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About jonbirch

animator, illustrator, character designer, graphic designer. music producer/recording musician. co-owner of PROOST. proost.co.uk
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46 Responses to 661

  1. Welshdisastergirl says:

    love it… if it’s saying what i think it is :)

    yes i am a Christian girl/woman? and i want/feel called? to be involved in church leadership…. maybe not only sunday school/prayer meetings though.

    do i get it?

  2. Hayles says:

    I love this :)

  3. Carole says:

    You old iconoclast, you! ;)

    Just as long as the person who does the tea doesn’t catch you!

  4. Forrest says:

    So, who’s going to do the children’s book take-off on the theme titled, “Jon, the Uncomforming Bull”?
    The television series?
    Or, maybe the bull goes by another name?

  5. Angela says:

    I love it too!

    It’s about hope – I do not need to do the (bad) things people expect me to do…
    Even if it might be sometimes a tad difficult:)Love Angela

  6. becky says:

    I found this site from Pete (Rock in the grass).

    Very funny and enlightening.


  7. Caroline Too says:

    and sometimes, like tonight I get it a bit wrong

    and my throat is opened and jumped down

    a bit unfairly

    but I’m left feeling like shit… and wondering if I’ve blown it

    I wish that I wasn’t a bull in church china shop, I wish I was one of those nice people who always manage to say the right thing…

    damn … damn…. damn

    time for bed

  8. subo says:

    and the fatted cow sat down with the pink and blue china tea set

  9. Love it! You got my expression to a tee!

  10. Angela says:

    @ Caroline too: I didn’t mean to say something wrong.

    Church that’s the place where we are cattle among cattle,

    Plus – look at this bull isn’t he beautiful with all his power and strenght, sure he defends all his cows and calfs agains any danger

  11. beckyG says:

    I see there’s two Beckys – welcome. I’ll post as BeckyG from now on (I’m the weirdo religious satirist).

    4. The Jon ‘n’ Bull jokes abound – but I did enough ragging on him re: man boobs. |-)

    I never conform to anyone’s expectations except I hope I don’t tick God off too much … |-)

  12. dennis says:

    I attended a church meeting last night which YES I opened my gob yet again and YES I got into trouble and YES maybe I should have kept it shut but NO I am who I am and if there is an injustice I will open my GOB! even in a china shop. We talked about a new vicar and get this we want him like this and we want him like that which someone pointed out HE might be a SHE? OK so we are ready for a girl as long as they are white middle class BUT and it was a BIG butt! He had better not be gay.

    I wont even mention what was said about the church music, so I left the china shop a little bit shaken. Oh my goodness! has anyone seen the super glue?

  13. Kim says:

    Ouch, this touched a nerve with me as I used to be called the bull in the china shop as a child, by my family. Apparently once I did run amok in a local dept store :lol:

  14. Laura says:

    Ok, someone help me out here. This is about women in leadership in the church????

    how now brown cow?

    really, I don’t get it…

  15. Kim says:

    No, i didn’t get that bit either? Someone will explain to us

  16. Carole says:

    I didn’t read it as women in the church, though I can see how it could be applied to that scenario as in many others. That’s the beauty of these cartoons – everyone brings their own experience to them and reads them in a very individual way – bespoke therapy. I saw it more as anybody who is inclined to challenge the things held dear (the sacred cows?) in church. It’s related to the other one about things we would like to say but can’t. Also I relate it to the ‘Emperor isn’t wearing any clothes’ cartoons from last year.

    I am loving reading Caroline Too, BeckyG and Dennis’ comments…because I have been there with you on many occasions, in my own way. I know what it is like to have the compulsion to challenge something, when it’s there like a growing knot in your stomach…you just have to say it. Then you see the fallout from an ill-timed/placed comment and wish you hadn’t. No-one has any sympathy for the perpetrator but they often hurt more than the ‘offended’. These days, I am finding it very hard to keep my mouth shut in the world of education.

  17. Caroline Too says:

    gosh, I hadn’t noticed a women in leaderhship thing in the cartoon

    ‘bull’ militates against that idea

    for me the problem is not about gender but about language… I tend to argue poetically, I tend
    to be careless in my use of hyperbole when in discussion/argument whilst others –
    like my lawyer/vicar take me literally and sometimes I just get it wrong. :-?

    I can’t justify myself, as Dennis can, by pointing to the particular topic that raises my head above
    the parapet…

    I just get it wrong, say things that hurt people :evil: … I didn’t mean it that way :oops: and it’s mostly carelessness and a lack of awareness that I can be quite intimidating in argument…

    but there’s another point to Jon’s cartoon I sense, it’s uncomfortable to me,

    yes, I am ‘bullish’ sometimes and occasionally I crash into china, but I don’t have to… I don’t have to fulfil something called my personality… I have a God who transforms… can transform me… the creativity and visionary thinking that I can offer doesn’t have to come with the side affect of hurtful hyperbole… that can be transformed… I don’t have to live up to the expectations…

    fortunately, I have all eternity to get this right, I fear that I’ll need it :roll:

  18. jonbirch says:

    “I don’t have to fulfil something called my personality…” beautiful. hard though. some wise person said on a thread about 200 cartoons ago something along the lines of personality stopping us from changing and that we don’t have to conform to ‘type’. profound and wise i thought and something i’d not considered before. we are not set in stone.

    i think it is often important for us not to keep our mouths shut… and offending people is often a bad measure of whether we’ve done the right thing or not. the truth often offends… pride, fear, judgementalism, ignorance, hatred etc. etc. all hate and are offended by truth.

