To my mind, curiosity is the greatest of all the human qualities. Curiosity about the world around us is the stuff of science and invention. Curiosity about other people is the stuff of social interaction and community.
So being of a curious and questioning mind is a good thing, right? Wrong. Not when you’re Nelson McCausland, according to the blogs.
The big culture story of the week centred on the DCAL Minister’s asked why the Ulster Museum didn’t exhibit more on Creationism and on the Orange Order.
Firstly a word from the satirical blog, 1690 an’ all that which finds itself in complete agreement with the Minister. In fact, Professor Billy McWilliams notes that he had made a similar suggestion himself some months ago, and that the Minister is only now catching up with satire.
Billy blogs: “ Imagine my shack fur til learn taeday thit nain o'er than the Heid Yin of Culture, Arse an' Leisure, Nelson McCausland, his taken up ma cause. Ah writ til the Museum but they niver replied. Slap it up yis now ah say, fur if yid hiv listened then this situation cud hiv bin avoided.”
Slap it up ye Science!
Eye on the Hill is perplexed by it all but largely unsurprised. The blog says that ”Nelson is only doing what every Northern Ireland politician has done in recent years – ignore the facts and press on, preferably to the sound of a marching band”.
And sure, Daphne Trimble might very well think that Mr McCausland “has managed to turn Northern Ireland into a laughing stock across the world”, but consider this – what if he’s got a point?
The Devenport Diaries warns critics: “ A 2009 survey by the public theology think tank Theos suggested that 25 per cent of the population of Northern Ireland believe the universe is less than ten thousand years old.”
If Creationism / Orange Order represents a sizeable chunk of opinion, and is a major thread to our community narrative, then why leave it unrepresented in our Museums? Malachi O’Doherty thinks that there’s every chance the Minister will get his way.
He blogs that “... some smarty pants in the museum is bound to agree that a serious discussion of intelligent design theory would tick the right box to get Nelson off his back”.
Perhaps you could even argue that questioning the work of science is a rigorously scientific thing to do (erm... even when challenging the aggregated knowledge of science throughout history). Perhaps?
In the Ministers’ defence, I urge you go to his blog at The Minister’s Pen where Nelson has penned a series of eight articles explaining his position and resisting media criticism.
On to more serious matters and one blogger reflected on this week’s terrible murder on the Shankill Road, and how close he came to getting caught up in it.
Ailin had been acting up as informal tour guide for a buddy’s family who just arrived from the Philippines. He missed the shooting by minutes but, he reflected, we all ought to have missed shootings like this by the distance of some years.
He blogged: “It is a tragedy on a day when I was proudly displaying parts of our past, the future was also being tainted by merciless gunmen. Disgusting really.”
Elsewhere, this column sends its best wishes to Manuel at Well Done Fillet who’s having kidney stones removed. His better half Little Miss Manuel has posted an update of his condition.
“I’m not saying [Manuel’s] a drama queen but if he tells me once more that the Doctor, a male doctor, told him that passing the kidney stones is worse than child birth I will strangle him with his own drip line.”
He may survive the kidney stones, but I don’t think he’ll survive LMM. Best wishes, and farewell Manuel.
And finally, the blog from Across the Line reckons it has found a surefire, if unlikely, cure for constipation. Anyone who thought that Leftield’s ‘Phat Planet’ is just a “two-note bass line looped for nearly six minutes with nowt much more than a few break beats and a squelchy two word refrain”, then think again.
When “turned up loud, this track will shatter your ribcage and encourage strangely pleasant bowel movements. Does that sound horrendous?”
Yes ATL, it sounds terrible. In fact I had ‘Phat Planet’ on a Spotify playlist. Deleted.
Geoff McGimpsey blogs on Northern Ireland politics and current affairs at http://bobballs.wordpress.com