Sunday, September 14, 2008

Teenage lust

The New York Times has a fascinating piece about Chile's sexual awakening, which just goes to show what happens when governments try to suppress sexuality. Accompanying Dirty pictures are also available for the post-literate.

I only link to this because the likes of Family First and their family of fundies are constantly shouting for suppression; and they will be doing a lot more of during the election campaign - you mark my words. But it simply does not work. You try to stop kids doing something and they do it even more. Every parent knows that, surely. The same phenomenon happened in Spain after Franco died. It always happens that way.

Not, of course, that the politics of the fundies and the tories are evidence-based; quite the opposite. It is all about those jerking knees, not about facts. Such was shown recently when that nice Mr Key presented his revenge policy to a conference of professionals. His answer to teenage crime is boot camps, which do not work. The professionals were understandably annoyed. Nice Mr Key was upset that they did not understand him (what was he thinking?) and wailed "they actually do work." But, as I said before, they do not. If they did, the likes of Mr Key and the oh-so-scholarly and visionary Maxim Institute would be able to come up with case studies, evidence, that sort of thing. But there is none, because boot camps are no more than the concrete reaction to the seething desire for revenge on young criminals: "teach them a lesson, give them discipline." So send them to camps where they can get fit and disciplined - necessary qualities for their future lives in the criminal gangs that they will meet in the camps.

But then who needs facts when feelings will do? Well, the righties want some facts to support their feelings, but there are none. So they sulk and claim that there is a mean and unfair conspiracy of lefty social worker do-gooder academic ivory tower type people. But that is not enough, so they make up their own facts, like that Paul Cameron did when he could not find any social science to support his prejudice against gays. Either that or, as Mr Key did, they simply repeat what everyone who works in the professional areas knows to be untrue, as if saying it often enough would make it true.

Of course, righties know that if you say something often enough, it takes on a quality parallel to being true: a state where it appears to be true and the truth appears to be false, if it is known at all. Such a parallel reality can be found on the troll farm which is uthink, where the resident Epsilon-minus Semimorons grunt to one another, seemingly under the impression that it was the wayward youths who were booing Mr Key, not the professionals charged with their care. Really. It is no wonder that the likes of Mr Key can become leader of the tory party, when his supporters are this stupid.

Let me tell you another. An Olympic athlete and his mate walk into a bar and beat up a customer, apparently for wearing a pink polo shirt - an obvious sign of sexual deviancy. And what happens? The athlete gets diversion and name suppression; and he gets a scholarship to do more athletics at the taxpayers' expense. Shall we wait for the Sensible Sentencing Trust to complain that celebrities get away with hate crimes because of name suppression? Shall we wait for Family First to protest against homophobic violence?

Nah, it's not worth the anticipation.

10 comments:

Uroskin said...

Mind you, pink shirts *are* fashion crimes and you wear one at your peril. Even during Fashion Week.

Paul said...

In the bars where I lounge, anyone wearing Hallensteins-Glassons is liable to be the subject of cutting remarks. It's tough out there for the fashion-unconscious.

George said...

Isn't lilac a worse crime? And Hallenstien-Glassons and Supre are the bane of our existence. Consider yourself lucky though; in Australia there are dozens of chain-stores selling pastelled printed shirts, shorts and skirts.

There are bills in Parliament to outlaw certain items of clothing at the moment. Perhaps we could suggest amendments?

Samuel said...

Hmm. I own several shirts with elements of pinkness (pinstripes or patterns), although none in solid pink... but none of them are from Hallensteins, if that counts for anything... I hope?

As a further point in my favour, let it be known that I dissented from Loud Shirt Day today - I brought in a donation to work for the hearing-impaired, but couldn't find anything louder than my regular office wear. Thank God.

Paul said...

It is the stripes that trouble me, and the wearing of the striped shirt outside the shapeless jeans. When I am Minister of Taste I shall outlaw such practices.

Paul said...

I hasten to add that I would not accuse Samuel of such practices

Samuel said...

Too late - I've already admitted to the stripes (in some form). But I pledge never to do the outside of shapeless jeans thing. And you shall never ever catch me wearing a salmon polo shirt.

Paul said...

You'll never catch a salmon wearing pink.

Miranda said...

Is there a way to prompt Family First and the Sensible Sentencing Trust into commenting on this and the Tony Veitch saga? I would love to see Garth McVicar/Bob McCroskie explain their way out of condemning the actions of those men...

jafapete said...

Paul, The full text of the Listener article on the boot camp operated at Whangaparapara on Gt Barrier is online from tomorrow, and you may want to look at that. I am afraid that I laughed out loud when I saw a picture of one of the boot camp's "graduates" -- William Bell. Says it all.

BTW, when I was in Chile in 2006 the teenager sex explosion was front-page news and the President herself was declaring it a top priority... not that I hadn't already noticed. Hard not to. Why did it take the NYT so long to notice?