A Note On Child Abuse

It has lately been said that parents who allow their children to become obese are guilty of child abuse, and their children should be taken away from them.

This may be so. But it raises the question of why more obvious activities are not listed in this new Cromwellian, or do I mean Malvolian, order.

Like making a child swim in a pool each morning until he is of Olympic standard. Staring at the bottom of the pool for three hours a day three hundred days a year instead of playing with friends or using Facebook or reading Harry Potter.

This is almost the worst thing you can do to a child, because of the loneliness, and the sense of failure it brings at the end of life to tens of millions of young adults, probably, who do not, after all that, become champions.

Or telling them they will burn in Hell for a billion years if they masturbate or blaspheme. Or betrothing them at nine to an older man they must marry at thirteen, as the Amish, certain Muslims, tribal Africans and breakaway Mormons do.

Some sporting activities are crueller than others. Cricket, hockey, tennis, scrabble, Monopoly, chess, Diplomacy are fine. Rugby League can kill you. Diving into swimming pools can kill you. Gymnastics can kill you. Long distance running, as a good book says, is a desolating loneliness. Baseball has about it a suddenness of outcome that must be, game by game, traumatic. Coming second in the Spelling Bee in America can drive you, at ten, to suicide.

So many sporting activities involve, literally, the verbal abuse of children, that the whole subject should be looked at, I think, in this light. Is telling a child he is ‘useless’, as I was once, child abuse? Is being in the cadets and shouted at by an adult sarmajor, child abuse? It has to be.

It is a weird world where you can abort a child but not feed him hamburgers.

But I’m getting used to it. At seventy, not even the beheading for adultery of the wife of a man with three other wives, all replaceable, surprises me any more.

And so it goes.

Leave a comment ?


  1. “But I’m getting used to it. At seventy, not even the beheading for adultery of the wife of a man with three other wives, all replaceable, surprises me any more”

    They made me read Camus’ “The Stranger” in school at fifteen, that did my head in and robbed me of my sunny disposition, bastards!

  2. We overrate our sports people and badly underrate our creative artists. We have road signs pointing us to Bradman in Bowral but not to P.White who spent years in the same area at Moss-Vale Tudor House School.

    We all know that people in Russia are well provided with larger than life size bronze statues scattered around most of their public parks and open spaces. Those sculptures usually depict the heroic male farm worker holding a scythe or a stout busty female pointing a sheaf of wheat skywards with a clutch of children at her feet. It’s hard to take a seat anywhere in public and not be overlooked by the revolutionaries of Russia. Enormous Lenin’s also made those eating pirozhki at Gorki Central park of Culture and Leisure a rather noble and humbling experience.

    Fortunately, the bronzed sculptures are not all heroes of revolution or political mayhem. Many are also of their writers, poets and other artistic giants. While I was there I saw many very pensive and good looking Pushkins about. The bearded Tolstoys seemed to feature much less in number. This might well be for technical reasons. It is not easy to cast a figure with large flowing beard and seated in a cane chair into a bronze statue. What do you think the pigeons would do perched on the cane chair?

    We don’t revere our mayhem causing revolutionaries and political wreckers to that degree. We would be very chagrined stepping out of the train at Wynyard being greeted by a life size Beazley on horseback. Can we imagine for one moment, after a big night out at the Bankstown RSL, bumping into a John Howard with cricket bat?

    We do have a stern looking Queen Victoria at the entrance to the Queen Victoria Building near Sydney’s Town-hall. She hails from such a historical distance away that we accept her as easy as we do a park-bench. She served our calm Anglo history very well. The kids just love her too.

    Captain Cook is peering beyond distant horizons. He just needs an occasional dusting of his binoculars. Not much further is a mysterious bronze pig whose snout gets polished together with coins being donated for the hospital just behind it. I am not sure if the pig polishing and coin throwing is still connected to making a wish as well! The relentless march of history has a habit of finally blurring out the edges.

    Another animal cast in heavy metal is the Gundagai drover’s dog. I could not see him at the spot he was supposed to be last time. Perhaps dogs roam around even after cast in bronze. Maybe the drover’s tucker box was getting empty.

    A weird and rather spooky relic of the past is the sad and somewhat forlorn sight of a large heart kept in a jar of alcohol. It is Phar Lap’s ticker. For those outside Australian territories and our horse ignorant young; Phar Lap was one of the fastest horses to run around a race course. It was a phenomenal winner, making lots of money for the punters. I can’t imagine the horse being too impressed if it knew its heart ended up being pickled inside a jar.

    The omission of our well known artists cast in bronze seems to stick out somewhat. Mind you, not far from my place we do have that famous icon, a cricketer in tarnished bronze. His name is Donald Bradman. He is famous and certainly an artist with the bat & ball. People queue up to get their picture taken standing next to him. They arrive from all parts of the world, even Fiji and Pakistan.

    Are we ready to grace our parks and public open spaces with sculptures celebrating our best in the arts. Why can’t we have our greatest writer, Patrick White being honored with a life size sculpture or even a statue? I know he would be horrified but he won’t see it. His ashes were scattered around Centennial Park. He was always a bit grumpy when it came to bestowing recognition and fame on him. He would rather stay home than face the media or the hungry crowds.

    He was a modest man. Even so, we do need to give greater recognition to our creative artists…For posterity. For our children. They need to know and see our artists as well as the sporting heroes.

