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Sexual politics

Hit the Mohorovičić discontinuity…

… and keep on digging.

Well you do if you are the Daily Fail. This is a screen cap from their frontpage. You might find the juxtaposition of stories interesting…


Now the Mail has a bit of history on this. The “Femail” sidebar is almost entirely about female ‘slebs and who is looking fat or not looking fat, who has a great physique and who doesn’t yet much of the editorial on the left is tirades about all of this sort of thing causing eating disorders and rapes and all manner of horrors.

The Mail’s editorial team either has a sense of irony beyond me or is totally deranged. Possibly both.

Anyway I hope Rihanna paid 5p for her placky-bags. You know to keep George Monbiot happy and Mail readers masturbating enough to generate some form of renewable energy. Or something. God knows! I don’t.

False Data and the Moral Panic that Follows: A Threat to Liberty

From which today’s QOTD was taken. Debunks the trumped-up statistical survey on which one of the current campus-rape scandal-stories is based. (I assume that Miss LeFauve’s story eviscerating the reported “study,” which Mr. Morrissey cites and which is NOT TO BE MISSED, as it covers quite a bit more ground than Mr. Morrissey’s précis, is accurate. –Nowadays I feel obliged to include that as a standard caveat, since so much on all sides of various aisles turns out to be full of mouldy Swiss cheese or worse.)

False data and the moral panic that follows: a threat to liberty

posted at 2:41 pm on July 30, 2015 by Ed Morrissey

Let’s start this topic with the latest in a long series of debunked claims resulting from studies that are later discovered to be either incompetently conducted or flat-out fraud. Reason’s Linda LeFauve dismantles one of the key bases for the supposed epidemic of “rape culture” on college campuses, a study published in 2002 by University of Massachusetts-Boston professor David Lisak. This study, LeFauve notes, has informed current White House policies on Title IX enforcement [pdf] as well as documentaries and books on the subject of college rape. It had at least an indirect impact on Rolling Stone’s debunked UVA campus rape hoax from last December.

It’s also based on shoddy research and deception [pdf, Lisak, "Statement to U.S. Civil Rights Commission...] , as LeFauve discovered when researching the study. Despite claiming to have conducted the research himself, Lisak actually derived it from student theses on another topic entirely — adult survivors of child abuse, using non-random samples mainly consisting of UMB employees and non-resident students:….

“Read the Whole Thing.” Oh, and here are the first two paragraphs of Miss LeFauve’s article “Campus Rape Expert Can’t Answer Basic Questions About His Sources”:

David Lisak’s serial predator theory of campus rape has made him a celebrity. Once a virtually unknown associate professor at the University of Massachusetts-Boston, his work is now cited by White House officials and reporters for major newspapers.

His influence is evident in the recent documentary The Hunting Ground, and the producers continue to promote his work along with their film. In Jon Krakauer’s new book, Missoula, about sexual assault at the University of Montana, Lisak’s name appears more than 100 times.

…. [SNIP]

The icing on the gay wedding cake

Bake My Damned Cake

I was born 56 days after homosexuality was legalised in the UK for consenting men over the age of 21 behind the privacy of closed doors, but while growing up, was painfully aware that although being gay might be legal, it was barely tolerated by much of society.

Those of my friends that were “outed” (mostly after being caught in flagrante delicto), faced such a difficult time that they left home soon after, mostly for the more liberal city lights of London or Manchester.

I don’t recall ANY of the experiences being positive with shame, paternal anger and maternal disappointment being commonplace.

Then there was AIDS, so basically, not only were gays barely tolerated in law, they were also demonised by the intolerance of the reactionary right as not only sodomites, but corrupters of youth and spreaders of disease.

