Sunday, 30 October 2011

The anguish of humiliation

We're sitting in brother Edward and Sascha's sitting room watching the results shows of various talent contests whilst eating delicious wraps. 

We've had a very relaxing day, although the anti-biotics I've been prescribed for my suspected whooping cough are leaving the most revolting metallic taste in my mouth, which has been getting on my wick all day. 

There seems to be a bit of a ruckus brewing with the so-called psychic Sally Morgan, who's been invited by various sceptics to take a test on Hallowe'en to prove decisively whether or not she can talk to the dead. Derren Brown has got involved, and there's been a lot of mud-slinging on twitter but I find myself feeling slightly uncomfortable. 

Here's my issue. However much of a money-grabbing charlatan this so-called psychic is, what she's doing is bringing hope and closure to people who are grieving. If people want to believe she's for real, and take solace from what she's doing, then I'm afraid I don't have a problem with her doing it. I certainly don't think she needs to be exposed in some sort of clinical trial.
More than this, I believe what she's doing is no different from what priests, vicars and preachers across the world are doing on a daily basis, and no one challenges them. Has Rowan Williams ever been invited to take part in a scientific experiment aimed at definitively proving the existence of God!?

And don't tell me Psychic Sally is different because she makes money out of vulnerable people. There are plenty of born again nutters in the states who'd give her a pretty good run for her money in that respect! 

October 30th, 1661, and Pepys spent the morning playing his newly altered lute, which pleased him greatly. 

He spent the afternoon in Deptford on a ship called The Norwich, meticulously examining every single nook and cranny. Pepys was nothing  if not thorough. 

He returned home to the news that his great friend and mentor Sir Robert Slingsby was to be buried without funeral. His corpse was apparently beginning to stink, but Pepys was furious not to be given an opportunity to pay his final respects. 

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