    What about a Joan Sutherland in bronze, a corrugated zinc alume armored Sydney Nolan? Perhaps a Brett Whitely in shimmering stainless steel next?

    Just let’s start first with Patrick White though. I can see him already, jutted jaw, his mouth firmly set, looking straight at us. A bit miffed but pleased about ‘The Hanging Garden’ also been published.

  3. I bet Ian Thorpe had too many of those lonely early swimming practices….now he gets an anxiety attack when he has to dive in the pool…
    My two little grandsons cycled to The Lolly Shop on Sunday morning in sleepy Bowral…. the police stopped them because they had left their helmets at home…they had to walk home..

  4. A tricky problem.

    Everything can be child abuse. But not everything is.

    I am inclined to think the state should butt out, save for the clearest of examples of it.

    Making your kid porky, on the face of it, shouldn’t qualify.

  5. “Making your kid porky, on the face of it, shouldn’t qualify.”

    For me it it woul qualify, those kids will end up with a life time of misery, many health problems and most likely a shortened life..

    Of course parents don’t willingly ‘make’their kids obese, they are just too busy and ignorant and it kind of happens, the fat creeps on…it’s not so obvious either when other kids in the neighbour are over-weight..

    • A child is the product of an individual and not the state. Therefore any external interference in this relationship needs to be very well justified indeed.

      How would you feel as a mother if your child was fat and DOCS turned up on your doorstep to snatch it away?

      If your sole crime was to over feed it, or feed it badly, I suspect you would be rightly bitter and crying foul.

      Would a fat child necessarily be less miserable in state care than at home with a loving, if irresponsible, and perhaps equally fat parent?

      Probably not; and therein lies the problem.

      • Stan, no, not DOCS or police. What about the health care people, doctors, teachers getting involved. Baby clinics, nurses visiting schools, doctors taking more time with mum with the big kid…no more junk food at school canteens, no more sugary drinks, serious national healthy eating campaigns, fat tax, not allowing too many junk food franchises …..

        • Yes, all those things are the better option.

        • Exercise. Walking to school, playing in the street. Not in front of TV or a computer all afternoon and into the evening.

          Sausage rolls, pies, lollies. All too common BEFORE there was this supposed ‘obesity problem’. Didn’t need any fat tax or ‘fat police’ then!

          • You are so right Mr Ryutin, if the kids are active the occasional sausage roll does no harm.
            I think some parents think they kids are legless, why do they have to be driven everywhere. My neighbour’s teenage boy has to be driven to a gym, all it takes a five minute walk or three minutes cycling.

        • Teachers? Spare me. Might as well ring Christopher Pyne. Most of the rest I can stomach except for fat tax and interfering in who is allowed to be in business.
          They can go broke if they want.
          And the junk food at school; maybe we should take a leaf from the French with the school lunches teaching the very young how to eat.
          The teachers would probably kick up though; the lunches take a little time.
          Also in France no vending machines within cooee of any educational facility up to our year 12 at least.

          • Chris, we better keep Pyne away from our kids…I read somewhere that France is doing good things with school lunches…and of course both parents and kids benefit from walking :wink:

          • I don’t mind any teaching about food, sensible eating or anything else like that. What I am talking about also pre-dated McDonalds etc, but my point about sausage rolls and pies etc is that school canteens were once FULL of them, along with confectionary of every kind,fully sweetened soft drinks (no Diet Coke then) etc.

            No ‘fat problem’ in those days is my point. But there was a lot more exercise, walking, playing, sports or whatever. If there wasnt an oval or whatever nearby kids played sports or other games in the street or the backyard. That is my point: that rather than police things as proposed by many, or introduce taxes or bans, also look at why there wasnt a problem with all those fatty foods eaten in “the Old Days’.

            • We used to use up more energy on simple things like keeping warm back when there was no classroom heating, no shop heating, often no car heating and one heated room at home. All of which used to be the norm.

              • Don’t forget that we walked to and from school, a mile or more each way. Modern mollycoddled brats would faint at the thought.

                • I think that it is the parent’s in this case. The idea that you wouldn’t do the pick up and drop off seems to conjure abandonment issues in them!

                • DQ, I walked to and from school with my older brothers, sisters and friends from the first day on.
                  We all laughed when my mum actually took the the last one in the family to school on his first day.

              • They are driven in heated cars to schools, and as some schools in NSW have unflued gas-heaters, the kids might just go back to sleep Zzzzz…

                • The French writer Colette wrote in one of books, My Mother’s Garden (?), that they used to have heated bricks under their desks to keep their feet warm.

  6. Or leave their helpless, bewildered, nine month old babes in the care of underpaid, distracted and detached childcare workers for 50 hours a week in order to meet the financial obligations attached to owning all of those material things requisite for a happy and fulfilled life – the 30 year mortgage they can’t afford - granted them by a pimply, dim banking officer anxious to meet his monthly sales target - on the overpriced weatherboard house a 45 minute train journey from the city on a public transport system plagued by violent, disaffected teenagers; the twin SUVs, too big to drive safely, parked in the oversize driveway, their shiny plastic interiors so painstakingly moulded by slave labor in a Thai or South African factory, reflecting meekly under the constant blare of security lights. Passing another tired and tense evening barking instructions at their five year old, so constantly rebuked that she suppresses any inclination to engage positively with her parents, and lives in thrall to incessantly busy, asinine TV programs that command her attention.

