Tag Archives: Jesus

The answers to Life’s BIGGEST questions.

Feeling low or lost? is your life filled with anxiety, fear, or worry? Don’t know which way to turn? Need a boost to your self-esteem, or directions about how to find your purpose?

Then, great news: my latest book Why Your Life Matters is now available on Amazon for your Kindle and as a paperback. Also, of course, to be found on iTunes. I’m so proud of it. Already it’s received seven unsolicited reviews on Amazon, saying amazing things, such as:

Why Your Life Matters‘You will love this book….a must-read…brilliant writer…’ 

Rich with wisdom, replete with guiding principles, and abundantly practical, this book is for us all.’

‘To be short and to the point, this is a wonderful, wonderful read. Once started, I could not put this book down.’

There is nothing out there like this. It is inspirational, uplifting, moving, informative stuff that I guarantee will change how you handle life’s challenges. Above all, it will help you understand who you are and your place in the universe, as well as inspiring you to find and fulfill your purpose.

Just recently, Spirituality & Health magazine ran an excerpt. To read it, click HERE.

Why Your Life Matters is food for the soul for anyone seeking to make sense of his or her life. Great wisdom lives here. Read it and remember why you and your life are indeed important.’ – Alan Cohen.

“So well-written. A very enjoyable read.” Dr. Rita Louise, Just Energy Radio

“I really enjoyed this book. Wonderful principles, packaged perfectly.” Robert Sharpe, BITE Radio

 

 

 

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Filed under Television commentary

BBC. Fifteen amazing years. Done. Thank you.

So there we are. It’s done.

My TV/movie review slot on BBC Radio Five Live is no more.

Part of it is down to me – after 41 years of constant writing and broadcasting for radio and TV since the age of 15, I’m slowly tiring of doing this kind of presentation. The light and fluffy nonsense kind.

That said, light and fluffy has served me well. I’ve done everything I ever dreamed of doing, and way more. Written for The Two Ronnies, featured on a TV game show, hosted my own American TV travel series, which is still being shown and will probably continue running long after I’m dead; lived in, and reported from, a number of countries, been on countless adventures and assignments, interviewed thousands of interesting and not so interesting people, written nine books….and on and on. By anyone’s standards, it’s been astonishing.

But now it’s time to move on to more serious things. Things that matter and which affect people and how they see the world. A new life beckons, I must go.

Me, in the early days of the broadcast

After a decade and a half on the BBC’s Up All Night, and what has been truly the most wonderful fun with Rhod and a consistently great team, I’m done and ready to move on. The past five years were especially tough as I realized I was slowly outgrowing what I was doing. Each broadcast became a strain to do; to get enthusiastic about, to stay focused on, etc. I started saying dumb and irrelevant things just to keep my brain alive, and that’s not the way to engage in any kind of broadcasting. If you’re not loving it, leave, and let someone else take up the reins.

What a gift it’s been, though. I couldn’t have wished for better. I’m so grateful. We did some fab, entertaining stuff for the longest time, often against horrendous technical odds. But I have to face it – I’m finished. Each week my mojo was slipping a little more until I was no longer looking forward to doing the broadcast the way I once had. And the BBC people picked up on that. They felt the magic had gone too.

So how do I know it’s time to go? What were the subtle signs?

Here’s how it went. This was the paper-trail that led me to this conclusion:

  • First, the BBC fired me in 2010. One of the producers went nuts in the studio. She’d had her handbag stolen and was incredibly fragile that night, apparently. For fifteen minutes she yelled at me on the phone non-stop. It was quite bizarre. She even tried to have my pay docked secretly as a punishment. The BBC apologized for her spiteful behavior and paid up later on. Also, they reinstated me the following week. So no harm done.
  • Then, in 2011, a fresh assistant editor arrived on the scene. Part of a new breed. My theory has always been that the BBC orders these guys in bulk from a warehouse. Tags ’em, numbers ’em, implants ’em with a special political correctness chip, programs ’em, boots ’em up, and just lets ’em loose, whether they know what they’re doing or not. Somehow, impossibly, unstoppably, they then rise and rise within the Corporation. It’s a marvel to behold. Anyway, back to the point: we got this new editor. A nice enough person actually. Young. Pretty competent, no doubt. Alas, within months, he’d fired me too, only to relent somewhat and rehire me later. As Rhod told me at the time, with a weary sigh and shake of the head, “He doesn’t know what he wants, he just knows what he doesn’t want, and he doesn’t want you.” Anyway, who cares? No hard feelings. The guy was just carrying out orders, I’m sure.
  • Now, in 2012, yet another new assistant editor has taken over in his place, and…. you can probably guess the rest.

I don’t know about you, but I see a pattern building up. Only this time, even if they offered to rehire me, I’d refuse. I’d have to. Out of sheer self-respect. Someone has to draw a line in the sand. The annual firing ritual was becoming a joke.

Of course, from the BBC’s side, the axing of my Slot was a bureaucratic decision, rather than an artistic one done with the audience in mind. We know this because vociferous protests and petitions from so many faithful listeners were powerless to stop it.

[UPDATE: December 19th 2012: the guy at the top of Radio Five Live has been cantilevered from his position, and into another one. Deary me. It’s beginning to sound a lot like karma.]

The previous assistant editor called one day, very annoyed by the audience uprising and blaming me for taking it seriously. “We have a huge listenership, Cash,” he said. “Four hundred people writing in to support you is not a lot of people.”

Really?  Are you sure?

Have you ever known four hundred people voluntarily do anything in the middle of the night, much less send in petitions and write to the controller of the network? It’s almost unheard of, and I was totally blown away by the reaction. Secretly, I think the BBC was too, but management stuck with the decision anyway. Many listeners are still boycotting Up All Night as a result.

[UPDATE: Almost eighteen months on, I still receive messages and tweets almost every day, saying how much the audience misses the Slot. Crazy, really.]

Essentially I was silenced. The Slot was sacrificed on the altar of political correctness and removed from the air, albeit in a low-key, long-haul way, so that I could no longer offer my true opinion on things that the BBC felt was unsuitable for its audience’s ears. This happens on every network, by the way; they’re not alone. It’s a sign of the corporate times. Fear governs editorial decisions in Britain nowadays, I’ve learned to my cost, and this excessive editorial control is leading to the sad passing of yet another tenet of life we broadcasters used to take for granted – free speech.

Example: for years I would play clips of TV shows during my Slot to illustrate the points I was making. One night I ran a brief snippet from one of the most brilliant sitcoms on American television, 30 Rock. A snippet that aired during primetime here, when kids are watching, so it’s deemed completely inoffensive. In it, Alec Baldwin called someone “a douchebag.”

Well, next day, all bloomin’ heck broke loose within the BBC. Seems a few listeners had complained about the word douchebag. Listeners who were, in fact, douchebags themselves, I’m sure. In my experience, any person who has the time to complain to a broadcasting organization is lonely, bored with their life, jealous, or not getting enough of the right kind of sex. Instead, they fixate on minor stuff, and they channel their unspent energy into making total nuisances of themselves. If they were happy, they wouldn’t bother. What better thing to do, if you’re a miserable loser, than make other people miserable too?

