While Les Miserables makes Valjean out to be a saint, if you examine his actions you will see that the truth is vastly different.
Firstly, he is – undeniably a thief. He even admits it. And he was given an fourteen years for repeatedly trying to escape.
One of his first acts after he is given parole is to return to his life of crime. He steals a whole shed-load of silver. And if that wasn’t bad enough, he steals from A CHURCH!!
And then he breaks his parole and goes on the lamb. When most people do this, they are hunred down and re-arrested, and yet when Javert does his duty, people consider him to be the bad guy.
Flash forward a few years, and he is living a lie as an honest man, and then – when he is discovered – he makes a vow to Javert that he “will return in three days”. Does he keep this pledge? No – once again he goes on the run, and creates another fake identity, this time dragging an innocent child in to his world of lies and deceit.
Another few years pass, and he is lying to his daughter – refusing to tell her about their shared past.
Then he gets involved in the rebellion (such as it is), and racks up no less than two counts of treason (one against the French state by joining the insurgents, and one against the rebellion – instead of killing Javert, like he promised, he lets the policeman go. And no doubt Javert runs straight back to the authorities and tells them the entire disposition of everyone at the barricade – which would explain why it ends so fast and so bloody).
Add to that, perverting the course of justice by aiding and abetting the escape of Marius from the fallen barricade.
And then – on the eve of her wedding – he not only lies to his daughter, but gets his future son-in-law to lie as well.
So – a thief, a liar, a convict, a fugitive, a traitor, the probable reason everyone at the barricade died and someone who corrupts others into his criminal conspiracy.
And somehow people think HE is the hero of the piece?
My on-going imposed idleness continues – I am still at home with my beloved, unable to return to work just yet.
This is partly due to not being able to drive, but also because I still require a nap at around 2pm every day, which I think would probably interfere with my work schedule and annoy my bosses.
However my most beloved is looking after me very well, and every day she finds new ways to surprise me in the depth of her caring and her love.
I had another trip to the AC Clinic today, and my INR was a tad higher than expected. So we’ll see how it goes this week, and whether or not there is something slightly wrong that needs to be fixed.
In the meantime, I have been watching Dune Apocalypse which is a tad odd and surprising, and possibly edited and sanitised for the American Networks, because I am pretty sure that Leto and his sister were a tad…. closer than depicted in this version.
For those of you who follow this regularly and actually pat attention to what I write, it will probably not come as a surprise to you that I will not be watching the grand farce that will be played out on the streets of London tomorrow.
The idea that this nation owes anything to that heinous bitch of a woman is laughable, but the fact we – as tax payers – are spending £10m on her funeral when her family is fully capable of paying for it themselves is hideous and appalling.
She ripped this nation apart, and the vast majority of the horrific policies now being inflicted on this country by her acolytes in government have their roots in the country she created thirty years ago.
She created the culture of “me me me me me” where everyone is supposed to put themselves first and everyone else second, and Cameron and his army of darkness have embraced that – you need only look at their most recent policies of cutting benefits for the poor and cutting taxes for the rich to see the evil legacy that Thatcher gave this country.
And so the idea of watching a nation fawning over this wicked witch just sickens me to the bone. And since I am already pretty ill, I don’t think I need to add projectile vomiting to my symptoms.
Dune Apocalypse is finished, and yeah – a total lack of incestuous themes suggests that America isn’t ready for twins that sleep together. At least on prime time TV.
So now – now I need something else to watch, because due to various over-sleeping reasons, my next set of pain killers can’t be taken until 11pm and it is no where near close to that.
But, for now, I will simply sign off and promise to post sometime soon :)
So, it’s been almost a month since my last entry, and quite a lot has happened since then.
13 days after my last entry, I had the heart surgery I was scheduled for. It went well (which you can tell by the fact I am here writing about it!) and I was released on the 30th to return back home. (I am not going to write about the time in hospital just yet, because a – it is way too soon and b – I can’t actually remember a lot of it due to a shed-load of morphine and codine and other things that made me sleepy and messed with my mind.
Which, I know, sounds bad, but after you’ve had your chest cut open, your breast bone cracked apart and then both put back together, you really learn to appreciate morphine, codine and other painkillers, even if they do mess with your mind a tad!!)
And now I am at home for the next six weeks or so, being looked after by my most beloved girlfriend.
