Archive for politics

For Once I Should Be Serious

Posted in People, Society and Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 29, 2011 by AF

It’s a serious matter and that makes me very wary of saying anything at all about it in public, but then it’s something that I abhor and feel very strongly about, so here goes…

The subject is rape.

In truth, it’s something I don’t really understand from a male point of view, because I have never really wanted to do anything to, or with, a woman that she didn’t want too – that to me is part (a very big part) of the magic of sex. I might on occasions have wished that a beautiful woman felt differently (or even bloody well noticed me, if I’m honest), but that’s light years from what we’re talking about here. Heck, we wish for all sorts of things – I wish I was George Clooney, but life can be such a bitch and so I’m not.

However, recently, there has been considerable anger and debate in the UK over a statement made by our Justice Secretary, Kenneth Clarke, that some kinds of rape are worse than others, or words to that effect at least. I’m not even a fan of Ken Clarke as a politician and I certainly don’t believe in a justice system that worries more about the “human rights” of criminals and terrorists than those of their victims, or even of ordinary people. In my opinion the current trends have been utterly stupid political correctness gone absolutely loopy.

All that said, I do think Mr. Clarke has a point of sorts in this instance, if I’ve understood what he’s saying correctly. Rape, like burglary, mugging, domestic violence, murder and all the rest, is a fact of life – part of the human condition – whether most of us wish it were not so, or not. I do, though, understand (I think, at some level at least) how a woman can view all rape as equally awful and that any man who rapes should be castrated and left to rot in a hole somewhere – that is only natural. It’s exactly the same as a parent must feel about the driver of a car that kills their child – he (she) deserves all they get and much more. It’s murder! There should be no forgiveness! Right?

Looked at dispassionately, though, there are so many variables involved in any crime that we cannot make sweeping statements and lump all drivers who speed, or robbers, or even rapists together. All crimes of a broadly similar nature are not the same. A woman who goes out on a date and perhaps likes and finds her partner for the evening attractive, but he misunderstands all her signals and fails to uphold the most basic of rules – “no” means “NO!” – will (in the short term at least), be just as horrified, hurt, disgusted, even traumatised, by this man’s abhorrent behaviour (of which he will hopefully be utterly ashamed in the cold light of dawn and increased sobriety), as any other rape victim.

Yet that situation simply cannot, in my opinion, be regarded in exactly the same way as the evil, twisted bastard who stalks a woman (or grabs her randomly off the street) and then subjects her to a litany of brutal and degrading physical, sexual and mental humiliation usually designed specifically to satisfy his hatred of women and to sadistically break and demean her and probably traumatise her for life. Such acts actually have little to do with sex at all (and more to do with inadequacies of the male involved) and there is a viciousness about such perpetrators that is surely disgusting to all decent people of both sexes and who I, frankly, believe deserve no mercy at all. To talk of human rights for such people as that is an affront to the rest of humanity and to the term “human” itself – they certainly should be thrown in a hole to rot along with paedophiles, mass murderers, youths who beat up old ladies for a few pounds and similar scum!

But a guy who gets too impassioned and looses his sense of judgement? No. He should be punished of course, because there’s no excuse and he needs a lesson that will remind him to be more respectful the next time, but to compare the two situations, or even all the variations in between those extremes is just plain foolish and (I think) does nothing to advance the cause of women at all.

Putting unequal crimes against women into one huge category is just as demeaning to all men as the male attitude that sometimes says all women are the same in bed in the dark – it’s not only wrong, it debases the decent people in society, who are, incidentally, in the vast majority, whatever some victims might have us all believe.

So… Go on, then – tell me why I’m wrong…  😦

Advertisements

So What’s The Problem With Sex?

Posted in People, Society and Politics, Scandalous! with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 8, 2010 by AF

What is all this fuss we make about sex? Something that JJ said in this excellent post on her blog (The Fifty Factor) confused me a little – well, it certainly made me question some things I previously took for granted, at least.

Listing some of what she does and doesn’t blog about, Joanna said this, Generally, I will not blog about… […] Sex. In the event that it could ultimately bite me in the butt should I decide to run for an elected office, I’ll keep this topic to myself.”

Now I don’t know how serious she is about that statement because she can be a very funny lady, but I suspect there’s at least some truth in it. I was… well, I was quite shocked, particularly in view of some of the things she does blog about (often in jest). My surprise was not due to what she said, but more by the realisation that she felt she needed to think that way.

