We have ways of making you... think
Published 20/02/2014 | 02:30
One of the accusations most frequently levelled at football fans is that they show a type of tribal loyalty that completely flies in the face of logic and common sense. But, as ever, football – or any sport – has a reason for that. And that reason is simple – it transcends the logical and laughs in the face of common sense.
Otherwise, how else could you possibly explain normally stoic men weeping open tears because some millionaires are beaten by some other millionaires?
Blind, tribal loyalty to a football team is one thing. But blind, tribal loyalty to an idea is something that should terrify all of us. Because the one great gift we have in a democracy is the freedom to make up our mind on any given issue without having to worry about deviating from the approved party line.
By this, I don't mean political parties, I'm referring to the morally reprehensible group-think that allows people to view the world through the prism of their own beliefs, and their own beliefs alone.
We've seen that recently with the furore over Pantigate, when your not so humble columnist was caught in some unfriendly fire and got it in the neck for apparently being homophobic.
Now, dropping the 'H' bomb on anybody you don't agree with has become the latest form of lazy demonisation and the fact that I happen to support gay marriage and, broadly speaking, gay adoption, means nothing. Because the doctrinaire do-gooders of the gay lobby insisted that despite my previous public support for these rights, I was still a bigot. My crime? Not worshipping at the altar of Rory O'Neill.
Even gay men who spoke up in support of that piece were quickly shouted down – often by straight people who switched from using the word homophobe to calling these people self-loathing.
Language by committee is simply an expression of thought by committee, and it would appear there are plenty of committees around this country telling people what they must think – as if being a mother, or a gay man, or a straight man, or a feminist, or a cyclist, or a smoker, means you have to think the same as every other mother, gay man, straight, feminist, cyclist and smoker and God forbid you ever actually come up with a thought for yourself.
This notion of My Ideas, Right Or Wrong is simply a modern replacement of the blinkered nationalism that dragged Europe into two catastrophic wars and continues to fester around the world to this day. But the principle remains the same.
Similarly, this week saw some members of the feminist chattering classes express discomfort at the targeting of a woman who has been accused of a pretty horrific sex crime. The use of her parental status by some newspapers was, we were told, part of a culture of oppression against woman that looked to blame them for everything.
That gloriously garbled moral free pass was also employed by feminist campaigner Caroline Criado Perez, who recently semi-exonerated one of her Twitter abusers on the grounds that she was a woman who was merely the victim of a male society.
But here's the uncomfortable truth – we know bad when we see it.
And if you are prepared to give a moral free pass to someone simply because they, even if not their actions, fit into your world view then I have a suggestion – come up with a new world view.
Because the one you're using has turned you into a moron.
FORGET CAKES, LET'S HAVE SOME ROTTEN HISTORY
It might not be the most popular view in this country, but a clear look at the events of 1916 demonstrate that this was a violent action with no popular mandate.
Time has turned it into some sort of noble crusade, rather than a folly. But whether you agreed with the people responsible or not, the Rising was undoubtedly a terrorist event – Ireland's 9/11, as one smart ass of my acquaintance likes to call it.
And the latest victim of that event is the Paris Bakery on Moore Street, which faces demolition to make room for a museum commemorating the day a perfectly nice bank holiday weekend that was wrecked by people who knew they couldn't win their battle through democratic means.
So, 70 people are set to lose their jobs so they can erect a shrine to terrorism and Dublin City Council has said there is no room for manoeuvre and they are refusing to debate the issue. The locals have said that this arrogant decision is a massive mistake.
Proving, I guess, that we can never negotiate with errorists.
FINALLY, SOME COMMON BLOODY SENSE
Say what you like about dem Muslim lads, you could never accuse them of pandering to fashionable whims.
The latest fatwa to come from the brains trust at the Islamic Council in the United Arab Emirates is against those kuffar who want to join Mars One, the one way journey to the Red Planet that is due to lift off in 2025.
According to the UAE: "Such a one-way trip poses a very real danger to your life and that is never justified under Islam."
If you think that's bad, you should see what they have to say about people with an interest in teleportation.
Let's just say they're agin it.
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