Friday, September 08, 2006

The Heretic Hour

Good morning, afternoon or evening friends (depending on when you are reading this). For those of you who aren't friends and seem to hate us, well God bless you anyway. While I finish the next part of "The Relentless Pessimist" I thought I would update you on one of our most recent projects. We have decided to enter the world of Podcasting. For those of you who may not know what a podcast is, it is simply a small audio (and sometimes video) show that is downloaded to computers and IPODs. Sort of like an internet radio show.

While I get many letters thanking us for our mission, I also get a few zingers. Some of the letters would wilt a steel rose. What put the idea for the title into my head was one of the zingers I received recently. So - as it is oft' said - without further ado, is a short script (a draft) of the opening of the first podcast, still in the works.

The Heretic Hour with Sister Julie and Sister Frances

(Show starts with an audio clip of the following)

Announcer: In the early years of the 16th century, to combat the rising tide of religious unorthodoxy, the Pope gave Cardinal Ximinez of Spain leave to move without let or hindrance throughout the land, in a reign of violence, terror and torture that makes a smashing film. This was the Spanish Inquisition...

Chapman: Trouble at mill.

Cleveland: Oh no - what kind of trouble?

Chapman: One on't cross beams gone owt askew on treadle.

Cleveland: Pardon?

Chapman: One on't cross beams gone owt askew on treadle.

Cleveland: I don't understand what you're saying.

Chapman: [slightly irritatedly and with exaggeratedly clear accent] One of the cross beams has gone out askew on the treadle.

Cleveland: Well what on earth does that mean?

Chapman: *I* don't know - Mr Wentworth just told me to come in here and say that there was trouble at the mill, that's all - I didn't expect a kind of Spanish Inquisition.


[The door flies open and Cardinal Ximinez of Spain [Palin] enters, flanked by two junior cardinals. Cardinal Biggles [Jones] has goggles pushed over his forehead. Cardinal Fang [Gilliam] is just Cardinal Fang]

Ximinez: NOBODY expects the Spanish Inquisition! Our chief weapon is surprise...surprise and fear...fear and surprise.... Our two weapons are fear and surprise...and ruthless efficiency.... Our *three* weapons are fear, surprise, and ruthless efficiency...(Audio clip fades out)

Mother Frances: "It is important that everyone is seen as equal before God.” Harsh words? Radical? Heretical?

You would think not. Nations have been founded on that principle – including this one. Yet that is the very belief in harmony and equality for which we have been called heretics. The quote is from a particularly radical and heretical person – Mother Teresa of Calcutta - a nun who won the Nobel peace prize for her work helping some of the poorest people in the world.

(Bridge: From “smooth” by Carlos Santana)

And if you said
This life ain't good enough
I would give My world to lift you up
I could change my life
To better suit your mood…

Sister Julie: People expect us to change to suit their moods. When people hear the word nun they usually see a see a mental image of one or two things. Either a woman in a penguin suit wielding a ruler as if it were a machete – some belligerent biddy whose face would crack if it ever smiled or…

Mother Frances: …a woman who is serenity incarnate, who usually wears a halo for a hat.

Sister Julie: I am sister Julie

Mother Frances: and I am Mother Frances.

Sister Julie: - and reality, is often much different. Instead of a halo I wear an IPOD. My world extends beyond the walls of the convent, even when that world is a virtual one – the global community, that makes its second home on the internet.

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