jubilee Summit?

So far, Prime Minister Keizo 0buchi of Japan

has lagged behind most of his colleagues,

and he has largely got away with it. The

Japanese Jubilee 2000 movement has

appealed for help in encouraging him to

mark the Okinawa Summit by finishing off

the job started in Birmingham and Cologne.

Rather than wait until July, people in the UK

can join this call now by sending their name

and photo to Japan as part of a giant paper

chain, using new campaign action cards

(see details below).

Jubilee 2000 has already changed the

course of history. lt has broken records for

petition signatures. lt has brought together

religions and races, farmers and finance

ministers, pop stars, politicians, and the

Pope. lt has even made presidents speak

with the words of prophets. Total debt

cancellation at the G7 this year would be a

Jubilee-in-the-making for the poor. And a

pretty good entry for page one of our new

millennium's historV. {n-

"gq"'+.,{#*,,1t-

V tunitee 200O wants to make the

world's largest petition by collecting 22m

signatures in favour of debt cancellation

for the poorest countries. 17m signatures

have already been collected. The petition

above is from the Democratic Republic of

Congo, a highly indebted poor country:

those who could not write signed with a

thumbprint.

E HAVE to sAY I wAS t'lollTY

I I depressed when I heard srr ctrtt

II singing the Lord's Prayer to 'Auld

LangSyne'. "Am ltoo old?" he

cried, feeling re-buffed by the pundits. "ls

there no appreciation any longer for rock 'n

-

roll?" he lamented, wondering why his record

wasn't hitting the airwaves. Despite the fact

Auld man's whine

ls the angel who 'offers me protection,

his risible single reached no. 1 in the charts

(how?), I wanted to cradle him in my arms,

gently stroke his hair and say "No, dear Cliff,

the reason why your song didn't make it with

the DJs is that, well, is just that... - it's naff."

The fact is, the words of the Lord's

Prayer are not popular currency these days.

ln their traditional form, as sung by the

brave Knave, they don't capture the mores of

our culture.

A 'Father who art in Heaven', the notion

of being'hallowed', the concept of a

'kingdom' are tough concepts even for those

7

J

isoundings

, in spirituality

Ruru Hnnvgv

the soul of the psatmist ctings?

Cotter's 'By Heart for the Millennium'. (See.

p.3 for details)

Have you listened to 'Angels' by Robbie

Williams recently? Not hard, as it is still the

muzak of the month in shopping malls,

petrol stations and swimming pools. I read

the lyrics of the song in conjunction with

Psalm 63 and stumbled upon the following

connections: Robbie's 'lying in ma bed'

meanders gracefully with 'l think of you on

my bed, and meditate on you in the watches

a lot of Love and affection' the same cetestiat being to whom

I

who are theologically literate. And in our

world of sceptical secular spirituality these

concepts are rightly no longer simply being

accepted.

Yet the sense that these words express

is deep, true and longjasting: a sense of

wonder and awe at creation; a sense of

responsibility for our planet; a sense of care

for those around us in need. There are many

who have re-written the Lord's Prayer in ways

that are more accessible for instance Jim

movement 21

of the night'. ls the angel who'offers me

protection, a lot of love and affection'the

same celestial being to whom the 'soul' of

the psalmist'clings' and in the 'shadow' of

whose 'wings' the psalmist 'sings for joy'?

So here's your answer Sir Cliff: next time

you are filled with self doubt, get together

with Jim Cotter and Robbie Williams and

workshop your way to a revolutionary new

sound.


and nonsense

The gospets were written a generation after the death of Jesus by peopte who were

convinced that the Messiah had come. Can we actuatly know what did he said and

did? The quest for the Historicat Jesus has gone on for over a century and Duncan

Park explores the latest twists and turns.

Des erately

see rng Jesus

Jesus sald, "Whom do you say that I am?

And they answered and said, "You are

the eschatological manifestation of the

!1ound of our bein$, the kery$ma of

which we derive the ultimate meanin{

in our interpersonal relationships."

And Jesus said: "What?"

(Graffiti in a Cambrid$e loo)

xo s Jrsus? Wnr Jusus

Wbooks stretching from Galilee to

Pluto and after reciting his 'lifestory'

a billion times in the creed,

that might seem a silly question. Surely

Jesus is the deity everyone knows, the

messiah next door, the familiar face in every

stained glass window. He is the hero of the

G reatest-Story-Ever-Told? And told. And told.

Ah but that's just the point. Have we told his

story so much it has become our storf Has

movement 99

the real Jesus been worn away like beads in

the hands of devoted pilgrims? ln our

spiritual feeding frenzy, have we eaten his

flesh and left only a sanctimonious vapour

behind?

Robert Funk, world-renowned New

Testament scholar and founder of the

controversial Jesus Seminar, thinks we

should be told. ln his brilliant Honest Io

Jesus, he points to something rather

important missing between'born of the

Virgin Mary'and 'suffered under Pontius

Pilate'. Like a life.

The Jesus of the Gospels is the hero

with a thousand faces, too mythic to move.

Our creeds have turned (Crossan's)'peasant

with attitude' into cosmic potentate, servant

into Lord, prisoner into Judge, prophesier

Pau[ took Jesus

and threw him to

the Greeks. The

rest is mythotogy.

into Prophesied and Funk's 'iconoclast into

icon'. Paul took Jesus and threw him to the

Greeks. The rest is mythology. History found

a faith and lost Jesus. For Funk, the job of

the Seminar is to give Jesus back his life.