The reason I am going to be at home for the next six weeks is that, at the moment, sitting up for long periods of time is remarkably exhausting and I generally need a nap around 1pm/2pm.
And I’m not allowed to drive for the next six weeks, which makes going back to work 35 miles away a little bit impossible.
Also, I can’t pick up anything heavier than an empty kettle, which also makes going back to work a little complicated as well.
So – six weeks of fun and frolics (and mostly taking pain killers and going to the hospital for INR checks) ahead of me and my most beloved (although the pain killers and INR checks are just for me, not her!), then I go back to London for a review of my progress and hopefully get the all clear to return to work.
I will try to keep up with this, but I suspect my life is not going to be that exciting until I return to London for my progress review. So if I don’t write about getting up, having breakfast, watching TV, having lunch, having a nap, watching more TV then having tea and going to bed, you’ll understand why :)
Oh – did I mention that my heart now ticks?
As either a note of explanation or a pre-emptive excuse, this came out of a car trip I took with my girlfriend a little while back. It was a very long trip, and we both got somewhat bored of listening to music and so we started on this.
So – apologies in advance, and enjoy.
Professor Dumbledore dropped his head in to his hands, letting out a sigh.
“Problems Albus?” The Sorting Hat asked. Dumbledore looked up, then nodded.
“It’s this new rule about wearing trousers. I’ve had complaints from 22 first years, 22 second years, and 11 students from each of the other five years, all objecting to being forced to wear trousers under their robes”
“Are they from the boys and the girls?” The Hat asked. Dumbledore paused, then shook his head.
“So far it is only the wizards that have been complaining about it. None of the girls seem to mind that much” The Hat looked at him thoughtfully, then smiled.
“So are you telling me you’ve got 99 problems, but a witch aint one?”
The Condor stared at the tax demands in front of him, then looked up as his partner in crime entered the room.
“Look at all these tax demands!” The Condor complained “A hundred of them…..” He paused, then picked up one of them and tore it up.
“That was a birthday card from my mother” The Condor grinned “But anyway – look at this!” He threw his hands up in annoyance “I thought after I’d killed Richie, his parents, Noovo, Mintley, Cleo, Worry, Stormy and that damned dog Dollar all my worries would be over – but now I’ve got more problems than before” His partner in crime looked at him, then smiled.
“Well – look on the bright side, boss”
“And that is?”
“You’ve got 99 problems, but a Rich aint one”
“All the children at school hate me” Lilo moaned to her sister.
“What did you do?” Nani looked at her sympathetically.
“Nothing!” Lilo protested emphatically “And now that it’s merged with another school, there are nearly twice as many as before!”
“Another 49″ Lilo sighed, then she looked out in to the garden where her best friend – a blue alien puppy type creature – was romping around in the freshly mown grass “At least he still loves me” Nani followed her gaze, then grinned.
“Poor dear. 99 problems, but a Stitch aint one”
Dawson Leery stared down at the gravestone in front of him, and let out a slight sigh of relief. The girl next to him rested her hand on his shoulder.
An hour before, the zombie apocalypse that had been ravaging the world had finally come to Capeside, infecting nearly a hundred people in one night.
Dawson had escaped the initial infection, but had been running ever since Jen had tried to eat his face off.
His mother had moved away five years earlier, taking his younger sister with her. He missed them both, but was happy that they were not here to see the terror now rampaging through their home town.
He glanced down at the gravestone again, then he looked around.
After he and his wife had fled his home, he had had a sudden panic attack that his father’s body – buried these fifteen years – might rise from the grave and come to kill him. The idea of it turned his blood cold, and he knew he had to find out what was happening in the local graveyard.
They had arrived a few minutes earlier, and gone straight to his father’s grave.
Much to his relief, the ground hadn’t been disturbed and – as far as he could tell – his father was still enjoying his eternal rest.
Suddenly there was a noise behind him, and he turned to see the entire zombie army shuffling towards him across the graveyard.
He gave a soft laugh.
“What’s so funny?” Andie Leery (nee McPhee) asked.
“I was just thinking – we’ve got 99 problems, but a Mitch aint one”
Madame Pomfrey looked down at Harry Potter with a disapproving glare.
