Julian Cope presents Head Heritage

November Drudion

November 2001ce

There are religious idiots in our midst who are currently clamouring about how their particular religion is not being taken seriously. But Who Fucking Cares? September 11th was just the Final and Ultimate Super Reminder that all religion should be swept away right this minute. The Christians hate the Muslims hate the Hindus. The Jews hate the Muslims hate the Christians. Within the monotheistic Big Three, Orthodox Jewry is embarrassed by the Hassidics; Big Sunni Islam fears the rise of Shi-ism; and Protestants hate Catholics because they worship the saints. The last one seems to be because Protestants think this is just polytheism creeping through the Catholics’ back door – worshipping many Gods and Goddesses, but petitioning them under the sneaky term ‘saints’. Protestants hate everyone, though. The Church of Scotland started because fundamentalists believed that the Church of England was too Roman in its outlook. Then, the Free Church of Scotland started because they thought the Church of Scotland was too lenient, and too many of their rituals smacked of… well, y’know… ritual. The Wee Free Church of Scotland was started by a small bunch who believed that their Free Church of Scotland had become too lenient. Now, there’s a tiny bunch in the Outer Hebrides called the Wee Wee Free, who sit scowling at everyone on the mainland, and won’t have a minister or an altar – just a speaker and a table. Some day, some offshoot will start because they saw someone polishing the table, and perceived it as an act of Popery!

Ignorance will destroy the world, natch. It always did, and sure enough, the world came right back again. Christians who accuse Islam of fundamentalism are part of a religion which is more fundamental than Islam could EVER be. Why? Because there’s only two types of Islam. Sunni is the big one, and Shi-ism is the culty one that’s on the rise. But neither are any weirder than the umpteen cults posing worldwide under the banner "Christianity", no Sir E.

What scares me, in the light of events of September 11th, is this creeping back to respect for religions. Like we’ve suddenly gotta be under heavy manners before we call any of the Big Three divinities “Gobshite”. Even with its shit school worship policy in place, Britain is a country of total freedom from honouring dubious imaginary sky Gods. So I do hope we’re not slipping down some slope into a time when I’ll have to give up my long cherished ideas of starting a Muslim metal magazine called Korrang. Because that would be just tragic. Without freedom of speech, will I no longer be able refer to Merrick by the nickname Mecca?

See, we’re used to religion being funny in Britain. Because it is. Religion is something practised by narners because their Star Trek outfits got lost in the post. See a photo of a man in a dress and it’s either me playing Reading Festival or a priest of some religion or other. See a photo of a muddy geezer running around in the almost-nuddy and it’s me playing the Phoenix or another fucking priest again. So who’s the weirdo here? Is it me, who knows he ain’t a priest? Or the priest himself? Or is it, maybe, that this crazy world in which we’re living loves to pretend that everything is more normal than it really is? I think it might be the latter.

I saw a new mosque being built today. Fucking lovely construction. Massive portals. Facing Mecca. The lot. Built like a brick Shi-ite House.

I just made that up. Religious joke. Not racist. Though possibly creedist.

But there’s been no legislation against creedism yet, because I only just made the word up. So I can say that shit until Political Correctness kacks a big one over me.

I am not racist. Persecuting others because they look different should always be a crime. I’m not tribalist, either. Killing others who look the same as you is even weirder. It’s just that I refuse to cow-tow to one group who believe that their Invisible God is better than some other group’s Invisible God.

Whatever happened to worshipping stuff you can see?

I worship the Mother Earth because she gives us food, drink and a place to live. I worship the Sun because without that burning star nourishing the Mother Earth, we’d all be dead within a coupla weeks.

That’s a divine union right there – Earth and Sun.

Worship whomsoever you wish, but don’t foist it on others. I want us to live and let live. But it’s far too late to live in modern Britain in 2001 CE and start worrying in case you accidentally call someone else’s God a cunt. Right now, it could be commented that this October has been the hottest in Britain since records began in 1659 – possibly Mother Nature’s method of disapproval of her human children’s errant behaviour. Of course, this is only my heathen opinion and no one who disagrees with me will lose a hand for it, or be sent to we heathens’ equivalent of Hell.

