Zealotry and dark sunshine

On Saturday afternoon I lunched with a religious zealot and some hecklers. It was unplanned.

I’d wandered into town for a bite to eat pre-film, of which more later, when I was attracted by noise and a large crowd. As I got closer I saw a flip chart and a shouty American, and then a plucky young Brit shouting back. The American was spouting forth about how evolution is fake (using the old “everything has a designer” nonsense), showing diagrams of the dimensions of Noah’s Ark (“he took baby animals, not fully grown ones”), claiming the Earth is 4000 years old, and that sort of thing. The Brit was telling him he was an idiot.

Interested but hungry, I bought a sandwich and returned to watch the argument (resolving to keep my mouth shut, as I’d only get wound up if I joined in). More than one heckler was now involved.

It was scary and creepy stuff. The zealot, a relatively young man, was clearly experienced at this – more experienced than the hecklers. He knew all the tricks, such as deploying the “look, a shiny thing” change of subject whenever anyone started demolishing his argument; requiring proof of any assertion made by a heckler but refusing to offer any when the same question was asked of him; presenting discredited evidence; and so on. And all the while, his comrades circled the group, handing out leaflets.

Most of the watchers knew it was all nonsense and cheered on the hecklers. One heckler, most likely an academic, probably a philosopher or similar spod, knew his theology better than the zealot. It was no use: as in the wider world, the American shouted loudest.

Scariest of all, when the zealot finished a few people applauded and went up to congratulate him. I hurried into Waterstones and cuddled the new Richard Dawkins hardback, The God Delusion.

Thence to the Picturehouse, for Little Miss Sunshine with Chris, Louise, Andy and Chef. Satirical, dark, funny. Superb. I’ll say no more on that, as I hadn’t even seen a trailer before watching the film and it was all the better for that, I think. But if you have seen the trailer, see the film anyway.

Avaragado’s rating: frozen yoghurt

Next up: Cotto, a new restaurant next to the Tram Depot on East Road. This too met with my approval, though it might not suit those (a) on a budget and (b) with Chef. Expensive tastes, these city boys. “I didn’t think I ordered port,” indeed.

Avaragado’s rating: too much salt

Chris took a selection of photos during the day with his new camera. Yes, we went to pubs too.

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