The British Social Attitudes Survey of 1987 showed that 75% of people considered homosexuality “mostly or always wrong” and only 11% of people considered homosexuality “not wrong at all” (a 6% decrease since 1983)

Into this heady mix, the Tory government under St. Margaret of Thatcher introduced Section 28 of the Local Government Act 1988, stating that a local authority “shall not intentionally promote homosexuality or publish material with the intention of promoting homosexuality” or “promote the teaching in any maintained school of the acceptability of homosexuality as a pretended family relationship”.

The effect of this was to close down a lot of very small scale LGBT support groups run mostly by 10 Inner London Councils and make councillors and council staff very wary about formal dealings with the LGBT community.

The law itself was never used, but it set a moralistic tone that made it clear that although legally tolerated, homosexuality was to be disapproved of.

Under the circumstances you can see why I preferred to remain so far in the closet that I could see Narnia. :-)

The point of all of this is that it created an atmosphere in which homosexuals felt they were being persecuted and were forced to take action before yet more draconian legislation was enacted, thus gay rights and gay pride gradually became a thing and the pendulum began to swing the other way.

The problem is that it has gone too far.

Lets look at civil partnerships and “gay marriage” for example.

The original argument for civil partnerships was that married heterosexuals had benefits and legal protections that homosexual couples could not obtain (inheritance was a big issue) and civil partnerships were created to deal with that apparent ‘injustice’.

Personally I would have thought changing tax and inheritance laws to be neutral on the matter would have been preferable, or better still, the government getting out of the marriage business altogether, but that’s probably why I’m in IT rather than a constituency MP.

The fact that civil partnerships were purely for homosexual couples and marriage was purely for heterosexual couples just exaggerated the differences, especially since liberal faiths such as the Quakers were open to the idea of “marrying” homosexual couples, but were barred in law from doing so.

So to achieve the goal of enabling gay marriage the politicians have created a bunch of new laws and alternately alienated the religious right and the gay left.

Then we have the whole “gay cake” fiasco which gradually drags its way through the courts and will probably end up in the UK Supreme Court before too long. Although I sympathize with those suffering genuine discrimination a refusal to make a cake with a politicised message on it isn’t discrimination, at most it is the right of a business to refuse service.

The case shares similarities with the Christian B&B owners Peter and Hazelmary Bull who were happy to have a gay couple as guests, but not to share the same room. While their views might be outdated and moralistic, I have no problem with them holding and expressing them. I wouldn’t use their B&B though either and people refusing them custom because of their views is a far more powerful and appropriate sanction than going to court.

The pendulum of public opinion has swung in favour of homosexuals being given equal treatment, but they are still only a minority of 1-to-3% of the population and if LGBT activists persist in silencing dissenters and using legislation to force those who do not share their viewpoint to propagandise it then the pendulum of public opinion will swing against them once more.

Maurice Mcleod

 This is discrimination…(against Paddy, Winston and Saffie)

Bert and Ernie Gay Cake

Refusing to produce this cake was not discrimination…


Redefining Diversity

Goldsmiths University London

[TRIGGER WARNING: The following blog post contains irony and may be triggering for special little snowflakes]

A student group has been accused of sexism and racism for banning all men and white people from attending an equality event.

Goldsmiths University student union have been slammed after refusing to allow anybody that isn’t a non-white female from attending the event – organised to protest against inequality and celebrate racial unity.

White people and men told ‘please don’t come’ to student protest against inequality

Just when I thought the legions of Social Justice Warriors (aka SJW’s) couldn’t get any worse, they keep proving me wrong. It’s a bit like the old adage, “If you make something idiot proof, god will just make a better idiot”.


Othello Syndrome.

