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  • Paul Hurst 8:02 pm on April 7, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: bbc, ben, butterworth, , , heckle, heckled, lesbian, , news, politicians, politics, prime   

    What makes a good ‘Heckle’? 

    It had to happen.  It wasn’t a case of ‘if’ but ‘when’. The General Election campaign was barely 24 hours old before @benbutterworth accosted Gordon Brown en-route from ‘keeping in touch with the electorate’ and getting into his no-doubt bulletproof Jag, but what makes a good heckle?

    Mr Butterworth’s beef was with the fact that he has been unable to get his eldest child into the state school of their choosing and as this footage shows, he didn’t shy away from giving the PM a piece of his mind. “Gordon! I thought you wanted to talk to the public” was the statement that could of easily doubled as a question and as the Prime-Minister made his hasty getaway the security bods made it quite clear that it’s the PM who gets close to the electorate rather than the other way around.  So now the dust has settled, what should we make of the Heckler and the Heckled?

    The Heckler

    Mr Butterworth’s tone was forceful, clear and passionate but importantly he didn’t ‘over-egg the pudding’.  Some hecklers get lost in the emotion of the moment and throw their tempers (and shoes) at their targets. Usually resulting in an arrest, this rarely benefits their cause, instead making a speedy exit look sensible rather than seedy.  Todays heckle was well delivered and it hit home hard.  Less successful political heckles included ‘over-egging’ John Prescott,  the protester didn’t really have that much to say and as it turns out, nor did the Deputy Prime-Minister.

    Some hecklers also fall at the first hurdle which is ‘make sure your target hears what you’ve got to say’.  Other hecklers achieve much more with one incident in particular not only making the news headlines but was made ‘during’ the news headlines.  Who could ever forget the Lesbian invasion of the BBC News studios? (No-one thanks to this clip on youtube).

    Hecklers may only be exercising their democratic right to free speech but they have more to lose than they think.  A poorly executed heckle can do more harm than good although Mr Butterworth’s example from today could easily go down in political history as ‘textbook’.

    The Heckled

    The second party caught up in the moment immediately starts at a disadvantage.  The element of surprise is a vital strategy, straight from the heckler’s handbook.  Like an assassination attempt, the heckle can go relatively unchallenged for a few seconds before anyone gets chance to react.  Mr Brown found himself caught in the classic dichotomy of what to do.  Should he try to rescue the situation with a smile and a handshake? (Unlikely at the best of times) or should he just get out of there as quickly as possible?

    The Prime-Minister plumped for option two which sometimes can work well while other times can be quite damaging in itself.  When hecklers don’t appear too ‘rabid’ as in the case of Mr Butterworth, it can look quite ignorant when impassioned pleas for justice or answers fall on deaf ears.  In reality, Mr Brown probably didn’t have much option in the situation as security concerns can take precedence over PR however wherever possible, it can be helpful if the Heckled can muster some kind of response to what is put before them.

    One of many?

    As I mentioned earlier, we are barely twenty-four hours into this election campaign and it would be very surprising indeed if this heckle turned out to be an isolated incident.  With most heckles its probably healthy for us to remember that to see the real heckle and harangue pros at work, don’t need to look far beyond our illustrious politicians themselves.  They are all experts at it. In fact the irony of all of this is that you only need to watch them in Parliament to see how it really should be done.

  • Paul Hurst 11:16 pm on July 8, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: bbc, , , code, codex, criticism, da, error, , , resurrection, siniaticus, textural, vinci   

    ‘Christ died for our sins’ Despite what the BBC says… 

    Christ's resurrection *IS* mentioned in Codex Sinaiticus

    The earliest account of the resurrection in Codex Sinaiticus

    Great news for religious conspiracy theorists the world over.  The oldest near-complete version of the Bible can now be browsed online.

    Codex Siniaticus was written between 400-450AD and is the oldest version of the Bible in existence but what does it tell us about the Bibles we read today?

    There is no doubt there are lots of ‘differences’ Especially in the Old Testament.  This is largely due to how the oldest books (like Genesis) were written.  In this Codex, they were written in ‘ye-olde-Greek’ which has presented challenges to readers, much like those who try to read old English versions today.  It’s a different story for the New Testament though.

    Some stories are omitted and some extra ones are included but bearing in mind, these scriptures are by no means a recent find, the modern translations already point out these differences in the margins.  Unfortunately with Da Vinci Code mania stull running high,  lots of people are looking for controversy where there really isn’t any and it seems to be quite fashionable to try to discredit the Bible rather than the Qur’an or other Holy writings were fundamentalists don’t quite share such scholarly love.

    The BBC haven’t helped by writing a web article which only really tells half of the story.  Readers may be forgiven for thinking its all over bar the (hymn) singing after reading that the Codex misses out vast swathes of text including accounts of Christ’s resurrection and ascension.  It isn’t quite like that at all.

    Via the science of ‘textural criticism‘ its possible to form a relatively accurate date for the writings and events of the letters of St Paul and the Acts of the Apostles.  Paul’s ‘conversion’ happened approximately four years after Jesus’s public execution.  Acts 9:19 tells us that after his Damascus road experience, Paul spent time with the Disciples in Jerusalem.  Textural criticism really kicks in here…

    1 Cor 15:3 offers what seems like a simple-almost throw-away comment.

    3For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance[a]: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, 5and that he appeared to Peter,[b] and then to the Twelve. 6After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep.

    This now sounds quite ‘normal’ as far as Christian tradition goes but at the time of writing, these words were mind blowing.  Paul wrote this around 50AD.  A mere thirty years after Jesus’ execution many of the witnesses to the events were still alive, in fact Paul makes mention of this himself.  But why is this so important?

    Well, some historians, theologians and novel writers would like us to believe that Jesus’ Divinity and resurrection were only ‘invented’ hundreds of years and thousands of miles away from how things actually were.  However through textural criticism it’s easy to see that they were not.  Christians were preaching, reading and writing about the resurrection within 5 years of Christ’s execution (remember: Paul says he is passing on that which he was given, presumably from the Disciples in Jerusalem).

    Unsurprisingly and contrary to what the BBC may have us believe, these texts can all be found (easily) in Codex Siniaticus with a few simple clicks of the mouse.  They aren’t missing at all!

    I’m not sure why Christianity comes in for so much stick.  Now I know some of the bad-press is well deserved with religious crackpots doing far more damage than good but surely a tambourine image crisis shouldn’t affect what is historically accurate or not.

    Alas! It doesn’t seem to be that way.  So many assumptions are made, reports and documentaries broadcast without some of the evidence being presented properly.  Not only does this exhibit very poor journalism, it misrepresents some of the most famous and prevalent ancient texts in existence.

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