Tuesday, January 23, 2007

The Mooo! vies

So it seems my resolutions are as houses made from straw. Not very durable. But perhaps, I was trying to force myself too much. 500 words a day? What was I thinking?

In any case, my current lifestyle (almost all work and little play) is unsatisfactory and I have decided that I should be socializing more.

One of the things that I have thought of to improve the quality of my social life is to spend more time with my friends. To achieve this I will be holding bi-weekly dvd screenings on Saturdays.

The first such evening will be held on February 3rd 2007.

How it will work is that I will bring a collection of DVD disks and anyone else is also encouraged to bring one or more DVD’s with them (if they choose to do so)

I will then randomly select two of the DVDs to provide the evenings entertainment. I will also be making the snacks (I enjoy cooking).

All that the guests really need to bring are themselves, which of course does not prevent them from bringing whatever they desire to assist in the festivities.

The theme for this initial evening is “Dystopia” and the films that I will bring are the following (BTW I have watched none of these films yet)

  • Metropolis
  • Brazil
  • Soylent Green
  • Fahrenheit451
  • 1984
  • The Lathe of Heaven
So if you know who I am and where my office is, feel free to drop by. It starts at 17:00 for 17:30 and we will be watching two DVDs

Daily Tally
Weight = +- 95kg (woot!!)
M = 2

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Genocide? Genocide? Are you on prescribed substances for mind alteration?

This is what comes from coddling an idiot as health minister. Complete and utter fucking idiocy.

Now some of you may not know who Zackie Achmat is. According to the person who filed the claim he is a person who should suffer

“permanent confinement in a small white steel and concrete cage, bright fluorescent light on all the time to keep an eye on him”

Shades of Joe Padilla. What could Zackie have possibly done to deserve that?

killing thousands of people in South Africa - mostly black and mostly poor.”

How could he do such a thing? Killing thousands of people must take quite some time? I know I struggle to fit it into my calendar to wipe out small African towns. It is hard work.

But wait, he relies on weapons of mass destruction! Someone call Bush, the WMDs have been found! Hallelujah.

“direct criminal role in the deaths of thousands of South Africans from poisoning”

Okay, time to find out what the poison is…“so called antiretroviral drugs”


Now it doesn’t take a rocket science to realise that medicines, being as they are chemicals introduced into the body to have an effect can be toxic. Read the warning label on headache pills. Those things have the potential to be dangerous.

And antiretrovirals are toxic everything is, even water if taken in toxic doses. essentially what happens when they are taken in incorrect dosages.

But when you have a health minister who does not believe in the disease that is killing around a thousand citizens a day this is what you get. Muppets on the March!

Sadly, So!

Daily Tally
Weight = 100kg
M = 1

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

How to control and influence people for fun and profit AKA Religion 101

It is often joked that the two oldest professions in the world is that of the prostituted and priest. In reality the oldest profession would most likely be hunter-gatherer. But why let reality spoil a joke, I mean Bush never has.

However the two above mentioned professions are both startlingly alike. How can I be so cruel to relate the two to each other. I mean the one is done by the “immoral” and the other by the “moral.” Well both rely on a certain suspension of disbelief. The person paying for sex and the person tithing to the church are not very different from each other in their unquestioning assumptions. In the lies the consumers tell themselves. The man being serviced by the prostitute believes himself to be a marvellous lover, and the man praying believes himself in communion with god.

Indeed at some points in history the two have been combined, the practise of temple prostitution was quite common in the land of the sandy dreams where the minds of men and women are broiled by the sun into baking up new gods by the dozen.

I will not condemn prostitutes, their lives are already bad and dangerous enough. In a society where the worth of a human is most commonly associated with their earning potential and their worldly possessions is it any wonder that everything, even intimacy is for sale. Most also sell themselves to support others, and that is dedication. One could even call it noble.

