There’s been a bit of a furore over Charity gifts recently. In particular two organisations Animal Aid and the World Land Trust have both been campaigning on the message that gifts of animals provide unsustainable assistance as in the long term they cause more problems than they solve. Their messages have been partially discredited, Animal Aid are not, as their name implies, an aid charity, but animal rights campaigners ideologically opposed to the use of animals in… well anything. The World Land trust have their own charity gift scheme, in competition with .
I have yet to find out any independent analysis of the goat giving phenomenon, that isn’t either repeating the received wisdom of the two organisations above, anecdotal reportage in a lower quality Sunday newspaper, or on the lines of “well they would say that, wouldn’t they, they have a vested interest”. However I would still not be that pleased with a charity goat as it would show the giver didn’t even bother to look at the catalogue and find something less ubiquitous!
From the publicity you would think goats were the be all and end all of charity gifts. Oxfam unwrapped list loads of different types of gift, most of which lead to projects that don’t involve animals in any way shape or form. However isn’t the charity gift just clever marketing, a way of packaging up what is really just a simple charity donation? Oxfam Unwrapped are quite clear, open and honest about the fact that your money doesn’t actually directly buy the thing that represents the gift. For example if you buy someone some exercise books, your money may not actually buy exercise books, but something from a list of things relating to education. So if I was a vegan, giving my charity catalog gift, how sure could I be that my gift of a school desk wouldn’t fund the purchase of livestock? I’ve no problem with my gift of an Aids education session turning into condom kits, but if it turns into something totally unrelated I may as well have just avoided the expensive marketing and just put the money in the collecting tin.
Certain charities do ring fence your money, and what you pay for is actually bought. However, I’m not sure I’d really want to be so fussy as not to trust my chosen charity with any flexibility over what they did with my gift. I also have an image in my mind, probably erroneous, of the charity telling the recipient of the nice person from England who paid for the gift, and I’m not sure I’m so comfortable with that!
According to the Daily Hate and other newspapers, us PC killjoys are out to ban Christmas.
Unfortunately for them it isn’t true and here’s why.
James O’Malley has an interesting response, which is more anti-religion than I would write myself but still worth a read.
In summary, people are complaining that the Royal Mail issuing non-religious stamps this year is all part of a PC conspiracy. However the fact is they issue non-religious stamps every other year anyway, this year is no different. Anti-PC nutcases also cite Birmingham’s Winterval as an attempt to ban Christmas, and yet Winterval only happened the once and featured Christmas celebrations prominately!
Thanks to Nick Barlow.
Oooh, I’ve noticed that someone’s bought me somthing from my wish list for Christmas. It’s so tempting to flick the list to purchased items and see what. I could press the button and peek through my fingers. No I mustn’t- it’s naghty.
Doesn’t time fly when you have other things on your mind. I was reminded by the BBC yesterday that it is only seven days to Christmas. I still have presents to buy but I think all my cards are sent, even if some may still be in the post as I type. Today has been a trip out to Bradford, home of my nearest ELC, to get a present for my 6 month old nephew. I also managed to pick up a couple of presents for some of my relatives so I only have a couple of presents left to get. Living in such a nice place as the Aire Valley has its down side, as its a lot further to nip into a town with lots of shops.
I have been visited by double glazing salesmen and considering redecorating my front room.
Busy writing this years cards. Unfortunately the copy of the SAGGA address list I had put on one side is dated 2002!
This article is a few years old but makes interesting reading, particularly given it’s from a member of the clergy.
It also echos a lot of what I feel about extremist Christians, of the sort often described as the American Christian Right.
Anyone who uses a belief in Christianity to support intollerance or hate is missing the entire point and looses the right to call themselves Christians IMHO. Not that I would stop them doing what they do (that would be intollerance in itself) just… not in my name please.
I’m not alone in being worried by this, at work the other day someone put up a polite note describing the other side of the story. I thought it was nicely written. However it was torn down not long after.
Briefly watched “The phantom Menace” having difficulty with the blank looks when explaining the little boy is Luke Skywalkers father.
Also been viewing the Andrew Davies series on BBC4- my mum and dad have a digibox- not an Echostar one on staff purchase, but a Grundig. Seen several episodes of A Very Peculiar Practice, along with Ian Richardson in “House of Cards” Geneus. Just need to have series 2 of AVPP repeated and I’ll be happy. Needless to say the forthcoming DVD has gone on the wishlist.
A quiet moment before the festivities of the day.
Well we now know that the all important Christmas number one is the cover version of Tears for Fears “Mad World”. I feel old (again). There is jubiliation in some quarters, perhaps because it keeps spoof stadium rock band The Darkness out of that slot. First time I heard it, I thought “Interesting: Tears for Fears unplugged, this was a really good song.” But now I’m just nostalgic for the orginal. It possibly works on the Donnie Darko soundtrack, but not for me standing on its own two feet.
This is not to say I prefer the alternatives. The Pop Idols’ luke warm reheat of the John Lennon classic deserved not to get to number 1, and two novelty records don’t either. While I enjoy being reminded of Queen, a cheep knock-off doesn’t deserve it either.
I feel like I should be grumbling about how it was better in my day, but you’d only taunt me with Kylie and Jason.
Only just realized what a surreal Christmas song this is. For those who also haven’t listened closely to the lyrics, it’s by Chris de Burgh, and has the chorus, “and it went nah na na nah nana nah na na nuh, nah na na nah na na nah.”
It’s all about a space man whose star like ship visited earth the day Jesus was born.