Why bother? Surely the 'Post-Easter

Jesus' (Marcus Borg) was the one that

worked? The Christ of Faith rather than the

Jesus of history transformed the world. He

certainly did, but does he still and for how

long? Many post-religious Christians have a

gnawing uncertainty about their spiritual

legitimacy. The mesmerising tales Mother

Church told us about her Divine Lover get

more like the fantasies of a single parent

trying to explain the absence of a father.

Was he such a superman? Did the angels

sing and the tomb open? Did he walk on

water? Did he even walk on earth? Could


I

ogy

Mother have lied? Such questions stir many

Christians to search for their'real' spiritual

parent.

But what will daddy be like? Will

'meeting Jesus again for the first time'

(Borg) be a great disappointment? I mean,

do we really want to discover that Jesus was

not a Christian? That he didn't have all this

prayer and praising in mind. That his Jewish

ancientness is as alien as a Martian? Funk

suggests that we would be better having a

'bastard messiah' than an'unblemished

Lamb of God'. By making him a rather

'underachieving' deity (his miracles are

parlour tricks today) have we forgotten what

a remarkable man he was?

Perhaps the real value in our search for

the historical Jesus is in what gets

demythologised en route. As we hack our

way through Gothic architecture, Latin

liturgies, Greek metaphysics and Jewish

midrash, we expose the myths that became

history and the opinions that became

creeds and begin to know, at least, who he

is not. This is liberating in itself. But there is

much more to be gained.

For a start we join the noble tradition of

Questers who got off to a shaky start in the

early nineteenth century. ln spite of the

heady intellectual backlash against

institutionalised magic, it was a brave man

indeed who applied the new science of

history to Jesus himself. One such was the

young Fredrick Strauss who published his

The Life of Jesus Critically Examined (1835)

and lost his job as professor of Divinity on

the same day he was appointed, never to

teach again.

Mother might be showing signs of senile

dementia but, clearly, there were still many

post-Enlightenment ways of getting burnt at

the stake. As the post-Enlightenment thaw

exposed icon after icon, scholars still

averted their gaze from the mysterious

figure who had legitimised western

civilisation for nearly two millennia. Jesus

was trans-historical, a sliver of eternity on a

brief visit to time. The earliest interest in the

historical Jesus was understandably

cautious and the critical virus remained

Funk suggests that we woutd be

better having a 'bastard messiah'

than an runblemished Lamb of God'.

virtually dormant until the turn of the

century when it emerged full-blown in Albert

Schweitzer's Quest oF the Historical Jesus.

This seminal study did for the transhistorical

Jesus what a comet did for the

dinosaurs. Jesus entered history.

For most Questers that seemed to be

that. Either Jesus was of his time (ipso facto

irrelevant to us) or continually re-created by

the Church (ipso facto there's no point in

unearthing Jesus of Nazareth). Rudolph

Bultmann went on to translate Schweitzer's

methodology into existentialist theology and

spawned a whole generation of cryptohumanist

theologians (Tillich, Bonhoeffer et

al). But the world was entering an epoch of

mega-death, and had no appetite for such a

slender saviour.

The world turned and the many disciplines

involved in the Quest (archaeology,

literary criticism, historical criticism,

linguistics and so on) made great advances.

Entrepreneurial Biblical scholars no longer

needed their insights put'on message' by

the Church or the Academy. Meanwhile the

Church itself drifted rudderless toward the

postmodern world, bemused whether to go

backward or forward, uncertain what to do

with the historical Jesus, should he ever be

found.

movement 23

So, enren rHE JEsus SemrrlR rn

1985 at Santa Rosa, California, and the

Quest returns from limbo. Robert Funk

chal lenged thi rty-f ive New Testament

scholars to join together in a renewed Quest

for the historical Jesus. Nearly a century

after Schweitzer left for the jungles of

Africa, the Quest was on again. But this time

it was different. Funk and his Seminar was

going all the way. lt was also going public.

No more ivory towers. No more jargon. No

more looking over the shoulder (though its

scholars do get their death threats) at sniffy

alma maters.

Its methodology was radical and

transparent. lt would go through all the

words and the acts of Jesus. Their (now

200) highly reputable scholars (now Fellows

of the Jesus Seminar) would, after

deliberating openly on all the available

evidence, from all sources, vote on its

degree of authenticity. They apply four

colour-coded categories - red (probably),

pink (possibly), grey (probably not) and black

(definitely not) to the ancient texts. The

result is The Five Gospels, The Acts of


Jesus, The Gospel of Jesus and a whole

library of Jesus Seminar publications

detailing the results of their findings. Such a

method has its critics. However their

collective results show remarkable

cbnsistency with New Testament scholarship

in general.

Unsurprisingly their'results' are radical.

From the L8o/o of sayings and the L6o/o of

acts of Jesus that made the red corner, the

Jesus that emerges from this Quest is freed

from the myths and creeds of the Church.

lndeed, he can hardly be called religious at

all, and is certainly no moralist. Funk is quite

blunt - the Christian faith is not the faith of

Jesus and the gospel of Jesus is not the

Jesus of the Gospels. This 'real' Jesus is not

concerned with the beliefs or doctrines of

the traditional Church, far less the

supernatural shenanigans of evangelicalism.

Funk's Jesus is a sage. Crossan's is a healer.

Borg's is a mystic. All are Jewish. All are

peasants. Not much pickings here to feed

the pomp and circumstance of the Ecclesia

and no supernatural junk food for

evangelical extra-terrestrials.