  7. And what about sending a kiddie to a boarding school for several years?

    Especially if the little bugger gets religious education along with the rest of it . . .

    Child Abuse writ large.

  8. “The last response I had expected”


  9. It’s always surprising to hear the left’s description of religious education as a kind of abuse. Because you have already concluded, without much reason, that all organized religion is false and should be confined to a few looney adults on the fringe of society. It is certainly not true, you say, and to suggest that it is - to teach a child that he comes from God and God wants him to choose the good in his life - the most cherished and sincere beliefs of the child’s parents - should basically be a criminal offense.

    Of course, you know better than the parents, you know better than the overwhelming impulse behind human history until the present, the belief at the very core of every honest man who has ever lived.. You will only ban the freedom of religion so that we can then lead the worthy, productive, joyful and confident lives that you lead, right?

    Lives that see-saw between nihilism and skepticism, that teeter on the brink of utter meaningless, that revolve
    around masturbatory posts on the Internet about your feelings and desires, sometimes in poetic form -

    why live? Why love? Why respect others as others? Why get out of bed? Why bother?

    To pamper the flesh? To work for (or be entitled to) materials adequate to achieve fulfilling sensual experiences? Decadent food, hard drink, mind-numbing drugs, lewd and insane sexual experiences, each more wild and irresponsible than the last.

    To be worshiped and adored by whatever group you can muster, as a god?

    Yet the more you get, the emptier you feel. The greater the hunger for something else - something truly beyond, absolutely true and transendent to myself becomes. But just ignore that by plugging into your zombifying entertainment drug of choice; celebrity goss, political commentary, the esteem of man, film, theater, music, drink, sex, porn, masturbation - whatever! Just resist that urge to look beyond yourself and always keep your eye on number one.

    This is what life is about, little Jimmy. If anyone suggests otherwise - that it’s really worthy living - well, you just call the police and we’ll have that person incinerated. Now fuck off before I decide to murder you and bury your remains in bushland, for inconveniencing me.

      • I respect all beliefs Doug, even though I was not religiously raised and my own father was a militant religious skeptic and probable atheist.

        You should learn to do the same.


        • This argument :

          “respect all beliefs, or merely tolerate all beliefs”

          is one which continues to rattle the cages of the religious and non-religious alike.

          I clearly fall on the ‘tolerate’ side of the debate; respect is something to which the absurd belief in a deity is not entitled.

          • To tolerate is good.

            It doesn’t need to be more than that.

            But let me tell you, I have met too many marvelous people of faith; Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Christians and one particular old friend is of the tiny Zoroastrian lineage, that to me none of their religious or even political attachments really matter.

            To be in the company of one who is of a good heart
            and character, when so many are not, is a great blessing.

            All else becomes peripheral.

    • Let’s say your right Peter, although shoving this all onto the shoulders of the “left” is just nonsense.

      Could you consider the success of secularism, the rise and rise of humanism with all of its faults and shortcomings, is not in small part due to the failure of the church, churches, religion, religions to maintain their ascendancy, to maintain their authority, to remain convincing? As each year goes by the sectarian audiences diminish as sincere and cherished beliefs are cast aside, and they leave in their droves, and yet you, see them as misguided, weak, empty because you know better as to the why and wherefore of their impulse to abandon their faith or of those that refuse to sign up. You could not for a minute, imagine that former adherents are leaving their faith, to in fact lead more productive, confident and joyful lives.

      You are here because of the intellectual entertainment offered, you want to prove your mettle with your own masturbatory posts concerning your feelings and desires, for what, a better world, a more loving world, a more orderly world? The world is order Peter, the world is order writ large, we are the chaos.

      Come over to our side Peter, you know you want to, resist the urge to look at everybody else and keep your eye on number one.

      • I admit that the church had failed in some regard, obviously.

        But you’re wrong to say that the church is withering everywhere; business is booming in Africa and Asia - we’ve never had it so good.

        It’s western civilization that has begun to decompose and it is largely the fault of an infected philosophy that has led to a default position of radical individualism that has produced nothing but corpses and ashes…

        Our culture has been living on the overdraft of Christianity for a long time now - perhaps a few centuries. Don’t fool yourself into thinking that the future is bright and rational and clean; the more that people turn from our ancient truths - Truths, mind you - the more they will turn to superstition, the occult, voodoo tarot new age witchcraft.

        There is already evidence of this.

        I tell you, a society without God that finally
        admits to itself that it is indeed without God and not in need of Him, is a society headed for inexplicable catastrophy.

        The clock is ticking m8.

        Wake up.

        Follow the white rabbit.

        Escape the matrix while you can…

        • Western Civilization is decomposing, well it has been for quite a while, and I am not too surprised considering the scheme of things I have never expected it to be eternal, so I agree, civilizations come and go.

          The default position of radical individualism is usually not used when speaking of the left, we are supposed to be collectivists, deniers of individualism, but we’ll let the one go for the moment. Producing nothing but corpses and ashes, somewhat true, without calling your side out on this, I think both teams can put up their hands on this one and spend some time in the naughty corner. I think technology assisted our side in being somewhat more successful based on the numbers.