But priests? I am sure that there are some who a worthwhile true believers (and I have met some of them) but on the whole they are rather frightening. Think but of Phelps, Fallwell, Dobson and until recently Ted Haggard. If one is to see god through the deeds of his believers then we are all unfortunate, for we all going to hell. Theirs is a vengeful and capricious god who rewards the wicked.

I can see how religion arose, I mean people want explanations about the world around them. Lets face it, if your significant tools are some sharpened sticks and your most significant technology is fire making you are a long way from discerning the true explanations for the world around you. How much easier is it to imagine that lightning is but a weapon hurled by an angry god (who quite co-incidentally looks just like a scaled up version of a human) than it is to understand that it is a byproduct

I think today I shocked someone with my casual dismissal of the people. It is hardly surprising that people would be shocked. After all we all heard how good, wonderful and true the bible is. Sadly, No! The thing that I find most ironic is that I could probably find four or five things for which the bible commands all believers to kill her. The bible is of course quite notably and significantly anti-women.

Actually that brings up one of the good things I can say about the bible, is that very few people ever truly follow it. If more people followed it, the world would very much be a more evil place.

Daily Tally
Weight = 100kg +/-
M = 2

Monday, January 08, 2007

Dictators, Despots and Death

As most people know, Saddam Hussein was executed on the 30 December 2006. The amount of dictators in the world had been shortened by one.

Strangely enough I felt no satisfaction. The reason why I say that it felt strange that I felt no satisfaction is that men like Saddam Hussein are to an extent the mortal enemies of the philosophy that I live by.

He was a despot who ruled through fear and terror. In short men like him, abuse the very spirit and goal of governance in the most horrendous way imaginable. He was a war monger, instigating two entirely unnecessary invasions of neighbouring countries (Iran and Kuwait) and conducted brutal authoritarian crackdowns including using poison gas on those opposed to his rule. He had torture rooms and death squads and was setting up his sons to follow in his place.

So why do I find no joy in his death. A couple of reasons;

1) I cannot feel joy over the extinguishing of the life of any human, be they ever so vile.

2) His trial was not what I would consider to a fair one. His lawyers were assassinated and intimated, the judge was changed, he was not allowed to question the validity of the evidence submitted against him.

3) He was never even tried for the most heinous of his crimes.

4) His appeal was dismissed rather quickly.

5) His death was not in the cause of justice but of revenge. And as a signal to the Iraqi Sunnis with regard to their planned fate by the Shia government.

To me reason number 3 is particularly significant. He was found guilty of and executed for the death of 148 people and the illegal arrest of 399 others. In 1982. If that is the standard for which dictators can be removed from office through invasion why is Robert Mugabe still lording it up over the unfortunate citizens of Zimbabwe?

What of his use of poison gas on his own citizens, what of the mass murders. Will those crimes never see the inside of a courtroom? Will the evidence never be brought into the light.

Considering the sources from which he acquired the means to those weapons it is not surprising. As the joke goes, How did the Americans know Saddam had WMD? Easy they checked their receipts.

Oddly enough, this crime against humanity was not even enough to make the Americans avoid meeting him face to face. For example, there is a famous photograph, dated 1983, in which Donald Rumsfeld smiling shakes hands with an equally smiling Saddam. For those of you not in the know, Dear Old Donald was until recently the “Secretary of Defence” of the USA. In short, his job was to get his old associate Saddam.

And of course, the way in which Saddam was executed, by members of the very death squads that are so ravaging Iraq at the moment is also more than a little off putting. To put it into a South African context. Disclaimer I know this a rather simple contextualisation but it is sadly the best I can do.

Imagine Russia had invaded South Africa in the 1980’s. They ended apartheid and deposed the government of PW Botha. The figures which they then establish to rule the country would be the PAC. The PAC would act true to their nature. E.g. lots of dead white people. And then on 16 December they hang PW Botha, while chanting “Kill the boer, kill the farmer!”

So while I celebrate that there is only less despot in the world, their remains at least 40-50, and some of them are the best friends of the Americans. Oh what a world.

