Showing posts from September, 2018

Deadly Stories

On Saturday 6th October at 7.30pm I am hosting an event based around the seven deadly sins, held at Oddfellows Hall in Ipswich.  It will be a  combination of mythological stories from around the world and narrative poems inspired by ancient myth bringing the Seven Deadly Sins to life. The stories are intended for an adult audience (parental discretion advised if you wish to bring children). Tickets are £5, with any profits going towards The Dogs Trust and the UK Wolf Trust (advanced booking required). King of Cups will be selling alcoholic and soft refreshments during the intermissions.

Given the size of the hall numbers have to be limited, so this is a ticketed event rather.

To reserve tickets please contact

Enforceable laws?

I don't know whether this podcast will be of the remotest interest to the people who attend to this blog (all three of you), but I created it as a supplemental guide for students on the Legal Ethics module for the Ethics degree at the University I teach in. It's a consideration of what the function of law is - part of the module explores functionalist issues in this regards, and I appreciate this podcast might be a bit disjointed for anyone who doesn't have that background context. However, the lightning quick gloss is that - in most legal systems both modern and ancient - the law is punitive. An act is outlawed by the legislature (Parliament in our case) and a punishment dreamed up for it to discourage people from engaging in the criminalised activity. That's not the only function of law, but most theorists would argue it is the central one.
I've been following some of the arguments made by people around banning parents smacking their children (laws are already in…

Being Green

Some time ago I posted about the early Catholic thinking on the sin of invidia (these days called envy) and its background in earlier Roman philosophy. To briefly recap, the sin of invidia from a Catholic stance is to place our resentment that others have something which we do not above and beyond a somewhat Panglossian faith in God to make the absence of the desired-for thing worth enduring. The earlier view emphasised that this was not simply a matter of brooding self-pityingly on what the lucky swine next door has, but the active wish to deprive them of it ~ the caustic view that if I cannot have a thing then nobody else should have it either.
Nietzsche's take on envy was sightly different, in that he saw it as a more noble form of honesty although one with numerous pitfalls. Nobody has everything they want and we should aspire to be honest when we see someone with a possession, a relationship, a skill or personal quality that we would dearly like but cannot (yet) have. For hi…

Ripe apples

This is the promised tale of Vertumnus and Pomona, the Roman deities of autumn and apple trees respectively, and featuring the tale-within-the-tale of the gentle Iphis and the haughty Anaxarete. As the story suggests, it is never wise to annoy Venus - as Hippolytus learned with Aphrodite, there are some goddesses who refuse to take no for an answer.

Medusa's Gaze

Following a short holiday in Sicily (beautiful place, though I felt like I was holidaying in an oven and must have sweated several pounds off - especially when we went to see the amazing amphitheatres at Siracusa),
I thought I'd record a reflection on the Medusa and her deadly gaze. Her severed head appears in the centre of the trinacria, a popular symbol of the island formed from three conjoined legs (just like the symbol of the Isle of Man). Oddly there are no surviving myths linking Medusa to Sicily, though presumably such must have existed at some point to result in the iconography.
The waffle I have recorded below explores some ideas philosophical and some psychological in connection with this mysterious power to turn other people into solid stone and different ways to understand the imagery of the mythology.