Posted Dec 18, 2001
If you don't know,"Sarah's Law" is a proposal that information about the movements of convicted paedophiles be released into the public domain. The Sarah of the title is one Sarah Payne, a little girl abducted and murdered by a paedophile who had had a previous conviction for such and attack.
The theory is that if parents know about the risk from paedophiles in their area, they will act accordingly. In this way Sarah's death could have been prevented. Unfortunately people have not been shown to work like that:- when a tabloid newspaper published the names, photos and locations of convicted paedophiles in the summer of 2000, it unleashed a wave of hysterical protest and vigilante attacks. Innocent people were targetted because their names were similar to those published. In one case a paediatrican was attacked and forced to move house. The general public in the UK have shown themselves incapable of being trusted with information about paedophiles.
It is possible that mob rule could force suspected paedophiles to repeatedly move house. The mob will be happy, because NIMBY (Not In MY Back Yard) is satisfied. But NIMBY has never solved anything; it only moves a problem, and anyone who believes that shunting a paedophile nearer to other people's kids is a good idea is contemptable. It would simply penalise people who have already been deemed to have repaid their debt to Society.
"So what?" I hear. "Why worry about the rights of sickos like that over the safety of little kids?" Because the vast majority of child abuse is not carried out by "sickos like that"; it's done by relatives. This fact is not widely publicised in the rabble-rousing tabloid newspapers, and I think this is because the truth is unpalatable. It's difficult to stomach this truth because it shows that the family, not Government, are the ones most capable of preventing child abuse.
I have very little sympathy with the "sickos", but Sarah's Law is a sledgehammer to crack a nut, and in my view it misses the nut.
Am I that different ??
Posted Dec 14, 2001
There are times when I wonder if I'm the same species as other people.
People display an astonishing inability to think, a tendency to reject the new because it's new, a dogmatic belief that their own morality is the correct one (despite being unable to articulate or defend it). They have no desire to learn about a subject before expressing their opinion on it. They accept what is presented in the newspapers as fact, (no matter that one paper contradicts another; they're both right).
Is it me? Is it just me who thinks that Rupert Murdoch's influence on people is the saddest indictment of modern life?
I believe that thought is the great strength of humanity. That the ability to have ideas, to explore and test those ideas, is one of the most precious gifts we have.
Sorry. Sorry. I don't know what came over me. I'll be OK in a munute.....
BAAAH. BAAAH. BAAAH
Posted Aug 14, 2001
As I mentioned in Peer Review, I'm going to be writing an article on Tai Chi. I studied Cheng Man Ching's Tai Chi, so I'd be grateful for any insights on other styles.....
Bill Hicks - work in progress
Posted Jul 12, 2001
Bill Hicks has been widely regarded as one of the finest stand-up comedians ever to grace a microphone. He was a savage critic of mass media, global corporations, religion and the hypocrisy of modern life. His influence on the stand-up genre continues today, several years after his early death. This article seeks to introduce the reader to Bill Hicks.
William Melvin Hicks was born on 16th December 1961 and grew up in Houston, Texas. His parents were Baptists and he grew up in a strict moralistic household. At school his desire to perform was such that one of his teachers took to giving him a few minutes at the beginning of class: - on the condition that he returned control afterwards. By 15, he was sneaking out to the Houston Comedy Workshops. Very soon after, he was the headline act. At 18 he became a full-time touring comedian.
He spent much of the 1980’s in a continuous cycle of drink, drugs and gigging with a group called the “Texas Outlaws”. His material began to empty theatres, and on one occasion he had his leg broken by some disgruntled punters. He started to get a reputation as a bad gig.
Toward the end of the 1980’s Hicks gave up drink & drugs, although he never renounced them, and began gigging relentlessly. He was performing well over 250 shows a year and began to get himself noticed. He performed 11 times for David Letterman’s Late Show, with a twelfth appearance being controversially dumped. There was an HBO TV Special, rave reviews at Montreal’s “Just for Laughs” festival, and in 1991 he won the Critics’ Award at the Edinburgh Festival.
In 1992 Hicks had a hugely successful tour of Britain which climaxed in 2 sell-out nights at London’ Dominion Theatre. One of these was broadcast by Channel 4, entitled “Revelations”.
Hicks was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 1993 and subsequently died at his parent’s house on 26th February 1994. He was 32.
