While CE has been rather lax in its duties of late, exams are out of the way and it may well be that some of us might now find the time occasionally to pop into the local library or house of public resort to have a read of the Colonel's diurnal emesis over a quiet pint of Uncle Arthur's opaque and bitter nectar. However, disappointed readers of myerswatch should be cheered to find that someone was on the job. Over at talideon.com
the Cruiskeen crew will find a rather excellent "fisking"
of a typically deep and coherent consideration of the topical issue of same-sex unions by the bould Kevin.
Keith of talideon picks up on some of the themes which have been explored here, not least the Colonel's bizarre, near fascist attacks on the notion of "law" and his unfair, unprincipled attacks on those advocates who refuse to compromise on their common law, ethical and moral duty to advance arguments and evidence to protect and assert their clients' interests. I was personally gratified to read Keith's acute observations re the Colonel's use of the word "decent". It rather reminds CE of certain philistine young bloggers who don't read, don't watch interesting films in case, just in case, it might be a waste of time and whose musical "ear" extends across a very narrow range of compositions and who, yet, likes to bandy around words like "degenerate" - vile, dehumanising, intolerant and degrading language - to describe the cultural and intellectual lives of other human beings.
Kevin Myers adopts a totally wierd and inconsistent line on the law. While on the one hand he asserts a macho vision of robust individualism characterised by ex-rugby playing billionaires with virile bouffant haircuts - when it suits - he nevertheless suggests that lawyers should represent their clients and judges interpret the law in accordance with outcomes which take account not of freedom, liberty, fairness and the complex balance to be achieved between public and private interests, but rather in a way which ensures that nobody does anything that his Kevness might find distasteful or upsetting or which gives him to perceive that they have got away with something, the bastards. The only mild point of disagreement CE has with Keith is his assertion that judges are answerable to the people. While that is correct as a matter of constitutional aspiration, the practical means of disciplining members of the Judiciary are unsatisfactory, to say the least, and, in essence, non-existent for anything less than being caught with images of pederastic abuse on your home computer.
Following yesterday's furore at an event in the Royal College of Physicians, superbly live-blogged by Suzy of Maman Poulet
(a stout-hearted supporter of the myerswatch team whose blog archives are a good source of comment on the very issue of same-sex unions) the blogosphere has some interesting posts and comments at, if memory serves, such diverse forums as the aforementioned Maman Poulet, Mulley dot net
, Back Seat Drivers
, Reality Check dot ie
As Keith points out in his post, the slippery Kevin refuses at any point to actually define what it is he means by "marriage". Of course, if he did, the cracks in his logic would begin to show. Of course, again, Kevin's position is a matter not of logic but of reaction. I have a lot more respect for people like Boris Johnson whose approach to this issue might best be summed up as "Look, I'm instinctively against this notion that marriage doesn't necessarily refer to nuptials twixt man and woman, but I can't justify it rationally or by reference to the other principles I have articulated and as such I have to really examine my position." I think it behoves us to consider that our reactions to the idea of gay marriage are probably a matter of chemistry and as such, should be scrutinised on that rather than, initially, on "moral" grounds.
Homosexuality as with any other orientation is a product of both nature and nurture; nurture in so far as one's environment has an impact on the development of the brain in childhood and adolescence. As such it's entirely a matter of biology and in no respect a lifestyle choice. Of course, there are degrees of sexual identity along the whole awesome spectrum and I am sure it is open to some people to choose the sexual life they will wish to lead on the basis of inclination and a personal even societal determination of what would be a good and happy life for them. That's really beside the point.
We are a reproductive species, machines for the replication of our genes, and as such our sexuality is at the very heart of our identity. But we are each and every one of us mutant beings
, which is why we aren't clones of our parents or, simpliciter, the first ameobic lifeforms. And given the complex interplay of our mutant cells and the reproductive and environmental processes to which each and every one of us is subject it is approaching the miraculous that there are any ordinarily heterosexually adjusted people around at all.
If Kevin Myers has been lucky enough to develop a sexual identity against all the odds of his mutant genes, and the impact of the things he saw as a little boy on his brain architecture, which co-incides with the straitened Edwardian standards that confuse reproductive efficiency with social order, he should count his blessings. Life is hard enough for people, especially those whom the exigencies of evolution have determined will have as the most fundamental aspect of their identity as human beings a sexual orientation which, on the face of it, is confounding of reproductive effects. The compulsions are the same for all of us, it's in the consequences that difference lies. And the reactionary likes of Mr. Myers have an incredible cheek not to mention little of the milk of human kindness in expecting people to resist billions of years of cosmic and evolutionary forces during their brutish, short four score years and ten (CE is very lifespan optimistic) when he and his ilk can't even be bothered to define their terms and explain a)
what is "marriage" and b)
by what logic is that definition immutable and binding on everyone else?
Anyway, go read Keith on Myers
, dear, loyal readers. CE is sure you are hanging out for news of the Colonel's doings. CE is only sorry that Keith's post didn't appear here.
And when you're done, why not have a read of this