Wednesday 13 December 2017

Kevin Myers: Focus eliminates multitasking: the reason there are almost no female composers, or Formula 1 drivers

Kevin Myers

SLOW DOWN. This is the most beautiful time of year, when proof of the existence of a benign and munificent God is abundant in our hedgerows and in our tree blossom; and meanwhile, comparable proof abounds that no such kindly all-seeing being could possibly have created the murder-competition that has turned our fields into the Third Battle of Ypres.

The sparrow-hawk that kills the hen blackbird does so to feed her young, while in the black-bird nest, most of the now-motherless fledglings die. At sunset, the single youngster that the cock-bird has managed to keep alive then flutters to the nearest branch; it draws its first independent breath, and is promptly seized by a swooping owl, whose wide-eyed squawking offspring are meanwhile glaring hungrily into the night.

So, we humans shouldn't be adding to the horrendous bird death toll by driving fast down our country roads. Yet clearly, many of us are unaware of the hopelessly helpless young birds that are leaving their nests, with all the aerodynamic characteristics of feathered tonsils. Pitted against them are the dimorphic idiots in cars who define the differences between the sexes.

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