Tag Archive: murder


tbV and i were watching ‘The Big Fat Anniversary Quiz of the Year’ last night as we had some internet to use up before the end of the month [and it all got eaten by the Invisible Internet-Data-Eating Monster] when suddenly Russel Brand and Noel Fielding [in top form in terms of doing fairly little resembling traditional quiz participation] had this moment where they caught a fly, who they named Chris, and then released it. They claimed it should be worth 10 points, but the host Jimmy Carr, feeling sorry for them i imagine, only gave them a single point.

And suddenly i got very sad. Because it flashed me back just a couple of hours ago where i had inadvertently become a murderer of the animal kind.

i was driving home from an afternoon of board game playing with my brother-in-law Carl [cos clearly being at his all day birthday board game playing event the day before and staying til 4.30am hadn’t been enough] and this squirrel suddenly ran out into the road too close for me to do anything about.

There was a brief moment when he looked like he saw me and was going to stop and then he suddenly changed his mind and ran and there was nothing i could do and it was the sickest feeling as the car drove over him, killing him instantly.


i didn’t even have time to give him a name. And while those who know me may know that i am not the hugest animal person in the world, and while seeing roadkill in the streets before has given me a brief ‘oh, that’s sad’ kind of feeling before life returns to normal, actually killing one of the little critters was quite a horrific thing.

Which on many levels is good. [That my response was to be horrified i mean]

Picture of Wes Craven and movie icons

And then waking up to the news that Horror specialist Wes Craven had died. And realising as i was writing this how these things are connected.

Wes Craven, as you may know, directed the movie Scream back in the day, which, back in the day, i watched and enjoyed [or enjoyed the experience of watching at least]. i have never been a Horror movie fan and yet for some reason the Scream movies appealed to me [possibly the ‘who is the killer’ mystery vibe appealing to my curiosity].

And then suddenly i couldn’t. i can’t remember there being a specific event or moment that changed things, but i do think it might have had to do with the idea that the gratuitous kind of violence that happens in slasher movies [I know what you did last Summer being another franchise i enjoyed back then] was something that happened in real life. And that it wasn’t entertaining at all. And how could i be entertained by scenes of the kind of violence that happens all around us in the world today.


Well yes, but also no. Because i noticed in myself the desensitisation that started to occur. Because i have watched twenty people ‘die’ in a movie, the news that someone was killed in a car accident actually doesn’t seem like such a big deal cos ‘only one person’ right? And also just seeing those kinds of ‘deaths’ again and again and again takes the shock and the edge off of it and in some ways makes it seem normal and okay.

May it never be normal and okay.

So it was the idea of being entertained by graphic violence as well as the desensitisation that really got to me. And so, i stopped watching those types of movies. And have noticed and increased and gradual sensitivity growing in me over the years since then, which i am really grateful for.

i spoke about this a little while ago using two incredible Pearls before Swine strips that really bring the point home well. When it comes to insects and any form of life really, if i don’t need to kill it, or if there is an opportunity to preserve life, then choose that route. It features to some extent in tbV and my attempt to reduce our meat consumption by fifty percent, by having meat free weeks every second week.

Yes, there is still some hypocracy evident in some of the movies i choose to watch [how is a James Bond ‘death’ any better than a Scream ‘death’ for example] and in the decisions we make about what we do make, but we are on a journey and we are trying to get better at it, and i think that’s a good thing.


picture of squirrel

i think if i had had enough time to name the squirrel i killed, it would have been Fred. i don’t know how to determine squirrel gender [and it feels highly inappropriate in this post to suggest you could maybe do it by looking at their nuts] so i’m just assuming he was a dude. Because for some reason that feels a lot better to me than if i had killed a lady squirrel.

It was not intentional, i don’t think it could have been avoided and it was a complete accident. But it still felt quite shitty and i don’t even say that.

The taking of a life, any life, when i had no real choice about it, also makes me pause for a moment and consider the taking of lives when we can and do have a choice about it. i’m thinking the death penalty, i’m considering abortion, i’m thinking of war, and also euthenasia. And perhaps even taking it a step further to say that the violence that erupts as the norm when we allow the kind of disparity between rich and poor that we see in our country today, without doing enough about it.

We tend toward violence. And so any moment when i can reduce the practice or celebration or glorifying or condoning of it in my life and maybe even in the lives of those around me, the better.

These are important things to think about. And they are even more important to act on.

Where are you in your thinking of any of these things at the moment? Please share some thoughts in the comments section… but play nice. 

in the midst of all the recent focus on murder and rape and negativity that has been jamming up the media and our minds and social networks, i figured it was time to seek out some inspirational life-giving stories of positivity and hope – what a gem to begin with:

Nicholas McCarthy

Just 23 years old, Nicholas McCarthy also appeared at the 2012 Paralympics ‘although McCarthy’s moment of fame came as a musical performer when he played in the closing ceremony with the British Paraorchestra.’

This young British pianist, born without his right hand, has been making an international name for himself as a exceptionally talented and hard-working one-handed pianist.

Read this story here and be ready to be deeply moved by someone who embraces life to the full against all odds and is wowing people the world over.

Watch the video clip with your eyes closed and you won’t believe the dude is playing with one hand only, it is in-sane!

What stories have you found that celebrate life and are worth sharing and being inspired by together?