“Never have I seen such a ridiculous stunt!” She bellowed at him “You’ve cracked every one of your ribs at least three times, broken your left leg in 6 places, your right in 4, your left arm in 3 place and your left arm in 7″ She paused “And you’ve got four fractures in your pelvic bone” She shook her head “What the hell were you thinking?”
“I had to catch it!” Harry replied “It was the championship match!”
“All this because you wanted to win a game?” She shook her head “If you weren’t graduating this year, I would ban you for the rest of your time here” She waved at him “Do you know how long this is going to take to heal? Do you know how much pain you’re going to be in? Do you know…. why the hell are you smiling?”
“Because it just occurred to me” Harry grinned up at her “I’ve got 99 problems…..” He held up the little golden ball he had caught after jumping off his broom “….but a snitch aint one”
“This building isn’t up to code” Dan looked over at Piper “I’ve got nearly a hundred problems here”
“Does anything work?” She asked.
“That dimmer that your sister installed works just fine” Dan nodded.
“So I’ve got 99 problems but a switch aint one?”
Okay. I’m done.
(There was one about ninety nine lights going out during the Superbowl but the astro-turf being completely unaffected, and there was another about someone being bitten by nearly 100 mosquitos, but due to a strong will power he didn’t feel any desire to scratch at the various bites he had, and a third one about someone from East Lancashire spelling most words wrong, but remembering to the put silent H in school, but I think that’s enough for now!)
I understood Wikipedia when it started – I even applauded the idea.
A central database where people can find information about almost anything in the world, and one that would be constantly updated because it was online, and it was done by the people, for the people.
The idea of anyone having a set of encyclopaedia now seems unbelievable. Not just because of the rise of Wikipedia, but simply because the rate of change of information in the world we live in so huge, that a printed book would – most likely – be out of date in a year, if not sooner.
Even with historic information this might well be the case. With all the new methods and tools at humanity’s disposal, it is entirely possible we will find out that all the “facts” we “know for certain” about Ancient Rome (for example) are – in fact – entirely wrong and we need to rewrite the history books.
I entirely support the idea of keeping the combined knowledge of humanity on the web, for the reasons I detailed above and for one more – the expense of it.
A good set of 26 encyclopaedia can cost a fair amount of money, even upwards of £100. Which I know, doesn’t sound a lot for what you get, but if you consider what else you can buy with £100, and just how much crap there would be that you would never need to know about, you can (I hope) see that having information on line is a way better idea – you can look up what you need to know, when you need to know it.
Don’t get me wrong – there are times when you need actual books. If you have a doctor about to perform valve replacement surgery on you, you would probably hope that they had done some research other than just looking it up on Wikipedia. Same with lawyers and other professional people.
But for the vast majority of us just looking something up quickly (When did Columbo discover America? Was the Roosevelt Room named after Teddy or Frankie? Was Regan McNeil possessed or was she just feeling a little cross? Who was responsible for the attack on Michael Corleone?) then looking it up on line is perfectly acceptable and will probably get you the right answer. And, if you are still unsure, you can look it up across one or two sources, just to be certain. (Because I looked up who founded The Salvation Army once on Wikipedia and learned it was founded by “Tom is a homosexual and smells of wee” – which I am pretty sure wasn’t actually the right answer. If you are curious, it was – apparently – William and Catherine Booth).
And – under the general idea of full disclosure – I still use Wikipedia when looking up some things. As I said – when it isn’t anything important or anything I am going to be punished for getting wrong, Wikipedia is a good source for quickly finding things. However most of the time I do try to find two sources, because while it is a generally good source, there are things about it that are very, very bad.
I came across an article about the murder of a young woman in Britain. When I read it, I could not believe the amount of things that were wrong in it. I knew they were wrong, because I was fairly well acquainted with the case in question, having been a very, very good friend of the victim when she was murdered.
I edited the talk page and listed a number of things that were wrong. I couldn’t actually provide any citations for this, because the murder was over thirty years ago and so – at the time – there was very little written on line about it. Plus – if I am honest – most of the things I knew, I knew because of my relationship with the victim, not because I had read them anywhere.
Well – I went back the next night, and found the original editor of the article saying he (she? No sex was given, so I am going with he simply because I do not want to write he/she over a dozen times – it looks stupid) – saying he would not apply any of my changes without citations and outside proof because it was against standards. I asked him where he had got his “outside proof” and citations from – since half of what he had written was bollocks – and he said that it was from various police reports and news articles, none of which were quoted at the bottom.
