Absurdism, Books, Law

A second year in blogging, a retrospective

A love of irony is a sign of health; everything absolute belongs to pathology
Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil.

Language is an urgent political affair.
This year I have written posts from the battle lines of the language frontier:

  • Eminent speakers were silenced by self-righteous university student moralists;
  • Cartoonists at Charlie Hebdo were shot for writing satire;
  • Rebecca Lenkiewicz’s play The Witch of Walkern was pulled because its language offended;
  • Petitions to Parliament tried to make various human behaviour (and speech) criminal acts;
  • The Holocaust was asserted to be too reverent a subject for the language of comedy.
  • Writings of the sociologist Emile Durkheim were excluded from the A-level syllabus for fear it could trigger harmful reactions in student readers; Continue reading
Film, Law

Bomb the ban

In Stanley Kubrick’s classic black comedy Dr Strangelove (1964) a US General is so upset about the fluoridation of water he starts a nuclear war and destroys the entire human race. It is on one view an excessive reaction. He could instead have petitioned the lawmakers to oblige suppliers to purify water. I see that Stop the Fluoridation of UK water supplies is one of the 4079 petitions currently open on the petition.parliament.uk website. The justification given is: “a study has revealed the dark relationship between lower IQ levels and sodium fluoride consumption”. There is no mention of General Jack D. Ripper so I have assumed that the petition is not ironic. At the time of writing it has 452 signatures. Continue reading