[to move to the next story dealing with water supply and a whole site of good news for South Africa, click here…]

i don’t have an iPhone slash any phone right now and so don’t have the ability to Instagram [which is something i’m not too sad about cos much like predictive text and apparently mac computers until you get them you think they are silly] but there were a couple of snapshots from the last day at CCDA conference that i would like to share, each of which could probably be worked into their own blog post, but feel free to pick one and share your thoughts below:

# One of the worship leaders had this to say, “Some of us work 7 days a week and we are so busy we don’t even take SABBATH… and that’s on God’s top ten list alongside ADULTERY and MURDER.”

as part of the Simple Way and simply a bunch of people living together in a house in an area of great need, we have become all too aware of the importance of boundaries that help create the energy and resources for when you do open the door to people and welcome them in during the rest of the time – SABBATH is such an important concept and one Jesus took seriously.

# During a panel on reconciliation, one of the non-white participants said, “With RECONCILIATION, blacks and whites need to realise it’s not about the issue, it’s about RELATIONSHIP.”

While the issues might be important, without RELATIONSHIP happening there is going to be little depth and long-term effectiveness in solving them, whereas if you find genuine RELATIONSHIP happening then the issues will take care of themselves.

# Another panelist, one of the older generation had this powerful statement to make, “When younger people come to older people with HEART and FAITH, we remember what we believed in the first place.”

The INTERGENERATIONAL question is such an important one and has so much to add to community, society and the church. We have to find ways of building relationship between older and younger people as each one has something powerful to offer the other.

# A native american brother asked this question, “Am I going to preach THE AMERICAN DREAM or THE GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST cos I grew up believing they were the same?”

Wow, that is something every american needs to hear and really get as well as every western Christ follower who may have the concept of ‘the American dream’ in a different guise as their particular carrot.

Four strong statements – just snapshots really – but each one the glimpse of a deeper issue worth exploring further… this conference has been great at providing catalysts in certain areas and also some of the resources to work towards some answers and some practical steps in each of them…

so one of my favourite funny people in life is a guy called Jack Handey who used to write one liners that were used on SNL such as:

‘I remember how, in college, I got that part-time job as a circus clown, and how the children would laugh and laugh at me. I vowed, then and there, that I would get revenge.’ [Jack Handey]


‘Any man, in the right situation, is capable of murder. But not any man is capable of being a good camper. So, murder and camping are not as similar as you might think.’ [Jack Handey]


‘I remember when I was in the army, we had the toughest drill sergeant in the world. He’d get right up next to your face and yell, and if you didn’t have the right answers, mister, you’d be peeling potatoes or changing the latrine. Hey, wait. I wasn’t in the army. Then who WAS that guy?!’ [Jack Handey]

some random, some funny, some randomly funny, some just clever and i really dig most of them. So much so that i decided that it is time for me to reach deep within my misdirected randomised humour machine and see if there is anything lurking there that might make people smile or chuckle quietly to themself and hopefully even one day create a legitimate laughing out loud experience [milk or coke out the nose and i’ve reached the top!]

so i’ve started writing some brett [my first name] andy’s [shortened form of my last name, to avoid being sued] and i’m keen to have some feedback… please read thru the list of what i’ve got so far and if you hate them all that’s fine, but if there was one that, for you, contained the most humour and even possibly brought about the aforementioned smile or even chuckle, then please respond to the note with which one it was. So, basically, if any of these is funny, what would be your number one? [half of them are pretty horrible, but it’s early days – actually might be good to hear your best and your worst]

“They say ‘Too many cooks spoil the broth.’ I say, if broth is all you’re looking forward to, you’re pretty much in a heap of trouble already.” [brett andy]

“The art of hay-making must be quite a specified & delicate undertaking hence the urging to do it while sunlight prevails.” [brett andy]

Chuck Norris’ Texas Ranger drove a 1995 Dodge Ram for most of the series, why was he still called Walker? [brett andy]

“Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Give a man a vegetarian and a fish and he won’t even be allowed to eat the fish.” [brett andy]

“I’ve never been a huge fan of water polo. I think it’s the cruelty to the horses that gets to me.” [brett andy]

‘Gandhi once said “an eye for an eye only ends up leaving the whole world blind,” but surely if it was only one eye each it would be more a case of extremely bad global depth perception?’ [brett andy]

“I don’t understand why they call them miners when most of them are over 18. Probly cos they can’t drink while underground.” [brett andy]

Why is it called an avocado pear if you only ever have one of them at a time? [brett andy]

Do you think there are many funny those-formerly-known-as-“bushmen” people? I keep hearing lots about these comic sans… [brett andy]

“If you ever want to show-off to your long-term girlfriend a new shoelace-tying technique you’ve invented, i don’t think the best way to introduce it is by saying, “Hey I’ve got something to show you” and then going down on one knee.” [brett andy]

“I’ll bet rock, paper, scissors was a lot less fun before scissors were invented. And paper.”
[brett andy]

“Last nite i dreamt i ate a giant marshmallow and when i woke up my pillow was on the floor next to my bed. It probly got knocked off during the night i imagine.” [brett andy]

“I once read in a biology textbook that if you take your intestines and lay them across four tennis courts, you will die.” [brett andy]

and lastly a bonus one by my friend MJ affectionately known as a MJAndey [because his last name is Phillip] – ‘When life hands you lemons pretend they’re guavas and say ‘these guavas look a bit yellow. I’m going to leave them out to ripen’. Then put them on a table and slowly walk away.’

[to be mysteriously taken directly to the next page of brett andy’s simply click here]

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