So – after pointing out that there were a fair number of mistakes, including the woman’s date of birth of all things – I asked him again if he would apply the changes and I was told that “my opinion” is not a valid source and I need to cite any sources to make them “valid”
(I have just gone back to the page, and it is still full of inaccuracies and mistakes, and the person who wrote the original article is still refusing to change it despite being told that there are a lot of mistakes).
Now – it might be this is an isolated incident, but if there are this many problems in one article, and the article’s creator is so unwilling to listen to any one else or to provide any type of citation to support his stuff then how do I know that all the other articles are held to a higher standard? That the other articles aren’t equally full of mistakes and other such things?
WikiPedia tries to hold itself up as being a valuable source of knowledge, with all of the facts verified and checked, and yet it could be that page after page goes unchecked and unnoticed.
And when you try to do something about it – you try to fix an article based on knowledge you KNOW to be true – you are told that “your opinion is not a valid source so we’re going to ignore it”.
Which sounds fair enough – they only want validated and checked information so that it is a good source of knowledge. But when the original article has no sources and no fact checking and is FULL of mistakes, what does that say about their fact checking then?
I swear there is a twenty line debate about whether the word “pope” should be capitalised or not.
When saying “Benedict was speaking as the pope” should it be “Benedict was speaking as the Pope”?
And possibly the single most famous example of this in recent times is the “Star Trek Into Darkness” debate. Somewhere between four and five THOUSAND words were used to debate whether Wikipedia should refer to it as “Star Trek into Darkness” or “Star Trek Into Darkness” based on Wikipedia style guides.
The fact that the film is called “Star Trek Into Darkness” by the production company doesn’t seem to matter. to the people on Wikipedia – they are the final arbiters of the title of the film, and will ignore anything that does not fit in to their world view.
The same can be said of Gone With The Wind – the book makes it clear that “With The” is captilized, but Wikipedia thinks it knows better and should be allowed to decide what the title of the film is regardless of what the original author wanted.
Firstly – would take the word of the originator of a work (book/film/play/etc) since they are the ones that created it and probably have the best idea.
Secondly – does it actually matter? If I see an article with a title “Gone With The Wind” am I going to think “Oh my god – what is that about?” No – of course I’m not. I’m going to think “That’s about the book or the movie or the musical or the stage play or whatever other format it is”. Which is the action of appending “film” or “book” or “tv show” is a very useful thing to do.
And if I see someone talking as “the pope” or “the Pope” am I going to wonder if Benedict had a second job as another type of Pope? Well, again, I am forced to say “of course not” because when you say Pope Benedict it is fairly obvious you are referring to the time Cardinal R was head of The Catholic Church. And when you are in an article that is entitled “POPE BENEDICT” then it becomes even more obvious.
I can not see a single purpose to “the style guide” other than to make Wikipedia seem more formal and more official.
And all it actually does it make them look more smug and full of themselves. “Look at us – we do it like this, aren’t we great?”
The amount of time people spend editing the tiniest of things (pope vs Pope, into vs Into) is truly amazing, and it doesn’t change the actual information – it just makes the people doing it look like twats.
Images and NIMTism
There is an article about Hen Nights. I looked it up trying to find out why it was called “A Hen Night” because – well because I wanted to know.
And in the “talk” section of the article there were a number of discussions about whether various photographs represented a “typical” hen night and whether or not the photographs were actually of hen nights, or if they were pictures of something else (and so not allowable under the rules).
Apparently the latest picture – a group of grown women in school girl uniforms – wasn’t acceptable because one poster didn’t think it was actually of a hen night.
(Clearly he hasn’t been to Blackpool during The Summer Season – or possible the summer season, depending on the style guide of Open Diary)
By the way – this photo was replaced with a picture of a woman dancing on a bar with a few other women watching her. And – again, based on the summer season in Blackpool – this happens in nearly every pub and nightclub in town whether there is a hen party on or not.
Meanwhile, there are other discussions about why “what people have seen on their hen nights” and “what people have seen” isn’t allowed, despite the fact it is fairly common in some places (L Plates for example. They are so common that when a guy at my last job said he was going to do this for a stag party, he got the piss taken out of him for six months afterwards).