  19. Caroline Too says:

    but Jon, I don’t mind offending Pride or judgementalism or hatred…

    I can tell myself a noble story about that kind of offence

    no, the times I wrestle with are the times when my half baked fragility meets up with someone else’s half heard fragility…

    that’s the offense that has a cost to Kingdom life….

  20. Love it!

    The bull is being the bull, and the china shop is being the china shop, and you betcha the bull is happy, and you can bet also, for as long as the bull is there, there’s a possibility, at least, for the whole thing to go horribly, wonderfully wrong.

    That bull has poise. He’s cool. He’s in control. Potentially, he could turn over a few tables, if he wanted to… Does he want to?

    And the rest of us, how are we going to handle our adrenaline pumping, continuously, at the thought that he just might do it…?

  21. Pat says:

    Caroline Too – as a fellow hyperbolist, and someone who has also sometimes been designated as ‘intimidating’ in the church context, I know where you’re coming from here :-( I think there’s a problem sometimes when one moves between different environments: If you’re used to robust engagenment and debate in one sphere, it’s easy to forget that it’s not necessarily the default operating mode of another, different one.

    Mind you….. I find it hard to imagine that anyone can find me scary – I just don’t see myself that way at all :-?

  22. Carole says:

    Yeah, Steve, spot on! I was getting bogged down in the bull in a chinashop cliche, but you’ve put me right. He’s a lovely bull, with a great smile. He has got great presence and as cools as…not a hint of steam from his nostrils. I’ve stereotyped him and I owe him an apology. :)

  23. Mike says:

    Kis expectations goodbye and be what the Lord wants us to be. Dare to be a disciple.

  24. Robb says:

    All the best people have nose rings!

  25. beckyG says:

    Carole -Yep, been there, done that.

    My problem is that I “think” others want to know the truth, when in fact they don’t. It’s much easier to live in a faith fog to the point where they can’t see the hypocrisy. I’ve learned the hard way to walk away.

    Where I am getting hammered – like I am now – is when you hit someone’s sacred cow, they MOO VERY LOUDLY. The challenge is to make sure that I am assuming the role of the court jester by targeting the king (the religious rock stars) and not the people in the pew.

  26. Forrest says:

    Wasn’t Jesus a lot like this cartoon? He could have made hash of religious establishment by his own brute force in being one with the almighty and 10,000 angels but, even though he did turn over a few tables, chose to lead people to him via love and education.

    Come to think of it, he didn’t exactly ‘conform’ to their idea of their messiah either.

    Jesus Christ, the bull in the china shop of our souls.

  27. Lewis says:

    This made me think of me and sin. Prone and clumsy, but trying to resist.

  28. subo says:

    - do you mean it would be a sin not too? (smash a little china)

  29. jonbirch says:

    it certainly would be… sometimes. :-)

  30. Carole says:

    “In this game you get nothing for 2 in a bed”

    Who said it?

  31. Linus says:

    I feel more like the fragile china than the strong bull =]

    Forrest wins the internet again: if Jesus is the bull, then i feel safe to be the china.

  32. Carole says:

    Well in, Botticelliwoman – You get Bully’s star prize, a motorboat – everyone else just gets a bendy Bully! :lol:

  33. beatthedrum says:

    This is something I need to learn. I tend to be the typical bull in a china shot.

    I need to learn patients and peace.

    Having said that charging around can be fun as well ;-)


  34. Welshdisastergirl says:

    just one of my adventures in missing the point…

  35. Caroline Too says:

    welshdisastergirl.. can we all come on your adventure too?

    missed points always create the best conversations!

    my two sheep, Molly and Dolly (currently sitting on my desk)ask if you could say hello to their cousins… assure me that they’re from Wales… sometimes I wonder if I should worry about talking to my desk toys….

  36. Rick says:

    Man, I need a t-shirt with this on it! :-)

  37. beatthedrum says:

    Now thats a cracking idea Rick

    Jon how about getting the price for getting some knocked up?

  38. jonbirch says:

    it’s time… if i had time i’d do it. or when i get time, i will. i certainly want to. :-)

  39. Welshdisastergirl says:

    Thanks Caroline Too- of course you can join me on my next adventure, Molly, Dolly and their Welsh cousins (maybe Golly and Folly?) can come too. (they say ‘BAH’ by the way)

  40. jonbirch says:

    desk top toys are wonderful things. my office is being sorted out now… needs turning from a hole in to a room. i have a few toys ready and waiting for their new home. :-)

    welshdisastergirl… great name! :-)

  41. Welshdisastergirl says:

    it’s a name i have earned… apart from the Welsh bit, that is just a blessing from God :)

  42. jonbirch says:

    welshdisastergirl… having just watched question time from merthyr tydfil i would have to say that being welsh is a blessing. the best, most thoughtful audience in weeks i thought.

  43. theseoldshades says:

    welshdisastergirl: yaaaay Welsh! I am not Welsh, but I have the joy to live in beautiful Wales :D
    You’re first comment reminded me of myself, girl power! :D

  44. Welshdisastergirl says:

    Ta v much theseoldshades i love the enthusiasm, yaaay right back atcha!

    sometimes i’m a bit scared of expectations, i don’t really want certain things to be inevitable.

    can a bull control what happens once it’s in a china shop?

  45. jonbirch says:

    hey welshdisastergirl… as a big fan of the tv show ‘mythbusters’, i can say confidently, having watched the experiment, that bulls are very careful in china shops. at one point, they had three bulls and loads of china on shelving units… and the bulls moved around them with precision and care. they were also surprisingly light on their feet. :-)
    ‘inevitability’ is scary , isn’t it. i can’t think of anything rendering us more powerless than a real sense of something being inevitable.

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