One particular douchebag I came across a while ago had collected transcripts of every conversation Rhod and I had had on the air for ten years. Not because he’s a fan, but, incomprehensibly, because he devotes his life to monitoring the BBC for bias and wants to prove that my TV review slot is politically motivated, so that he can complain about it. Seriously. Can you imagine a more soul-crushing, deadbeat kind of existence than that?

You just want to take someone like him to one side and explain, “Do you know how precious life is? How short it is? How many of those precious days you have left before, pouff, you’re gone? Why not use your life like it means something? Why waste even a second on petty sniping and nitpicking? Live, my friend. Go out there and be constructive with your time instead of complaining. Inspire others. Encourage, build, enhance. Just do something.”

But do you think he’d listen? Not bloody likely.

In the 30 Rock example, rather than just ignoring the complainants, which is the correct way of dealing with them, the BBC office went crazy. The next morning, I received a slew of emails and phone calls from panicking producers and assistants in London telling me that I was banned from playing clips in future – not just clips like that, but all clips – unless they had been screened and okayed by editors in the UK the day before the Slot went out. A ridiculous overreaction. And impossible. I was in L.A., using a borrowed studio – the editing and sending over of material a day prior to the broadcast was simply not feasible. So that was the end of it – I was forced to do a TV review slot featuring no clips at all of the TV shows I was discussing. That’s how bonkers things have become at the BBC.

But I digress.

My own reason for leaving the Slot did not coincide with their reason for axing it. These were two separate things. In the end, however, the result was the same, and it’s a good thing. 15 amazing years. Done.

To dwell on the cancellation scenario is pointless and only makes me sound bitter, which I’m not. Baffled and disappointed on some level, yes, but I feel we should rejoice, not carp, about this change. Delight ourselves with how excellent it was to have that lone voice of comic spontaneity, clear and uncensored, on the radio each week for all that time. An era of vocal highwire-walking may have come and gone, and at some level we mourn its demise, but it sure was great at the time, right?

I’ve said enough. But if you want more, then I’m reposting below a blog entry I wrote last year after news of the second axing broke. This gives the bigger picture and ties everything up nicely.

—————————————

This post was written in October 2011 and published in December.

Making magic: how to do a TV review when you don’t own a TV

What’s fascinating to me is that the slot wasn’t even supposed to be a slot at all. It began as little more than a serendipitous coming together of a lost journalist and a struggling network with time to fill and nothing to fill it with. That was in 1997.

I’d been in Hollywood a matter of weeks and things weren’t going well. Thoroughly depressed, I was facing the serious possibility of having to return home soon if my life didn’t shape up. Then, one day, everything changed. A close friend of mine, who happened to be working on a relatively new BBC radio nocturnal magazine show called Up All Night, catering mainly to truck drivers and milkmen, rang me in some panic and said, “Our U.S. TV critic has vanished, or possibly died. Anyway, he’s not answering his phone. Would you be a poppet and review some television for us for a couple of weeks while we find a replacement? We’ll pay.”

Pay? Great heavens!

Unfortunately, I didn’t own a TV at the time, which would make reviewing shows difficult, I told them, though not impossible. Friends had televisions; I could muscle in on those. So…

“Yes,” I gushed. “I’d love to do it.”

In Hollywood, you always say yes, whatever the question. It’s one of the rules.

For the next month, as producers in London trawled the States for someone, anyone, who knew slightly more about American television than I did – there were roughly 380 million candidates at the time – I filled the gap. And for another month after that as well. And another. After which I guess they gave up trawling, because a year later I was still doing it, even though I still didn’t own a TV. Someone else in the house had one; I wasn’t flying completely blind. But I could not, by any stretch of the imagination, be regarded as a professional TV critic. Additionally, before each broadcast I’d pop down to Ralph’s, our local supermarket, and hover around the checkout reading TV magazines and tabloids, researching something to talk about.

It was all very laissez-faire. Nobody appeared to care that I knew nothing, as long as it was entertaining. The slot was a three-minute filler, that’s all, which is an eye-blink in radio terms, so patches of ignorance could easily be masked by a guy being funny, talking very fast, and giggling more than is right. Plus, it was done on the phone, lessening its integrity still further.

Problem was, I didn’t have a phone either! I shared a party line. This in itself presented countless problems.

Quite often, I would be sitting in my scruffy, mouse-infested apartment to the rear of the otherwise very beautiful Samuel Goldwyn Mansion right in the middle of Hollywood, jabbering live on-air to the BBC, giving my honest opinion about some show I’d not seen, when someone elsewhere in the house would come on the line and start talking over me. Or they’d suddenly dial a number and my voice would be drowned out by peeping noises. Or they’d go, “Hello? Hello? Who’s this?” The slot never went off without a hitch. It was always acutely awkward and nerve-wracking. But at the same time it was real! Real and spontaneous and entertaining and unpredictable – qualities that were valued back then; not stiff, over-prepared, and read word-for-word from a script, the way all other TV reviews were (and are). That’s what made it so refreshing and so un-BBC-like. Structure’s not my strong point, as you know – for instance, look at the way I’m rambling here – so I must applaud the producers of Up All Night for sticking with me, and it, for as long as they did.

Once, I remember, we’d just gone live; I was chatting happily to the presenter in London, when a well-hung naked black man climbed in through my window and ran across the room and out the door. He was being chased by another man, this one clothed and armed with a pitchfork, who also climbed in through the window and ran out the door. It was very dramatic, and, I should add, entirely representative of the madness that went on daily in that mansion. I’m surprised none of us got killed. Anyway, in that moment of crisis, as I expostulated, “Oh my god, there’s a big black man running across my room!”, history was made. I switched from talking about TV – which, let’s face it, I knew nothing about anyway – to discussing who the black guy was and why he was naked, which I knew A LOT about.

And that’s how it got started. The chatting, the cheekiness, the crazy Hollywood reporting about my life. For the first time, it gave people in Britain a chance to experience the real L.A., and what it’s like to live in this weird, mad place, from the inside – something they couldn’t find anywhere else on the radio. In time, it became known as ‘My Lovely Slot.’

Listeners, of course, adore stuff like this. And very soon what began as a brief fling turned into an ongoing affair. Within a couple of years I’d been upgraded from a three-minute filler on the phone to a five-minute filler on the phone, then ten minutes, then fifteen, until eventually I was given an entire half-hour every week to do my comedy thing, despite the usual complaints and protests. There’s always a small portion of your audience that, feeling helpless and unheard, takes their self-loathing out on other people, and usually – because they’re an easy target – media people, by endlessly writing in to whine about something you’ve said. When you’re in broadcasting, you accept that.

However, some of the protests originated within the show itself. That was the shocker.