What Hicks said in his comedy was thought provoking and literate apart from being gut-bustingly funny. It’s difficult not to have a reaction to what he said, although much of it really shouldn’t be repeated in a moderated forum like this.
Bill Hicks on the subject of:-
I was in Australia during Easter. They celebrate Easter just like we do – commemorating the death and resurrection of Jesus by telling our children a giant bunny rabbit left chocolate eggs in the night. You know, I’ve read the bible. I can’t find the words “Bunny” or “Chocolate” anywhere. Where do we get this stuff? No wonder we’re so messed up as a race. Like wearing crosses around your neck. Nice sentiment, but do you think when Jesus comes back he’s gonna want to look at a cross? Maybe that’s why he hasn’t shown up yet.
What is it with Creationists that they look so unevolved? “I believe that God made me in 7 days” Yeah, it looks like he rushed it.
I’m willing to die seven years before my time, just so I’ll be cool each last f*****g day.
Non-smokers:- Obnoxious, self-righteous slugs. I'd quit smoking if I didn't think I'd become one of you.
The worst non-smokers are the ones that come up to you and pretend to cough. I think that's kinda cruel; I'm smoking and you come up coughing at me. Do you go dancing in front of crippled people too, you sadists ?
CENSORSHIP – (quoted after performing the routine dropped from the David Letterman show)
Friday night, I did that set on Letterman. It was cancelled because they felt you are too stupid to know that those were jokes. This is exactly what's wrong with this country: Networks and politicians kowtowing to special-interest groups, to some guy in a trailer with a f****n' crayon in his hand, writing in chicken scrawl: I saw a guy talkin' bad 'bout Jesus on your show . I ain't gonna tune in no mo'. Come on!
The truth is, the majority of people are very reasonable. They don't write letters when something offends them on TV. 'Cause reasonable people know that IT'S JUST F****N' TELEVISION! And not only that, reasonable people HAVE A LIFE! They know I was not making fun of Jesus. They know I did not make fun of gays. What I made fun of is the double standard that exists in this f*****g country.
And you know, the worst thing of all is that I love the Letterman show.
They've always been very good to--well, to be honest, every single set I've ever done they've de-balled me, okay? And I put up with it because I love Dave Letterman. I'm beginning to realize: I'm in an abusive f****n' relationship.
The Persian Gulf wasn’t a war. In a war, 2 armies are fighting.
With all the amazing technology we have, couldn’t we use it to shoot food at hungry people? Stealth bananas! Smart Fruit!
What kind of a world do we live in when John Lennon gets murdered, yet Barry Manilow continues to put out albums. Man, if you’re gonna kill someone, have some f****n’ taste. I’ll drive you to Kenny Rogers’ house.
It’s the highest aim in this country; to become some barker hawking products. Sinatra selling beer:- what, doesn’t he have enough f*****g money?
If you work in advertising, kill yourself. There’s no rationale for what you do. Kill youself; it’s the only way to save your soul. There’s no punchline, this isn’t a joke. Kill yourself.
If you're so pro-life, don't lock arms and block medical clinics, okay? Lock arms and block cemeteries. Let's see how committed you are to this premise. I want to see pro-lifers at funerals with crowbars opening caskets, going, 'Get out!'... They said they had to break down the Waco compound because child abuse was stepping up. Well, if that's true, how come we don't see Bradley tanks knocking down Catholic churches?
Did you know that every time a guy comes, he comes 200 million sperm? Did you know that? And you mean to tell me you think your child is special? Because one out of 200 million sperm connected - that load? Gee, what are the f*****g odds? Do you know what that means? I have wiped entire civilisations off of my chest, with a grey gym sock. That…is special.
It’s a personal choice. Just like cigarettes, just like alcohol. As long as that choice does not interfere with the freedoms of another person’s personal choice. Really, that’s the end of the story. That’s called logic, and it’ll help you.
Not only do I think Pot should be legalised, I think it should be mandatory.
The Supreme Court’s definition of pornography is anything that “has no artistic merit, and causes sexual thoughts”. Hmm….. sounds like every commercial on TV. You know those twins on the Doublemint commercial? I hate to admit this, but I’m not thinking about gum. I am thinking about chewing, though………
You know all that money we spend on defence each year? Trillions of dollars, right? INSTEAD, if we used that money to feed and clothe the poor of the world... which it would pay for many times over, NOT ONE human being excluded... then we could, as one race, explore space together in peace. For ever.