It is – once again – an attempt to be better than it is, and to make it seem like it is an official source of knowledge, when all it is is a group of people putting information on the web for others to read.
In summary, I would say that Wikipedia once was good idea, but that it has become too big for itself and the people who edit it don’t seem to understand that they are just one more person posting their opinion on a subject they know something about. Instead, they seem to think they are imparting the WORD OF GOD and anyone who argues with them is not worth the treatment they would give to something they found on the sole of their shoe.
You have articles that have no citations that are full of mistakes, and yet when you say something is wrong they DEMAND a citation before changing it.
You have people arguing about “style” instead of caring about the substance of the article.
You have people saying “well – that’s not what happens in the USA so clearly we don’t want it in the article” or “That’s not what happens in my town so it must be wrong”
All in all, Wikipedia has become what everything that is done by committee eventually becomes – a huge ludicrous beast of a thing that spends more time arguing about minute details and irrelevant nonsense than actually making sure it is serving a purpose.
The people who edit it are more interested in defending their own articles than listening to anyone else’s opinion, and create a climate of – for want of a better phrase – fear for anyone wanting to make changes. Everything has to be discussed ad nauseum if a change is required, with objections coming because the original suggestion wasn’t phrased in the right way, or didn’t use the correct grammar.
Like I said – for looking up facts that I don’t really care if they are right or wrong, it is still quite a useful source. But for actual facts, I am going to start going to other sources and websites.
And I know – they might not be right, but on the whole, I would rather trust other sites run by random strangers who just want to get information out, rather than trusting a site run by random strangers who seem to want to get their names out.
So – according to almost every study done recently, zombie attacks are at an all time low. There were none last year, none the year before and – even though we are only two months in to 2013 – there have been none this year either.
And yet from recent surveys carried out around the country, people still fear a zombie invasion. They make plans, they practice drills and they stock up on canned goods and shot-guns.
There have been a number of studies done in to why this is the case – why people are so worried about a potential zombie apocalypse when clearly it is VERY unlikely that one is ever going to happen?
Most of the studies done in to this suggest that it is related to the various zombie movies that have been made have put the idea in to people’s heads that the potential for attack is more real than it actually is.
And nothing much can be done about this – once people get scared of an idea, it is unlikely they can be reasoned with rationally. Instead they will react with fear and with hate, and generally run to their right (politically speaking, not literally).
A few people are trying to combat this, but in the face of all this fear and irrational terror, it turns out that rational debate gets lost in the hyperbole, vitriol and biased reporting, and so people continue to be scared and act on their baser instincts, refusing to see the truth for what it is.
On an entirely unrelated note, The Tory Party, The BNP and UKIP are spending a fair amount of time telling people they should be scared of the level of immigration this country has.
Since Sep 2010, it has been on a downward trend – falling quite considerably.
So why are so many people still scared of high immigration figures?
I mean – it can’t be because immigration is going up, because that is clearly not true.
So that only leaves once source – politicians who are lying to us for their own ends.
Because if you can get people to act on their baser instincts, then they will run to their right. Which is where all the lies are currently coming from.
While I rarely do this, I should prefix this entry with two warnings :-
Firstly – there are good odds some of you will be offended by most of what I’m about to write. But, quite honestly, after all the bigoted hate-filled crap that has been spewing out of our seat of government today, the idea of offending a few people definitely has its merits.
Secondly – this might be somewhat ranty because I am pretty much writing this as I go, rather than thinking it through.
Here’s the thing – if you feel the need to prefix your comments with “I’m not a homophobe” or “I’m not a bigot” then I am sorry to break it to you, but there are very good odds you are actually both.
Parliament has been debating the legalisation of gay marriage today, and quite honestly – if I were a gay man sat at home listening to some of the comments spewing from the right side of the house, I would be utterly depressed, very angry and utterly disgusted with the way that “the upstanding members of Parliament” viewed me and the rest of the nation that shared my sexuality.
This is not an important matter
A fair number of MPs have said that this is not an important matter. That it is not a priority.
Now – imagine you had spent your entire life being spat on, bullied, beaten up and abused because you were gay. Imagine your entire life had been spent hiding your sexuality because you knew if you admitted the truth, your life would be pretty much over. Imagine if you had spent your entire life in fear because of who you loved.