I mean, what is our modern world about? We in the West, in reality if not in name, are currently fighting at least two major wars and suffering casualties; huge earthquakes are devastating whole countries, or so it seems; terrorism is everywhere; politicians appear to be less honest by the day as they steal public money, lie through their teeth about important matters under consideration by the administration in power and much more; huge debates are taking place in the US over healthcare for millions of Americans and (to an outsider at least) the rich v the poor battle seems to get daily closer to them killing each other in the streets, whilst still others are warning of the impending doom that awaits mankind because of global warming…

All that is going on and is just a small sample of the awful state of humanity and, if JJ is right, it looks like the public and their favourite media (and the Brits are just the same) are most concerned about who is sleeping with whom and what they like to do to each other in bed.

As I said once before quite recently, certainly in any sort of critical manner, I try to stay off of the twin dodgy subjects of religion and politics, but really… perlee-ease! How will humanity ever progress if sex is the factor that is going to be the most contentious and important in the world of politics, of all places? It has nothing whatsoever to do with it!

If politicians are screwing me financially, or bureaucratically, then it matters to me! But what they do of a sexual nature to each other, or any other consenting adult, is none of my goddamned business and, frankly, I neither care nor want to know about it!

A Question I Feel I Just Have To Ask

Posted in People, Society and Politics with tags , , , , , , on January 24, 2010 by AF

This is a serious matter and I apologise right now if I’m going to offend any of the Americans who read my blog because I feel I “know” many of you (to a greater or lesser degree) and, as far as I can tell, you’re all nice, kind and decent people. Some of you are, of course, also gorgeous women (I’m sure you will know who you are) and that worries me even more, since it is not in my nature to intentionally insult any woman, particularly one who is both beautiful and adorable, however much I might disagree with her.

Nevertheless, I feel this question should be asked. Many of you got the President you desired (a heck of a lot of you voted for him) and you are mostly caring and responsible citizens. So, since Barack Obama is the USA’s knight in shining armour and unless it is just the way it appears to me (and a lot of others I’ve spoken to about it)… when do you think America might stop landing endless troops and military hardware on Haiti and do something more positive about organising and distributing the huge amount of food, water and medical supplies that are so desperately needed by the surviving population there and that is unquestionably readily available through the amazing international response that the disaster has produced?

If I’m out of order, or being overly cynical, then I will expect you to tell me, but (from what I’ve read, seen and heard on UK TV and other news sources) it does seem to me that the US perhaps sees this as a golden opportunity to finally take control of Haiti and quell its rebellious attitudes and maybe even to turn it into the fifty first state, but without any of the labour protection laws that mainlanders enjoy?

It’s just a question, but…

Addendum: Please let me make it plain here (since it may not be) I’m not criticising Americans, or even America, I’m simply questioning whether the military is so busy being military that it has lost sight of what’s paramount here and additionally I think it’s right to question the motives of some powerful factions of the US administration…

The Human Tribe

Posted in People, Society and Politics with tags , , , , , , , on October 27, 2009 by AF

Much has been said about tribal communities, as in Afghanistan, and democracies and dictatorships, but I wonder if they’re not all actually different forms of tribal society. The sophistication and scale may vary, particularly in larger countries – even as big as the USA – but isn’t it just another take on tribalism? In fact, isn’t it the case that humans are simply mostly tribal animals and you probably can’t change that?

OK, let’s start with what is the definition of a tribe. Well there are a number of differing versions, but they amount to alternative means of defining a particular tribe. So, the general description? “A group of people who have something in common such as an occupation, social background, or political viewpoint.” I’d have thought that describes just about everyone, with the possible exception of the odd loner.

One of the ways a tribe defines itself is, of course, by ethnic or ancestral origin – remotely genetically connected, but not actually family, although even a family can itself often be a sort of tribe. In reality, though, it can be anything from a close-knit family to a gang, to a society, to a village, or town, or state, to a political group, to a country or even a continent. In truth, we seem to create tribes because we have a need to belong, to fit in, to be part of a group. That’s probably because, much as we love to boast about our individuality, there is safety in numbers and most of us feel vulnerable when isolated. However, I did include countries in that list and a country, particularly a big, federal country like America is a tribe that is itself made up of many smaller tribes at various levels and most individuals will belong to several.

I guess I’m looking forward to the day the aliens finally land. Then perhaps we’ll at last begin to look at humanity as a single global tribe, because that would surely be how they would see us – friendly or not!

Save The Boobies Indeed!

Posted in People, Society and Politics, Scandalous! with tags , , , , , , , , on October 26, 2009 by AF

A clever and so very funny post over on “girl du jour” caught my eye…

“So next Saturday at 4 PM Eastern Time, all American women are asked to walk out of their house completely naked to help weed out any neighborhood terrorists.”  (read the full post here – it’s worth your time)

Save the boobies – save it all! 😉

Ban It!