They came from the creator and presenter of Up All Night, Rhod Sharp, who, according to one of the producers, took a rebellious stand in the beginning against their new  ‘TV critic’  getting any more air-time – “But why?” he groaned. “He’s not a real journalist!” – and even campaigned for the slot to be cut back. One of the producers told me this before I went on-air one night. The reasoning, though, was flawed. Of course I’m not a real journalist. That’s the whole point of the slot. Even so, a more persuasive argument would have been: “But why? He doesn’t own a television.” Now, that might have worked.

But Rhod’s a sweetie-pie. Eventually he mellowed, as we know, and nowadays we’re practically in love.

The spirits speak

With the passing of the years, the half hour became a little more professional, I must say.

I quit giggling as much, for example. Then, in year two, I actually went crazy and bought a TV, so that I could start getting my information first-hand, which was a vast improvement. I invested in a phone, that’s another thing. And later I even managed to wangle a real, and quite fabulous, studio in downtown L.A. to broadcast from. During those early bleak days, this little slot of mine, as silly and insignificant as it seemed, was my life-saver. Without it I could not have made it in L.A. The pay was risibly small, but it was enough. Enough to get me from week to week, if I didn’t eat much and walked everywhere instead of taking the bus.

The whole traveling-to-America thing had been a monstrous gamble anyway. I arrived here on spec with almost no money to my name and unable to earn any because I didn’t have a green card, so I was forced to rely totally on the kindness of strangers. And since strangers in L.A. are not exactly renowned for their kindness, that meant I was in survival mode every single day. Now, though, it’s been fourteen years and I’m no longer in survival mode, am I? I’m living quite the life. Things turned around in the end. I wrote books, had my own TV travel show, and got a regular gig on NPR over here.  So for the last half-decade or so, the slot has been done for pleasure only. Mine, if nobody else’s.

Rhod called me at home in October, the day after the axe fell. “Don’t be downcast,” he said, sounding just like he does on the radio. “There’ll be other opportunities.”

And yes, there probably will. But I don’t think he quite gets where I’m coming from on this. The ending of the BBC slot is not a bad thing. It’s a ‘thing’, that’s all. I tend not to fight change, I embrace it readily, and even a little starry-eyed at times, on the assumption that when one situation falls away, it’s only to make room for something bigger and better. It’s always been that way for me. And in this case that’s definitely going to be what happens.

How do I know? A psychic told me.

(Don’t you dare roll your eyes!!)

Back in September, I had one of my regular readings with a quite brilliant channeler guy in Oregon, and for the first time I heard myself ask, “When will my BBC slot end?” Don’t know why I was prompted to raise the issue, but I did. And he laughed, saying, cryptically, “Well, it won’t be less than a month, but it will be over by the end of the year. Just accept it.”

Oh my lordy! That soon?

He seemed very sure.  “You want me to go without a fight? Seriously?”

“Yup.”

So when the day came and I heard the actual words: “It’s over”, it should have been no surprise. Yet I admit I was caught off-guard. I didn’t yelp or squeal or do anything girly, but I think I may have emitted a gasp.

“It  probably should have happened after ten years, not fourteen years,” I told the assistant editor. Which is true. I remember joking on-air with Rhod only a month before. I said they’d have to take me away in a body bag before I’d ever give up my Slot. But I’d already talked with the psychic by then. I knew I was done for.

[UPDATE: when I chatted with the psychic again in the spring and told him I was doing monthly film reviews now, he sighed heavily and said, “Oh god, you shouldn’t have done that. It will be like a long slow fade to black, and it will end mid-year.” Bang on yet again!]

Winding things up, the BBC way

The young BBC man who called was extraordinarily polite and cordial, and probably nervous, wondering if I’d go bananas when I heard I’d been dropped. After all, he was most likely still studying for his GCSEs when I started this thing. To avert a crisis, he apologized sincerely for putting me out to pasture in this way, congratulating and thanking me as he did so for my long, devoted service, inadvertently making me feel gloriously cherished, brutally discarded, and very, very old, all at the same time.

I could have announced, I suppose, that it was my decision to leave, for the sake of my pride. But why?

Because if we’re heading down that road, why not go the whole way and issue one of those robotic statements that are euphemisms for ‘He’s been fired”, and which bruised artists routinely use to shield their pride?

“Cash is leaving to spend more time with his family.” (Which, since I don’t have a family, would make it an even bigger lie), or: “Cash is leaving to work on other projects.” (Okay. But strictly speaking is retirement another project?) Or even: “We’re taking the show in a new direction. We’re hoping to use someone who won’t cause as many listeners to complain.” (Er….oh…well, that might be nearer the mark, I suppose. Yes, use that.)

Anyway, that’s it – the bulk of it. We’re all squared away. Everyone’s happy. There’s no going back now.

[EDIT POINT: Both guys who authorized my firing – the editor of the show and also the head of the network have since been shunted sideways and replaced. Remarkable.]

Okay, I’ll take any questions.

Yes, you over there in bold, carrying the big Q.

Q. Will you miss doing your slot?       For a while, sure. It was engraved into my calendar all those years, week in week out – how could I not?

Q. Is your ego fragile right now?      It’s been a couple of months since I found out, so no, I’m over it.

Q. Does this make you feel old and over the hill?    Not as much as it used to when Rhod would go on vacation for a couple of weeks and be replaced by what sounded like bubbly children’s TV presenters.

These, I assumed, were considered the BBC’s best hope for the future. One or two were great – Giles Dilnot being one; now THAT guy has a career ahead of him – but the majority were mediocre, I thought. Humorless, awkward, and often floundering in the face of unscripted spontaneity, in ways that would have been inconceivable a few years ago, when you needed to have talent and years of broadcast experience to get on national radio, not merely a degree in media studies and lashings of youthful enthusiasm.

It struck me many times as I was doing the slot that, if this was how far down the bar had been lowered in terms of presenter acceptability, then inevitably the BBC would soon be wielding the axe on its more seasoned professionals. It’d have to, if only as a way to make the newcomers seem less like struggling amateurs.

Q. Will the audience miss you?      Hm, not sure about that. Some, maybe. But I know how I am with people who disappear from my life. I move on very quickly.

Q. Would you stay if the BBC insisted?      They’re not going to insist.

Q. This whole cancellation lark sounds very fishy. Why would the BBC axe something that is incredibly popular with listeners? Is there something you’re not telling us?   Ah, well…

How hate, not love, sometimes prevails

If anyone asks, the only reason I continued doing my slot for as long as I did was because, each time I so much as hinted that I might stop, I’d be deluged the next day with emails, tweets, and Facebook messages begging me to keep going. “You’re the highlight of my week,” some milkman in Cheshire would say, or a matron stuck on overnights in Essex, or a cab driver trekking around rain-soaked Liverpool in the dead of winter. “Your slot brightens my life. Please don’t go.”

Ah, but I must, you see. The other day, I said there more reasons why I’m leaving. The first was by far the most significant: it’s time to go. It just is. And here’s another. Reason #2 was:

The corporation’s new “Delivering Quality First” initiative.

