I feel that very keenly and Somerset Maugham did too, which is why he produced stories like Rain, about a south seas missionary and wife who sternly disapproved of smut and yet the missionary was seduced by a lady of “loose morals”, which undercut his whole argument and made him look a right sleaze.
The only way I can reconcile my later Christian principles with not only what I once did but libertarianism too in a political sense is to point to what is right and wrong but not preach about it, especially to adults. When it comes to children, again it’s hardly cut and dried, as Microdave’s heads up here shows:
The girls, aged 17 and 18, were bussed to the clubhouse of the Nomads outlaw motorcycle gang in Carrara after the dinner at the Gold Coast convention centre on Saturday night…
If this post starts to look confused and garbled, that’s because I am. I’m a regular at Microdave‘s Friday Funnies and while not prudish by nature, in that something like that is hardly going to offend [ditto with Theo], in fact it’s quite funny, I should draw the line somewhere. Until now, on this blog, the line’s been “wimmin on bicycles” and the occasional nude.
So, what to say about those girls with the bikers? First instinct is I want it stopped – kids should not be into those things and who organized that?
Second instinct is to say to myself “you bloody hypocrite” – that’s what you were doing at that age and we were. We were slipping out of the schoolgrounds at lunchtime and going to a house where various things were happening. When I was 12, I had a 10 year old girlfriend too and we weren’t speaking of the weather. When I was 8, another 8 year old and I used to [genuinely] play doctors and nurses.
And yet something tells me now, pre-decrepitude, that that’s not on – let’s call it the Berlusconi Ruby factor. And there’s not a lot you can do to enclose students over 16 anyway – we were always more than a match for the preventative ministrations of staff and yet – and I know this sounds hypocritical again – and yet there should at least be strictures in place, i.e. the thing should be disallowed and at least attempts made to keep kids from themselves, even though everyone knows they’ll get out and do these things anyway.
Just curious where their parents thought they actually were and yet I remember being with one girl one evening when she phoned her mother and somehow reconciled it with her being with me – and I knew her parents were strict. Her father was a big fella too.
And what can the school do? Expel the girls? Suspend them? If the school expels them, then they just continue on the way they were before, albeit it now lacks the spice of “thou shalt not”. And if you make rules about kids, then how far down the age ladder do you go?
Well obviously you don’t want 13 year olds into this, even though most of us were sexually active around 12 or 13 so you see the difficulty with prudery. Christianity says you should be married and only do that with your wife. And the worst thing of all is to be a relativist, saying “well we’ll be prudish on these days but all moral on Sundays”.
While I’m writing this, I’m keenly aware of various Christians [genuine ones] reading these words and they know that I know what is right and wrong and they don’t need to say anything to me. I’m also keenly aware of Microdave and Chuckles, for example, reading this, amused, eyes to the sky.
Sigh. That’s as far as I can get with this for now. I don’t like the organized nature of what those girls did because it involved a bus for crying out loud – now who organized that? It’s the third party abetting it I’m down on. I think if they’d slipped away to the beach, then there’s not a lot which could be done, especially if they were all young people but this “organized’ factor is the bit which rankles. It smacks of someone preying on those girls and the spectre of Savile raises its ugly mush.
An episode of Morse was called Cherubim and Seraphim and it tried to deal with what kids did – those were the days of acid house parties. It wanted to apply morality to it but found it difficult. So it did as I’m doing now and zeroing in on the aider and abetter, an older guy supplying the drugs and making a tidy profit from it – everyone can be down on a bete noir like that.
I’d really like to know what Microdave and Chuckles would think of their own daughters, at 17, going off for a night with bikers or a night at Berlusconi’s bunga bunga parties. I suspect they’d say they can only do so much, they can only put certain values into their kids when young and then hope for the best later on when the kids have the power of self-determination.
The relevance of this below won’t be immediately apparent but it becomes apparent as you read – it also gives a wider context:
‘If a sane person didn’t know anything else about Communism and its effects on the lives of individuals and communities, a first encounter with the crudity, the sheer unloveliness, of socialist-realist architecture or painting would set off alarm bells:Something is seriously wrong here.’
Schneiderman on wimmin [might come back to this]:
Filed under: Society & human issues