Posted in People, Society and Politics with tags , , on September 28, 2009 by AF

There seems to a penchant these days, particularly in the UK, for banning things. Our government just loves to do it – smoking, guns, knives, drugs, driving too fast or too slow, even paid for sex by devious means (although most men would argue that almost all sex is paid for, indirectly at least, but I guess that’s an argument for another day), underage sex – which makes sense when an adult is involved, but what will be next? Overage sex, just in case you have a heart attack and cost the NHS a couple of quid to be certified dead?

I don’t disagree that most of these things (apart from the sex) are undesirable and some are possibly even bad (in a way), but what difference do these idiots think banning them really makes? It’s not as if banning something stops whatever it is – it just becomes illegal and  more expensive and, to some, more interesting!

Think about it! What’s wrong with drugs? If an adult wants to wreck his or her life by becoming addicted, isn’t that his/her choice? If it’s an informed choice and if it affects no one else. But that’s the real and only point – because it will affect others! What is really bad about addiction is the misery it brings to those around the addict and the harm it does to society as a whole. What should be done about that is to explain and demonstrate to young people when they are old enough to understand, but young enough to be persuaded, all the bad things that can and very likely will result.

Education is always the answer to almost all our problems as a species. You won’t get through to everybody and you can’t change the past, or probably even much of the present, but you can explain why a future with or without something would be better and get the vast majority of people to understand it. Guns are not bad. They’re lumps of metal and wood or plastic. Owning a gun is not bad. Even carrying a gun is not bad. Being an asshole who threatens people with a gun, or shoots people because of an argument or just for the hell of it is bad! But the gun itself? Of course not! It’s people who are bad, not objects, or even substances and, like I said, if you want people to be different, then you need to explain logically why to people young enough to make a difference in the future.

Above all, though, don’t lie to kids. Don’t use religion, myth, legend and speculation to explain something you can’t otherwise spell out. Don’t make wild statements about the evils of something you don’t like in order to persuade them to leave it alone, because they’re mostly a lot smarter than most of us think and, in all probability, they already know a whole lot more about the subject than you and I do. Education with total truth is essential and the only way forward and it’s about time we started realising that and acting upon it.

There Are Times…

Posted in People, Society and Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , on August 27, 2009 by AF

I’ve always had what I regard as a fairly young outlook on life and in some ways I think (I hope) that’s true and will remain so. Nevertheless, there are times when I think I must simply be getting old.

Maybe it’s mainly the death of Ted Kennedy that has brought it home to me at the moment for it’s usually as a result of world, or at least national, events that I feel this way. Lately, though, I have to admit that I have a feeling of more general malaise about the world we live in, or more precisely, about people, than I once did.

When I was truly young (as distinct from just thinking I am), there were no PCs and you got your information from your daily newspaper, or the radio and some of it from TV. The difference was that, although disasters, wars and all the rest occurred, they were the exception, whereas nowadays such mayhem seems to be accepted as the norm. Additionally, newspapers (apart from the odd one or two that most people regarded as little more than comics) could be relied upon, as could radio and TV news – they were respected and prided themselves on the thorough quality of their investigative journalism and the accuracy of what they reported. Of course, there was naturally national bias, but it wasn’t a slur to call someone a patriot then either.

People cared more too, I’m sure. If you told his parents (who you probably knew personally) that little Johnny was being a little sh*t, they’d apologise to you, clip him round the ear and make him say sorry to you (or whoever) as well. Doctors also took a pride in the respect that people had for them. They would turn out at any time of any day or night to visit a sick patient, but then they didn’t have thousand upon thousands of people on ever increasing lists that they had to service for less and less money. Perhaps more importantly, they didn’t spend half their time (or more) filling in government forms in quadruplicate for the benefit of a pen pusher in some quango and half a dozen NGOs (naturally, since they didn’t exist, none of us was paying for those pointless exercises either).

I’ve loved PCs ever since they were invented and I got very involved in quite a lot of software development at one point. I love the Internet, but does my increasing sense of foreboding for the future of humanity have any substance, or is it just that we hear about these things more easily than we once did? Are we suffering from some sort of data overload, or are people really nastier, greedier, less caring and above all often simply less decent than they were fifty years ago?

Maybe we just never heard about it in the past, but a rotten politician, policeman, lawyer, banker, financier, schoolteacher, doctor, or other type of professional worker was an exception and a talking point for weeks if not months. Now it seems that the huge plethora of news organisations we have today struggle to keep up with all the shenanigans going on in almost every field of public life and service.

Ho, hum … I think perhaps I am just growing old. In a way, I almost hope so, because if that’s not the reason, then sometimes I really do fear for humanity. Ted Kennedy, you weren’t perfect, none of us is, but you were more decent than many men today and a statesman to boot. I think you might just be well out of this sh*t! The world we and our generation knew and sometimes loved has probably had its day and is now just as dead as you … RIP.