Daily Tally
Weight = 100kg
M = 1

Sunday, January 07, 2007

So I don't feel like writing today

So have some pictures I have taken. Since a picture is supposed to be worth a thousand words here is 6000 words.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Saturday, January 06, 2007

You keep saying that word…

… it does not mean what you seem to think it means.

I have discovered something. I like reading the ravings of Jon Qwelane. It is both uplifting and depressing.

I say uplifting because he exists of a shining example that all people are truly created equal. Due to my origins I rarely have social contact with others far outside my own “cultural space” hence the absolute raving racist homophobic morons I encounter are mainly white and male. It tends to skew my thinking about certain groups. So it does me good to realise that the fun that is
stupidity knows no racial boundary.

But they are depressing, because indeed the stupid is pervasive and it is deep.

Which of his rants has attracted by roving eye now?

Same-sex marriages 'illogical'

In a way Jon reminds me of the Pastor Swank who so often comes under the sights of the satirists at Sadly, No!

So let us begin the fisking of Mr Jon-I’m afraid of the buttsex-Qwelane

I may as well admit that my stand will, needless to overstate, place me in the firing line for being allegedly “backwards” and “homophobic”. But I will not mind the inevitable vitriol and condemnation as I have weathered much worse in the past, and this is a point I stand by.

Mr Kettle, Mr Kettle please answer the phone Mr Pot would like to speak to you. I think we have found proof that the truth does not hurt.

My arguments in objection to same-sex unions are a repeat of what I have said countless times before

Perhaps if you had an actual argument you would not have to repeat yourself so much, Jon.

To date, I have not encountered logical and sensible counter-arguments by those who maintain that a woman should be allowed to marry another woman, and a man be allowed to marry another man.

Jon, Jon, Jon. If we are to argue you first need to have an argument. Should I call you a Waaaaaahmbulance?

All that I have been subjected to so far by these people has been emotionally-charged arguments which often degenerate into personal vilification and insults, but with nothing worthwhile to argue.

Calling you stupid is not an insult, it is a description. Much like saying you are melaninly gifted or have a deep tan. And why would people be upset with you, its not like you call them unnatural or try to discriminate against them or anything Jon.

My starting point on this matter is that everyone, including gays and lesbians, is a biological consequence of male and female intercourse. And such intercourse is itself therefore the logical consequence of how nature behaves. In other words, male is meant to mate with female for the procreation of the species.

So what you are saying Jon is that simply because I am a man I should mate with every single women I meet? Woot! Woot! Lots of SEXS. It is my biological destiny! Oh wait, are you saying we should only have sex when we want to breed? In which case I would recommend you engage in some Onanism.

From this simple point and observation, it is rather illogical for same-sex unions to exist, as such arrangements fly in the face of nature.

Even die-hard lesbians and homosexuals will be hard-pressed to contradict that statement. I have often heard attempts by gays to justify their homosexuality as being repeated elsewhere in the animal kingdom, to “prove” that nature tolerates homosexuality.

I have heard of certain rams within a type of breed of sheep, and some birds, that do this sort of thing, but this is unnatural and it is not what our constitutional court should be wanting parliament to legislate.

Well Jon, it is also natural for people to live naked and kill their food with their bare hands and die of one a host of ailments before age 25. You know, using the internet or a computer also “fly in the face of nature” that is if nature actually you know, had a face, or if humans could fly “naturally”.

“Die-hard lesbians and homosexuals” Are you calling Bruce Willis a pussy or a fag? I mean he is after all the Die-Hard. Or is this some type of projection on Jon’s part? Jon thinks of Homosexuals = Jon uses the word “hard” or perhaps the thought of being "hard-pressed" is what brought on this little rant. Paging Dr Freud, Paging Dr Freud, Emergency! Emergency!