          Our culture has been living on the overdraft of Christianity for a long time now, offhand I think this is a direct hit, but there has been a run on the banks because you guys are just not paying the dividends you promised, you’ve imposed a limit on the ATM’s and having the blinds down and turning out the lights when we bang on the doors ‘cause we know you are in there is not going to make us go away.

          I have never fooled myself into thinking that the future is bright, rational or clean, that is a stupid supposition to make, your boom time in Africa and Asia will certainly put any potential of that scenario remaining in the In-Tray. I think the new age, voodoo, cult thingy is on the nose and things are fast returning to a trust in science and scientists, this I fear is worse, and I hope my lucky beads will see me through that stage without harm.

          We don’t need a lack of God to head towards catastrophe, we can do that with or without him, we’ve done it before and we’ll do it again. God, it seems is not a team player, he has got to make up his mind if he wants to be a part of this or not. He should either shit or get of the pot, because I getting tired of carrying the lazy prick through the game and making excuses for his laziness. I’ve talked to a couple of guys on the team, and the feeling is, he either picks up his game next quarter or he’s out.

          • Allthumbs m8, you’re a man -gentleman- of goodwill.

            Nice to know you, brother.

          • hudsongodfrey

            Ah! But as the old jokes go either “…Hudson’s arrived move Jesus to centre half back”, or …”That’s God he only thinks he’s Botham.”

    • Life is what you are left with when you remove all the blockages. And it is something to be a body in the world. You deny yourself and you deny your font of experience full stop, religious or otherwise. Leave those kids alone, M8. All in all you’re just another brick in the wall.

      • I agree that it is something to be a body, brother. I ain’t no Jansenist.

        But the body has a specific purpose - a purpose that can be denied and abused, with all sorts of personal and communal fall out.

        Look at the proliferation of pornography in our society. Is this something that raises human dignity or lowers it to the value of the meat market? Does it promote the human person or degrade him to that of a thing, an object, a slave?

        Does premarital sex affirm your inherent value or confirm your status as fast food? - junk food at that. A cheap and greasy meal hastily consumed and disposed of..

        Does masturbation bring you closer to others as others, or locked into an inward vision? ‘You’ll go blind!’ The old wives shrieked and you laughed and ignored them, yet look at the truth! The spiritual blindness induced! A slave to your desires and to only seeing others as, basically, masturbation aides…

        Look at the explosion of contraceptives. A recognition of your freedom and autonomy! Or, a paper bag over the head of your so-called loved-one. ‘Baby, I love you, bit gee you’ve got an ugly face. Wear this paper bag baby, for me. I love you for what you mean to me, but I don’t want to share myself with you at all. Baby.’

        What? Pregnant? How!?.. Shh shh shh. There are things that can be done, baby.

        And down go the birth rates. Down down, all the way down. Lifetimes spent acquiring resources and education and pleasures and - voom - all wasted, all ending with you.

        Vanity vanity, all is vanity…

        • So why doesn’t the population go down ever? I want Australia to go back to the seventies in terms of its numbers. And as long as you concern yourself with your own moral sense over and above the actual victims of very real structural power discrepancies, you’re hardly the most giving person going around so remind me again what your morality is supposed to mean exactly?

    • Indoctrination could be characterised as a violation of the rights of the child to freedom of religion. The real reason that is rarely mentioned in that vein is due to the sheer impossibility of stopping parents from raising children in their own faiths.

      So what I think we really do when it comes to matters of freedom of religion where children is involved is to defer to their parents. So that in the public school system we ought not be introducing religion in a manner that atheist parents wouldn’t condone or Christianity in a manner that Muslim parents are affronted by.

      Beyond that to say that a child believes in vicarious redemption or punishment that takes place not in this life but the next to such a degree that his abusers are to be offered sacramental forgiveness rather than a custodial sentence really isn’t acceptable.

      If people like Peter here were actively engaged in living the examined life then they would need to look no further than their own apologetics to find examples of how religion rather than reason tends to hollow out everything that otherwise makes life and living meaningful for people who embrace the finite nature of their existence.

      • There is no child bill of rights in Australia, rightly I think, and besides who doesn’t know of a someone raised early in a faith only to renounce it as an adult? And vice versa.

        Belief systems are subject to change; people of all ages do it, and do it often.

        The idea that being taught particular beliefs as a child somehow precludes them from reassessing them later (if this is the idea) is absurd.

        • Stan,

          As has been pointed out to me rather recently elsewhere, we are signatories to UN conventions as such, but we just don’t stick to them in some cases. Indeed I’d argue that it would be pretty hard to if that means taking parents to task for neglect and abuse below a level where we find it necessary to actually take a child from their care.

          Maybe what you say about people changing their belief if true but the emphasis in terms of education should be upon teaching them about religions and then allowing them to choose if they wish to.

          And there’s a difference between being a swinging voter and trying to escape the clutches of Scientology for example.

          • There is no child bill of rights here; any UN declaration we have signed that purports to confer anything remotely like it is not worth the paper it is written on.

            And if as a parent, you want to send your child to a school that affirms your belief in the flying spaghetti monster, you should have that right.

            Public schools I think are the exception.

            Incidentally, not that it should matter, but I am agnostic, with perhaps, a slight pagan sensibility.

            I think all beliefs should be respected.

