Tuesday, January 03, 2006

The Prizes for 2005

Before we finally tidy up and pack away 2005, I'd like to present my awards for outstanding achievement during the last twelve months. While many say that there are too many award ceremonies, I feel that true greatness should recognised and rewarded. My choice of categories is slightly unusual although highly relevant to the subject matter of this blog.

The award for Rant of the Year is presented to Polly Toynbee of the Guardian. The judges were impressed by the anger of her work, the bitterness of her bile and the consistent level of ignorance that she displayed. Her recent attack on Narnia merely added the icing to the cake of an outstanding year but the award is actually given for this article on Pope John Paul II's death that was in bad taste as well.

The Freke and Gandy Prize for Deliberate deception presented the judges with a tricky decision. Freke and Gandy very nearly made off with the award themselves for their latest book, The Laughing Jesus, reviewed here. However, it was decided to give the prize of a year's supply of pork pies to Morton Smith for his forgery of the Secret Gospel of Mark. Smith is dead and has been for some time. However, students still leave pork pies on the grave of Wittgenstein (his favourite snack) so there is a precedent for giving them to dead people.

The GA Wells Prize for Mutton Dressed as Academic Lamb goes to Richard Carrier for his book Sense and Goodness Without God. The judges also ordered that the book be retitled Stuff and Nonsense Without God in order not to conflict with the trade descriptions act. We commend this review.

The Lawyer's Benevolent Fund Award is granted to the year's most pointless court case. The American Civil Liberties Union have been winning this for decades. This year, however, we present it to Luigi Cascioli for this peach of a case, reported in the Times.

The Richard Dawkins Prize for the Abuse of Science goes to Sam Harris for his book The End of Faith. I get quite annoyed with Christians who claim to have found scientific proof that God exists. But I get even more annoyed with atheists who claim that science has disproved God and then don't bother explain how (a part from a few strawman arguments which assume everyone is a biblical literalist).

Finally, the Screaming Lord Sutch Memorial Award for such a complete load of garbage that it beggars belief, let alone how on earth it got printed, goes to Francesco Carotta for his masterpiece Jesus was Caesar. Utter lunacy.

Happy New Year!

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