Jon might have heard of “certain rams within a type of breed of sheep”, but he most definitely has not heard of proper sentence construction, or even of “Google”. Here is what Google kindly delivers to my screen. The Gay Animal Kingdom. Sure 450 vertebrate species are certain rams and some birds. Sure, Jon, sure. By the way, I know this gentleman from Nigeria, he sent me an e-mail telling me how I can become rich? Would you also like to become rich Jon, I am sure the Nigerian would not mind you sharing the wealth.

What, animals doing each other in the ass is unnatural? But, but, they are animals, they, like, live in nature and stuff, how is that not natural? Mr Jon –wearing clothes and driving cars-Qwelane tell us exactly what is “natural” then.

The second argument against this type of thing is scriptural: not a single religion anywhere condones and accepts homosexuality.

Some Christians will, obviously scraping at the bottom of their scriptural barrels, meekly point to the tale about the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah to “prove” that homosexuality was practised even in biblical times, but the story will not be complete if they end it there

Lot actually did what I doubt any sane and normal father would do. However, so great was his fear of God’s retribution if his visiting male guests were to indulge in homosexuality in his home that Lot offered his virgin daughters to the men to ravage at will. There’s no guessing what common decency, and especially our learned judges of the constitutional court, would rule if they were confronted with a case such as Lot’s, but it does also show how great a sin homosexuality is in God’s eye!

Right, the old God hates fags! Argument. That is a good one Mr Jon. Perhaps you would like to meet Mr Phelps. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fred_Phelps.

Did you also know that God hates you for wearing clothes made from synthetic materials, cutting the hair on the side of your head, eating calamari or ingesting blood. Wait, you want to pick and choose from the Bible Jon? Are you saying you don’t want to do what god tells you to?

Kinda says a lot that God would reward award a man for offering up his daughters for rape. Tells you all you really need to know.

All this in no way says I do not like or respect homosexuals and lesbians as individuals; on the contrary, I do.

Wait a minute, you get off on thinking about how God hates fags and then you like them as individuals. Well you know Jon, all those racists you rave on about. They are not racists. They like “black people”, indeed some of their “best friends” are “black people”.

Emotional rubbish such as: “Ja, but what would you say if your son or daughter turned out to be gay? Would you condemn them?”

My answer is that my offspring are not gay and, so far, neither are any of my nephews and nieces. And a big YES, I would condemn and disown them if they turned out to be homosexuals.

Sorry Mr Jon-hypocrite-Qwelane you are okay with other people being gay but would cut off your own children or relations for daring to be gay?

A very interesting question was asked in one of the letters in the newspapers the other day: “Would married homosexual men be allowed to adopt a girl child, as the law wants them to be accorded every single right enjoyed by heterosexual couples?” Would this girl child be deprived in some way?

The parliamentarians of South Africa must have enough balls to stand up to this sort of nonsense, and refuse to pass such a law.

Gee Mr Qwelane, sexist much? I am sure there are some people in parliament without testicles so perhaps if you wish to refer to courage, you could use the proper word. Tell me Jon, do testicles have some type of magical power? Do they carry some gift of deep and serious thought? Inquiring minds want to know.

The separation of powers enshrined in the constitution ensures that parliament is a distinct entity from the judiciary; so the lawmakers can at least tell those justices to go fly kites, or indulge in homosexual unions of their own - but leave the rest of us alone.

I must admit I a somewhat confused how other people having rights buggers with Mr Jon Qwelanes world. I am also interested to know how the justices could indulge in “homosexual unions” without the Civil Unions Act.

So let us look at how Mr Qwelane understands the words he uses

Logical and sensible counter arguments = If someone disagrees with me they are not logical or sensible

Natural = The way things are in nature, until the way things are in nature disagrees with how I want them to be then they are unnatural

Like or respect homosexuals = If any in my family are dirty dykes or filthy fags I will never speak to them again.

Indeed Mr Qwelane, those words do not mean what you seem to think they mean.

Daily Tally
Weight = 100kg
M = 3

Minority Rights

Broadly put a society which claims to be a democracy cannot survive if the government of the said society only panders to those who elected it and not all the citizens of the country.