Both Bush and Blair suffer from this ridiculous Thank-God-we-got-God-on-our-side approach, and it’s gonna kill us all if we are not careful. Harry Truman did the same with the fucking Bomb in 1945. What we in the west do have on our side is technology and wealth and an insufferably unjustified Culturalist arrogance. But, then, so did the Romans at the end of their empire, and when they got trashed, it too was by seemingly-barbarian-peoples who mystified them. Like the 21st century west, Roman leaders had also left the real world long behind and become so convinced of their Culturalist supremacy that it was inconceivable to them that any other world order could ever be.

Two particular TV moments chilled me to the bone these past few weeks. The first was soon after the events of September 11th, in which Prime Minister Blair (as he would wish to be called) informed all of us in TV land just how difficult it sometimes was to be “the most powerful man in Britain.” Those words blew an Antarctic gale across my spinal column. Did Thatcher, even at her most ersatz royal stage, ever resort to such a self—description? Actually, I do hope so, if it’s only to offset the frightening pomposity of those six words from the mouth of Tony the Lionheart (as he should be known). Should not prime ministers of Great Britain be above such descriptions of themselves? Shouldn’t it be a given that we don’t wanna hear that shit? If you run your government in the same presidential manner as Blair runs his, surely it is important to not sound so made up about it.

The further Blair takes us into a fight with Islam, the more we’re gonna get crammed with his Christian rhetoric about how it’s not a fight with Islam. At least those three days travelling round the Middle East have finally informed Stony Glare of one obvious thing – smiling that inane grin at Arab leaders is no more pacifying than painting a smiley face on the front of your B52.

The other scary TV event was watching George W. Bush walking poochy in the park and telling us all how the war was going ahead the way he planned. Not that anything he said was any scarier than any other broadcast. No, scariest was when he called the transmission to a halt with a sharp command to his dog: “C’mon Barney!” Barney? Fucking Barney? We’re in heavier shit than anyone had imagined.

Pinocchio Bush is further away from becoming a real boy than even the most cynical of us had feared. He ends a broadcast that he knows will go clear around the world with the words: "C’mon Barney!" After the grimly poetic choice of September 11th for their destruction of the World Trade Centre (911 being both America’s method of dating and their public emergency phone number), I shall be pleasantly surprised to discover, in the years to come, that Al Quaida did not think it appropriate to call at least one of their terror missions ‘C’mon Barney’.

Which is why I’m gonna report something light and lovely instead. The beautiful JoAnne Wilder has had a beautiful baby girl – her name is Artemis. Mother and daughter are doing fine. JoAnne will still be involved with Head Heritage but only on a part-time basis. So welcome to the world, Artemis, and congratulations to the Family Wilder.

Many of you will have already dealt with Wendy H, possibly without even knowing it. I’d like to wish her a very warm welcome. Nay, a real hot one.

Now also seems the appropriate time to tell y’all that DISCOVER ODIN went so well that the British Museum has asked me back again. Next year will be entirely taken up with LET ME SPEAK TO THE DRIVER, so I don’t know exactly when it will happen. But thanks again must go to David Dinnage, who made sure that every little detail was worked out correctly. I must apologise for the two fire alarms of that first Thursday evening, as it turned out that I’d been spraying my orange hair-paint directly into their sensitive alarm system! Apologies also go to those of you who were disappointed to discover that I had cancelled my Aberdeen show on October 10th. It turns out that my voice has some weird (and so far undiscovered) complaint. The specialist even stuck one of those videos up my nose and down my throat, but still couldn’t locate the actual problem. I’m now having regular voice therapy every fortnight and believe me I’m working hard to get the sucker back in action.

Okay, I’ll leave now, before you ALL run out of patience. But I’ll leave you with this chilling quote from George Monbiot, which Merrick just sent to me:

“there is no notion as naïve as that which supposes that you can destroy a tactic (such as terrorism) or an idea (such as fundamentalism) by means of bombs or missile strikes or special forces”

Love Fucking Peace,

Mr. DRUDE A.K.A. M’Lud Yatesbury