            • hudsongodfrey

              I agree that all rights and beliefs should be respected in line with the principle of reciprocity. As do most people.

              As for the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.


              Read the section on Australia. It is short…

              “Australia is member of the convention since 1990″

              I think efforts to understand what it actually means requires a more detailed study. It is interesting to note in particular that the US is dragging its feet due in part to religious objections.

              I think it can be a problem for society and often is when some people who seem wholly unqualified for parenthood start to treat their children as property rather than as human beings with their own interests.

              • The convention is volitional, it proscribes aspirations and nothing more. Meaning, it is not binding.

                I agree to an extent with your latter point. Yet who here can play god with conception?

                Nobody, according to biology is unworthy…

      • Mea culpa, mea culpa, indeed indeed.

        But my point in several posts has been that faith without reason withers into superstition (certainly), but reason without faith mutates into nihilism - a hell’s-bells horrifying Nietzchean doubt about the truth of anything.

        Your revered scientists need to have faith that the assumptions that they work from are true, even though they cannot know with the certainty of God. They need faith that the universe is indeed knowable! That there are laws and order and from whence this originates, they know not, but they still believe in Truth.

        Faith and reason m8. Fides et ratio.

        Judge the fruits of modern society.

        Ride the wave.

        • You have not read Nietzsche you liar, and if you had you wouldn’t understand him. Nietzsche invented the concept of modern degeneration and mapped out the terrain fully over a hundred years ago. He also put it into historical perspective and was thereby able to look into the reasons behind the degeneration. It’s called doing something useful. Don’t knock it.

          • I’ve read enough to see into the dark, smoldering nothingness that glares coldly back at you with eight arachnid eyes, creeping closer and closer, fangs poised…

            Believe it or not, it was in the genesis of this luring discovery that grace landed an odd thing in my lap; a speech, On Truth, to Cologne University (I believe), by Pope Benedict XVI.

            His clear German argument cut straight through every qualm and query I had formed of the superficial, hypocritical, wishy-washy, happy-clappy Protestant Christianity of my upbringing.

            It was like the last piece to a jigsaw. I finally saw and tasted the Truth in my life. I was set on a one-way journey to Rome, the one true Church, redemption, salvation, real joy, true peace, sincere friendships and, God willing, a vocation to the Priesthood.

            I ain’t no troll, bro.

            • You’ve been looking at the wrong spiders. Spiders invoke a fear in me, but I reckon that fear has a power in its own right, and is to be embraced, not ran away from.

              Not a great many spiders creep on prey either, they snap on it.

              Take the common black house spider. It likes to build nests. It uses little trip wires to sense when prey is near and snaps out, I’ve seen it happen to a wasp. Then take the white tail, it stalks, not creeps, and finds the house of common black house spider. It knocks, then snaps its fangs, with a punch. No creeping.

            • Hardly a close reading though, was it, you silly goose. It’s the difference between analysis and proclamation. Nietzsche proclaims but he also analyses and if you want to argue an analysis you have to address it directly. Pope Benedict the XVI did not and could not analyse to the first node. He was not allowed to by his mind makeup. The alchemy of attitude starts to happen at a certain level. If you start out with a proscribed framework, you can never reach that level. Like the time machine in Back to the Future, it requires motion. Saint Paul was just as much an overly conservative, bloated windbag after being struck down than before, he was just no longer a professional Pharisee. But the training remained in place.

              Nietzsche’s beloved father was a protestant pastor and he was all set to follow in his father’s footsteps, right up until about day one of university.

            • Untitled, 1966

              Don’t listen to her Peter, she’s lost her umbrella.

              You’re alright. Keep writing.

              • “The term non-human has been used to describe computer programs and robot-like devices that display some human-like characteristics. In both science fiction and in the real world, computer programs and robots have been built to perform tasks that require human-computer interactions in a manner that suggests sentience and compassion. In Asia, there is increasing interests in the use of robots in nursing homes and to provide elder care. Computer programs have been used for years in schools to provide one-on-one education with children. The Tamagotchi toy required children to provide care, attention, and nourishment to keep it “alive”.”

                • Was the Clinton interview a Nietszchean moment or a suggestion of sentience and compassion in a human like characteristic? Elvis would have karate chopped the air instead of fingerpointing and what at first I thought was Bill massaging the knee of the interviewer, Lewinski like.

                  • The knee massage was an honest gesture.

                    • I wanted to kill him,tried to kill him, I needed to kill him, I got closer to killing him then anyone else,my one regret is I didn;t kill him, nice knees do you work out?

                      I did not have sexual relations with that woman.

                      Amazing what we tend to be shy about. Honest.

                    • It would have been good if he had killed him. They got so close and yet the order never came through. While some of us from time to time may feel the urge to feel up a rightie, you have to be discreet about it. You have to get the lay of the land and make sure they’re into it, otherwise they will use it against you.

              • Well at least now I know what we disagree upon.

            • Reader1 things you’ve not read Nietzsche, I suspect you’ve taken your inspiration from a selective reading. I note that it’s the way that the Bible is often read too.

              You have to read the whole thing to understand how one idea relates to the next. Nietzsche’s sometimes initially rather more palatable ideas support increasingly radical ones that I’m sure you simply overlooked. Much in that same way that Biblical editors overlook the slaughter of the Amalekites in favour of a few of the more laudable episodes from the life of gentle Jesus meek and mild.