The findings of the Jesus Seminar are

radical, not because they are influenced by

unpronounceable Continental philosophers,

but because of the radical Jesus that

emerges from the sources themselves. We

should not be surprised if at first glance

Jesus looks oddly contemporary - a Jewish

Buddhist with feminist/ecological leanings -

compassion, justice, truth, wisdom and a

dollop of humour. But, at second glance, we

find an altogether more radical Jesus -

angry, hedonistic, anarchic, who would rip

apart all our pretensions, safety nets and

cosy assumptions and who does not present

us with options but gives commands. What

we do with such a radical 'Jesus' is another

question, perhaps another journey.

lf all that sounds all too human, perhaps

this is because we have been myth-taken.

Perhaps the truth is much more exciting.

Perhaps the 'real'Jesus, preserved in the

time capsule of Christian mythology, has at

last broken free from our doctrinal tomb and

is only now rising from the dead. lf so, be

warned - the beginning is nigh.f4-

Duncan Park is a writer based in Luton. He

is member of the Salvation Army, the Sea

of Faith and organiser of the Pil$rim

Network!

. The Jesus Seminar On-TheRoad comes

to the UK (with Robert Funk) for six weeks

in the sprin$ of 200o.

.A publlc debate is taking Place at

Salvation Army, Oxford Street, London

(April 8th) and the Friends Meetlng House,

Edinburgh (2oth April). Also in Aprilthere's

a 3day retreat in Crieff, Perthshire and

another at Cliff College near Sheffield.

.For further info contact Duncan Park on

t: 01582 705 279 e: pilgrimnwk@aol.com.

Or see the website wwwpilgrimnetwork.com

lNorareo

KOpanang (own label)

tr

attended the SCM

conference this year

will know this band

well. I was one of the

lucky people who had the

chance to be part of their

workshop as well and so

although this review maY be

slightly biased in favour of the

band I also feel that I can give

an informative review as I have

sung some of the tracks.

/ndebted is a collection of songs

"ref lecting the vitality of music from

Southern Africa where so manY

countries struggle under the

impossible burden of debt".

Kopanang say they are indebted to

the people whose songs they sing due

to the richness and the inspiration it

brings. 10% ofthe cost (t10) is

donated to Jubilee 2000.

The album kicks in with'TiYen

'Abale' - a lively corpmunity song 0f

thanksgiving - a call to worship. The

tenor and bass backing together with

innovative percussion make this a

vibrant s0ng that you can listen to over

and over again, it is relatively short but

what it lacks in length it more than

makes up for in quality.

'Ndikweza' is a setting of Psalm

121 with gorgeous harmonies,

contrasting dynamics and a

continuous unrelenting rhythm.'Moyo

wathu mdzikoli' is a very vocal song

with three simple notes constructing

an amazingly catchy backing. The

words would be a tongue twister to

Southern comfort

any non-native of Malawi but the band

come out with gold stars. A long but

easy-to-listen-to track.

'Unodisbom'is a traditional Xhosa

song from South Africa. The

translation is'Unodisbom

disappeared with my cattle - they say

he's crary'! 'A Jehova lnu' is a song

celebrating God's love for the whole

creation. lt starts by gently building up

percussion before the vocals come in,

it is perhaps a weak link in the album

and very samey, but nevertheless it

has some great percussion.

'Mtendere mwa Jesu'- well what

can I say? Only that this song carries

with it some great memories of the

SCM conference. Alison, Richard,

Jenny, Jane, Rob and I performed this

to the congregation on the SundaY

having been taught it by Kopanang in

the workshop and I still can't stop

singing it in the shower!

'Bonke bazaliswa' - 'theY were all

filled with the spirit, they cried aloud'.

The harmonies make a lovely series of

chords before the song launches into

alleluias, a song with a real sense of

awe.

movement 24

The next three tracks are taken from

a Eucharist for unity, part of a jaz

Eucharist from South Africa. They are a

great contrastto the rest ofthe album,

being more contemporary and using

more modern instruments. The contrast

works well and the songs fit into the

album better than you might expect.

With 'Taona'the percussion is

back with a vengeance having been

largely overpowered in the last three

tracks. lt's a song of encouragement

to work for good. 'Mose' is a song

about Moses, Jonah and Jesus. A

simple song but with fantastic backing

percussion.'Noyana' ("we will meet in

heaven one day") is perhaps the onlY

truly contemplative song on the CD.

Think ofTaize with an African feel and

you might come close to this

wonderful song.

Skhanda Mayeza is a hangover

song - a song every student should

have in their CD player after a wild

night out. The literal translation - don't

worry I'm not a fundamentalistl - is "l

must get medicine, I have a

headache".

The album ends with 'Hamba Nathi

'Nkululi Wethu'which means go with

us on ourjourney. A great end to the

album both in terms of the music and

the message. A really catchy and

playable tune.

Overall this is a high quality

recording which includes manY

contrasting songs but a sense of

togetherness within the album. The

album is about issues as well and it is

good to know that people out there

still care about our world, about peace

and aboutjustice. ltwas a wonderful

experience to meetthem and PlaY

with them, I shall continue to pine for

another similar experience, or at least

for their next album...

Colin Lea is a third year economics

student at the Universi$ of Leicester.

is the communications officer of

Leicester AngSoc.


Clare Marie Horsneer gets the shakes watching the The Blair Witch Project. But

camera technique aside, why is this fitm so innovative and scary?