No, I hadn’t heard of it either. I had all the right A-levels at the right grades to do medicine but I thought physics because I thought I’d rather have a star named for me than a disease. Ho hum! Anyhows do you want a glance at love’s young dream. They are purely belter. They make Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie look a bit shop-worn. Get your Nikes on for you shall need them…


… but not yet…

A little background first from the Mail

Britain’s most jealous woman to have gastric band surgery on the NHS so husband won’t stray (but he’s still not allowed to watch women on TV) Debbi Wood, 43, is paranoid her husband Steve, 32, will be unfaithful to her
She makes him take lie detector tests and checks his phone and e-mails
She even banned him from watching TV shows featuring women he fancies
Mother-of-two is 21st and wants to lose 10st but cannot afford the surgery
She says she eats a balanced diet and has not had a Big Mac for five years
Size 24 [UK size - different in the US] Mrs Wood has Othello Syndrome which causes delusional jealousy

She even put kiddy filters on his laptop. She lost it because he saw an advert for women’s razors because she thought he was ogling the model’s legs. Can’t blame him. I don’t have a lens suitable to photograph hers – and photography is a particular hobby of mine. Nobody filters my ‘net. I have moves on that score. Theresa May but I don’t. There are ways and means. Anyway if the bird in question (not our own dear Home Sec) is a sea-monster (and she is – call me Ishmael and all that) he is a wet haddock flopping around the dock at Grimsby. Dear Gods she seems obsessed with the possibility he fancies Anne Robinson! I’d consider homosexuality before drawing that card from the bottom of the deck. I quite fancy Cate Blanchett but my wife understands I have a crush on the Lady of Lothlorien. It isn’t an issue (she fancies her too). But Anne Robinson. Dear Sweet Jesus of Nazareth! No, I don’t fancy him either. He spends very little time in North East Cheshire – it would never work out.

Well, she may not have had a Big Mac for five years but she still looks like things I last saw in the Tennessee State Aquarium (well worth a trip BTW – if you like fish but I do – so elegant, so tasty). She looks like she was conceived a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away and sired by Jabba the Pizza Hutt. To her sea-monster we have his wet fish. I’d best show you the next A-list couple…

…Be afraid… very afraid.


I assume that is them on their wedding day. Now, don’t get me wrong. Ugly people can bump their uglies (and he might be hung like a Grand National Winner) but he’s a got less substance than a string of cat-piss and she looks like Grendel’s Ma.

Now I have gone with the comedy here. I couldn’t help myself (clearly I am not alone on that score) but there are serious points here. What is love? Is a gastric band really the answer? I suspect her head is a bigger issue than her belly. As I said at the kick-off I’d never heard of Othello Syndrome. So is she paranoid (and he ain’t exactly the catch of the day) because she’s obese or she’s obese because she’s bonkers in the nut? Who knows? Now… I have had a number of relationships myself and have of course known many other people who had them but I can’t see how any sexual relationship can survive at all with that total lack of trust.

Is it perhaps just me but is this bizarre relationship almost a reality TV stunt. I don’t mean “put-up” by the TV but that two deeply unattractive characters (and I’m not just talking the physicalities here) see it as the only game in town? I mean if you have no skills, talent, physical attractiveness, anything really you just debase yourself. Andy Warhol got it wrong. Oh, he was (as ever) sort of on the money but 15 minutes was way too generous.

I have to add that The Mail article despite it’s stuff about Othello syndrome (neatly illustrated by a picture of Lenny Henry) leaves out Iago. Is there an Iago in Leicester. We need to know!

It ain’t just Islam…

This is arguably one of the more bizarre stories I have read. Ever.

A small Jewish ultra-Orthodox newspaper in Israel has found itself in the spotlight after digitally removing Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel from a photo of this week’s Paris march.

World leaders had linked arms to march in Paris against terrorism after Islamic extremists killed 17 people. At the march, Merkel stood in the front row between the French president, François Hollande, and Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas.

But readers of the Hamevaser newspaper’s Monday edition didn’t know, as she had been digitally removed, leaving Abbas standing next to Hollande. Israeli media joked it was meant to bring Abbas closer to Israeli premier Binyamin Netanyahu, who was standing nearby.

And why? Why? because of XX-phobia. Seriously. They also took-out the EU foreign affairs supremo and the Mayor of Paris.

