Random stuff…

The Skoda Fabia cake adJohn Sweeney loses it with the Scientologists

…because the football’s so boring. Isn’t the Skoda ad lovely? The ‘making-of’ video is a reminder of how good and appropriate old-fashioned, above-the-line investment can be. Don’t cancel your TV campaigns yet you big brands!

Don’t forget to check how your MP voted on the utterly shameful amendment to the Freedom of Information Act. You’ll have to wait until Monday for the voting record to be updated, I think. You might want to drop them a note if they voted in favour. Ask them this question: “if a bill were brought forward amending the new law to guarantee continued access to detailed MPs’ expenses, would you support it?”

The thing about the Scientologists is that we – those of us who don’t like them – really don’t have a leg to stand on. Ultimately, a religion is a religion. If you had sat down to design a religion during the second half of the Twentieth Century it would probably have looked a lot like Scientology.

It would have no deity (very difficult to sell a supreme being in the post-nuclear era). It would probably emphasise ‘personal growth’, worldly success and learning. There would be some secret knowledge and probably a very up-to-date emphasis on using the law the defend it. Rubbishing the Scientologists while tolerating – for instance – the Catholics, with their child abuse and their transubstantiation and the bloody Pope, is not a defensible strategy. I think we might just have to get used to them.

Is there something annoying, something really po-faced and sanctimonious about the so-called free speech spats animating the social networks lately? Was there really any need for the tens of thousands of words wasted on this week’s inconsequential flickr take-down? And was the flickr founder’s equally self-important response much of a remedy? Not really. I think we need to get over ourselves a bit (having said that, I did like Kevin Rose’s dry response to the HD-DVD decryption code thing, especially the version he gave on Diggnation).