Sylvan foes

HAT I8 THERE LEFT

to say about lhe Blair

Witch ProjecQ For almost

six months now, everyone's

known that it's scary. Really

scary. Scary enough to break box

office records and become the most

profitable film of all time. Scary

enough to make hardened film critics

cack themselves with fear. How scary

can you get?

Why? To some extent, it's all about

innovation. Frankly, there's not really

much that scares today's media-sawy

generation. The whole point about

horror is that it doesn't work without

the element of surprise. ln 1960,

Norman Bates hacked up Janet Leigh

in the shower - and hey, if even the

heroine couldn't make it to the end of

the movie any more, clearly no one

was safe. Scary, you'll agree. But by

the late eighties, though, we all knew

where we were again. Friday 13th Part

764: Jasorls Back - but he'll be dead

again by the end of it. Not something

to lose sleep over.

The Blair Witch P/olect doesn't

even nod to the conventions ofthe

honor genre and barely acknowledges

those of mainstream film generally.

There's no steady-cam climbing the

stairs ominously to the tightening

sounds of a high-pitched string

orchestra; in Blair Witch, the camera

is with the victims all the way. They're

making the film, and its their eyes,

not a director's, that we see through.

There aren't any clues to keep you one

step ahead ofthem, and you can only

thank God that you're in a nice warm

cinema, instead of out in the big bad

wood, because to all intents and

purposes, it could be you.

It's shot mainly on video, but the

documentary scenbs, which are shot

on film, provide an eerie backdrop of

exposition, as well as a welcome relief

from the jerky, hand-held shakiness of

the video sequences. lt's also

incredibly restrained - there's a

considerable amount that y0u don't

see - but it's all implied through the

improvised responses of actors

Heather Donahue, Joshua Leonard

and Michael Williams, and it's

unnerving, to say the least. The final

shots are incredibly understated, and

all the more alarming for it. The occult

implications are more frightening for

THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECTt;

Everl'thing you vc hearcl is trttc.

occuning off-camera.

Most people who haven't been out

in the woods themselves recently,

know that the actors had no script

and didn't really encounter the

There's not

reatly much

that scares

today's

media-sawy

generation.

directors, who just left them notes

and piles of food at pre-ananged

locations. When they ran out of food,

they got hungry. When it rained, they

got wet. The effect is that what you

see is, t0 all intents and purposes, as

real as it gets. And while film has

always been in the business of

'making it real' - unlike, say, the

theatre - The Blair Witch Project takes

realism to a new level. Because the

dialogue isn't scripted, because

there's no carefully crafted

camerawork, because there aren't any

expensive CGI effects, the film has an

air of immediacy and authenticity

which makes it a breathtaking piece

of work in itself. The overall effect is to

reduce the distance between the

audience and the film - distance

usually created by all the aspects that

remind you you're watching a film, like

the soundtrack, the slick camerawork

and the famous faces. lt convinces

you thatthe'footage' is real. And if

the film is real, then clearly so is the

Blair Witch...

There has, of course, been an

incredible effort to make sure it

remains real. The internet site and

accompanying book, providing the

history of the Blair Witch legend were

available way before the film hit the

U.K. A TV documentary, Ihe Curse of

the BlaiWitch, showing interviews

with experts on the occult, the

archaeologists who'discovered' the

reels offootage, and even the

' missing' students' relatives,

interspersed with the'found' footage -

that is the film itself - was screened

prior to the film's release. An internet

database of American actors listed

the three who appeared in Blair Witch

as'deceased'. And even the

merchandising men have done their

job without blowing their cover - the

'soundtrack' is actually an

'accompanying album'. 0f what? A

tape of songs allegedly found in Josh's

car.

It's a complete multimedia

experience. The problem is that the

film is only one part 0f the whole, and

there's a tendency to lose sight of it in

the face ofthe media hype. lfs also

been suggested that it might work

better once it comes out on video, as

it was filmed with a video camera. lt

is, however, still well worth seeing on

its own merits, and if you're cynical,

the directors have suggested that

anyone who doesn't find the film scary

should try watching it on the small

screen late at night, alone in their

house. I don't know about you - but I

certainly won't be.

Clare Marie Horsneer is a member of

Warwick SCM and saw the film at its

British Premiere,

movement 25


Emily Bardell peeks at Canongate's second series of setections from the good book.

Ya lfttle beauty

THE POCKEI CANONS

(Canongate)

tr*ri;!*,

as much as these have. This

collection follows the first

set in a series which have

essentially revived

Canongate's fortunes.

The subject matter is the

key. Forthose notyet in the

know, or who missed the first

set ofthese books, each

contains a book ofthe Bible,

from either Old orthe New

testaments, preceded with an

introduction by someone

you'll probably have heard of;

mostly writers, from best

selling novelists, to

theologians, including Ruth

Rendell, Joanna Trollope, "an

old asthmatic Glaswegian"

(Alasdair Gray) and Peter Ackroyd,

through to Karen Armstrong (catholic

nun and feministtheologian) and Mier

Shalev (lsraeli theologian). Each an

important communicator in their field.

Ihe use of the Bible in this manner

has offended some - by giving these

(mostly) secular writers a free rein to

look at these literary texts - but also

provided a route for the bible to those

of an entirely secular persuasion,

together with those of us too liberal to

'read' the Bible, yet too lazy to ingest

some of the better (but often heavier)

works about it.