Within the insular ultra-Orthodox community, pictures of women are rarely shown, due to modesty concerns. In Jerusalem, ultra-Orthodox vandals frequently deface buses and billboards with advertising deemed to be immodest.

Now if Chancellor Merkel had been strutting her stuff in a sling-shot bikini and heels and nowt else then OK but this is the original photo…

Now I’m no fashionista but that is a modestly dressed woman. And she is also the German Chancellor so she ought to be there. God knows what Abbas was doing there but France and Germany are best buddies these days (thanks for small mercis – I mean we don’t want to go through all of that yet again).

Binyamin Lipkin, editor of Hamevaser, said the newspaper is a family publication that must be suitable for all audiences, including young children.

“The eight-year-old can’t see what I don’t want him to see,” he told Israel’s Channel 10 television station. “True, a picture of Angela Merkel should not ruin the child, but if I draw a line, I have to put it there from the bottom all the way to the top.”

He also said he did not want to tarnish the memories of the people killed in the attacks.

“Including a picture of a woman into something so sacred, as far as we are concerned, it can desecrate the memory of the martyrs and not the other way around,” he said.

I am lost. There is no way anyone could take that image as sexually provocative (I assume that was this loon’s point). I mean it ain’t Miley Cyrus. And in terms of the “family paper” schtick don’t families tend to have female members? Call me old-fashioned but I female relatives. I don’t think that unusual. And what the flying hellskis is the desecration stuff about? These people weren’t martyrs. They were just unlucky by and large. Could have been me, could have been you. This site has republished the Motoons of Doom. And in what way Chancellor Merkel takes away from the loss is beyond me. Also one of the dead was a female French cop. If anyone was a martyr she was dying in the line and all.

But this is only sort of about sexism. I mean it is but there is more. The massacre was about freedom of the press and an Israeli paper chooses to Photoshop inconvenient truths like the sex of the German Chancellor out. OK, fine print what you want but don’t doctor photos and then go on about martyrs for press freedom.

Or is it just plain sexism and they object to a female heading a major nation? Is it that simple? Get over it. We did with Maggie when I was a little kid.

What century are these folk in? I mean really? Moshe Dayan fought for this?

PS. And as someone from a culturally Christian background the idea that an image of a woman is a desecration is just weird.

Time for an honest debate about rape statistics

UVA Rape Protests

I’m sure we’ve all heard about the bogus statistics touted by Radical Feminists about 1-in-5 college students being raped and thought “That’s bullshit”, but as good rationalists, who prefer to make their arguments based upon evidence, didn’t have up-to-date data on which to reject the Rad Fem narrative.

Well – the US Department of Justice have recently published updated data and even with the distortions of modern rape reporting basically says “That’s bullshit”.

new report on sexual assault released today by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) officially puts to bed the bogus statistic that one in five women on college campuses are victims of sexual assault. In fact, non-students are 25 percent more likely to be victims of sexual assault than students, according to the data. And the real number of assault victims is several orders of magnitude lower than one-in-five.

The full study, which was published by the Bureau of Justice Statistics, a division within DOJ, found that rather than one in five female college students becoming victims of sexual assault, the actual rate is 6.1 per 1,000 students, or 0.61 percent (instead of 1-in-5, the real number is 0.03-in-5). For non-students, the rate of sexual assault is 7.6 per 1,000 people.

College Students Are Actually Less Likely To Be Victimized

Actual rape is a terrible crime which I condemn utterly, but the divisive way that Rad Fem’s are using rape to push their false narrative of rape culture is quite literally tearing Western society apart, to such an extent that even when actual rapes occur and a woman’s life is destroyed, a growing portion of the male population is increasingly suspicious, due to the “Cry Wolf” problem.

College reactions to criticism and political interference from the Obama Whitehouse are only exacerbating matters, specifically when you have “targets for dealing with on campus rape” and it is already in reality as rare as hens teeth, you inevitably end up creating a McCarthyist environment in which all males are treated with suspicion and College Kangaroo Courts hold inquiries which would put Stalin to shame.

