This is the front page article on the free copy of the Ely Standard that just dropped through my door:
A WHITE witch is about to cast a bad weather spell on Ely's Oliver Cromwell celebrations due to take place next month. And perhaps even more controversially, the witch has told the Ely Standard that he was contacted by an Ely councillor and asked to cast a spell on the event.The article is accompanied by a picture of Mr Carlyon 'at a previous cursing ceremony' and by another of him 'performing a spell'. It continues:
Plans to mark the 350th anniversary of the Lord Protector's death on September 6 will have a spell put on tomorrow by Kevin Carlyon, a broomstick-riding* chat show regular who proclaims himself high priest of the British White Witches and guru to stars such as Ruby Wax.
Tracey Harding, tourism team leader at Oliver Cromwell House's and the event's organiser, said she was seeking advice on whether to undo the hexLet's round this up, so far. An elected politician has asked a "witch" to cast a spell to bring bad weather for an event. The event organiser is considering soliciting a rival spell to, presumably, bring her sunshine. And this is on the front page of a newspaper, even if it's just a local one.
With a nicely judged sense of irony, Mr Carlyon had this to say about an email he received that was not supportive of his actions:
"The lady didn't agree with what I was doing but she expressed herself in such a loony manner you couldn't take her seriously."These events, and their prominence in a news sheet, come straight from the dark recesses of the seventeenth century.
I know local newspapers are often short of stories but the journalists in question must be out of their minds.
Hang on. Let me rephrase that. The journalists in question must be out of their fucking minds. There's a headlong flight from reason happening right now. Carl Sagan warned us about as the last millennium approached. And as this reviewer said:
In fact, if there is anything I disagree with in Sagan's book it is probably his encouragement of skeptics to be as civil as he is in dealing with what skeptics see as the dark that extinguishes the candle.It's noteworthy, in passing, that the word "sceptic" has become tainted by the advocates of global warming, one of whose leaders, as I pointed out earlier, the head of the IPCC no less and an alleged man of science, has calculated how many reincarnations will be necessary for him to neutralise his carbon profile.
Reason taught us all we know. Scepticism is the handmaiden of reason, without which reason cannot operate except within narrow and often absurd and non-true boundaries - such as those pegged out by religions.
Journalists have a duty to ignore or deride drivel about Wiccans, or be ignored or derided in their turn. The Ely standard has brought itself and its profession into even further disrepute.
* And they think he can ride broomsticks? The journalist asserts he rides a fucking broomstick?