Perhaps in this respect, the

translation chosen by Canongate is

slightly odd. I've always found myself

a bitoffended bythe KingJames

Version; the language is about as

exclusive as it gets. But as they

explain, "This version, more than any

other

and

possibly

more than

any other

work in history

has had an influence in

shaping the language we speak and

write today." With that in mind, maybe

they chose well in the intentto

analyse the relevance ofthe bible in

our progressive world.

Each author has well and truly

stamped theirthumbprint on the

particular book they were given. The

brief was interpreted in a variety of

ways from a slightly political diatribe

from Alasdair Gray (Jonah), to an

informative insight into St Paul by

Ruth Rendell (Romans). Some

chose to reflect from a very

personal pointofview on their

own experience -

Piers Paul Read

uses his fathe/s

Modernist

outlook to

explore the

book of

Wisdom, others

prefer to

explain the story to us like P.D. James

on Acts. (l know a considerably larger

amount about the lives of David and

Paul following several of these

introductions).

The booktheywere given also

limited the response posslble. Old

testamenttexts allow much more

room for imagination than the New,

the New being much more historical

books with little of the mystery of the

0ld. Partly why my favourites in the

series are those by Alasdair Gray and

Bono (ofall peoplel) - both given old

testament books. The least engaging

was by Karen Armstrong. But she did

get given Hebrews, and she is an

academic theologian - not a recipe for

an easy read.

Alasdair Gray exhibits a degree of

wisdom when interpretingJonah (if

done in a slightly scathing fashion)

and goes on to tackle some ofthe

more pertinent problems in our

society. "The only grand truth in

Nahum's triumphant song is that

nations who keep living by

armaments will perish by them."

Bono amused me most ofthe way

on his exploration of the Psalms.

Perhaps as a musician he is granted

added insight into these lyrical

writings. He brings his own story to

share with us and gives a pretty

sensitive insight into David - "a star,

the Elvis of the bible".

These little books are not only

clever, they are also beautiful -

adorned with a black and white

photograph in some way suggestive of

the text.

The authors all tackled theirtext

with some degree of reverence,

unusual and pleasantto read, with

even the least reverent finding time to

appreciate the importance of this

incredible collection 0f writings.

Well worth a wee investment if

you've some spare change in your

pocket, and they might even inspire

you to actually nosey atthe big book

itself again.

Emily Bardell is a medical student in

Glasgow and a member of General

Council.

B00K(s)

Ruth, Esther

Samuel Land2

lsaiah

Jonah, Micah, Nahum

Wisdom of Solomon

Acts of the Apostles

Romans

Hebrews

Psa/ms

INTRO BY

Joanna Trollope

Meir Shalev

Peter Ackroyd

Alasdair Gray

Piers Paul Read

P.D, James

Ruth Rendell

Karen Armstrong

Bono

TYPTCAL QUoTE

"Ruth is a story of simplicity and gentleness,' Esthet one of hatred and savatery!'

"But David, King of lsrael - as we children of lsrael are fond of singing - lives and breathes."

"lt stand out like a great melody, informingthe future and irradiatintthe pasti'

"l hope the reform of Britain starts in Scotland."

"My father Herbert Read... balked at Jun{s answer when asked if he believed in God: 'l do not believe, I knov/!'

'Acts is a restless book, full of comings and goings, of dramatic incidents and violent events."

"Faith can only arise through human berngg c/ose contactwith the gospel!'

"0ur author is poignantly aware that is hard to live a religious life without any tangible replicas of the divine here below."

"David was a star, the Elvis of the Bible, if we can believe the chiseiling of Michaelangelo (check the hce - but I

still cadtfigure out thrs most farnous Jels foreskin)"

movement 26


,"' books

THr Hnnny Ponrn SeRrrs

by J.K, Rowling (Bloomsbury)

HARRY PoTTER B00KS just aren't

published fast enough.

Following the anival of Joanna

Rowling's first novel about a boy who

discovers he's a wizard, adults have

breathlessly anticipated nights in the

bath tub with a gin and tonic,

savouring the delights of Harry Pottefs

exploits. Even the grown up's who

t

t

FH,'\lt{il

ii riil

ii'ifS

k'F

d n) I l,( Ithil,,,',,1,Ltr',' .\t

*\

Ị.1

'1

s3

t..

'r, q

fl-

Wizard!

don't need to wait until the kids have

had first shot have secreted it from

other household members, lest they

read ahead and spoil the ending.

Hany Potter and the Philosophels

Stone (1997), Harry Potter and the

Chamber of Secrets, and Harry Potter

and the Prisoner of Azkaban (1999)

are imaginative, intelligent, and wellcrafted

tales. Each ofthem covers a

year of Hany's education at Hogwarts

School for Witches and Wizards, and

to the more usual boarding school

pranks, such as sneaking out of the

castle at night and paying

unauthorised visits to the nearby

sweet shop, are added invisibility

cloaks, maps of secret tunnels in

which you can watch yourself move,

and a tantalising range of magical

edibles which call to mind the land of

sweets at the top of Blyton's Faraway

Tree.

Hany himself is a lovable character;

a bit geeky, not too sugary, and

capable of much mischief along with

friends Ron and Hermione. Yet we are

never more certain of good

championing over evil, because Harry

Potter is special to the wizarding world

(which, by the way, exists in our

midst), is gifted with great integrity,

and is ever ready to do battle

with the dark forces of He-

Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named,

and his various underlings,

all of whom present an illfated

challenge to the young

hero.

There are those

(Americans), I believe, who

question Rowling's

saintliness, arguing that

Harry Potter is satanic of all

things. lt is hardly worth

dignifying such good folks

with a response, however.