And now – just imagine hearing someone tell you that your fight for equality “wasn’t important”. That your right to be treated equally “wasn’t something the House should concern itself with”.
MPs – people who are there to stand up for you – are telling you that you should just sit down and shut up. That they don’t think your right to be treated equally is as important as some other matters – such as voting on their own pay arrangements, or spending two hours yelling at each other about who is to blame for the state of the country, or deciding whether an as yet unborn child can become queen ahead of another as yet unborn child.
Yes – that’s right. Today we have had MPs saying that the future of the foetus currently growing inside on of the most privileged and pampered women in the country is more important than your right to be married to your life partner, just because you and your life partner are the same sex.
The MPs that are making this argument claim they are not homophobic, but I really don’t see any other explanation. If they think that the rights of a three month old foetus are more important than the rights of the thousands of gay couples across this country then the only explanation I can see is that they don’t think much of gay people.
Which, to me, makes them homophobes of the highest order.
It is against my religious beliefs
Well – bully for you. I am glad you have something to believe in so passionately that you are willing to say so in public.
But they are YOUR beliefs.
So why should YOUR beliefs be allowed to influence how they live THEIR lives? They aren’t going to enforce their lives on you. They aren’t going to make you marry someone of your own sex. They aren’t going to come and have marital relations in your bed without your permission. They aren’t going to force you to watch them go at it like rabbits on your lawn.
In short – nothing they do is going to affect you and your beliefs.
So – if you think YOUR beliefs are more important than the lives of someone else, then you must think you are more important, and they are less important. That their right to live their lives is less important than your right to think what you want.
In short – you think that their lives are less important and of less worth than you. Otherwise why would you feel the right to dictate how they should live?
And thinking that someone is less worthy than you just because they are gay? That kind of defines homophobia to me.
Marriage is defined as being between a man and a woman
Letting gay couples marry will destroy the institution of marriage
“Marriage is defined….”
By God? I’ve already explain the religious angle in all of this. And since the book was written by man, and translated by man a few dozen times before we get the version we have now – how can anyone be certain that the book that so many people are hell-bent on using to suppress the rights of thousands of people across the country is actually what God thinks? (Side note – I have seen five different translations of “The Bible” in to English. Which of these is “the word of god”? I would like someone to give me an answer to that, if you can).
By the state? The state used to define a lot of words differently.
Gay, for example, used to mean “happy” and now it means “homosexual”.
Tablet used to be something you took when you were sick, or a piece of stone, and now it is a type of computer.
Words change and evolve as society changes and evolves. Things change – if society never evolved, we would still be living in caves and hunting and gathering. (And – incidentally – not defining marriage as anything, because I am pretty sure the concept didn’t exist back then).
“Marriage is the commitment that a loving couple share and one they announce to the world as theirs”
“Marriage is the act of one person committing to another, and asking the world to share that commitment with them”
“Marriage is a state of union between two people who love each other very much and want that love to be recognised by their family, friends and society”
Three definitions of marriage that describe the situation we are in today, and – the gods be willing – we will be in tomorrow. The definition will not change, and it will not affect the straight people who are married now and who want to get married in the future.
But if you think that a gay couple getting married will alter what marriage is then you must think that their love and their commitment isn’t as true and as valuable as yours.
Which, to me, suggests that you don’t think gay couples can be as committed to each other as straight couples.
Or that you don’t think they are worthy enough to join your little club of married people.
And again – thinking that gay people are less worthy than you are, just because they are gay, smacks of homophobia.
Marriage is about having children, and gay couples can’t do that
This has been one of the more common arguments because – from a certain point of view – entirely unrelated to the gay rights issue. It is a matter of simple biology.
In addition, an MP in Parliament today quoted Article Sixteen of The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, saying that it categorically defined marriage as being between a man and a woman.
Well – Article Sixteen of The Universal Declaration of Human Rights says :-
(1) Men and women of full age, without any limitation due to race, nationality or religion, have the right to marry and to found a family. They are entitled to equal rights as to marriage, during marriage and at its dissolution.
(2) Marriage shall be entered into only with the free and full consent of the intending spouses.
(3) The family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the State.
Unless I am misreading this, I don’t think it actually specifies what a marriage is. It just says that men and women shall have the right to marry.