If this continues, then we will see US Colleges, which are already overwhelmingly female,  become virtual deserts of male presence, some of which is exacerbated by the ever increasing costs of a US university education and the fact that there are far more programs and scholarships available to women and especially minority women than there are men.

Is this how the US finally goes into decline, because of a false narrative proposed by people like Anita Sarkeesian and supported by the Obama Whitehouse? Will the 2020′s return segregation to the US in the form of mandated male and female colleges?

I certainly hope not.

The DOJ Report in Full

The Economics of Sex

The Economics of Sex

One of the advantages of giving up being spoon-fed whatever the mainstream media outlets choose to pass off as “News” is that I end up following some pretty obscure links about things which affect both our global economy and society as a whole.

One such traipse across the web led me to an institution I had never heard of before, the Austin Institute for the Study of Family and Culture and a video by them entitled “The Economics of Sex” (and no, before you ask it has nothing to do with prostitution), which argues that the decline in marriage rates across the world are not about changing morals, Big Government, radical feminism or any of the usual bugbears which are identified as being responsible for the decline of marriage as an institution, but just the consequences of basic economics in the form of supply-and-demand.

One aspect of the attached video I do object to is the perpetuation of the usual lies about DDT, feel free to skip over that part.

Addendum – For those who wish to point out that the Austin Institute for the study of family and culture is a nest of Marxists or alternately a front for the CIA – I don’t care. The message is fairly simple and aligns with my non-Keynesian view of economics, so I am giving it the “John Galt stamp of approval”.

Fruity Girls

Today the A-level results came out. I never knew they were friends of Dorothy. Anyway the Daily Mail celebrates with this…

That is better than their earlier piccie which showed no lads at all. It would appear only sexually attractive girls pass the exams. I had to wear a wig (itched like Hell) and shave my legs (itched like Hell) but I got four A-levels.

And it isn’t just the Daily Mail. They all do it. The BBC do it, the Telegraph does it, even The Guardian does it. As to educated fleas… Who knows or indeed cares?

One hundred years from now my scholastic achievement shall be forgotten and it will be concluded by historians that in the late C20th-early C21st only sexually attractive women won this (by then) obscure qualification and that on the basis of four of ‘em in a row jumping in unison. For they shall have access to the digital archives that clearly show that only A-levels were only for fruity girls.

Debt Bondage and Slavery – 21st Century style


Ariel Schochet, who has served eight stints behind bars in Bergen County [New Jersey], the so-called deadbeat dad roundups trap the men in a system they are never able to climb out of. “We aren’t supposed to have debtor’s prisons in this country anymore, but that’s essentially what this has turned into,” said Schochet, who built up a $278,000 debt to his ex-wife after losing his job on Wall Street.

Inside the world of ‘deadbeat dads’ in Northern New Jersey

Charles Dickens wrote extensively about debtors prisons, having been through this tribulation as a child during his fathers imprisonment for debt in Marshalsea prison in 1824, but even during his lifetime the closure of debtors prisons and the introduction of less punitive bankruptcy and insolvency proceedings appeared to turn the tide back, but it is a tide that has ebbed and flowed both ways over the centuries.

This was nowhere more true than in the United States where bankruptcy laws were enacted in 1800, repealed in 1803, enacted again in 1841, repealed again in 1843, enacted yet again in 1867 and repealed yet again in 1878 – thus the current laws may just be an extraordinarily long hiatus between repeals.



Rolf Harris

Rolf Harris was a massive part of my youth. It would appear now that he was a massive part of other kids youth too – and not in a good way. I mean I always thought Saville was a sleazy sod but Rolf! Rolf was Aussie gold.