Good triumphs, and if there's a

little sparkle of tomfoolery along

the way, it only serves to ensure that

Rowling's humour separates her from

the crowd of today's overly-politicallycorrect

children's authors, who are

sorely in danger of losing their sense

of fun altogether.

There are 'adult-style' covers of the

Harry Potter books available for the

feint-hearted. Most discerning

readers, however, will choose to

brandish their'Double Smarties

Award-Winne/ paperbacks with pride !

(AMANDA McLEOD)

A hard life's work

LovE's Wonr

by Gillian Rose (Vintage)

GILLIAN R0SE'S Love's Work is an

astonishingly powerful book by an

astonishing woman. The book, like the

person, strains categorisations to

breaking point - ls it autobiography?

Poetry? Philosophy? Theology? ln fact

this book is an interweaving of all of

these and more.

Rose was an academic who taught

philosophy, political theory and

theology, as a glance atthe list of her

other books indicates: Hegel, The

Dialectic of Nih,/isrnet al. Yet if

anyone needs convincing that

philosophy need not be dry and

detached from everyday life, Love's

Work should do the job. Not since

Plato's Symposlum have sex and

philosophy been so closely

intertwined ! Equally important there

is here no devious division between

philosophy and theology, which

trivialises the former and privatises

the latter. This is a book about

families, friendships, death, sickness,

sex, bodies, women, love - the most

mundane and yet precisely also the

most profound (and therefore

religious / philosophical) matters.

This attempt by an academic to reflect

upon the most prosaic (and private)

details of her life could have been an

honendously pretentious and affected

project, but it emphatically does not

do this. Like many similar people,

Rose is in love with words and ideas,

yet her style has a certain beautiful

sparseness which prevents her toying

from becoming indulgent or sickening.

As a Jewish intellectual, Rose

stands at the cross-roads of two

immense traditions to which she is

indebted: The rich, earthy, mystical

fleshiness of her iewish heritage, and

the hedonistic, yet sterile and

analytical tradition of the Modern

post-Enlightenment world (which she

repeatedly describes as' Protestant' ).

The interaction of these two related

and yet foreign worlds can be dizying

at times, ut is always intriguing:

Ancient wisdom from the rabbis is

offered with the casualness as if it

had come from the latest issue of

Cosmo; Graphic discussion of the

significance of her colostomy is

followed by reflections on Dante or

Descartes; Kant and Marx come and

go with as natural ease as

the various relatives, friends,

lovers and angels who are all

painted with tender honesty.

Rose's own views are not

presented with polemical clarity in

this book. However, the ideas with

which she plays remain fascinatingly

suggestive to theological concerns.

Her writing is pregnant with what in

Christian theology would be regarded

as a radical incarnationalism

(suggesting that this is not so foreign

to Judaism as some would have us

believe). Stemmingfrom this are

various hints of criticisms towards

'protestant' modernity, for its

intellectualism and neglect ofthe

body. Her thoughts on the holocaust,

her illness and God are opaque and

painful and, as before, resist simple

categorisations like 'theist' or

'atheist' . This subtle position comes

across as she mediates upon the

inscrutable Midrash: "Would thatthey

would forsake Me, but obey my

Torah. "

The brief vignettes into her

intriguing life story avoid the usual

tendencies of biography towards

tedium or titillation. Her talent for

seeing the comic in the mundane and

tragic experiences in her childhood

and child-like adulthood offers the

reader a surprising degree of empathy

and intimacy, which becomes tinged

with exquisite pain as AIDS and

cancer begin to impinge upon the

story. The wild life of a brilliant and

beautiful women becomes

overshadowed by the sickly sweet

smell of a decaying rose. Yet even

amid this mood of mortality, despair

and death do not seem to triumph;

there remains a passionate

commitmentto life:

" I will stay in the fray, in the revel of

ideas and risk; learning, failing,

wooing, grieving, trusting, working,

reposing - in this sin of language and

lips. "

This is a stunning, beautiful,

touchingand provocative book. lts

unusual form and language and

hermetic intensity should not prevent

anyone from trying it.

(JoHN HUGHES)

movement 27


The horror of war is easy to condemn - but where do you go from there?

Elinor Mensigh looks at two books that have some suggestions.

Ffghtfng talk

DEMANDTNc puce: CHRrsrnru Resporses

ro WnR nno VrolEncr

by A. E. Harvey (SCM Press)

Blooov Hrrr

(Ed) Dan Hallock (Plough)

HE MEDIA TODAY IS

saturated with graphic

accounts of war and

conflict in various parts of

the world, from the Balkans to Central

Africa to Northern lreland and so on.

The temptation is to turn our backs on

these conflicts because their sheer

c0mplexity overwhelms us. Grasping

what is going on in an area of conflict,

such as Kosovo, is difficult enough,

never mind facing the dilemmas that

flood our minds when we discuss what

we think our response (as individuals

and as a nation) should be.

The strength of Demandint Peace

lies in A. E. Harvey's discussion of

such a socially, politically and

historically diverse range of attitudes

to war and violence. Readers are

presented with a comprehensive and

unbiased exploration of the complex

issues and dilemmas. Nevertheless,

the book is written, to my relief (!), in

an accessible and readable style.

0ur assumptions are challenged

throughout the book. Whatever view

we personally have of war, in reality

both pacifist and non-pacifist stances

have been regarded as'legitimate

responses to the Gospel' by most

churches. Demandin!, Peace draws

our attention to the ambiguity of the

Bible concerning war.