              Nietzsche was as he wrote warts and all, so I think you have to take the good with the bad and read it as an occasionally valid and often flawed account of the human condition. Personally I hate that people often put up that one quote from him who haven’t read anything else of him.

              As to the Bible its an edited document to begin with that I expect could be further reduced to a pamphlet.

              • What? There is no “more radical” than where Nietzsche’s baseline camp was. No one could lay it all out in the first couple chapters the way he did. He wasn’t confecting a new political paradigm. He wasn’t narrating a theory, he was stabbing european cultural existence in the eye with pinpoint precision. He goes off on forays but only after all has been said and done, and by that point you are supposed to get it. The forays are more of a practical exercise. His baseline proposition is indisputable. No one has ever or can ever dispute it. It’s an impossibility. Hitchen’s calling him “hysterical” while basing everything on him is typical of this approach of sidelining in the act of appropriating. It’s life. Don’t blame Nietzsche.

                • Reader1,

                  I feared I’d left the appearance of misdirected remarks when first they leapt from this tiny window onto the Blog’s page. They were directed to Peter. I’d also mistyped things for thinks, (I do that one too often I’m afraid).

                  I agree with you about Nietzsche, though I find him difficult, some might even say onerous, there are rewards to be had and let’s not deny it some perturbing moments. The barbs I reserve as I wrote are for selective reading and trite quotations.

                  He was of course the great contrarian in the intellectual tradition Hitchens himself chose to follow. The fact that Hitch couldn’t share the room with a bigger ego at the space of a century or so seems altogether unsurprising. Hitch could be a boor but some of us loved him for it or despite it.

                  And to be completely at odds with what I’d say seriously, here’s a clip of Gervais metaphorically slaughtering related issues with black humour.

                  • The thing I think (how’s that HG for dexterity?) that sticks in a lot of people’s craw is that FN was not a democrat.

                    • Well you know (if you’ve watched the clip), that what sticks in more people’s craw is that some of his readers weren’t exactly democrats either.

              • I give you thanks, HG, for the lesson in comprehension. And I do admit that my reading of the black-hole has not been deep; it was just deep enough not to swallow me.

                But you may judge a work by the overall vibe and it’s insights into the ‘human condition’.

                I’ll stick to Our Blessed Lord’s advice to judge by the fruits. And on my reading, the co-godparent (alongside Wagner) of Fascism and the pagan idol of postmodern meaninglessness has produced nothing but a culture of death.

                R.E your dismissal of the Sacred Scriptures as merely ‘edited’ (and thereby irrelevant, somehow), I’m afraid that this would require a much fiercer debate than the rather comical one about the Bard. For now, I won’t give merry DQ’s advice to promptly Fuck Off, but I will recommend your health and well-being at midday mass.

                Adieu, adieu, remember me!

                • Peter,

                  You’ll love the Gervais video then….

                  As for dismissing scriptures. I’m not perhaps as dismissive as you think except of the bits that I don’t think ought be held up as examples of anything. All I’d say further on the matter is that I just don’t believe will take away from it the knowledge that we share a belief in the principle of reciprocity, the golden rule, or the whole “do unto others” thing.

                  What I get upset about is the Christian apologists’ defence of the slaughter of innocents, because in his words, it was god’s way of showing them a short-cut to heaven.

                  You’ve been strident to the point of becoming overly so here. I don’t want to be mistaken for doing likewise, so it seems necessary to explain why I chose to attack parts of the bible as I did.

                  • Oh modern comedy! Yes yes yes! Hahaha! Hohoho! Drink drink drink hahaha. More cake! Hehehe num num num

                    Senseless laughter; the refuge of the damned.

                    I know enough of Ricky and his hitler haircut and holocaust jokes to know that he is an idiot disciple of Fred. Radical contempt for the weak, a satanic talent for sniffing out faults in others and a mindless laughter promoted as life’s only consolation…

                    Btw, I’m not ‘overly’ strident, am I?

                    • A little bit, Pete.

                    • I think you know that you’re strident and that you may be attempting humour in even putting the question. Which is fair enough.

                      But as a limitation of rational discourse excursions into faith based assertions do very little to advance arguments. For the most part nobody is going to even try to unpick them. They’re treated as rantings and ignored.

                  • The advice to promptly fuck off was to save your time and ours. It was good advice.

                • Hitler would have been squirming in his seat throughout any reading of Nietzsche and I highly doubt he actually did so. But it was a funny Gervais video.

                  • This is really for Hudson, but to large to fit in the margin. Hitler I doubt read Freddy in any depth at all. He went to visit the sister and the museum, looking pensive hand to chin, staring at the bust of Nietzsche, the statue not the sister’s with nothing more than moustache envy.

                    • hudsongodfrey

                      Sure I know but whether we like it or not the cultural references we have, however distorted allow that the jokes will work.

                      Maybe Nietzsche bashing has its parallels the kind of Darwin bashing that creationists indulge in.

                      Don’t get Ricky started on that subject either!

    • Why live? Why love? Why respect others as others? Why get out of bed? Why bother?