In much the same way that the Bush Administration’s topsy-turvy “No Child Left Behind” policy led to almost every child getting left behind, and now nobody in America under 25 can spell, add up, speak in full sentences, or find their home town on a map, the BBC is delivering quality first at its news and talk flagship Radio Five Live by seemingly eviscerating it; cutting £5 million per annum, I’m told, from a network whose budgets are already pinched like an Irish pie-crust, inevitably forcing editors over the next couple of years to sweep aside anything that isn’t cheap or nailed down.

I regret to say that this includes me. I’m not nailed down; I have to leave. It’s progress.

A compromise idea was tabled: how about I give up my slot but continue to contribute to Up All Night the way I do to any other radio or TV network – casually, informally, and as needed? To me that feels like a horrible demotion. Agreeing to it would mean I was just so desperate to stay on the radio that I’d do anything.

But then fate stepped in anyway. A couple of days later, I received my very first piece of direct hate mail, at which point everything changed.

Haters are very vocal. 10,000 listeners may love what you do, but of course they won’t write to the BBC and say so. I myself adored the sitcom Better Off Ted, and was mortified when ABC axed it last year. Did I write in and tell them that? Nope. I’m too lazy.

Haters and whiners, on the other hand, are not lazy. Also, they seem to have a lot more time on their hands than the rest of us. They’re always writing in. Years ago, before emails and texts, they had to send letters, which were easily misplaced or ignored. Now, though, they have the immediacy of the Internet, and they use it to the fullest extent – especially, it seems, when it comes to my little slot. And so the final reason for my leaving is this:

Reason 3: there have been complaints. 

Uh-oh.

Face it, whatever you say on the radio is going to offend someone. If I suggest that the latest series of Doctor Who is shallow drivel, which it is, dozens of easily-pleased people with no taste will write in, saying I’m wrong and it was the best ever.

For every stand you take, there’s someone out there poised to take the opposite side. And that’s fine. It’s democracy in action. The more the merrier. As long as – and this is the important part – as long as producers, editors, and network controllers don’t yield to pressure and let a tiny minority dictate program policy, or, worse still, let them silence voices they don’t happen to agree with. Because then the tail’s wagging the dog and you’ve strayed into very dangerous territory indeed.

Years ago, when broadcasters received hatemail, it was seen as a good, even important, thing. A strong listener response  meant you’d pushed buttons and stirred up passions to the point where they’d been compelled to get off their indolent arses and physicalize their anger. And what’s art, really, if not an attempt to arouse passions in people?

But you can see the dangers, right? For creativity to flourish, artists need to be protected. They need editors and managers with a backbone, who believe that every kind of voice should be heard, not just the ones that try to please all the listeners all the time. Managers who place self-expression first and their own promotion prospects second. Managers who understand the value of originality and defend it, if only as a way to resist the relentless, slow, downward drag into mediocrity that haters represent. Managers with real balls, in other words. They do exist, both inside the BBC and out, and I’ve worked for a couple in my time, but I need hardly tell you – in a world of shaved budgets and increasingly homogenized blandness, they are rare.

Times are tough. Backbone is scarce. You can’t buy it in packs of six, not like in the old days. To stand your ground and support something of value when you’re under fire and anxious to keep your job – that’s a lot to expect. If the choice is to either fall on their sword in the name of integrity, or to take the easy way out by buckling to the irate demands of a few loony listeners (and maybe a couple of complainers within the BBC too, naming no names), my guess is that most producers and editors will buckle. I probably would too.

One piece of hatemail helped clinch the deal

But none of that is important. For me, there was one specific piece of hatemail that made all the difference. The exact-same day, unbelievably, that the BBC man called, I received my first-ever angry tweet about the slot. Came from a new follower in Essex. It was uncanny how it happened. A bizarre coincidence.

“I’m following you,” he announced, “so I can tell you that you make me cringe every time I hear you on the radio. You’re a buffoon.” This was quickly followed by a second tweet. He’d thought of something else: “Oh, by the way, just how affected can an accent be? Answers on a postcard…”

Nothing to be concerned about, you might think. Just a guy I don’t know venting his feelings about an affected buffoon he doesn’t know, and with every right to say what he said. But that’s not the point. I don’t believe in coincidences. Nothing happens by accident.

This listener wasn’t aware of it, but he’d sent his tweet at a watershed moment. On any other day his intentionally cruel words might not have mattered. But somehow, that one insignificant little nugget of malice felt to me like a sign. A sign of changing tides. Same way the BBC is changing. We’re told it’s about to start delivering quality first. Well, good. About time. And I’m sure savage budget cuts, a reduced talent pool, and overall limited resources will help bring that goal nicely to fruition. However, the very nature of the terminology tells you that there’s no room for me in that scenario.

After fifteen years of the best fun I could possibly have had in broadcasting, I’m feeling cornered. There’s no air in here any more. Broadcasters find themselves hemmed in by watchdogs, whiners, and waves of insidious, way-over-the-top political correctness, the fascist kind imposed by the fanatical minority, that crushes the human spirit and ruins everything for everyone else. It’s like waking up in the night to find your longterm lover trying to suffocate you with a pillow.

So we’re drawing things to a close.

No doubt all those people, like the hater guy in Essex, who loathed the slot – and there are many others, including a couple of the lesser-talented stand-in hosts –  will be rejoicing, popping corks, and organizing singalongs and pageants of their own at this news. And so they should. They won. Their efforts paid off. Let’s not shy away from the truth, nor take even an ounce of their victory away from them. Whatever jubilation they feel today was earned through rugged persistence over many months and years, even if their triumph is, when viewed in a fuller perspective, tiny, since it was only a matter of time before I left anyway. A month, three months, six months down the line – at some point relatively soon the slot would have drawn to a close. It had to. Which brings us full circle, back to the main reason, which is:

Quite simply: I’m done. The affair is over.

To conclude, then, because I really am rambling now…

My friend, the one who started it all off by calling me in a panic in 1997, was quick to reply when I told him what had happened. “Given that it was initially a temporary thing,” he said, “fifteen years is not bad.”

He’s right, it’s not bad. Actually, it’s better than not bad, it’s brilliant! And it extends to a time way before 1997, because I’m not just ending my BBC slot, I’m ending all my media involvement – TV, radio, the works.

I climbed aboard the broadcasting carousel at the age of 15, doing pieces for BBC Radio Manchester. At 16, a short animated film I made was shown on BBC1. Also at 16, I began contributing material to BBC  comedy programs, first for radio, then later – at 17 – for TV, with The Two Ronnies and Talking Telephone Numbers.  And it’s been going on ever since, alternating between radio and TV, both in the UK and more recently in America. That’s some carousel, my friends. It’s been terrific in every conceivable way, I couldn’t have wished for more. But now it’s time to climb off.