I use to watch his show “Cartoon Club” as a kid and as 19 year-old he headlined the end of year party at Nottingham University. He was great. He got bigger cheers than Dannii Minogue who was the second on the list. I was right at the front and she certainly was “well fit” in the live. I guess she was maybe (even then) too old for Rolf’s tastes and Kylie would have clobbered him with a knotty prop – always struck even from her days in Neighbours as a feisty one our Kylie.

So I saw Rolf with his wobble board and doing Jake The Peg, painted an Outback scene and did a few songs and told a few jokes. The consummate light entertainer – especially after a few tinnies of Fosters – yes there was a reason the evening had an Australian theme.

I just don’t get it. If you are a successful, wealthy, entertainer you can actually get a consensual sexual relationship with an attractive adult. So why all this nasty, grubby stuff? Is it to quote Wilde, “Dining with Panthers” or is it just egomania or what?

Rolf, you let a generation down. You let me down. Now you are going down.

Two Spoons and a Rusty Farming Implement…

Is this Britain’s most feckless father? Meet unemployed Peter Rolfe who has had 26 children by 15 women and says ‘it’s just unfortunate so many of them have fallen pregnant’

Apparently he has cost the UK GBP500,000 over the last 20 years in bennies. Well, I guess he has to buy a birthday present at least once a fortnight.

Now, as a married man with an A-level A-grade in biology women do not “fall pregnant”. It takes two to tango so to speak. Or 1+15 (15!) in his case. Let us have a look at this veritable Adonis of the Isle of Wight…

He’s not exactly George Clooney is he? They must be gagging for it in the Solent!

The Mail story quotes heavily from an up-coming (no pun intended) C5 doc about “Benefits Britain”. Now obviously they take the outliers (and outright liars) but is this really about bennies? There is something sicker underlying this. Now I am socially liberal but you can take something so far and this is taking the piss and vinegar. The total lack of any form of sexual morality or taking any responsibility for personal actions is shocking. Having sex with someone is an active choice. It is about agency and without agency we are mere flesh robots chained to our baser urges. Now I’m not saying this geezer who looks like the sort of department store Santa you wouldn’t let your kid near shouldn’t have an active sex-life but… in an age of cheap, widely available and reliable contraception… Anyway, he’s objecting to having a four bedroom house off the council and claiming he needs six bedrooms to house his… er… tribe. My wife and I live in a two bed house. She uses the second bedroom as an office. We also have a cat who sleeps where he pleases because he is a cat. Hell’s Teeth he’s neutered. Can we claim? I don’t want kids (never have), my wife is ditto and Timmy lacks the mandatory equipment. Nah! course not. But if the Isle of White Council wants to bung me expenses for a trip South then I’m up (never been around there). I can furnish my own two spoons and indeed the rusty farming implement. Plenty of them around here. We even have mole traps and they are technically on dodgy ground legally I think. Vicious things. Well capable of preventing #27. Or moles, obviously.

The “Victimology” lens

Nigel Evans

As lurid details spilled out about the MP’s struggles with alcohol and his sexuality, his accusers – five of whom were friends – played down the incidents to the point of levity. “It was like we were out one night and the shadow secretary of state for Wales put his hand down my trousers. Crazy, crazy Westminster. It seemed so funny,” said the first alleged victim.

How the case against Nigel Evans fell apart

Speaking as a representative of Team Pink, I’ve never tried this particular approach on anyone, no matter how drunk I might have been, because I’ve found that a punch in the face often offends.

If every rugby club prank or drunken fumble of the sexually curious was to be brought to trial then the courts would be overflowing.

I think the men reluctantly dragged into this by the Palace of Westminster Police, who categorically refused to be victims and said so on the stand were quite correct, but their refusal to be victims undermined the main allegation of rape and made both the police and CPS appear foolish – correctly and understandably in my view, although not in the view of the execrable Alison Saunders, Head of the UK’s Crown Prosecution Service.