In short governments aren’t allowed to play favourites. The two most common ways in which government plays favourites is race, gender and religion.

The model of democracy to which most countries in the world aspire (or pay lip service to the aspiration of cf Zimbabwe) is a rationalist secular construct based upon the fact that if significant portions of a society are denied a voice in the ordering of the society those people will act against the common good, as the common good offers them only oppression. In short the model works around the idea of government of the people, by the people and for the people.

However due to the nature of the methods used to determine representation in the governing authorities (one vote for all citizens with the suffrage which is generally held to be all citizens above age 18) can lead to problems. If the majority of the citizens wish for the government to play favourites to their particular group can compel the government (through the selection of agents) to do so.

The mechanism that was introduced to limit this “tyranny of the majority” was by the citizens of the society agreeing that all citizens have certain rights. However, there has always been a tendency to limit these rights the parties which elected or selected the government. Fortunately as the ideals of the enlightenment have spread so to has the extension and adoption of these rights. Hence the right to vote is no longer restricted to white landed gentry as it was at its inception but it has now been extended (in most of the countries that have adopted representative systems) to all citizens of the country above age 18. These rights have also been adopted internationally as the Universal declaration of human rights.

However consider the recent furore regarding the Civil Union Act

What I particulary found interesting was the following missive from the poisoned pen of Jon Qwelane. In this he rails against South Africa going to the dogs, he complains about various points. These are in the order he raises them

1) Crime in South Africa – A serious concern

2) Rumours linking the police commissioner to various organised crime figures – A serious concern

3) A complaint that there is a proposal suggesting that schoolgirls be given “maternity leave” if they fall pregnant – e.g. they are allowed to resume their studies at the states schools after delivering – What legitimate reason is their to act against teenage mothers by denying them education?

4) Complaining that ANC Chief whip Mbulelo Goniwe will not be punished for sexual harassment (Goniwe was subsequently kicked out of the ANC) – A serious concern

5) Civil Unions Act (to which he refers as the “so called Gay Unions Act” – The government had been ordered to pass this act by the constitutional court in order for the government to not be in violation of the constitution. The act was passed shortly before the 1 year deadline set in place by the constitutional court expired.

6) In line with the constitutional court ruling this the ANC ordered all its members of parliament to vote for the measure to avoid a constitutional crises.

One point I would just to add is that something is indeed rotten in South Africa that a man who writes as badly as Jon, who cannot even get the minor facts (name of the legislation he is whining about) of his articles right is apparently paid to write a weekly column for one of the largest media conglomerates (Media24) in the country.

Let us look at some of the choice quotes from this missive of his

The constitution is being seriously undermined by the plethora of “rights” which anyone can claim to bolster their crazy ideas, just as, I am sure, someone out there will say by complaining loudly about such things I am myself “undermining” the constituion (sic).

Forcing people to vote against what may have been their clear consciences calls into question the constitutionality of such action I seriously believe that some judges of the Constitutional Court may be gay themselves; otherwise there seems no sensible explanation for them to want to insist on it in the first place.

Let us look at what marriage is when one strips the religious babble from it. Marriage (or a civil union) is an agreement enforced by the state between two parties regarding rights and responsibilities of the various parties to each other. These include communal property rights, support responsibilities and privileged access. Now if the government allows certain citizens to enter into such relationships and denies other citizens those same rights merely because of the gender of the participants and has no better reason for the denial than “It is a sin” then that would be discrimination based upon sex and religion. Also the originally privileged group does not lose its privileges simply because the privilege is extended to others.

The comments of P.SHAMASE is particularly disturbing due to its outright homophobia and desire for theocracy. But the view that democracy is the view that the view of majority will always prevail is particularly frightening.

Going to the dogs
20/11/2006 09:38
My understanding of a democracy is that the view of the majority will always prevail. This concept does not dicriminate against any person, of any colour or creed. with regard to the gay issue, we needed a referundum to express our views as the people. South africa appears not to be a God fearing nation,away with this gay and lesbian nonsense, everything found in the human body is designed to do a particular task and only that task.away with artificial plastic organs. - P.SHAMASE

In response to this I can only say. Muppet!