The wind-down began last year when I left Marketplace, the U.S. public radio show I’d been contributing to for more than a decade, and quit being a reporter. Already I’m no longer up to date on world happenings, because I don’t watch the news any more. To me, it’s a bunch of contentious white noise – complete strangers telling me in the gravest tones what I should be worried or frightened about. Well, I can do without that, thank you.

Better still, in January, with no slot to research, I plan to get rid of my TV altogether. This prospect makes me very happy indeed. No more surfing endless channels of nothingness looking for topics to discuss. No more setting TiVo for programs I would never record otherwise. No more having to magic an opinion out of thin air about some vacuous fly-by-night celebrity or a mindlessly indulgent and derivative sitcom that’s going to be cancelled in a month’s time anyway.

Above all, I can quit judging things. Things, shows, ideas, ratings.  That’s the best development of all. I was not put on this earth to be a critic of other people’s work, or to poke fun at their efforts, even though it’s what I’ve done for twenty years. My remit has a broader reach than that. There are the handwriting analysis skils I have, for instance, which are mind-blowing. Also, my new mystery novel has just been published: Force of Habit – Sister Madeleine Investigates. That’s waaaaaay more representative of the kind of artist I am, I think. I was born to create, not to tear down.

Which is why, hanging up the phone on the assistant editor on the day of the axing in October 2011, I found I had a peculiar fizzing sensation in my crotch, as if someone had poured champagne into my pants. This only happens on two occasions: a) when someone really has poured champagne into my pants; and  b) when massive life changes are afoot.

And that’s where I’m at as I write this. I’m embarking on a massive life change, switching from being a media guy, which I’ve been since I was a kid, to being a very happy and non-involved civilian. My career has been living proof that you can have anything you want, anything at all, if you’ll just dream big and be persistent. In my teens, I had a bunch of what seemed like impossible dreams, and every last one of them came true. I’ve been living in a bubble ever since, letting my childhood dreams play out. Now, though, I’m done. Today I have a whole raft of new dreams. Grown-up dreams that don’t involve broadcasting, and which will take the rest of my days to fulfill.

For some reason – don’t ask me why – I have a peculiar feeling that my life is just beginning.

So that’s it really. It’s been great. Thanks to Rhod, all the BBC studio managers, producers, and editors I had dealings with, most of whom were fantastic and exemplary pros, and of course the fans – all 15 of you – not only in the UK (13)  but worldwide (2), who tuned in each week, and who sent me such wonderfully supportive messages. To quote Gabriel García Márquez: “No llores porque ya se terminó… sonríe, porque sucedió.”

In English: don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.

Two final things:

1) Late breaking news: here are a couple of blog posts some lovely listeners wrote about the ending of the slot. One from Hugh McCallion and another from Stephen Duncan. Am I touched? Oh, for sure.

2) After so many fans of the slot wrote to him, the controller of Five Live, Adrian Van Klaveren, started sending out a robo-tweet: “Sometimes you have to make changes to keep progs fresh and try out new ideas/voices but we hope Cash will still appear on UAN…”. (It’s Twitter, so he probably ran out of characters, and meant to continue: “…doing something dull and safe that will upset fewer people.”)

Okay, time’s up. Gotta go before this gets maudlin. Or worse, bitter.

Missing you already.

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Payback.

It’s official, I guess: people just love to fight.

fighting 3Anyone who read yesterday’s Swami will know that there’s a major political battle being waged over there about that vile demon “socialism”, one that even throwing buckets of water over the participants hasn’t managed to quell or assuage as yet. It’s still going on. You should check it out.

BAM! POW!

I too have been caught up in a lot of involuntary bare-knuckle scraps in my time, mostly with critics and radio listeners who hate my work. When you’re in radio, on TV, or in the public eye in any way, however minisculely, you’re setting yourself up for inevitable ambushes from time to time. Face it, there’s bound to be somebody out there who is jealous of you, and who somehow manages to find time in their busy day to write in and say how much you suck. Or else they just hate you indiscriminately. I have that too.

Indeed, I believe I still hold the record for the highest number of threats of physical injury made against a commentator on public radio, for a report I did many years ago about a 12th Century prison in Ireland.

Kilmainham Jail is beyond dreary, and the bleak, drizzly Dublin weather did nothing prisonto enhance it. So, during a tour of this gray granite hellhole I happened to volunteer a number of ways that it might be cheered up. Drapes, benches in the courtyard, potted plants, a feature pond with carp…nothing drastic, just something to take off the harsher edges and give it eye-appeal.

Well, the response was nothing short of vitriolic. Listeners in their hundreds objected – they were incensed! – to the idea that a monument of such standing and with such a bleak history should be in any way dressed up. We differed over terminology. They called it desecration; I called it a makeover. But the result was dire: a lot of fighting Irish in Boston calling the show, volunteering, at no cost, to cave my head in for me.

BIFF! WHACK!

Mercifully, I don’t receive all that many compaints as a rule. Though some of the worst came during my TV show, when for some reason people who absolutely hated it insisted on watching every episode anyway and writing to tell me how vile it was, using language so salty it would make a nun’s ears bleed. Of course, being seasoned in the complaints biz, I took it all in my stride. Besides, even after three years, I still hear from people every single day who absolutely loved Stranded. So the critics were wrong. And you simply have to step over their words as you would vomit on the sidewalk and move on.

naked book 2Some complaints, though, are motivated by unspoken factors and are harder to reconcile.  Last week, for instance, I received a horrible put-down, this time on my Facebook page. About my new book, Naked in Dangerous Places.

“Although I do like your sense of humor,” the guy wrote, “and the book was an interesting read….”

So far I’m quite enjoying this. But wait, there’s more.

Having got the faint praise out of the way, he went on, “…I was surprised at how you think you can say whatever you please and expect people to still like you. Have you never heard the expression “Don’t bite the hand that feeds you”? ….. I finished this book of yours, but I won’t buy or read another.”

He signed himself ‘Disappointed.’

Oh yeah? Well, not half as disappointed as I am, believe me, Disappointed. No author wants readers to walk away from his work disgruntled, right?

But then I thought about it some more, and probed a bit, and realized that Disappointed had an agenda.

In Naked, as you’ll know if you’ve read it, I’m not shy about saying how evil Christian evangelicals are when it comes to complaining. In fact, I’d go so far as to say that nobody, in my experience, writes hate-mail quite like a right-wing Christian fanatic. As the gay marriage debate has shown time and again, they judge when they shouldn’t be judging, they threaten and despise when they should be spreading love and acceptance, and they’re quick with an unkind word when they feel the situation calls for it. It’s the exact opposite of what Jesus preached, I’ve always thought. But they don’t see that. Indeed, I’ve argued with my father for years that if he just practiced all the principles spread by Jesus, we’d have a great relationship and be best buddies. But he’s a Christian, so I don’t see that happening any time soon.

KABOOOOM!