Alison Saunders: CPS ‘was right to take Evans case to court’

Time for this rape hysteria to be brought to an end as it undermines the genuine cases. The fact that these matters were escalated from bar room gossip to sexual assault charges by Sarah Wollaston MP (a “GP with 20 years’ experience including a spell working as a police forensic examiner where she dealt with victims of sexual and domestic violence”) does not surprise me. If, like Wollaston you go around viewing every aspect of life through a lens of “victimology” then you will find victims everywhere you look.

This is not to suggest that the rape charge against Evans should have been ignored, but by bundling it along with these other spurious and largely inconsequential events, presumably to establish Evans as a sexual predator in the years prior to the rape allegation then the CPS and police have undermined their case rather than enhanced it.

After all, juries live in the real world rather than that defined by the “Rape Culture” viewpoint of Alison Saunders.

Was it worth it?

We go to war for reasons. For resources, for land, for the hell of it. Sometimes for the very survival of civilization.

The last is the only one I fully back. Now Saddam was vile bastard beyond all possible redemption. Am I sad that he isn’t walking this goodly Earth? No. But…

Iraq (twinned with Iran and Irate) is planning to allow 8 year old girls to get married and also to abolish marital rape.

Nigh on 5000 US personnel have died* for the great task of enabling the freedom of preverts in Iraq to shag girls who haven’t had their first menstrual period. Eight year old girls want to play with dollies** and Lego and stuff. In my country (and the US and all the others) if you have sex with an eight year old girl you go to jail. You get put in the Sir Jimmy Saville Memorial Wing for a very long time. Rightly so.

Now don’t get me wrong. I am not a pacifist. If my land was under threat you’d have to drag me kicking and screaming from the seat of a Typhoon fighter. And, well everywhere I go I visit war memorials. I know my family members have killed and died so basically I can mooch around Europe without a rifle and bayonet. Now that was an appalling cost but it achieved something worthwhile. The legalisation of rape and kiddie-fiddling is not such a cause. It is not one for me or any right thinking person to get their boots on for.

And what right-minded person wants to have sex with a girl that age anyway? Utter sick bastards. They require treatment. I prescribe two spoons and a rusty farming implement. I mean if you don’t and can’t regard the man or woman you have sex with as an equal with absolute agency then what is the point?

We have enabled utter barbarism at the cost of billions of dollars and thousands of lives either wiped out or maimed.

Or to misquote from the end speech at the end of the movie “300″, “We haven’t – at enormous financial, material and human cost singularly failed to ‘rescue a World from mysticism and tyranny’”.

*And a load of Brits and others and God knows how many wounded. And I have recently been watching Prince Harry taking a team of wounded soldiers across the Antarctic. Good on the fella but the wounds are tragic. On folks so young. It is heartbreaking.

**There is a very specific reason I mention this. Aisha was 8 when married to the middle-aged Muhammed.

The Egg Dance

I’ve recently got back from Amsterdam. Now I suppose it is moderately unusual to collapse into giggles in the Rijksmuseum’s section on Dutch 12th-17th Century art but I managed it. This is a detail from the picture that made me laugh…

That is a detail from The Egg Dance by Pieter Aertsen.

What made me laugh though was the caption next to it…

At right, in this brothel, a young man does an egg dance to the music of a bagpiper. While dancing, he had to roll an egg within a chalk circle – without it breaking – and to cover it with a wooden bowl. This ‘pointless’ amusement, along with the dissolute behaviour of the other figures, served as a moral warning against debauchery.

Emphasis mine. I just loved the phrase “This ‘pointless’ amusement”. Sums up life really. Less, seriously though, this was painted in 1552 and I guess you had to make your own amusement back then. The Rijksmuseum does also boast a large collection of impedimenta for drinking games. An inventive (if drunken) lot those renaissance Dutch.

In fact it stuck in my mind so much that upon my return I googled (I think the term is so ubiquitous as to have lost the capital like “hoover” has) the picture. I found this.

