Friday, August 01, 2003

Today's pick of the Guardian site...

1. Pope calls for halt to 'evil' gay marriages

-- which is more proof of firstly the conservatism towards sexual attitudes that has maintained control over the majority of this millenium (as per Foucault's studies), and secondly the possibility that finally we are moving away from the objectification of sex, to return confidence in our own sexual nature, as ties in with my current (and extremely vague) theory of sexual pleasure and evolution.

2. Britons owe each other £29bn in 'borrowed' goods

-- Continuing the "debt" theme from yesterday, it now turns out that apparently Britons owe each other vast sums just from not paying each other back for small things like chocolate bars. I say this is a good thing - yes, pound after pound does add up, but only if you are so ANALLY RETENTIVE that you have to WORRY about the odd pound here or there, ESPECIALLY when you're earning anything more than you REALLY NEED TO. And if it REALLY stresses you out, DON'T LEND MONEY TO PEOPLE. The very fact that anyone commissioned a study into this may reflect just how financially up our own arses we actually are as a nation.

3. A matter of life and death

-- mostly anti-US ranting, which is always fun, but throws up the rarely-mentioned (or maybe I'm just ignoring it) point that if Saddam had many many doubles, how are we sure that the pictures of his sons aren't doubles of them, too? The evidence for their deaths is fucked, or at any rate, is outweighed by the plausibility of this being a sham. As such, I choose to believe they are still alive.

Lastly, I'm intrigued by the blurring of the boundaries between "fact" derived from empirical studies, and "fact" as presented in the form of opinion, in the domain of newspapers. Extreme examples of this can be found in such rags as the Daily Mail, and the big black lines they put in to separate the "We say..." column with the rest of the "news" is often so opinionally or factually thin to be non-existent. But the same kind of thing happens in all of them - the state of a nation as backed up by facts, and the state of a nation as backed up by reason. Should there be a difference? Is there a place for one or the other in papers?

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