Anyway, it turns out that the guy who wrote telling me he didn’t like Naked has his own book coming out. Well, how very exciting. Self-published, by the looks of it. (Nothing wrong with that,  I’m about to self-publish one of my own  Still…) Here’s an extract from the blurb on the back cover to whet your appetite:

After stopping to admire the view on his leisurely hike down a mountain, Jesusour main character realizes that he is now in Heaven….. “Wasn’t I supposed to walk out of fog-like clouds to see the shimmering, pearly gates of Heaven? I had always imagined being waved in, walking on a street of gold with people who have passed before me on either side clapping. I knew that I would shortly meet Jesus…”

No, it’s not a comedy. At least, I don’t think.  But seeing this and knowing what I now know, I would have told Disappointed ahead of time – pleaded with him actually: “Don’t read my books. They’ll only offend you. If you full-on buy into this streets of gold in Heaven stuff, there’s nothing – nothing at all – about the worldly reality I present in my work that’s going to do anything but unsettle you.”

That said, oddly – and call me strange – the blurb works well for me: I now very much want to read this and plan to buy a copy at the first opportunity. I know many other people will too. It looks like an instant classic.

For instance, I don’t think there’s a book jacket in existence that refers to the main character as “our main character” – is there?  Don’t they usually tell you his name to draw you in? For some reason, that gives me hope that I’m really going to enjoy everything else Disappointed writes too.

Anyway, more to come once I’ve read it. If it’s any good, the TV Swami will do his bit and help promote the book he currently refuses to name.

BOOOOOM! ZAAAAAP!

Oh, and since I’m talking about spats, let me wind up with a couple of TV clips. Remember a few weeks ago, when David Letterman made a joke – a crude joke, but a joke – about Sarah Palin’s daughter, and an almighty kerfuffle broke out, forcing Dave into a massive retraction?

No? Then bring yourself up to speed here.

It was all pretty turgid back then, but it’s over. Or so we thought. Dave, it seems, having been humbled, can’t let it go. Last week, using the possibility of having Dick Cheney run for president in 2012 as a launching point, he got a chance to revisit the Palin moment. He handled it so well that I thought it was worth rerunning here. Enjoy.  And God bless.

www.cashpeters.com

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Collapsible Popeye and one dead Jesus

Saturday afterthought.

I want to talk really quickly about Prop 8. But first I have to mention food.

I know I drone on a lot about health and nutrition. I do, there’s no denying it. The reason I’m so passionate, though, is because I know there’s a kind of karma at work here. Body karma, you might call it. In other words, you get out what you put in.

PopeyeRemember those collapsible toy figures from years ago?

Someone gave me a Popeye once. He had a button underneath. Press the button and Popeye went all limp and droopy. Let go, and he sprang up to full height again. I figured a button was probably cheaper in the long run than giving him spinach. Then again, I was only 10, so I had no fix on reality yet. Still don’t, as a matter of fact.

Anyway, healthy living is like a collapsible Popeye.

Treat your body right, nurture it with yoga, exercise, and meditation, eat foods that contain life – plants (including spinach), fruits, nuts, seeds, seaweed, algae, and so on, and bingo, what it gives you in return is glowing health, lots of stamina, a bright, buoyant mood, and an immune system equipped to handle even the strongest ailments or disease.

Conversely;

  • put in a lot of dead stuff  – meat, chips, fries, cookies, candy;
  • drink poisons every day, such as alcohol, sodas, and those toxic fruit juices that claim to be good for you, but actually they’re just sugar and food coloring in water; and
  • endanger your lungs with cigarette smoke

and what you’re heading for in most cases is debilitation, disease, and premature aging.  Your body basically just wilts and dies. It has to, you’ve not sustained it in the ways it needs for survival.

I always find it hilarious to watch smokers, especially young ones, sitting around so proudly with cigarettes, sucking in long drafts of carcinogens and expelling them again into the air, imagining as they do so that they look pretty damn cool. When, in fact, the image they’re really presenting to a steadily more conscious world is of a hopeless addict with very low self-respect, and not enough will-power or good sense to quit corroding their insides with toxins.

I mean, do they not watch the news? Every time there’s an apartment fire, how many occupants are carried out on stretchers suffering from smoke inhalation? Smoke in your lungs is lethal if not treated. So why would you subject yourself to it voluntarily? Jeez.

In short, the principle of Body Karma decrees that if you do the right thing you will get the right results and your own personal Popeye won’t collapse.

Which brings me, in a roundabout way, to the California Supreme Court’s decision last week to endorse and uphold the iniquities of Proposition 8 and prevent gay people getting married.

Unlike protestors outside the court and others – my neighbor David Hyde Pierce for one – I’m not angry about the decision. The judges weren’t saying gay people are sinners, outcasts, agents of Beelzebub, and shouldn’t be allowed to get married; they simply decided they couldn’t overturn the majority vote of the California electorate as it stands right now.

Even though Prop 8 was passed mainly due to financial manipulation and scare propaganda put out by those conniving evil bastards at the head of the Mormon Church in Utah (who do believe that gay people are sinners, outcasts, agents of Beelzebub), it nonetheless limped through the system and became law. For now. And until it ceases to be the law, then mere judges are not able to countermand it. That was their point.

It did make me think, though.

Imagine if, a few years ago, when all of this really came to a head, the government had done the right thing and okay’d civil unions for homosexuals. Countrywide, no exceptions, all benefits, all rights. Stopping short of calling it marriage perhaps – that way Christian bigots could sleep easy in their beds, assured that the institution they claim to treasure so much wasn’t in the grip of Satan and his followers after all –  but elevating same-sex couples to the same status as every other normal person in America. 

If that had happened back then, we’d have had equality in everything but name, and probably been satisfied with that. The whole issue may even have subsided for a while.

But the government didn’t do the right thing, did it? It gave in to the religious bullies who use the power of the pulpit to hypnotize the millions in their thrall, and refused to budge an inch.

Now look what’s happened. Because of a few hardnuts playing politics with people’s lives, a time-bomb has started ticking, one that’s going to go off way sooner and with a much bigger bang than it otherwise would have.

Such is the outcry against this continuing injustice; so utterly demonized has Prop 8 become, along with all those who, to their shame, supported it; and so loud and insistent is the drum-beat for change, that gay marriage is coming at us faster than it ever would. Faster, in actual fact, than some of us are really ready for. (I mean, what will I wear?)

Because of the humiliating spasm of outrageous bigotry that Prop 8 represents, it’s my guess that within a couple of years the very thing the combined small minds of the National Organization for Marriage, Miss California, the Mormons, and all their ghastly sort – the real sinners! – have been campaigning against so lustily for so long, may well happen after all. 

Not only that, but to hell with civil unions. Gay folks will probably end up with full rights under the law AND able to call themselves legally “married.” How groovy is that?

It’s karma at work, people.

Feed hate, cruelty, selfishness, fear, and division into the system, and you get massive problems out at the other end. But do what’s right by society, be fair and accepting and kind, and you’re rewarded with justice, harmony, happiness, and calm.  