      It appears to me you are grappling with these issues yourself, and are in fact projecting somewhat in your pejorative conception of (lefty) human behavior. You should get out a bit and meet a few more. They aren’t all so bad – I’ve known quite a few essentially nihilistic, lefty types who are still sweet natured and helpful people, who grapple nonetheless with the disconnect in our cerebral advancements over our remnant animal spirits and biology. Religion can’t always salve that gap, even when accompanied by faith (delusion ?), and I’m sure you couldn’t have failed to notice that its imposition on unwilling souls can lead to some less than optimal outcomes.

  10. Considering the large drop in church membership and affiliation over the last 50 years, one would have to think that the indoctrination was astonishingly ineffective. Can it then be called indoctrination?
    These days I find that atheists are more inclined than the religious to proselytise: usually by ridicule rather than argument.

    • Agree, we had religious teaching at schools in Finland, yet hardly anyone there goes to church. I also find that the atheists are the new proselytisers, read the God-less blogs on the Drum, there is no mercy for any timid believer.I find it amusing that people who call themseves atheists, can’t even bother to spell it correctly.It’s like spelling your own name wrongly.

    • I will say that I prefer a religious person who proselytises when invited to discuss their faith over those who play about with apologetics but will never in a million years actually admit to holding a faith based position.

      On the matter of atheists proselyting if it is similarly honest in defence of freedom of religion that includes freedom from religion then maybe it is just a plea for tolerance and the preservation of secular values that include pluralism.

      When it becomes a faith in itself then you can count me out even though I do agree with some of the things that prominent atheists have said. And maybe I’d rather take sides with Melinda Gates because I think she’s doing good work.

      • It may not be a fundamentalist religion, I would argue however Atheism is a product of fundamentalist religion and directly of capitalism, there has never been more cults.

        I have had this conversation many times, I am always mistaken as a happy clapper as opposed to one with an open mind.

        Not to mention the absence of religious education in my own life and the reduction on meaning that this entails. I also find it funny an Atheist will damn the bible as simply “weird” and then chastise those who haven’t read it as barbarians.

        I always see people struggling with identity and social positioning.

        • hudsongodfrey

          Yes I think you’re right to say that most atheism characterises itself in terms of what religion/s it takes refuge from. The well worn argument that even the Pope is an atheist in relation to Zeus may be true, but it doesn’t reflect the character of the true debate.

          For example, reading the Bible in its entirety is something that atheists often recommend, because they feel people will be turned away from it when exposed to it in an unfiltered context.

          I think I agree with your closing comment that atheists may tend to struggle with their identity and social positioning, which is why I think some find the new atheism rather appealing.

          I rather tend to think that we’re better defined in terms of what we do believe than what we don’t, and to that extent atheism isn’t well suited to defining anyone.

          • A useful tool in promoting division as death to class consciousness, perhaps.

          • I’ve read huge slabs of it, I like the Gospels, and I am particularly enamoured of the Book of Job and Ecclesiastes. When I am feeling down or looking for inspiration, when things are not going right I will automatically reach for my Ipod and listen to music.

  11. Agree about the religious indoctrination but let us not forget about similar indoctrination by lay teachers and academics sprouting their own political ideology whether it is leftist (or progressive if you prefer) currently in our schools and universities, right wing-conservative as it was in schools and universities when I was young, whacko left and right wing extremism as you get in the U S of A and of course religious dogma not just from the Tykes but also from the various other religions competing for the mind of the young. It is all equally offensive.

    Maybe the internet and the freeing up of information might alleviate this age old battle against the freedom to think.

    • At any rate, if we care about our kids and if the asylum seeker issue is a peripheral issue then the productivity of our economy is not and we should be investing in urgency as a means to instigate discussion.

      I am concerned with the means of production of meaning, language as an innate modular structure of the self and how this can be applied in social theory. One might even call it Chomsky’s Gap.

      Another way of saying that, is to say I am concerned with how recent developments in linguistics and how these developments may or may not have antiquated particular elements of social theory.

  12. I have no time whatsoever for religionists. Don’t bother replying.

    • Doug, you believe in a historical figure and attribute remarkable works in his name that to this day are still a matter of conjecture and hearsay. During his brief time he was surrounded by acolytes who knew of his true identity and the works he performed in secret, but dared not mention his name for fear of a great retribution that would be brought down upon his head. You believe that even after he was dead his good works were performed across the land, the fame of which went well beyond his homeland and well beyond his time on earth. People to this day speak of the miracle like nature of his work, its eternalness, some say there are the traces of a trinity at work in his spoken words, some say more. Now you have taken on the task of revealing and resurrecting the identity of the maker of the miracles, it is a hard road, it is a bitter task, it shall done:)

      • Is there a religious component, do you think allthumbs?

        No, just a man, and one with many faults.

        But as the man said himself :

        “‘Tis better to be vile than vile esteemed”

        A man’s reputation is all.

        There is no religious component in that, if the religious believe that their deity is omnipotent and omniscient.

        If the deity is such there can be no advantage in dissembling; all will be laid bare before their Maker.

        The comfort for the atheists should be that the believers will all burn in Hell forevermore.

        :lol: :lol: :lol:

  13. Were you per chance buggered as a child?

    What explains your intolerance?

  14. I am filled with admiration for those here who have the patience and forbearance and simple humanity to treat this Peter character with respect. Really I am. Good on you guys. Personally, I can only feel sad for the poor bastard.

  15. That says it all, does it not, dear reader. This blog is beset by trolls.

    Close it down, Bob and get a better protocol for comment.