So – men have the right to marry, and women have the right to marry. But nowhere does it say they have to be married to each other.
In addition, setting aside the idea of test-tube babies, and surrogate mothers and sperm donors, and adoption – the statement is a lie.
Men and Women get married at the age of 60/70/80. They are clearly not going to have children, and yet there is no one in the government, no one in the country, who thinks that they should not be legally allowed to marry because they are not going to have children.
When a man and a woman plan to get married, the state does not go round to their house and demand whether they are going to have children or not. They don’t force them swear on the pains and penalties of perjury that they will have children. And if they refuse to swear this or, say that they won’t, their marriage isn’t prevented by law.
If a man and a woman find they can’t have children, their marriage is not automatically dissolved by the state because it is not going to lead to children.
So clearly marriage – as it exists now (I am watching the news and the vote has not yet been completed) – is not only about having children – it is not even a fundamental part of it. Otherwise why would we let people who can’t have kids marry and stay married?
So – since that is clearly not true, then anyone who uses that argument must have another agenda behind it. And since they are focusing on gay marriage, I can only assume that they just don’t think gay people should marry, and are finding any excuse to rationalise their view.
Which – as I might have mentioned before – is pretty much the definition of homophobia and bigotry.
I am a pretty smart guy, and fairly good at seeing the other side of the argument and seeing other points of view.
But after around ten, fifteen years of thinking about this, I can not find an argument against gay marriage that doesn’t basically break down to “we hate the gays and we don’t want them to have equal rights”.
Every single argument – “it’s not the right time”, “It’s against my beliefs”, “It changes the definition of marriage”, “If they let the gays marry then next they’ll be legalising sex with children and animals”, “We shouldn’t have to put up with this puffs forcing their beliefs on us” – comes down to the fact that the person making it doesn’t like gay people and just doesn’t want to admit it.
“If a couple love each other, the state should not stop them getting married unless there is a good reason. And in this day and age, being gay is not a good reason”
(Here’s the point where we traipse more into the part that is more offensive)
There is a fear that this bill will lead to Churches being forced to perform weddings against their beliefs, or that registrars will be punished
Quite honestly – I wish it would. If you are employed at a job then you should be required to do that job without fear or favour. I sometimes have to put up with people I think are utter tosspots and the scum of the earth, but I’m not allowed to refuse to deal with them just because I don’t want to deal with them – I would be sacked on the spot.
And by the same token, listening to some of my customers espousing the most horrifyingly racist and bigoted views I have ever heard in my life makes me want to smack them and to tell them to piss off and never come back. They offend my beliefs to my very core, and being exposed to them is quite honestly painful and sickening.
But they are customers paying me for a service, and I am not permitted to discriminate against someone just because their beliefs don’t match mine.
And so if you become a registrar and your duty is to marry people, then you should be required to marry anyone who comes before you unless there is a very good reason not to (“and in this day and age, being gay is not a good reason”). And if you refuse, you should be sacked.
And can you imagine the outcry there would be if a gay registrar refused to marry a straight couple because it was against his beliefs? The entirety of Middle England would be on the warpath and demand his head on a pike. And rightly so – if you are employed to do a job, you either do it, or you quit.
The Church is a slightly more grey area, but given that homosexuality has been decriminalised, legalised, had the age of consent lowered three times and been written in to law with civil partnerships – and despite all the The Church has not ceased to exist, I say that they should be forced to fall in to line with society, and not the other way round.
We either have the rule of law – defined by the democratically elected government – or we have a religious state ruled by the self-appointed and unelected moral guardians of the church.
Me? I want democracy. And anyone who wants their own exclusions from law just so they can be allowed to hate and discriminate to their hearts content should be told to go **** themselves up the arse. (And yes – that choice of phrasing was deliberate, given the topic at hand).
As I have been writing this, Parliament voted to pass the bill by 400 to 175. I do wonder about the other 75 – are they ashamed? Did they arrive late? Did they get lost? Do they have no real opinion on a topic that is apparently dividing the nation?
But on the bright side, it is a vast majority, which shows that while the right wing might still be a bunch of bigoted homophobic morons, there are at least enough decent human beings in Parliament to ensure the country moves ever forward to where it should have been twenty years ago.
The “I am not homophobic” bigots have been defeated once more – life is good.