Saturday, July 04, 2015
Ship of Fools, tired, joyless and dull
'The Ship of Fools' have now changed significantly their review of Mass here, they have removed the downright untruths, the inventions of their reviewer, they have however left in the untruth that 'G' the lady with the phone simply left the church, with the implication that she did not return, which is untrue and disrespectful to her, she returned within 30 seconds she told me. However despite the significant change no-one from the 'Ship of Fools' has contacted me to apologise or even offer any explanation for their original mendacious posting.
However a few people whose Churches were trashed by this website have been in contact, they have told me that their complaints have just been shrugged off or treated with contempt. I realise that the only reason why this Ship of Fools bothered to change our review in our case was because I have the ability to punch back on this blog, most of their other victims do not have this ability.
There is something very sinister not just in the image of Ship of Fools mystery shopper, a grinning bandit but seeing liturgy as a consumer product is sinister, rather than the source and summit of a Church's life. Liturgy is debased if it is just seen as show which is how these Fools present it.
It is from our liturgy that vocations spring, currently from us more than any other parish in our diocese, from our liturgy that we care for the poor and the homeless: over seven thousand five hundred people fed last year and from our liturgy we are able to offer help through Brighton Voices in Exile to hundreds of asylum seekers and victims of torture each year and from our liturgy that the deep prayer life and sanctity of many of our parishioners grows. To simply treat liturgy as an entertainment, with a 'cast' of performers is a blasphemous affront. Using an anonymous correspondent to do this seems to be the worst kind of misuse of the internet, it is simply trolling.
We are certainly happy to have casual visitors but we expect them to come to worship, that is not what the Ship of Fools representative did. I know nothing of this organisation, the reviewer, I suspect like all their other reviewers, seems to be of a certain age, I bet there is no-one under thirty on their staff. Their website is messy, I think it is supposed to be humorous but it its humour is tired, it has nothing to say about the Church today. Tiredness seems to be a mark of this website, it was founded in 1997 and probably hasn't changed much. Hardly surprising that their correspondent with a stage Irish name, "Bunbury O'Remus", which I find offensive, is concerned about maniples, or lighting fittings rather than those sleeping rough or going hungry on our Brighton streets or having nightmares because of their torture in Syria or Zimbabwe. As one of my parishioners who was outraged by the mendacity of the original review said, "Their review seemed like a one night stand rather than a member of a family". Well if Ship of Fools is about one night stands, it is hardly a night of passion, more the mechanical acts of a tired old prostitute, that hawks her unwanted wares from parish to parish each week in the expectation someone might give her a handful of small change.
Their site does not show much joy at the Ship of Fools; it is tired, joyless and desperately dull! My score 1 out of 10, and I am being generous. It tags itself as being "self-critical" and "Christian", maybe once it was, now it is formulaic and dull, and not a little self-referential. Possibly once it might have made Christians think, those days are long gone. Perhaps as some of you have suggested, I should not waste my time discussing this website, and giving it space here only gives it publicity but as I say it is mendacious, that always needs addressing.
see Eccles on The Ship of Liars.
Posted by Fr Ray Blake