I applaud the ANC for acting as it has with regards to the Civil Union Issue. Too bad the majority of government officials are corrupt, but so it goes.

Daily Tally
Weight = 100kg
M = 1

Post Script: I saved this post as a draft instead of publishing it so it should count as the post for Friday 5th January.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

A totalitarian tale...

George Bush, who once looked into the eyes of Vladimir Putin and said

"I looked the man in the eye. I found him to be very straight forward and trustworthy and we had a very good dialogue.

"I was able to get a sense of his soul. "

Thats nice. Idiot.

Of course Bush has also sagely declared "We do not torture"

If that were true I would have nothing to blog about today. But Sadly, No! The US does in fact torture.

Unless of course falsely accusing a citizen and imprisoning the said citizen without charging him of a crime for more than three years, and then when charges are brought before the court, those charges have no connection with the what the government accused him of doing.

José Padilla

First he was "a material witness"
Then he was a "enemy combatant"
And now is being charged with
"conspired to murder, kidnap and maim people overseas."

A far cry from being a man who was building a "dirty bomb" and was planning to explode it a US city.

He has been kept in solitary confinement for over three years. He has become so paranoid as a result of the mind-fucking that he has been given that he does not even trust his own defense lawyers.

How is this okay?

As South Africans, we have been at a place where detention without charges was a common thing. It is not a good place.

But on that note I actually want to raise a point when a government asks for more power to "combat" something or another, and wishes to extend its powers to deal with whatever is defined as the issue. That government is actually making an admission of incompetence.

For example Charles Nqakula wanted to extend the period of detention before trial past 48 hours. Why? Because he feels that 2 days are not enough to investigate a crime after an arrest. What this actually means is that their are not enough detectives, not enough forensic specialists and not enough police officers in general. Which comes back to his desk. New York City has 37,000 thousand police officers. South Africa has 125,000. New York City has a population of 8 Million. South Africa has a population of 45 million.

In short we have to we police, and our managing "talent" does not seem to know what it is doing and the training our officers receive is not sufficient. In short, the crime situation in SA is not surprising at all.

So the next time you hear a government call for more power, realise that they are incompetent.

Daily Tall
Weight = 100kg
M = 3

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Not everything done by "Americans" is bad.

I am sure that some of the people who read my comments over at Pandagon may have concluded that I am an "America-Hater". Sadly, No! Thats not how it goes.

I do not see the Americans as an unified mass, I am well aware of the differences seperating Glen Greenwald from Glen Reynolds.

So today I would like to give a shout out to Oprah Winfrey. Why? Because unlike other rich Americans who actively use their fortunes to the detriment of the world (Think of the various right wing figures funding the anti-science movement)

So what did she do? She opened a school. In South Africa. While I may have some issues with the criteria she uses to select the pupils. It is her $40 million that is driving the school. And it looks as if it will be a fine school. So well done Oprah. Very well done.

I don't think many people realize just how important proper education is. As someone who believes in individual liberty education is the most important thing. Without an education no one can reach their full potential.

In South Africa we have a truly horrendous unemployment rate which in turn fuels a dysfunctional society. But the sad fact is that a large portion of the unemployed mass is unemployable. Why? Due to deficient education.

One of the most basic lacks is that of language training. The ability to use language in its spoken and written forms is one of the most important in any society. How can you hire someone if they cannot understand you, or if you cannot understand them. In South Africa we have 11 officially recognised languages. The solution is not to merely educate in English, the solution is simultaneous instruction in the core curricula in the students “home language” as well as early instruction in English.

The instruction in ones own language greatly eases the learning process, however if one cannot communicate with the world in its "defacto tongue", then one might as well live in a cave. The standard of the English that is taught also needs to be improved as the current standard is laughably low. English is my second language btw, my “home language” is Afrikaans.

