Saturday, 23 February 2013

The Dark Side Of The Rainbow

Sometimes I really like the idea of having an affair.
There. Said it. Surprised? You shouldn't be, because I've felt exactly the same for more years than I care to remember. The whole thought of doing the wrong thing, of being illicit, of crashing through the moral barriers before me. It's really quite appealing, and sometimes the urge is stronger than at other times.
Remarkably, I've remained faithful for fifteen years, despite having at least a couple of opportunities not to be. So why didn't I? Well the answer is kind of dreary. I didn't want to see people hurt. Specifically, I didn't want to betray the trust of my children nor the women who gave them to me. Don't think for a second that I've achieved some kind of moral victory here, because its a battle I'm still fighting at various times. And yes, I can play the evolutionary card and admit that all men are wired this way, which is true, but I can't do that without also admitting that our evolutionary heritage gifted me a brain which, in theory, should help me overcome some of those urges.
Ladies, I'm not going to apologise for any of the above. I began blogging with the aim of being as honest as I could, which means sometimes the veil gets torn and you see me for what I am. A double standard, a man who does the right thing through gritted teeth rather than due to any strength of character.
At this point I could also play the "all men are like this card" , but that's so dreary and predictable. I don't have to be them, or inhabit their body. I can only be me, and as I play out the role this is one of my Achilles heels.
So there it is. Good old Rob. Rob who makes people laugh, who says the things other people only think of saying. At it again. On the plus side, I've never claimed to be on a moral pedestal. Fact is, whilst statistically I do the right thing probably 90 percent of the time, I could only claim of actually wanting to do the right thing for about 10 percent. I do the right thing because its the right thing to do, when more often than not the appeal of doing the opposite is way more alluring.
Bit of a mess, really? Oh don't worry ladies, I'm not about to leer lecherously in your direction anytime soon. Chances are I'll just continue to do the right thing, and continue to sometimes loathe having to do the right thing.
In spite of myself.

Friday, 8 February 2013

A Night On The Town

Neck it, deck it, have another one,
Chuck your guts and call it fun,
Head down the bog with your tits hanging out,
Is this really your idea of a good night out?

Wobble on your heels, dribble in your glass,
Flirt with that tart with the enormous arse,
Stagger through the noise and the music and the gloom,
Waking with a headache like a sonic boom.

Talk to the waiter like you wiped him off your shoe,
Summon and discard him like the guy belongs to you,
Snigger at his accent, mock his moustache,
All part and parcel of being on the lash.

Argue with your soul mate or the bouncer at the door,
Slurring that your sober and your ready for more,
Pushing and shoving then the smashing of a glass,
Bottle in the face and flat on your arse.

Blue lights flashing, ambulance on scene,
Crowds leering, cheering, get another beer in,
The night goes on, the groping continues,
High heeled shoe through a kebab van window.

Police on scene, bodies on the floor,
Squirming and snarling and wrestling with the law
The cuffs go on, the natives guffaw,
Neon lights fade at the slamming of a door.

Lost your phone, can't get home
Wandering through the estate,
Your make up is smeared and you look like the joker,
Nylons laddered, senses bladdered.

Pushing and shoving, kicking and punching,
Slap your partner, steal her keys,
Words go wild, bitching like a child,
Don't be surprised if I'm less than beguiled.

Sunrise looming through half drawn curtains,
Stink of your farts the one thing now certain,
Your brain has gone south,
Taste like cat piss in your mouth.

Opening your wallet, seeking out the cash,
Really can't believe that you burned that stash,
Didn't get a snog, nor a fumble or a grope,
Waking up single with a little less hope.

Here ends this tale of a night on lash,
And frankly I'm somewhat perplexed.
I'm not really tempted, I'm not really sold
Perhaps I'm just boring, sour faced, too old?

It sounds a bit wasteful, I hasten to add,
I suspect I prefer other ways to be bad.
But hey you crack on, get dolled up, scream and shout,
Cos apparently this equals the perfect night out.

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

The Intemperate Vandal

Mark Twain once famously admonished religion for the way it stood in the way of moral progress, preventing it up until the point where it realised the game was up, at which point it joined the parade at the back of the queue. He was right of course. Has there ever been a bigger stumbling block, a larger obstacle to clear thinking and reasoned discourse? I think not. Nowhere is this better emphasised than the church's pitiful, enfeebled efforts to prevent homosexuals from enjoying the same rights as anyone else. But rather than dwell on this I want to press home another point, namely to dismiss the idea that we need religion for any moral problem. Let me illustrate using the image of two missionary's working overseas, perhaps with children with HIV or some other degenerative condition. They sacrifice themselves because they believe they are doing Gods will, pouring heart and soul, blood and sweat into enriching the lives of others. If, one day, they learned that God was imaginary,would this give them license to stop doing what they do? Would the absence of God negate the need to care for these children, or render their commitment any less wonderful? What should we think of them if they suddenly packed bags and flew home, feeling everything they did was for naught? Well might I suggest that we could be legitimately scathing. Ask yourself, what was their true motivation? To please God? To live lives pleasing to The Lord? Do the needs of these children diminish one iota whether or not God exists? No. Of course, no. I argue that whilst the idea of God compels many to great sacrifice, it shouldn't be necessary. If you're going to be benevolent do it because it's the right thing to do, because it reduces the surplus of human suffering. Be good for the sake of goodness. No other reason is required. God is now surplus and superfluous, an outsized comfort blanket dragged around by many people unable to face reality as it is. If you truly need religion to sculpt your moral architecture then that says something about you. Whilst you might consider yourself humble for thinking you can't make it alone, it seems to me that you possibly lack some courage. Yes, this world can be terrifying, and we are more fragile and vulnerable than many of us care to admit. We blunder through ethical and moral dilemmas and often only learn with the added tool of hindsight. That's the price of being human, the cost of the ticket. It's non refundable and there are no terms and conditions. Finally, back to religion. We're reaching the point where it really does have the power to damage and corrode as never before. Whilst Christianity is in its death rattle, it still twitches from time to time and makes a noisy nuisance. And Islam remains an intemperate vandal just waiting for its big moment in the spotlight. Both must be resisted by people of reason. Calmly, firmly, continuously. We need a climate of good natured mockery, where confessions of faith are seen as a personal hobby rather than as something with deeper, more profound significance. I have no objection to a persons private religious belief, and I support an individuals right to practice this. But my line in the sand is crossed when it transgresses on the important moral issues of the day. When it does, we get bogged down in muddy thinking and positions based on mere vapour. We cannot afford this and need to make this clear. Join me as we seek to limit the influence of religion; play your part in taming this eternal teenager, this gangly and erratic relic. We need not be unkind, nor rude or needlessly mocking. We just need to ensure it knows its place.