Sex, Violence, and Politics

So Obama got endorsed by the Kennedys, I see. Pretty much puts the kiss of death on any conservative appeal he had because of his charisma, but the guy’s really just another new-school socialist anyway. Having him in the White House would be a nightmare, but I suppose it’d be less bad than Hillary…

Via Kim comes the reminder that Mardis Gras is child’s play:

Five days of frenzied festivities kick off on Friday, with the biggest parties in Rio de Janeiro, Salvador and Recife.

Latin America’s largest country stops work and indulges in a riot of drinking, dancing and parades accompanied by often licentious behavior.

The Health Ministry launched its annual safe sex campaign on Sunday under the slogan “Good in bed means wearing a condom.”

I find it just bizarre in general that these festivals exist, but never underestimate the stupidity of large groups of people. And there are people genuinely confused about the wildfire spread of STDs? I know I’m not anything remotely close to normal, and maybe my logic is just too abstract for most people, but if anonymous sex has all these negative consequences why not just… not do it?

Also from Kim is this heartwarming tragic tale of neighborly love senseless violence:

A father of three was murdered after going to a neighbour’s house to retrieve his son’s football. David Martin was allegedly stabbed with a samurai sword and a knife then bludgeoned round the head with a golf club. His wife and two youngest children watched in horror as an argument broke out and Mr Martin collapsed in agony.

Emphasis mine. “Hey guys, I was just wondering if I could get my son’s football back…” gets you beaten to death? What kind of insane world are we living in? What makes it even worse is that Mr. Martin’s father died in the exact same way – beaten to death trying to save his son from a group of misunderstood youth gang that should have been hung on the spot all those years ago. But they can’t do that, and with no death penalty to worry about, it’s pretty obvious that people aren’t worried too much about the repercussions – especially when the repercussions for said crimes are 6 years in juvenile for one offender while the others walk away.

This where I have to refer to LawDog’s excellent post on self defense. It’s becoming increasingly the case that criminals don’t fear the repercussions of what happens AFTER the crime, which I can easily attribute to our sluggish and ultimately ineffective justice system. This leaves you to provide him with fear on the spot. As LawDog points out,

Joe Critter does his first mugging. He is probably almost as scared as his victim, he’s not sure he wants to do this — but … hey! He got ten dollars (or sex, or a feeling of power, or whatever) but more importantly: he didn’t get hurt.

The next time, he’s a little less scared. He’s a little more sure. He gets five dollars (or sex, power, whatever) — and he’s not hurt. He feels his activities present less risk to him each time he has a successful (he didn’t get hurt) attack.

Twenty or a hundred victims later, Joe Critter not only doesn’t think mugging is risky, but the lack of risk has caused him to consider other, more violent actions. Because these actions don’t get him hurt.

On the other paw, suppose Joe Critter is in a place where self-defence is expected and encouraged. He figures the reward of wallet money is worth the risk of Rehabilitation Through Reincarnation, or Bodily Injury and attempts a mugging. The victim defends him or her self, and let us postulate that Joe scrambles away with powder burns and a bloody furrow along the ribs.

In contrast to the above example, for mugging number 2, the Risk part of Joe’s Risk/Reward assessment climbs, rather than lowers. Death — instead of being a philosophical possibility of his actions, is now a very real, concrete fact.

Go read the rest.

In happier news, new episode of House tonight. Holy crap, I’m actually excited about a TV show.

One thought on “Sex, Violence, and Politics”

  1. I find it just bizarre in general that these festivals exist

    The original point of Fat Tuesday was to eat up all the remaining meat, dairy, eggs, etc. in the house, so that you could properly observe proper culinary abstinence for Lent, which begins the following day (Ash Wednesday). It is also called Shrove Tuesday, because you were supposed to be shriven, i.e. make your confession, so as to start off Lent on a clean conscience.

    That it has now become a days-long party crammed with as much sex, drunkenness and carousing as possible, is rather typical human behavior, I’m afraid. Even here in Florida, the theme parks obviously don’t advertise the rowdy or lewd stuff, but they do have “Mardi Gras celebration” every night all the way beyond Easter.

    It makes about as much sense as Christmas being about Santa, trees and presents, or Easter being about bunnies, eggs and new clothes. It’s not that those things are bad in themselves, but doing just the cute customs and completely missing the underlying spiritual meat is rather sad.

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