I am especially pleased by her plan to eventually bring in all 11 languages into the school, even my own. The act of bringing Afrikaans into township schools 30 years ago were a contributing factor in the Soweto uprisings of 1976. I am confident a repeat shall be avoided (kind of silly to indentify Afrikaans as the language of the oppressor now). I am also pleased to hear about the plan to open a similar school for boys in the future. And who knows, perhaps one day there will be a non-racial one?

So well done Oprah, and thanks from this citizen of the Republic of South Africa, I appreciate it, even though it might seem I do so from a somewhat unlikely corner.

PS As part of keeping my new years resolution to improve my fitness I went swimming today. After doing one 50m stretch I was exhausted. I had not realised I was this unfit. On Friday I will do a 50m stretch again, and every second day I will continue until I can swim at least 500m at a time.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Ethics of relationships and relationships in general

In my musings yesterday about what I should blog about, I brought up the topics of ethics in relationships. This is something that interests me, albeit some aspects of it are somewhat academic and/or theoretical to me. As I mentioned in yesterdays post, I have never had what one could call an intimate relationship with a member of either my own or another gender. Keep this in mind when reading the post.

I have had friendships which I tried to change into relationships to the detriment of all parties involved. Four times I have destroyed friendships in such a manner. If my impulsive act in December leads to the same result it ups the number of friendships destroyed to 5. In hindsight, my behavior was inappropriate but I am starting to wonder if it was not also unethical. That is also part of what I would like to think about in this post.

However the difference between me now and me 10-2 years ago is that I have gone through several growth experiences, that I hope have given me sufficient understanding about the issues involved to act slightly more *dignified*.

Perhaps this will save a friendship that I fear has been wounded through what essentially boils down to a feeling of entitlement on my behalf. Such is the dream of course. My own perceptions of myself could be deliberately blinding me to my own flaws, where I dream I have conquered the monster but in reality the monster has conquered me. Sort of like a human rootkit.

I would like to point out to the guys reading this that while women are fully our equals in every field the expectations of society have shaped all the women we know in certain ways. I would advise them to consider the following the Male Privilege Checklist to gain insight into how different the expectations of society shape men and women. What is worse is that many of these expectations are seen as being "natural" and "the one true way" instead of being social constructs which arose due to circumstances reigning at the time.

Also something I have seen to be brought into discussions about gender and gender roles is that of the bell curve. Women are said to be emphatic and men are said to be aggressive. However if we plot aggressiveness and empathy on a bell curve it would reveal that the average man or woman are far closer to each other than they are to the extremes within their own gender. E.g. My natural emphatic ability would be only slightly less than that of the average woman and my level of aggression would only be slightly higher than hers. My aggression would still be substantially less that the woman who makes up the top percentile of the female bell curve on aggression and similarly the emphatic abilities of the top percentile men would be much more than that of the average women.

The simpler version of the above would read "We are all individuals and the ways in which we respond to the world differ but we are closer to the average person of the opposite gender than we are to the extremes in our own". Hence stereotyping men as aggressive and women as empathic helps no one.

Another problem in relationships is that of entitlement. Entitlement is a insidious disease, one that I have in the past succumbed to far to often. Yet it also plays a role in relationships, romantic or otherwise. The feeling that "I have done this for you, you need to do this for me in return, or that you need to give me this because I am special" is rife throughout human interaction.

To illustrate what a sense of entitlement may lead to is the following (Warning Graphic and Disturbing) in the link, a woman is anally raped by her partner to the extent that she ends up in hospital. Now he is sorry. His threat of wanting to commit suicide is simple manipulation through emotional blackmail. What she should tell this guy is to go ahead and kill himself. Some things are unforgivable.

Or an even worse case of entitlement. Some would say that this case is lesser than the one before, I say no, it is worse. Consider the rape case made against the current deputy president of the ANC, Jacob Zuma (yes I am trying to Google bomb).

