So yesterday a bus driver turned up to work, saw a heathen message on the side of a bus, and had a strop. With arms folded, stamping his foot and scowling1 he threw all of his toys out of the pram and refused to work any more. His employers have been very understanding, probably because they’re scared witless of getting sued. As has been pointed out, I’m sure they’d have been just as accommodating towards a Labour supporter who refused to drive under Tory adverts. Obviously, this dude is an easy target: who the hell thinks bus drivers endorse adverts on their bus? He’s clearly not thinking straight / taking the mickey. It’s pretty funny, but even more entertaining are yesterday’s Early Day Motions.
EDMs are – as far as I can tell – pointless ranty things that MPs sign to placate crazy constituents. I don’t know how many are serious, but I only seem to hear about dumb ones – a couple of years ago there was one condemning Channel 4 for changing the time of Countdown. I think they can do something if you get more than x number of MP signatures, but this never happens for the bonkers stuff.
Obviously, there’s an EDM relating to the atheist buses. Two, in fact. Here’s the second, as reported by mediawatchwatch:
Offensive advertisements on public transport
That this House notes that posters with the slogan `There’s Probably No God. Now Stop Worrying and Enjoy Your Life’, appear on 800 buses in England, Scotland and Wales, as well as on the London Underground; notes that this causes concern to Christian and Muslim people, many of whom feel embarrassed and uncomfortable travelling on public transport displaying such advertisements and would not wish to endorse the advertisements by using that public transport; regrets that the British Humanist Association backs the campaign; and calls on Ministers responsible for public transport and advertising media to investigate this matter and to seek to remove these religiously offensive and morally unhelpful advertisements.
I like the implication that only Christian and Muslim people are clever enough to feel “embarrassed and uncomfortable”. Hindus? Buddhists? Scientologists? Who gives a crap. Christians and Muslims are obviously the persecuted minority.
It’s particularly amusing that this provides no hint of any justification. The adverts generate the aforementioned uncomfortableness and embarrasment, and also cause ‘concern’. By the end they’re ‘religiously offensive’, which I assume means the same as ‘offensive’, and ‘morally unhelpful’, which is just weird. There’s no hint of a reason for any of this – the concern-causing-nature of the adverts is in itself enough to warrant the complaint. Which is odd, because you don’t Just Get Concerned – there’s usually some cause. It’s almost like they’re too embarrassed to say what it is.
It’s also great that some MPs think using public transport constitutes an endorsement of its advertising. I assume they don’t watch ITV. And never buy newspapers.
So that’s all a bit embarrassing, given that it comes from the people in charge of the country. But here’s the first EDM, which imho is even better:
No God Advertising
That this House notes the recent advertising campaign based on London buses, There’s Probably No God, the brainchild of the British Humanist Association; also notes the fact that the rationale behind it is that people can be less careful about their lifestyle choices and general approach to life’s consequences by discounting the likelihood of a Creator and an afterlife; and recommends to Christian groups considering alternative advertising approaches to There’s Probably No God to counter it with the simple addition of But What If There Is.
I love that somebody somewhere has a brain so utterly devoid of reason that they see ‘now stop worrying and enjoy your life’ and interpret it as ‘care less about consequences’. Anyway, I’ve fully taken into account the likelihood of a Creator and an afterlife. It’s pretty small. It’s down there with the homeopaths, dallying with the psychics and the spoon-benders. Done. Sorted.
But What If There Is? Yes, what if there is? Equally, what if a space pretzel with a wand of bees breaks into your house tonight? How will you defend yourself against its mighty juice? Don’t tell me there are no space pretzels. YOU DON’T KNOW. I’m gonna put up a sign.
- I imagine [↩]