Posts Tagged ‘the sun’

I hate freedom

Sunday, October 7th, 2012 | Religion & Politics, Thoughts

When I was at school, we once read a short story about a world that made everyone equal by giving everyone a disability.

For example, if you were intelligent, you had to wear a buzzer in your ear that stopped you from thinking about something too much, if you were strong and athletic, you had to wear weights to drag you down – everyone was equally beaten down.

Of course, this was a story about a ridiculous society, that none of us would want to live in. Or so you would think. But more and more recently, it seems people are arguing for such a society.

There is a lot of inequality in this world. But some people seem to think the answer is restricting more people’s freedoms, rather than granting further freedoms to others.

I came across an example of this on Twitter recently. It wasn’t an ideal example, but will suffice.

The author of said point correctly points out that there is a double standard here. Women have the freedom to appear topless in The Sun’s Page 3, but a man who wanted to get his penis out, would not be allowed to go to print.

It’s a classic case of discrimination against men.

But clearly, the solution is to increase the amount of freedom in our society by allowing a newspaper to publish a penis on its third page. Not to place equal restrictions on everyone on what we’re not allowed to publish.

Unfortunately, such attitudes, from people who would presumably like to think of themselves as progressive (though I could be entirely wrong there) actually play directly into the traditional political-religious structure that aims to control society though the suppression of human sexuality.

After all, rationally, there is nothing wrong with putting a picture of a penis in a newspaper. Almost half the world has one, it’s perfectly natural and maybe if we did it more, we wouldn’t have so many ridiculous taboos around sex and sexuality (and everyone would benefit from this, though especially the LGBT community).

So, if we’re actually trying to push a progressive agenda, do you think we could be progressive with our freedoms, rather than regressive?

EDITOR’S NOTE: The story was “Harrison Bergeron” by Kurt Vonnegut.

In the public interest?

Wednesday, August 29th, 2012 | Religion & Politics, Thoughts

Recently, The Sun broke ranks and published naked photos of Price Harry in Las Vegas.

The Sun claimed that the pictures are in the public domain, so they might as well print them. Which, I think most of us can agree, is a really rubbish excuse for breaching someone’s privacy.

Their other defence was to suggest that it was in the public interest to see naked pictures of Prince Harry.

Now, perhaps I am a little out of touch with the old generation, but I utterly fail to see how someone being naked at a party in Las Vegas is in the public interest. He might be third in line to the throne, but first in line to the thrown is Prince Charles – a man who supports homoeopathy and suggested he should be defender of the faiths, even though the title defender of the faith was specifically given to Henry VIII for attacking other religions.

More importantly, though, public interest is an important defence. Sometimes you need to break the rules because it’s important for the media to support something – take the New York Times publishing some of the information Wikileaks released about the US military gunning down innocent civilians for example.

Using it for this kind of nonsense (naked photos of Prince Harry) is a real problem because it weakens the argument when newspapers actually need to publish something that is in the public interest, and hands the government a loaded weapon when it comes to shooting down the need for a public interest defence.

The Sun has been journalistically irresponsible. But what should we expect from the same scumbags that shat all over 168 years of British newspaper history because it turned out they were doing very illegal things.

Weathering solar storms

Saturday, July 23rd, 2011 | Foundation, Humanism, Science

This month at Leeds Skeptics, Dr Jim Wild made the trip over to talk about weathering solar storms – how coronial mass ejection from The Sun has a significant impact on The Earth and given it has the power to knock out our electricity grid, is something we need to be taking seriously.

It was one of the best talks we have had a in recent times with great feedback coming from those who attended. Big thanks to Jim for making the trip over, you can find out more about him on his website.