Archive for October, 2009

Only “Human”

I happened to glance at a “Dear Ellie” column in the newspaper (one of those myriad Ann Landers knock-offs) and it ran something like this: “Dear Ellie, I’ve been dating a married man, blah blah blah, etc.”  And then she replied with something like “Well your problem is a communication issue…”

No, your problem is your dating a fucking married man, you slut! Don’t get me wrong, I disapprove of his actions even more but it was the lady who happened to be writing the letter.

It’s really pissing me off how borderline acceptable adultery has become.  In fiction particularly it’s often portrayed as some sort of character flaw.  No, just no.  Drug addiction is a character flaw, rage is a character flaw, being a workaholic is a character flaw; unilaterally shattering the bond with the person you pledged your all to, till death you do part: that’s a failure at life.  Murderers, rapists, pædophiles: I put adulterers in the same category.  What’s the point of a marriage vow if there’s no consequences to breaking it?  At the very least I think infidelity should be regarded as tantamount to waiving child custody.  How the hell are you supposed to be a role model?  Yet in some countries adultery isn’t even taken into consideration in divorce proceedings.  For people in abusive relationships I guess I can understand it but that still doesn’t justify it.

They had their priorities straight in the olden days.  The affair of Sir Lancelot and Guinevere leads to the downfall of Camelot, the deaths of Arthur and Gawain and ends with the two lovers adopting celibacy.  Now that’s some seriously righteous consequences.  Now this is not to say that the folks of the middle ages were perfect.  In particular, kings seemed to be somehow immune to the no adultery rule.  Of course the best monarchs (Edward the Confessor, Richard the Lionheart, Henry V, Henry VII) curiously don’t seem to have had mistresses.

The Human League - Human

[Ed.--In retrospect I think comparing adulterers to murderers, rapists and pædophiles was a bit harsh.  Nevertheless I do think there should be some form of punishment for what is, essentially, the breach of a contract.  However, I believe the emotional devastation caused by adultery can be comparable to those previously mentioned heinous crimes.]

Lisbon, Ireland

It can be easy to forget that “Lisbon” is the name of a city in Portugal.  It’s the capital city, in fact.  However, it’s now become short hand for the treaty that was signed there in December of ‘07.  The Treaty of Lisbon, of course, is the comprehensive reform package designed to make the European Union run more smoothly, clearly and democratically.  The treaty itself is a 272 page beast, the PDF of which can be downloaded here (if you have far too much time on your hands you can check out what the Rome and Maastricht Treaties will look like as amended by Lisbon, a 329 page document).  What it all boils down to is that these are complex and confusing documents meant to be dealt with my politicians.  If the citizenry had the time and energy to understand everything about governance we wouldn’t need representative democracy.  MOST European states agree with this model.  Ireland, not so much.

Due to having an extremely rigid constitution the polls on the Emerald Isle are set to open in under an hour.  They rejected it last time they voted on it but it took them two tries to ratify the Treaty of Nice, too.  Maybe next EU treaty the Irish government should just set forth dates for two referendums right from the get-go.  I sure hope they vote yes.  Dear Lord in Heaven I really hope they vote yes.  They’re lucky they have such a wonderful institution like the EU* and they shouldn’t take it for granted.  It’s just that the “No” campaign has been particularly effective with its lies helpful information propaganda lies.  Like the one about how Lisbon is going to legalize abortion in Ireland, that’s particularly LOLable (the illegality of abortion in Ireland is constitutionally enshrined).

So I’ve been surfing about, which is both informative and entertaining.  But informative is boring.  Upon arriving at the website, the welcome lady, err, welcomes us and we begin our journey.  We’ll be seeing more of her later.  Oh, also in English.  The site is mostly informative but I keep getting distracted by this scary old guy.  I am informed the treaty would not affect Ireland’s neutrality policy.  Which is pity because that’s the one real black mark that country has.

On to the movies! The welcome lady makes a comeback along with a strapping young shamrock with a terrible haircut.  Incidentally, the designers must have decided that Qualified Majority Voting and “The European Council” are more risqué issues because our man let’s his chest hair peak out while the lady displays some cleavage.  These movies are all available in Irish as well which makes these two actors notable as being the only people on the entire island who can actually speak Irish.

In the event the referendum does pass, Polish president Lech Kaczy?ski needs to get his act together and sign and deposit the Polish bill and then we watch with deep anxiety and hope that the legal challenge brought forward by Czech president Václav Klaus and some uppity senators is finished with before the next UK general election at which point David Cameron has promised to hold a referendum on the issue.  Gordon Brown, you’re still good for something.

* For the record, it would never work in the Americas.  We’d disagree with the US over capital punishment and with Latin America over abortion.