ChristThese aren’t my ideas, by the way; some guy I read about called Jesus came up with them first. Unfortunately, he was put to death before his time by a different bunch of religious zealots. They too thought they knew what was best for everyone and believed that the weight of their preaching could keep a good set of ideals down. As a result, he became bigger than their narrow, fearful minds could ever have envisioned.

Sadly, it also means we’ll never know what he thought of gay people getting married. My guess is he’d have been for it. Not only for it, but standing on the picket lines, tongue-kissing guys to make a point, and tossing beer-cans at passing Mormons. Jesus was cool that way.

 

TV Swami – he waaaay off-track today. But he say YES to good nutrition and loving one another. Not a bad thought for the weekend.

www.cashpeters.com

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Why doctors will never find a cure for cancer. You read it here first.

Er…because it’s not in their financial interests to find one? Just guessing.

It’s becoming increasingly evident, to me anyway, that we must try to heal ourselves as much as possible. Some health gurus, such as Andreas Moritz [see UPDATE below], are now saying that cancer is simply the body’s final way of telling us, after many previous attempts failed and the signs were ignored, that we have done wrong by ourselves, endured too much stress, a toxic diet, poor attitudes, lack of sleep, and so on, and the day of reckoning has come. If he’s right, then maybe it’s time to stop with the nonsense and get our system back into balance – or pay the price. Cancer’s message is very straightforward, he says: there will be no more warnings. The next step could be fatal.

I’m nothing to do with healthcare for the most part. I have no dog in this fight, other than a book I wrote about miraculous healing, which I recommend to anyone interested in avoiding disease or recovering from its effects. Otherwise, I’m just a regular guy. But I hear it more and more about doctors. That they want to keep us returning to them, not only for the good of our health, but so that they can maintain their income. A dead patient is not a profitable one.

Same with drug companies. You’re only valuable to them if you’re still breathing and able to buy their overpriced products. So cancer victims are frequently subjected to the most horrible and barbaric treatments, from chemo to surgery, treatments that work for some, but can also tear down the cell structure of the body, extending their life in many cases only a few months or years. Harmful medications are prescribed routinely, despite bringing on horrendous side-effects. Doctors Taming the Beast Within Final Coverattempt to suppress the symptoms, they don’t go in search of the root cause. Why? Because that’s not their job, it’s ours. It’s up to us to figure out why the body is staging this act of rebellion we call disease and then tackle the issue at source, making any changes necessary to our lifestyle and habits, preferably with trained help and advice. There’s a lot more about this in my book Taming the Beast Within: A New Weapon in the War on Candida, since more and more people are coming around to the view that Candida and cancer are connected. One leads to the other.  

I believe in science. I have great faith in doctors, and admit we’d be lost without them. But when it comes to my own body and what happens to it, I am the final authority. It’s down to me. The buck stops here. I take full responsibility.

I was reminded of this as yet another prominent person – E! News host Giuliana Rancic – yesterday announced that she’d been diagnosed with breast cancer. Always sad to hear. But even sadder was that she announced she was going straight into surgery this week to deal with it. And who told her to do that? Why, her doctor, of course! Probably scared her half to death in the process, poor woman.

The book I mentioned above, by the way, has proved to be one of the most popular and enduring I’ve ever written, so I’m giving it a little more prominence today. It’s called a little book about believing; The Transformative Healing Power of Faith, Love, and Surrender.

It looks to some like a religious book. It’s not at all. But it is highly informative, entertaining, energizing, and filled with hope and tips for making your life better.

Further details about the path to healing and what it might take to get well can be read in this blog post.

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farrahaging

Cancer has become one of the biggest blights on the modern world. It’s also one of the most widespread. We all know people who are living with it or who have died from it. My own mother, for example; kidney cancer took her down in a matter of months. Like the actress Farrah Fawcett, she relied very heavily at the time on God to step in at the last minute and save her. With enough prayer, she figured, there might be a reprieve. But he didn’t and there wasn’t, and now she’s gone.

As it is, various truths are surfacing about cancer that go contrary to conventional medical practices. It may surprise you to learn that I’m not a doctor. That’s why there’s a big old disclaimer at the top of the page. I’m everyman. A guy whose mother died from a horrible disease when she probably didn’t need to. But here’s what I’ve learned in my own life. Maybe you’ll take something useful away from it.

1) 80% of cancers heal themselves if we leave them alone. This is the Andreas Moritz view. As soon as we’re diagnosed, he says, we leap in there and start fighting it. But here’s the shocker: fighting cancer the traditional medical way may actually help spread it and kill you anyway!

Sometimes the best reaction to such a diagnosis, apparently, is to relax into the experience. Eat right, meditate, do yoga, change your thinking, educate yourself about holistic treatments that oxygenate and alkalize the body (one guy in Canada achieved encouraging results using cannabis resin), and generally bring the body into peace and balance so that the immune system is restored to good health and can do its job, which is to heal you.

In that scenario, your goal as the patient would be to nurture your immune system so that it, in turn, can nurture you. Actually, this applies whether you’re sick or not.

2) Cancer is often a reward; it’s just not the kind of reward you like. There are health practitioners out there, the more advanced-thinking ones, who don’t subscribe to cancer being a disease at all, but believe that in many cases it’s merely a harsh reminder from the body that you’ve been doing something wrong for the longest time, and now you need to get straight, pal, or pay a hefty price.

Bill Maher got it right when he said that there’s no real mystery to why there’s an increase in cancer. “It’s in the food, people!”  Toxin-, sugar-, and chemical-filled food, as well as smoking, stress, drugs, lack of sleep, etc etc etc. – lead us on a downward path and deplete the body. We know this, we just so often choose to ignore it.

3) Conventional medicine asks the wrong questions and does the wrong things. I’ve heard this said many times. Cutting bits out of your body, blasting you with radiation, cramming you with drugs – it’s what doctors automatically do; they treat the symptoms.

What they don’t do is go back to basics and treat the cause of the symptoms, by asking: “What is this disease trying to tell you? What have you been doing wrong all these years that you’ve driven your body into a state where it actually has to get ill before you’re willing to listen to it? And how are you going to correct this pattern so that the body can heal itself?”

And since there’s no money to be made from letting the body heal itself, it’s straight to surgery, pills, chemo – stuff that benefits the medical profession financially, but that in a lot of cases can do waaaaay more harm than good. Do you realize how many people die at the hands of doctors every year? The percentage is HUGE

Whenever I see a high-profile cancer sufferer on TV – Patrick Swayze, who was in a terrible way for a while; Dr. Randy Pausch, the Last Lecture guy who died; and dozens more – I always see that they’ve rushed to have radiation treatment or had huge chunks of their body cut out by doctors. Chunks that may be  really necessary to their recovery, but which they don’t have any more.

I even heard that actress Christina Applegate had both her breasts cut off just in case she contracted cancer in the future. I mean, yike! If that’s true, how insane is the faith we, as a society, place in men in white coats? At what point did we all get brainwashed into believing that doctors had all the answers?