Now one of the first things I wondered was why the Rijksmuseum was so sure it was a brothel. To me (and my wife) it just looked like a fairly chaotic party in a home…

At the back of the room an old man is playing the bagpipes. Because of its shape, the instrument often symbolised the male genitalia. In the window is a jug containing a leek, a vegetable of the onion family. A sixteenth-century viewer would immediately have realised that the scene was a room in a brothel. Onions were supposed to be a stimulant. All around lie onion flowers, leek leaves and mussels, which were supposed to have the same quality. It was also thought to be true of eggs, the theme of the painting.

OK, the bagpipes I kinda got already. That’s a bit of a classic (cf Hieronymous Bosch)…

… Or indeed this. It is amazing how, across culture, time and geography, symbolism can be both steady yet sometimes obscure like the leek. Though that might explain the perennial appeal of Sir Tom Jones (or why, as I type, the Welsh are giving the Scots a hammering at the Rugby). This evening I shall be in the peculiar situation of cheering on France). Anyway back to my point.

From the same source (I almost hit “sauce” – hmm…)…

Pieter Aertsen has given this piquant scene a moral message that appears to reflect his own moral reservations. A joker is depicted on one of the wooden boards on the table, left, and on the other a goat jumping. These are cards in a Tarot set. In the sixteenth century everyone would have understood that these symbolised drunkenness and lust. The reel above the fireplace on the right is a sign of folly: in fact ‘reeling’ is still used today to describe a person swaying or staggering from the effects of alcohol.

The Egg Dance is one of the earliest paintings of a peasant scene. The elongated form suggests it was designed to be hung above a fireplace. This kind of genre painting was popular among the burghers of the cities. The moralistic message was often an excuse to paint a piquant scene. Aertsen was also commissioned to paint large religious works for churches. However, many of these were destroyed during the Iconoclast fury.

Emphasis mine. There is something almost reassuring about the continuity of this moral hypocrisy. We see it in modern times with the Islamosphere and the idea that a normally dressed woman is a hussy. And elsewhere.

“…the American girl is well acquainted with her body’s seductive capacity. She knows it lies in the face, and in expressive eyes, and thirsty lips. She knows seductiveness lies in the round breasts, the full buttocks, and in the shapely thighs, sleek legs” and she shows all this and does not hide it.”

- Sayyid Qutb (founder of the Muslim Brotherhood who are currently sexually assaulting “inappropriately hijabed” women and girls in Egypt” describing a Methodist tea-dance in Colorado in 1950.

Qutb apparently died a virgin having failed to find a woman “pure” enough for him. It would be farcical but for the Hell that has followed in his wake.

Or what about the most sanctimonious of businesses – the Co-op and it’s “Crystal Methodist”? The Co-op sells “ethical water” (whatever that might be) and it’s ordained Methodist preacher bank boss was using crystal meth, crack cocaine, ketamine and rent boys. Oh, and the bank had a “black hole” of over GBP1.5bn.

My favouritist newspaper in all the World is of course the Daily Mail which routinely in it’s “News” section includes scare stories about the sexualization of girls and women being driven into eating disorders by being “forced” by the media into looking like models and starlets right next to the “Femail” column (how cute) which is supposed to be about women’s issues (yeah, right). It includes stuff like this all the time.

So, to tie this all together… I’m not sure how but in some sense (and there are different variations but the basic tune is always the same) “elites”* of all descriptions will always find some sort of justification to indulge in the sins they would deny the plebs or… Well, something along those lines. Qutb is an outlier but there is still the same infernal moral arrogance of “I can see this for I am pure but you can’t”. It is the same as the burghers of Amsterdam all those years ago titillating themselves whilst feeling (or pretending to feel) morally superior to the lower orders.

Apparently there are things in the dungeon of the British Library that are so vile they can only be accessed in the presence of a couple of trustees of the British Library and the Archbishop of Canterbury.

I bet Prince Philip has had a gleg…

*A term in political discourse I hate because when I was a lad “elite” meant the SAS and such. And not just gits.

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