Note to Subscribers

Thank youFirst of all, I’d like to thank you all very much for making the effort to subscribe to this website. I appreciate you all very much, and I love it when some of you also take the time to comment or even engage in a debate about the issues.

You may remember I started the “Brickbats and Bouquets” series about a month ago in order to try and force myself to write something at least once a week. So far I’ve managed to keep it up.

I don’t think it’s a very successful format though. For a start, I’ve never liked the name – it doesn’t reflect me very well at all, especially the “brickbat” part. I personally find the idea of attacking anyone with a brickbat absolutely appalling, whatever they’ve done, and the idea of handing out even metaphorical brickbats is just offensive. Those of you who know me personally already know how much I dislike the idea of piñatas, which I mentioned in the post on the Donald Trump version available in Mexico, and this “brickbats” isn’t much different.

What I’m going to do instead is change it to “Saint of the Week” and “Sinner of the Week”, and post it as two articles instead of one. I call this website “Heather’s Homilies” after all, and “Brickbats and Bouquets” was always posted on a Sunday. The Oxford English Dictionary‘s online definition of homily is:

A religious discourse that is intended primarily for spiritual edification rather than doctrinal instruction; a sermon.

I claim the right to use it by going back to its origin. From the Oxford English Dictionary again:

Late Middle English: via Old French from ecclesiastical Latin homilia, from Greek, ‘discourse, conversation’ …, from homilos ‘crowd’.

Of course, in my use of the words “saint” and “sinner,” I’m not passing judgement in the way religion does – I don’t claim the right to do that – I am simply giving my opinion.

I’m going to go back and change the names of the posts I’ve already done to “Saints and Sinners,” but the old ones will stay as single posts as I can’t change them without re-posting them with later dates.

Thanks again for your support. It means a lot to me. 🙂


21 Responses to “Note to Subscribers”

  1. paxton marshall says:

    I urge you to reconsider Heather. “Saints and sinners” projects a binary view of reality, that things are either good or evil, black or white, and I don’t think that’s the way the world is. Moreover it borrows from some of the worst of religious phraseology in labeling people, dividing the sheep from the goats, those bound for heaven and those bound for hell. The judgmental mindset.

    I don’t know about the words you should use, but it’s basically praise and criticism. You are not an extreme person. You are pragmatic and reserved. I don’t think such polarizing terms as saints and sinners fits your writing.

    But I’ll continue to be interested whatever you call it.

    • Being a bit of a dig at the religious is why I thought of it – I like to think my “Homilies” are a bit more reasonable and balanced than anything you’d come across in a Church etc.

      If you can think of something more fitting though, let me know. As I said to Diana below, you’re welcome to suggest something else, and I’ll change it if someone comes up with something that clicks with me.

      One of the other things that made me think of “Saints and Sinners” was it’s sort of historical, which always piques my interest.

  2. Diana MacPherson says:

    I actually didn’t know what a brickbat was. It it had brick and bat in it so I assumed it was for violence. I too abhor piñatas.

    Maybe you should call it “fungus and flowers” or “dung and delights”. LOL it sounds like weird food at a restaurant.

    • “Brickbats” must be a NZ term. It’s used colloquially, and is a cricket bat made out of bricks, although there’s no such thing in real life.

      There was a show on my local radio station when I was a kid called “Brickbats and Bouquets,” and there have been newspaper columns too. The first graphic I used came from one of our bigger newspapers.

      Keep coming up with names – I’m open to a better one than “Saints and Sinners.” 🙂

    • AU says:

      I also had no idea what a brickbat was!

  3. Paxton marshall says:

    Progress and regress? Forward and backward. Thumbs up and thumbs down. Heaven and hell (no), sublime and ridiculous. Heroes and cowards. Friends and foes. Pros and cons. I liked brickbats and bouquets. I didn’t know what a brickbat was literally, but I knew it represented the opposite of bouqets. Life and death. Truth and fantasy. Freedom and blasphemy. Sick and well. Malevolent and beneficent. Jesus and Mo (taken). North and south. Faith and fact. I and thou. Love and hate. Mutt and Jeff. Being and nothingness. Fission and fusion.

  4. rose says:

    I know alot of sinners but very few saints.wonder why this asks for your website .I don’t have one and if i knew how to get one i wouldn’t .

  5. Max Wallace says:

    Yes, thumbs up and thumbs down. ‘Sinner’ is out of place in this website. ‘Sin’ is a concept used to generate a contrived fear in a person (especially children) about their thoughts and behaviours in order to indoctrinate and control them.


  6. How about Goodies and Baddies? Or does Goody of the Week and Baddie of the Week just sound silly?

  7. OK, so two votes for Thumbs Up and Thumbs Down so far, but I’ll need a better heading than “Thumbs Up/Down for the Week” – you’ll have to make that them bit more click-baity to get me to use it!

    I quite like Diana’s suggestions. “Dung Heap of the Week” and “Delight of the Week” slide off the tongue (so to speak) quite nicely. I like edible mushrooms, and apart from that I’m mostly ignorant of fungus, so I’m too ignorant for flowers and fungus even though it sounds good.

    I’m not going back to “Brickbats” because of the violence thing – I was always uncomfortable with that.

    Keep it coming! 🙂

  8. paxton marshall says:

    puffs and punctures, pats-on-the-back and kicks-in-the-butt, praise and blame, kudos and criticism, lifting up and tearing down, respect and disrespect, raves and rats, strokes and blows, esteem and disgust, benefactions and malefactions, esteem and villainy.

  9. paxton marshall says:

    huzzahs and heckles?

  10. Matt Fitt says:

    Although it’s already taken, I’m particularly fond of Stephen Colbert’s version, “Tip of the Hat, Wag of the Finger.”

    Perhaps someone more creative than myself could play off of that theme?

    And, personally, I think Thumbs Up/Down simply isn’t sufficiently humorous and/or engaging.

  11. I’ve been thinking about using Maori. I’ve e-mailed a Maori cousin who speaks it fluently and uses it every day to see if my translations are OK and my use is appropriate. He is always super busy, so I’m going to leave it at “Saints and Sinners” in the meantime, then decide between the Maori and the ideas of all of you (keep ’em coming!) when I hear from him.

    Thanks so much for all your input – I appreciate it, 🙂

  12. Hi everybody.

    I still haven’t heard from my cousin. He’s often out of the country in places where he can’t be contacted, so I could be waiting a while.

    I’ve been thinking about the letter W today, to do with week.

    Winner of the Week
    and then I hit a snag

    I quite like Wanker of the Week because it rhymes, but it’s not a word I use in real life, so I need another W word. Any ideas?

  13. Paxton marshall says:

    Worry of the week.

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