Friday, 30 January 2009

Sketch of Paul Zenon

Another time lapse photography film; this time I'm drawing a sketch of Paul Zenon.

Thursday, 29 January 2009

Sketch of Ricky Jay

Below is a time lapse film of me drawing a sketch of Ricky Jay.

Friday, 9 January 2009

The Atheist Bus Campaign

I feel slightly let down by Humanism. In some ways Humanism is impressive. It has an aim of treating human beings with respect, dignity and concern without the motive of the heavenly reward promised by religions. In that respect it can be more selfless, more altruistic than a religion. How can I not feel respect for that? Something else that impressed me was the way the resources of Humanistic groups went into doing something about the plight of human beings whose human rights were being abused.

What I never expected was for Humanism to go down the road that modern Christianity has of diverting money away from helping people to commercially advertising its beliefs. Hold on, you might say, is not one of the responsibilities of Christianity to ‘spread the word’. Yes, granted, but there is a big difference between religious conversion and spending millions worldwide on billboard advertising, newspaper adverts and suchlike instead of fulfilling the Christian duty of helping people directly. That money could feed the starving, house the homeless, pay for medication for the sick and more. Other forms of advertising, for an appeal to help people, at least have a practical purpose. Band Aid is a good example.

As to the advertising of the existence of Christianity, have you ever met someone who has not heard of Christianity? It is a bit like starting an advertising campaign to let people know that there is a part of the world called ‘Europe’ or that there is a country called the ‘United States of America’.

I was curious when I read about an Atheist Bus Ad Campaign which was in reply to Christian bus advertisements. The organiser, Ariane Sherine, hoped to raise just over £5,500 to pay for advertising on buses promoting atheism. To be fair, that seemed like a good idea because she was replying to a less than admirable advertising campaign. What made my heart sink was when I read that they raised over £135,000 and used it all on advertising (800 buses in the UK and now the project is going global) and none of it went on more responsible Humanistic causes. Picture the scene of a homeless person begging on a street in the freezing weather we have had this week; first he sees a bus with advertising for Christianity go past, then he sees a bus with advertising for atheism go past. How did either help him? The cost of the advertising on just one of those buses would probably have got him out of the cold weather into a shelter for quite a while, providing him with food and even new clothes.

It is a shame that the main concern of both beliefs, Christianity and Humanism, of helping humanity should potentially be reduced through concerns of promotion through advertising.

To read the full story and see news videos on the project please click this link:,3494,Atheists-launch-bus-ad-campaign,BBC

Sunday, 4 January 2009

ITV's Demons

Jill was eager to watch the new ITV series Demons. She enjoyed the first episode but I lost interest very quickly. The reason is because it’s Buffy The Vampire Slayer all over again. Strangely, Jill never liked that program but now she likes a program which has the same formula. A teenager turns out to have the ability to slay vampires, etc., and it is his/her destiny to do so regardless of what he/she wants. In Buffy it is an American girl with an English mentor telling her how to be a slayer. In Demons it is an English boy with an American mentor telling him how to be a slayer. Both have a teenage friend or friends who require rescuing. Both have a single parent that they must keep in the dark about their adventures. Both are students.

It’s only an educated guess but I think we can expect Demons to cover the same ground as Buffy did. Continual teenage angst about trying to find a happy balance between academic studies, romantic interests, a difficult relationship with a parent who doesn’t understand the reasons for their child’s mysterious behaviour, trying not to lose friends because of not having time for them due to all that slaying going on or through their being kidnapped or attacked by evil entities; eventually, when the same plotline starts to wear thin on those topics, the scriptwriters revert to the old favourites such as a clichéd parallel universe story or just change some of the cast members, etc.

I wonder if the production company asked and received permission to use a scenario similar to Buffy?