People looking to the Bible for

guidance on what the Christian

response to war should be are likely to

become pretty confused. ln the Old

Testament God seems to regularly

condone the destruction and killing of

whole communities, yet in the New

Testament we are told to love our

enemies. The author suggests that we

look to Jesus' example of selfsacrifice,

instead of searching for

teaching which explicitly rejects the

use of violence. Jesus, however, is not

portrayed as a weak or passive victim,

but rather as a person who refuses to

replicate 0r retaliate against the

violence which others inflict upon him.

How do we respond to that challenge?

This interpretation could steer us

in the direction ofthe pacifist stance.

Demandint Peace contains accounts

of successful non-violent protests

('people powe/) and negotiations

which and these are becoming

increasingly significant. 0n the other

hand, it is also recognised that

peaceful protests may not always be a

viable option when confronting the

threat of modern weapons in the

hands of oppressive regimes. The

book reminds us that we are

witnessing world leaders agonising

over long-winded negotiations as they

desperately try to reach a compromise

The temptation is to turn

our backs on these conflicts

because their sheer

comptexity overwhetms us.

and avoid war. The use of weapons as

a last resort, in recenttimes, hasto be

a sign of hope to us all.

A stimulating analysis of the 'Just

Wa/ theory takes up a large chunk of

the book and this part, in particular,

examines the kinds of issues with

movement 28

which we are currently struggling.

Harvey examines the complexity of

conflicts today. I ntervention is

considered by most to be a just and

compulsory response t0 the violation

of human rights, though this action

may potentially lead to violent

confrontation. A key question to ask is

whether our intervention will cause

more harm than good. The author

emphasises the changing attitude of

the general public towards war.

People are increasingly tending to

oppose intervention when a high level

of 'collateral damage' is likely. This

has to be another sign for hope.

The writer admits that we can

never know the motives that lie behind

the decision to intervene or not to

intervene in international or national

conflicts. lntervention is no longerthe

decision of one individual but of many

individuals, organisations and

countries. Although they appearto be

officially unified in their objectives,

true motives will always to some

extent be a mystery!

Demanding Peace does not offer

easy answers to readers, neither does

it persuade them to adopt a certain

view of war. lt does, however, provide

a comprehensive overview ofthe

changing nature of war and of our

attitudes towards it.

Harvey concludes with a brilliant

interpretation ofthe book of

Revelation. An apttheme as the

millennium (apologies for contributing

to the overuse ofthat dreaded word!)

approaches along with the

entertaining predictions of doom and

gloom and the end of the world !

I would like to finish by quoting

the concluding two sentences,

describing God's peace, because they

sum up perfectly the thinking behind

Novembe/s SCM Conference on the

Beatitudes.

"lt is the vision which gives

meaning to our lives, power to our

prayers, hope and endurance in the

midst of our history. lt is the sum of all

we believe, all we strive for, all we pray

for as we seek to respond to the

promise of God's kingdom on earth."

Arnrouen wE ARE rr:Pr

informed by the media about events in

areas of conflict, it is ultimately up to

those working in the media and in

positions of powerto decide what

information will be reported. They

select those situations which they

think should be brought to the

attention ofthe public butthey also

choose (or are pressured into

choosing) to conceal certain pieces of

information.

lf you want to discover the other

half of the story, the half that usually

remains hidden from the public, then

Bloody Hell isthe book to read. A new

pocket-sized book published by

Plough, it brings together powerful

personal accounts of war, written by

veterans of different ages, sex and

nationalities. The individual

testimonies are brutally honest and

disturbing. They depict the hanowing

scenes of carnage which the veterans

have had to face. The accounts also

reveal the way in which many veterans

feel deceived, manipulated and

abused by the military and

governmental bodies.

I was also left with the feeling that

an opportunity had been missed to

include some experiences of non-

Western soldiers. The West has often

ignored their voices. All of the

contributors seemed to be either from

the USA or from Great Britain and

most of them were describing their

experiences ofthe Vietnam War, the

Gulf War or the Falklands.

Bloody Hell is, nevertheless, a

brave and honest reflection on war.

Elinor Mensigh is SCM's new Groups'

Worker.


* BRINGING UP BABY

What is this? A CD -

buried amongst prep

school prospectuses

on a Habitat coffee

table - called 'Baby

Needs Mozart.' lt

increases baby's

intelligence and life

chances, you

see. The cover

shows a toddler

with a glint in

his eye as if to

say: buy this CD

and lwill

become a

lawyer or

perhaps a doctor,

and provide for you

handsomely in your

dotage.

Let me suggest a more

realistic scenario. Your baby

falls asleep to Mozart every

night while the rest of

his/her unspeakably

common cohort is

brought up to a

back-ground of

bickering and

gangster rap

I

and Radio 1

DJs "giving

a big

shout to

the Watford

posse". Your progeny is able to

compose librettos but is unable catch

a ball. When your precocious egghead

goes in on the first day of school

humming Erne Kleine Nachtmusik,iI

soon becomes clearthat Baby Needs

A Kicking.

ln response l've started my own line:

Baby needs Goth-Rock. Just getting

the front cover done now.

* FANTASIA:THE MORNING AFTER

Disney are bringing out a follow-up to

Fantasia called, intriguingly enough,

Fantasia 2000. lt follows the same

formula of classical music plus tenibly

amusing cartoons and mad acid

flashbacks. Mickey Mouse aka the

Sorcere/s Apprentice has to clear up

vomit and recycle bottles (to Wagner).

