Review of “Does God Hate Women?”

Does God Hate Women? is a 178-page tirade by Ophelia Benson and Jeremy Stangroom, editors of the atheist website Butterflies and Wheels, co-authors of A Dictionary of Fashionable Nonsense and both senior editors on The Philosophers’ Magazine, on religious misogyny, … Continue reading

Michael Moore’s Sicko: Review

I’m sure Michael Moore needs no introduction to most of my audience: many of us have been painfully aware of his clumsy attacks on the Bush administration since about 2000. I saw Fahrenheit 9/11 almost as soon as it opened in London, and was disappointed to see a list of factual errors in the film, which ruined its impact for me (from a conservative source, but the list is well-referenced). Another criticism of his stance, from an Afro-American Muslim woman on a Yahoo list I used to read, was that he was concerned with “disarming minorities” and that anyone of a minority who consented to being disarmed was a fool. This film, however, is about a rather less controversial topic - American medicine, and the stranglehold he claims the insurance industry have on it.

Continue reading

Keith Allen’s grudge match in Kansas

I’ve just finished watching a programme on Channel 4 called Keith Allen Will Burn In Hell, in which someone nowadays best known for being the father of a mediocre pop star goes out to Topeka, Kansas, to get inside the cult known as the Westboro Baptist Church. The church have been well-known for years for picketing funerals, first of homosexuals and more recently of soldiers killed in Iraq. They hold up brightly-coloured placards proclaiming “God hates fags”, “Thank God for AIDS”, “Fag Flag” and the like. More recently they have taken to posting their offensive messages in videos on YouTube.

Continue reading

Review of “This is England”

This is England is a film about skinheads in the English Midlands in the early 1980s, written and directed by the British director Shane Meadows (interviewed here) and set mostly on a council estate which turns out to be in Nottingham, although no reference to Nottingham is actually made anywhere in the film; some scenes are shot in Grimsby, an east coast port and seaside resort. It mainly revolves around the character of Shaun, a 12-year-old boy who has recently lost his father in the Falklands war, and who is partly based on Meadows (and some of the other characters are also partly based on people Meadows knew).

Continue reading