    • Cheer up.


      Is not a day continuum to night?
      Do we not swing around the magnet sun,
      The magnificent combustion centre,
      Arm in arm with the moon into the day?
      Show me a moment’s final conclusion,
      Find me the beast’s premature cold cruel end,
      If a conclusion rises to meet me,
      then I shall greet him or her as a friend.
      For if alone the sun and the moon laughed,
      and the earth sulked and knew not for or why
      T’would be trapped in perpetual motion
      baring their souls as a gymnast perspires.
      I remember not where it all began
      Space shit ricochet rocket graffiti. (man)

    • Untitled, 1966

      How about you just leave.

      Everyone else seems to be doing fine.

      and take that cat’s arse avatar with you. It’s nasty!

      • Yet another fucking troll. Or rather, the same one.

        Fuck off.

        • Untitled, 1966

          No, not the same one. It’s not just Cole and Co. that think you’re a tool. Most here do as well. :lol:
          You’ve had it coming for ages.

          Just take your “$400 per hour” cat’s arse and piss off.

          • No prizes for second, Unprincipled 1966.

            • Untitled, 1966

              I wouldn’t dream of taking the prize off Polybios. He’s earned it!

              First Unicorn Boy and now Cat’s Arse.
              These novelty avatars not really working for you, are they Douggie?

              Hey, Do I get first prize for remembering Unicorn Boy?

              Fuck, that was funny!
              Who was it that christened you that?
              The Cat? Was it the Cat?
              He was good.

          • hudsongodfrey

            Doug and I may not agree on much but we disagree civilly.

            You’re a disgrace 1966, you’ve engaged the guy for the sole purpose of bringing him down when you didn’t need to. Didn’t anyone ever advise you that if you can’t say something nice about somebody then it is best to say nothing at all?

            If you don’t like others why don’t you take your own advice and crawl back under your bridge.

            • Untitled, 1966

              And who the fuck are you, his mum or his bitch?
              You just don’t get it, do you?
              I’m sick to death of him playing the victim card every fucking time he gets his big girls blouse rumpled.
              Him copping a few back handlers is long overdue.

              Me, a troll?
              No, I’m not a troll, I just don’t like what he’s doing to this blog.

              You don’t think we can read?
              You don’t think that we can’t see what’s going on? You think his bullshit goes unnoticed?
              Well you must be s bigger fool than you appear.

              But keep swinging that troll slander, you might land one one day.

              • I might well ask all the same questions of you?

                After all you’re the one who turned up out of the blue to flame someone here.

                You’re the “big girl’s blouse”, who can’t bear to have him impugn what was it again? Your favourite author!? Really???

                Bad speech is countered by more at better speech, not with bilious epithets coming from trolls under multiple identities. So for you it’s either back to your bridge or quitting the “United States of Tara” caper.

                You might not like one another but you can ignore it or go away if you wish. What I find unacceptable is the level of vitriol people receive for holding unpopular views. Please stop and go away!

                • Untitled, 1966

                  Let’s get a few things straight here Fat Man.

                  The man is a tool. It’s no wonder he keeps getting hammered.
                  And you’re not far behind yourself.
                  What the fuck’s the matter with you?
                  You think that everyone here enjoys his whining , his bullshit comments and his arrogance?
                  Look around you!

                  Allthumbs tried to give the man some friendly advice on how to acknowledge an author and was insulted for his troubles!
                  You think that shit goes unnoticed??
                  Stan decides to give one back and he goes balling to Bob.
                  You think no one sees that?
                  Some one else makes a comment and this fucking plonker spits “blahs” at him.
                  You think we’re blind? You call that civil?

                  A couple of Uni students come in talking about Shakespeare and because they disagree DQ goes off calling them trolls!
                  You call that civil, do you?
                  Cole and all the rest of his mates or pseudonyms or whatever come in and before you can say shitfight it’s on and cats arse here, after throwing a couple of slaps, goes running to bob screaming that someone’s torn his favourite dress!
                  And you think Quixote’s innocent, that he’s got no hand in that shit?

                  What’s the matter with you???
                  You call that better speech do you?

                  You might buy that shit but I don’t.
                  And I’ll bet you I’m not the only one.

                  I’ve been here longer than you fat man, so keep your advice to yourself.
                  I don’t give a rats about Shakespeare, I just like the conversation.
                  I don’t give a rats about his views, i just hate his poncy carry ons!

                  So you just keep slinging that slander Huddo you might fight a real target.
                  Soon. Somewhere.

                  So sit your self righteous pompous fat arse back down and shut the fuck up!

                  • This is to free speech in a marketplace of ideas what Hemlock was to Socrates.

                    • Untitled, 1966

                      Perish the thought that a man can’t speak his mind without some monopolist telling him what to sell!

                    • hudsongodfrey

                      Sure but after the unmitigated vitriol you’ve been peddling lately I’d just about be willing to sell you some Hemlock.

                      I’m not against ideas I’m against insulting flaming and trolling behaviour. It is unnecessary, unkind and needs to stop!

                    • Untitled, 1966

                      Well, stop doing it and supporting it.


  16. Ten little nigger boys………..
    and then there were two.
    I hope for Bob’s sake that people will start being more civil to each other.
    For any blog it’s better to have many people who use only one name than having only two posters using many names.

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