Tag Archives: David Peace

The end of everything good, the beginning of everything bad…

debaptism_cerificateToday I read that 1,500 people in just one week paid £3 each to be ‘debaptised’ by sending off for a parchment certificate from the National Secular Society. I don’t know whether to feel sorry for people who need to pay for sort of formal recognition to confirm that they no longer believe in something their parents arranged for them, or to be concerned about those who share my Christian faith being worried about this stunt undermining the fabric of our faith. It turns out that the certificate was designed by former NSS President Barbara Smoker who once considered becoming a nun and she feels it is popular because  there is the need for the sacramental “It’s always in the background, everybody has still got that residual echo of religion in their heads even if they rejected it intellectually.” I guess that’s because whatever we do our say, Barbara, God still believes in us and has a hope for us.

In David Peace’s book on Brian Clough, The Damned United,the atheist Cloughie lets us into his thoughts after the cremation of his mother:

“The end of everything good. The beginning of everything bad…. When you’ve gone, you’ve gone, you’re gone: that’s what you believe-The end of everything good. The beginning of everything bad….No afterlife. No heaven. No hell. No God.Nothing-The end of everything good. The beginning of everything bad…. But today, for once in your life, just this once, you wish you were wrong.”

Certificate or no certificate..baptised or debaptised..Christian or atheist, may today be the beginning of everything good rather than the beginning of everything bad and may we know the truth of the grace of of God who lets us make up our own minds. May we be blessed and at peace with whatever we decide.

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Filed under Football, God, national secular society, novels, Sport

The Damned Life of Brian

damned-unitedI don’t know about you, but I am really looking forward to seeing the film The Damned United based on David Peace’s book about Brian Clough’s ill-fated 44 day reign as manager of Leeds United in 1974. Back in those days I loved Leeds United, the greatest team in the land;and I loved Brian Clough- all charisma, swagger and confidence. When Clough was appointed manager of Leeds it seemed the perfect union- the best team now lead by the best coach, surely nothing would stop them from sweeping all before them. But it didn’t work  out and the dream partnership became a nightmare in need of a quickie divorce with neither party able to stand each other. So much promise and hope was sacrificed on the alter of ego and mutual loathing. Isn’t that a little like what we experience in life as well. Partnerships in our professional or personal lives that seem to have everything going for them yet somehow end in disappointment and at worst descend into hatred and bitterness. The problem with Clough is that he was so self confident he seemed that he didn’t need or want anybody else. In a conversation in Peace’s novel Clough mentions that he doesn’t believe in God…he believes in Brian Clough instead and Clough’s story fueled by a strong personal ambition to prove the establishment wrong for overlooking his talent is a cautionary tale of what happens when we let ourselves be driven by the need to show’em what we’re made of.

Clough was an enigma. An intelligent incisive manager, an opinionated political animal, a supreme tactician and leader of men and a real telegenic entertainer. He took second rate players and sleeping football clubs and made them real contenders. He was a giant of the game who we miss and whose like we will never see again a flawed legend and an inspiration. I wonder if even he could have taken that ramshackled and dysfunctional group and turned them into advocates for a new faith that would sweep the world. To paraphrase another Life of Brian, Old big ‘ed wasn’t the Messiah he was just a very self-possessed boy. But then again would Jesus have splashed out £1million for Trevor Francis?

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From Jesus to the Ripper

joseph-mawleI am a fan of the author David Peace and last night’s Red Riding 1980 on Channel 4, took us through his fictionalised account of the horrific events of the 70’s and into 1980 when The Yorkshire Ripper exerted his reign of terror over women across Yorkshire. Typically for Peace ,the focus was less on the Ripper himself and more on his highly fictionalised account of police corruption and brutality which hampered an effective enquiry. The drama painted a depressingly bleak picture with no respite from the murder, brutality,misery and corruption- dark,gripping and mesmerising stuff. Well, towards the end of the episode “Peter” was finally caught and taken down to the cells for questioning. Imagine my surprise to find the most notorious mass murder of recent times being played by Joseph Mawle- the actor who made such a highly acclaimed job of playing Jesus in last year’s BBC Easter drama The Passion. It made my think again of  Joseph’s  understated and dramatic portrayal of Christ, so I thought I’d remind you all to watch this again at some stage during Easter.

Find out more at http://www.bbc.co.uk/religion/programmes/thepassion/

Order the DVD and resources pack from the Bible Society here http://www.bibleresources.org.uk/pages/data.asp?shop=BS&mfg=BS&returnto=lastsearch&layout=books.htm&IdISBN.exact=0564038768,0564045462

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Filed under Channel 4