And the rhinos go back to the fancy

dress shop and try to explain - using

only sign language ; why the tutus

have ripped seams.

* CREED IS GOOD

WWJD is a trend amongst people of

faith who can't be bothered to work

out ethics for themselves, and Oasis'

Liam Gallagher is all for it. He

explained the principle of WhatWould

lohn Do?, which has guided his career

thus far, to Q magazine: "l believe in

John Lennon, I believe in everything he

stood for, that's the nearest to a God

thing I get to. I'm sure he was a cunt

as well, but he was a good guy..."

J

* MY ROUTE

TO FAME,

WWJD demands that you

Iove Lennon with all

your heart, all your

soul and all your

eyebrow.

FORTUNE AND RICHARD

WHITELEY

Now that the sun sets at half

three, I have to do something

on these long dark nights. I

have invested in a

rhyming dictionary

(confectionery!) and

got reams of application

forms from the Patent Office

(glottis!).

)

The best inventions so far: acne pygmy

chimney chutney (the Body Shop's

new organic soot face mask);

mizenmast elastoplast (bandage for

a broken ship); snootflute (nose

pipes); mute snootflute (nose pipes

that are broken).

lf I keep this going I could have a slot

on Countdown before the

commercials... better stop now.

* QUE CERTSE SERA

Serpent had the delight of discovering

an essay by everyone's favourite

hostage-in-your-own-home, Salman

Rushdie. Salman recalls a film made

as a tribute to him:

A few years alo there was a

Pakistani television film made

cal/ed lnternational Guerillas. Ihe

subject ofit was the heroic

attempt by lslamic tenorists to

murder ne. ln this film there was a

character called Salman Rushdie,

who was presented as a drunkard,

a sadist, a torturer and a murderer,

and at the end of the f/m this

character was murdered by no

/ess a person than God.

lwatched the film. ltwas appalinf,

and one of things I most objected

to was the fact that the character

playing me appeared in a very

large assortment of incredibly ugly

safarl suits, cerise safarl suits,

and other equally unpleasant

colours. Butthere is something

undeniably revolting about

w atch i n t yo u rse lf b e i n t

murdered by God in the

movies.

Not an experience that many

people have.

* THIS EMU WONT FLY

lmagine this. lt is 2008 and the Prime

Minister, Phoney Blah, is starting his

third term in office; he decides we

must join the European Monetary

Union and pulp the Great British

pound. Some Europhobes take

exception - the 17 remaining Tory

MPs, the Countryside Alliance and

allsorted fundamentalist Christians

who believe that EMU is the final step

before we get bar-codes on our

foreheads. (Honestly ifyou were

Beelzebub, Lord of Darkness and Barcoder

of Heads, wouldn't you pick

somewhere more glamorous to live

than Brussels?)

Anyway, this unlikely band

of rebels takes to the

hills to live a pure

life without EMU,

that filthy

contaminating

currency. They set up

a system of barter, but

this soon collapses as

humanity has forgotten how it

works. So, they begin using

remaindered memoirs of Tory

politicians as currency (there are 10

thatchersin a churchill; small change

consists of tebitts and demr-haf,ues).

Although some of the outlaws were

Boy Scouts, no one really knows how

to survive outdoors without a Range

Rover and wax jacket.

ln time, they are forced to join up with

crusties and travellers, who have been

doing so for years. There is tension at

first, but the hardship brings them

together and a beautifully diverse

underground culture emerges. Tweed

ponchoes, hempjodphurs and red

setters on string are all the rage for a

season. Swampy and Michael

Portfolio - whilst chilling out to

Spiritualised at Glastonbury - hit it off

and strike a pact: to oust the PM in

the next election.

Just a thought...

* DOUBLE SAMMY

The truth is strangerthan fiction,

especially around Halloween.This was

seen in the window of a local

newsagent: "Wanted for a feature film.

Lookalike/double for Sammy Davis

Jnr. Must be under 5'7" and available

on October 31st. lf you fit this

category (you do not necessarily have

to be facially similar and age is not a

problem the most important thing is

the height) please phone."

* SIGNING 0N... AND 0N...

Thank you t0 'a little bird', who uses e-

mail, for this. Hermeneutics applied to

a SIOP slf,n.

1. A postmodernist deconstructs the

sign by knocking it over with his car,

and thus ends the tyranny of the

north-south traffic over the east-west

traffic.

2. A serious and educated Catholic

drives through it because he believes

he cannot understand the stop sign

apart from its interpretive community

and tradition. 0bserving that the

interpretive community doesn't take it

too seriously, he doesn't feel

obligated to take it too seriously

either.

3. Average Catholics and mainline

denominationalists don't bother to

read the sign but will stop if the car in

front does.

4. An orthodox Jew takes routes

devoid of stops to eliminate the risk of

disobeying the Law.

5. A scholar from the Jesus Seminar

concludes that the passage " STOP "

was never uttered byJesus, since he

would not stifle peoples' progress.

So, STOP is a textual insertion from

stage lll of the gospel tradition,

when the church was first

confronted by traffic in

its parking lot.

6. An Old Testament

scholar amends the

text, changing the T

to H. The resulting

"SH0P" is much easierto

understand in context

than "STOP" because of

o the multiplicity of stores

in the area. The

o :;T,i;:ff[ifif:':

form deschichte

arteraiton. Tnus, tne

O -O

srgn announces Ine

existence of a shopping

area. lf this is true, it could indicate

that both meanings are valid, thus

making the message " STOP & SH0P. "

movement 29


T}IE

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