4) Conventional medicine will never find a cure for cancer. Are you crazy? D’you have any idea how many hundreds of thousands of people, would be put out of work if a cure were found? The billions of dollars that would be lost? How many institutes would have to close? As long as cancer thrives, so will big business and the millions who leech off it.

It’d be the same story if Jesus returned, as so many Christians believe he will, and started telling evangelicals that most of what they teach and believe is, in actual fact, an ugly contortion of  what God wants, and not even remotely related to what’s good or right. D’you think they’d rush to give up on their rigid beliefs, close down churches, shut down those ghastly, hypocritical, money-grubbing  TV networks they have? Not a chance. They’d simply find a way to crucify him all over again.

I don’t care how much you donate to charity or how much research is done, or how many trials the drugs companies carry out – I bet a 100% cure for cancer will never be found. Look how much money has been poured into research already, and yet cancer is more widespread than ever.

5) Alternative treatments may provide an answer. The mother of a friend of mine defied five sets of doctors, each one of whom advised her to have a tumor removed from her breast. Instead, for five years, she went down the holistic route with all kinds of treatments – Asian mushrooms, Essiac tea, coffee enemas, stuff modern doctors laugh at and decry. But, according to her (and her doctor, too, years later), the tumor became benign and shrank and the cancer healed itself.

Three little stories to back up what I’m saying:

1) An elderly friend of mine told me recently of a pact she made many years ago with a woman she’d known since childhood. Both these women found they had breast cancer around about the same time, and both were tormented by what to do about it. While the other person was scared and submitted to the full cancer treatment program that her doctor threw at her, my friend refused it. She simply ate better food, relaxed more, and abstained from stress and worry and fear. Above all, she refused to concede any ground to the cancer, but more importantly to the medical profession. And guess whch one of them’s alive today. The other woman died a long time ago; the treatments killed her. My friend, on the other hand, is just fine. The cancer simply went away, she tells me.

2) I met a young lawyer at a party last year who told me that her brother had been diagnosed with stomach cancer and was told he could die within months. On finding this out, instead of submitting to fear, he did the uncommon thing – he told family and friends, “Let’s never mention this again.”

“So how is he doing?” I asked her.

“Well, the family freaked out, of course. We all did. But we wanted him to get treatment. Instead, he bought a dog, had lots more fun, changed his diet, and just relaced more. And now he seems fine.”

3) Finally, there’s a big-name movie actor who is currently suffering with blood cancer. I only know this because he happens to be the longtime friend of a friend. But he doesn’t want the industry to find out, so I’m not going to give his name. However, for a couple of years he submitted to standard medical treatments for this condition, only to find that the treatments were breaking down his body more than the cancer was. In effect, his doctors were kiling him. So he took back control and began investigating alternatives.

And in the end, d’you know what helped him turn the corner? Hash oil. Cannabis, basically.

There’s a movie called What if Cannabis Cured Cancer? Following the information contained in it, this big-time actor a few weeks ago began administering strong doses of hash oil to himself on a nightly basis, and you know what? Already he says he’s on the mend. He looks better and feels better, and for the first time senses that he has his life back in his own hands.

These are just three stories; there are many more, some of them featured in my book, along with a ton of fascinating information, all of which has shown me at least there’s a lot more to this cancer thing than we’ve been led to believe. Over the years, the National Cancer Institute has apparently spent $105 billion looking for a cure for cancer. All that money wasted, when in truth the answer may well be staring us right in the face. Simple message: find the root cause and tackle that, don’t merely work to suppress the symptoms.

*

Anyhow, that’s it. My ten-penneth.

I have to say, though, that, as I watched the TV documentary Farrah’s Story a while ago, about the dying days of Farrah Fawcett, all of this was buzzing through my mind. If only she hadn’t gone to doctors. If only she’d tried other ways. I just wish these people invested more in alternative treatments that are out there, and knew that they don’t have to rush into surgery, and that, indeed, by letting doctors treat them in conventional ways, they may in fact be accelerating their own demise.

Very sad.

By the way, if you haven’t already please read the Disclaimer above.

And here’s what people have been saying about the book:

Gripping. I couldn’t put it down. A book that even true skeptics can believe in!” – Len Richmond, director of What if Cannabis Cured Cancer?
“An extraordinary book with a life-changing message” Andreas Moritz, author of Cancer is Not a Disease.
“A remarkable first-hand exploration of the faith-healing phenomenon” – Dr. Brian G.M. Durie, Aptium Oncology, Inc.
“This book is surprising, challenging, eye-opening, sensitive, touching…I’m running out of words. Just get it and read it.” – Caroline Lehman, author of Through the Moon Gate 
‘”This is an important book for the issues it raises…I highly recommend it” – Jeffrey. D. Rediger M.D., Harvard Medical School

www.cashpeters.com 

[UPDATE: December 6th 2012] It’s being reported that health guru, and the author of Cancer Is Not a Disease, Andreas Moritz has died. I’m having trouble believing this. At first, I thought it had to be a prank, but I can’t find anything anywhere to contradict this news, so increasingly it’s seeming to be true.

The cause of death is mysterious. His family is not releasing the reason. It’s being suggested that he may have been assassinated by the pharmaceutical industry. He’d received death threats, apparently, and was constantly at war with drug companies over their products. So I guess that’s possible.

But, conspiracy theories aside, if he died of cancer, as many are also supposing, then that would surely indicate to the doubters that, all along, Andreas Moritz was exactly what they were claiming he was – a quack, whose homespun anti-cancer protocols (and he had one involving maple syrup and epsom salts) sold lots of books, but don’t actually work. That could lead to his estate being sued. 

In any case, for now those who were closest to him are playing it safe by saying, “He ascended towards the light” or some such vague New Age mantra, without offering details. It’s a cop-out that has left a lot of his followers disappointed, if not outright angry.

A lot of what Andreas said and wrote about healthy living made perfect sense to me. I’ve adopted his practices here and there over recent years and felt nothing but a great benefit. So I don’t judge him on that score. I shall just remember him as a generous and incredibly passionate and knowledgeable man in the field of health. Someone who was kind enough to give a positive review of my book about John of God, and who helped thousands of people on Curezone.com to deal with their own health problems.

He was a valuable human being and he made a difference. We should all be lucky enough to have that said about us when we die.

R.I.P., buddy.

[UPDATE: November 25th 2013]  The cause of Andreas Moritz’s death has finally been revealed, apparently. Paul Nison, a raw food expert who knew Moritz and his family, issued a statement attached to a video on YouTube. Here’s what he says:

“A couple of months before his transition, Andreas was exposed to insidious mold inhalation. This, with time, created complications that led to heart valve failure, which stemmed from his childhood “severe arrhythmia”. Understandably, Andreas refused to have invasive surgical treatments or procedures, living by his deep-rooted beliefs and supported by a calm, inner knowingness that his time on Earth was completed.”

So now we know. Mystery over. And a lesson learned: avoid mold.

 

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