Friday, 16 January 2015

Acoustic Amnesty

In place of our December meeting we lent our support to this fundraising event at Sacred Trinity church in Manchester in both name and number.

With musical performances from The Manchester Samba Band, The Stone Flowers and the GMH Choir as well as poetry from three comedic poets it was a varied, entertaining and enjoyable evening. The Samba band had people up dancing, while the Stone Flowers performed a number of songs in a range of styles and tongues.

The poets were of the modern variety, part poet, part comedian (and one a rapper – see picture) who while touching on serious social issues, did so in a humorous way.

The GMH choir, below, had (nearly) everyone chuckling with laughter with a song called Blah Blah Bethlehem. I say nearly, because being a church there were a few church folk there (including the vicar) who were struggling to have a laugh at what was essentially a parody of the typical Christmas carol.
The lyrics of Blah Blah Bethlehem are reproduced below for your amusement:

Blah blah shepherd,
Blah blah kings,
Blah blah angels,
Blah blah wings,
Blah blah little child,
Blah blah meek and mild,
Blah blah virgin,
Blah blah blah blah.
Blah blah virgin,
Blah blah blah blah.

Blah blah cattle,
Blah blah shed,
Blah blah donkey,
Blah blah head.
Double up the tune in thirds,
Sprinkle in some Latin words,
In excelsis,
In excelsis,
Blah blah blah blah.

Stuff goes here about a joyful birth,
Chuck in bits about all bells on Earth,
Sound effects evoking how they ring,
Ding, dong, ding, dong, ding.
Bit about the wise men,
Bit about the star,
Don't forget the frankincense,

(A further Acoustic Amnesty fundraiser is being held on 13th March. For details check out –

Thursday, 8 January 2015

"Show and Tell"

On Wednesday 17th December Stockport Humanists had a member generated discussion and social evening, which proved very successful with several members contributing.

Books profiled and discussed were:

Your Fatwa Does Not Apply Here by Karima Bennoune which says that the politicised version of Islam peddled by fundamentalists is dangerous and misrepresentative
What is Good? The Search for the Best Way to Live by A.C. Grayling in which proposals on how to live a good life are examined, from the ideals of the Greek poets to Kant’s theories on freedom and the UN Declaration of Human Rights.

Almost Like A Whale by Steven Jones is a modern introduction to Charles Darwin’s Origin of Species.

Six Poets, Hardy to Larkin: An Anthology by Alan Bennett in which the poems and the poets are described in Bennett’s customary conversational style.

Stolen Innocence by Elissa Wall describes the life of a young woman growing up in and eventually leaving the Fundamentalist Latter Day Saints (FLDS).

The Village Against the World by Dan Hancox tells the story of Marinaleda in Andalusia, Spain where the inhabitants are attempting to create a communist utopia, where no-one has a mortgage and everyone works to clean up the village.

Also recommended were The BBC Reith Lectures presented by Dr Atul Gawanade on Radio 4 talking about Why do Doctors Fail, the Century of the System, the Problem of Hubris, and the Idea of Well Being.

The film Inherit the Wind starring Spencer Tracy depicts the arrest and trial of a teacher for teaching Darwin’s ideas on evolution. This is a thinly disguised rendition of the Tennessee monkey trial.