Tuesday, 7 February 2006

Sex n' Drugs & Rock n' Roll

So the line "Let's spend the night together" sung by a Geriatric rubber-lipped Knight is a bit racy for prime-time America. Public toplessness is frowned upon, nipples are pixellated out in reality TV, as are offensive hand signals, and bad words. So the public face is of "conservative family values" (sex is sinful and you'll burn in hell). Meanwhile this* is a protected first amendment right. That's why we had the good sence to expel the joyless puritan arse-holes Americans call the Pilgrim Fathers, restore our rightful king, have a beer and get laid.

The more repressive society is: churchy outraged parents waving placards protesting about stuff they don't understand and won't find out about; neighbourhood watches; police moving bums along**; the worse the excess is when it eventually squeezes out. Liberal film makers are right about the crushing conformity of suburbia. It takes moral outrage to generate hypocrisy and in private, man's darkest desires are unchecked.

The absolute obverse is The Netherlands. "Hi, my name is Jan. I'm going home for some soft drugs and Hard sex with my gay lover and my wife and her girlfriend" would not raise an eyebrow, let alone a hackle. This conceals a coservative society, where most of the metrics like teenage pregnancy, divorce and drug abuse (different from use) are better than any other similarly wealthy society.

This is because the Dutch understand tolerance on a deep level. "Hey man, so long as it doesn't hurt anyone... why not? Pass the spliff." Americans fight for their beliefs and too many want to impose theirs on others. When this is Conservative Christians trying to save the Nation's soul or Liberal loons comparing Bush to Hitler, this muddies the water of debate. Drugs are bad for you, so you try to stop everyone from taking them. All users are addicts and reality is the loser. God's word is your truth and before you know it you're teaching creationism in Biology class. "Abortion is a right", fundamentalism fights "right to life" fundamentalism in a battle where neither side maintains any perspective. This damages all concerned, especially american science, with stem cell research on the cutting edge of medicine.

The trick in domestic policy is to NOT CARE ABOUT WHAT DOESN'T AFFECT YOU, and for the Government to be concerned with less. And that goes directly to everyone, not just politicains. Work out what works, not what you think is moraly acceptable. Who actually cares if people take drugs. The problem is AIDS from shared needles and theft to fund habits, not from people getting high. Why do people care about marriages other than their own? Why does the government prevent me buying a pint of beer at 10 past 11?

What people eat, what Gods they bow to, what or whether they smoke, who they sleep with, when they drink, what they watch on TV. These are not functions of Government. Nor are they the function of your neighbours. Look to your own soul, have fun with your friends. Be considerate to others and ignore what you disapprove of, or try to persuade them as free agents and adults if you can't. Please don't spoil everyone's fun by agitating for legislation, because some day someone might ban your hobby.

*P45 warning... Link not to be followed on a work PC.
**think Rambo, First Blood


John East said...

Reading a post like this it is so mind numbingly obvious that you are spot on. So why are we being increasingly assaulted by legislation to control behaviour that harms no one but ourselves.

Let me suggest some reasons.

1. If 99% of the population are quietly content and 1% are creating merry hell then the government will often give in to the 1% for a quite life.

2. Ministers have to do things to expand their influence, gain promotion or simply to keep their jobs. In most cases they don't care what it is that they do. A bit of oppressive legislation, anyone? No problem.

3. There is no shortage of people who need to control, boss around or bully others. It's in their make up. Such personalities often end up in town halls and parliament.

I'm sure with a bit more thought we could come up with a lot more reasons like fear and financial gain. When you think about it, what's really remarkable is that we still have any freedoms at all.

Momentary Academic said...

Yes, yes. The U.S. is fucked up. What's new?

Raw Carrot said...

It saddens me that in the C21st most British politicians have either not read any Mill... or else decided that they know best.

Jackart said...

John, Welcome to AVBD. I couldn't agree more.
MA. So's the UK
RC. Some (the Deputy Prime minister) can barely read let alone read "Utilitarinanism" which I'm afraid ranks as the most unreadable book since "One to One Million, in words" proved a total flop.

Washington Cube said...

Yeah? Well...the Dutch wear trees on their feet.

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