Sunday, 12 February 2012

Roy C: Shotgun Wedding

(Words by Milton Friedman):

Shotgun 'industry' output and employment up; benefits bill, teenage pregnancy, youth unemployment, vandalism, housing problems etc. etc. etc. down. Problems solved and a great song too.

Not too long ago there was a report, in the 'meejia', of an unusual judgement somewhere in Africa. A man had been caught with a goat in a situation that is still not considered normal, even in the most 'enlightened' societies, and so, according to the customs and practices of the place he was taken before the tribal elders for judgement. As I recall, there was a distinctly condescending tone to the report but I thought the decision of the elders eminently sensible. Mindful of the magnitude of the offence, of the heat of local outrage, perhaps the costs of paying for psychiatrists, social workers therapists; of building a courthouse with Human Rights Act respecting catering and toilet facilities; the cost of retaining a couple of silks, building a modern, user friendly prison and paying for turnkeys, social workers, therapists, counsellors, probation officers and so on and on and on, and knowing well the power of the opprobrium and scorn of one's relatives, friends and neighbours, of the pain of humiliation before them and lifelong ridicule in deterring miscreants, and others, from repeating their offences they decided that since he had taken the girl's honour he must marry her, and what ordinary, over-taxed and long suffering man or woman would disagree with them?

Here's a reminder of the sort of thing elders like them prevent:

Gruff thanks to Philtheone for the link to the video.

Thursday, 9 February 2012

Sunday, 5 February 2012

Shooting An Elephant

Ever read it? It's been a good few years since I last did, although I have it in an anthology, somewhere on the shelves, but if I recall correctly Blair recounts his unwillingness to slaughter a noble, even if troubled, beast simply because the natives, on whose acquiescence the empire depended, demanded it. How ironic it is that the British government, itself slaughtered by the Elephant's firing squad, is reported to have begged the erstwhile natives to accept its pathetic attempt at largesse, preferring the contempt of those it once ruled to the scorn of those it thinks it still rules.

EUReferendum frequently asks: 'the reason we don't rise up and slaughter them is ... ? Gruff answers that perhaps the reason is that as a people we English have yet to be sufficiently degraded by the British. I still believe that day will come.

Gruff thanks to EUReferendum for the link to the tale.