Without going into too much detail let us consider the ethics of the actions he took. He admits to having unprotected sex with a woman while being married to two other women. He willfully exposed the other two women in his life whom he apparently loves enough to marry to HIV infection.

Quite literally he was not only playing Russian roulette with his own head but that of the two women he married as well. Mr Zuma your desire to have sex with a woman more than half your age is not more important than the health of the women you married.

Remember the above is not even in contention. This is what he said happened. Personally I think he is guilty of rape and his ethical lapses of such a magnitude that everyone should ignore him. That this has not been done is I think a chilling indictment of the society in which we live.

I shall continue in this vein tomorrow.

Daily Tally
Weight = 100kg +/-
M = 0

Monday, January 01, 2007

First Blog Entry 2007

I have wondered what to blog about. Glenn Greenwald has the wiretap and other US constitutional issues, Amanda Marcotte has feminism, the guys over at Sadly No! have sarcasm, Prof PZ has his squid and the creationists, Riverbend has her collapsing country and the great war of error to blog about, Phil Plait has the universe itself as his blogging subject. So what will be MY issue?

My own life, is relatively speaking, quite dull. Very happy, but dull. Sure I have my hobbies, but they are of little interest to others and oddly enough I do not seem to require the applause of others. I practise my hobbies because I enjoy them, not because I want to be praised for them. I am also a markedly solitary individual. So my life would not make a thrilling reading.

Even my romantic interests would not make for worthwhile reading. I am 25 year old man who has managed not to have had sex in what it supposed to be only the most sexual free-wheeling age of all time (if you listen to the sniffs of the un-approving moralists at least) despite not having any special desire to remain a virgin. Quite the reverse in fact as I have always considered myself something of a hedonist.

Indeed, the only romance in my life occurs when my faulty faculties mislead me into thinking that perhaps person X would be interested in progressing beyond the current level. Infallibly my imagination has been mocking me. In fact, in December I did make such an inappropriate advance, acting upon the promptings of my malevolent imagination. It was awkward, for all involved, and as yet it is uncertain what the fallout will be. Akward, yes. Interesting; not very.

I would also have ethical concerns regarding privacy about blogging about my life and romance. Romances (and other social events) involve two or more people so how can I expose the doings of others without overstepping the boundaries of ethics. Perhaps tomorrow I will blog about the ethics of relationships and intersex/male/female interactions. Watch this space tomorrow to see if I decide to open that can of worms.

Perhaps then I could write about my culture? The ethos and pathos of being an Afrikaner? However I am now, and have always, been a cultural outsider. So my views about it would merely be another ill-informed rant clogging the internet.

Perhaps I could write about my Atheism? A contentious subject indeed, as many people would be shocked to know that I am an atheist. Why they would be shocked is difficult for me to fathom. After all many people are atheistic about Zeus or the FSM, I merely extend my atheism to cover to include the one they make exception for.

Perhaps I could write about rationality? The pronounced lack of reason in world and personal affairs is what leads to -in my own not very humble opinion- the majority of suffering in the world. Witness the Iraq front of the Great War of Error (GWE), a war held for a purpose that remains obscure to this day, taking a country that was functioning and turning it into one that is almost as broken as Zimbabwe. However I feel ill-equipped to deal with such a topic. It seems unlikely that the world will ever give up believing in invisible friends in the sky and I do not have the skills or the desire to meddle with the minds of others. I am not the prophet of Reason.

Perhaps I could write about South Africa? I do after live in the country and will most likely share in its ultimate fate. Again, I feel as if I can not make it work. The arguments I would use are too similar to those used by the fascist theocrats of the “American” right wing. They have misused the arguments and viewpoints with such reckless abandon that merely using similar arguments would -in my own eyes at least- taint me with a patina of corruption. Gilt by association one could say. The important difference, that of context would be lost in the world of the wired. What is true here, is not true there.

The solution then is for me not to have a chosen blog topic, but rather to move from one to another as the mood strikes. So lets see how that works out.

100kg +/-
M = 2