The Devil’s in the Detail

Dear Reader,
I am writing about language and free speech again because you didn’t listen the first time.

There are way too many people in the world, we can’t even talk about them let alone sustain them and that’s the problem. The real problem, the self-perpetuating problem of people, there are way too many people! Global population has almost tripled since 1950 (over 7.1 Billion, now). The population-crisis started with a baby-boom and we’re living in the inevitable fallout…

I understand that starting a family can bring people happiness or at least an illusory sense of purpose to an otherwise vacuous existence. But when a Doctor makes the news for upsetting a patient by giving her, quite frankly, sound advice, it’s time we reminded ourselves; sticks and stones break our bones but words can never hurt us; ask a Syrian what they think.

Did anyone read this one? Charlotte Comer, a 21 year-old married mother of a 2 year old and 11 week old had an appointment with her GP. Dr Landen asked if she planned to have more children and suggested that with over-population a very real concern, it could be viewed as ‘irresponsible’ to have more than two. Outrage ensued. Words like ‘offensive’, ‘distressing’ and ‘hurtful’ marred the headlines, despite the fact words can’t physically ‘hurt’ anyone. As the Doc got a fair bit of stick for this let’s put his words in some kind of context…

What does it mean to be ‘irresponsible’? The human race is ‘responsible’ for a lot of modern advances; the computer, the wheel and the aeroplane spring to mind, oh, and pollution and war and genocide. But now more than ever people lobby for ‘change’, not that it’ll come while we’re bullshitting ourselves with euphemistic language like ‘save the planet’. Your not trying to save the planet, the planet doesn’t need saving, it’s been doin’ fine for 4 & ½ billion years, no, you’re using language to tiptoe round your own mortality. The planet’s fine, the people are fucked. They should have called it ‘save yourself’; we might have paid more attention.

This soft PC language has caused a social hysteria around words. Generally, the Media creates hysteria by giving heavy coverage of a particular subject, in turn spreading anxiety and a sense of urgency. ‘War on Drugs’, ‘War on Terror’, now they’re targeting language, A politically correct ‘War on Words’. It’s pumped out daily like your screaming little darlings, then the flames are fanned to inferno.
…Considering the power of media influence, the importance of addressing population growth and the unquestionable journalistic integrity of Tabloid news, it’s surprising the subject of over-population never comes up; we’re never told to worry about it. I guess by 2070 sex is expected to go out of fashion and the problem will correct itself. Or could it be because a reduced population wouldn’t benefit the owners of this country and their business interests? Over- population doesn’t bother them, they’re not one of 6000 graduates applying for a job pouring coffee in Nottingham.

Doc’s right, it is irresponsible, a study at Oregon State University concluded that a “woman who already recycles at her optimum increases her carbon-footprint 40 times just by having two children. ” Two is all you need… that way you have replaced both mother and father in the gene pool, if you feel the need for more, before you’ve even raised the ones you’ve got, I suggest you look at your ego. You don’t go out to a restaurant and order four steak dinners because you can. You order one, two tops, see if you like that one first, you might not fancy another, you might not like the one you get. Your steak might come out with straight D’s, a bad attitude, with poor-depth perception and body odour… and by the time you’ve realised you’ve made a mistake, it’s too late, you’ve already been handed the bill.
Now it’s steak 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for 18 years minimum. And on top of the fiscal burden of raising offspring, you also suffer the drudgery of being an unpaid, underappreciated cook, cleaner, chauffer, nanny, nurse… and when the episiotomy stitches have healed and the varicose veins are just beginning to bulge, you’ll know your eyes were bigger than your now stretched, saggy, caesarean-scarred stomach… it’s enough to put you off your dinner.

I can already see who this article’s goin’ to offend; the women will scream “don’t you dare tell me what I can and can’t do with my own body!” Why not? You’re told what to do with you’re body daily; don’t eat that, you can’t smoke here, that drug’s illegal, pay for a prescription of this and shave you’re legs, it’s date night.

The religions will be banging on the door next: “God designed us to procreate, he wants us to be fruitful and bare children! Your opinion is blasphemous!” The God defence… eugh… the last defence of a person with no answers, no argument and no sense of logic. “It’s God’s will! He gave women a vagina for a reason, he wants it to be used.” yeah? He gave them an asshole too but they’re more reluctant about using that one, “That’s different you uncouth monster! You can’t create life putting it in there!” I know, you can’t add to the population crisis that way either, who knew sodomy is eco-friendly.

I’m not picking on any religion in particular; in my eyes they’re all as complicit as each other. I support spirituality, I think its healthy to have a respect for existence, nature, life and death. It’s the fundamentalism that comes with organised religion I object too. I have no problem with people believing what they like, its up to them, its up to you, its personal, just keep it to yourself, keep it out of my face and keep it out of the laws. We live in a post industrial age of science and logic. We are governing an increasing unstable world, with constantly depleting resources, and we can’t even talk about the problem of procreation for fear of causing offense. I don’t like loosing my civil liberties on behalf of primitive mystics, fearful of a 2000-year-old bedtime story about an invisible man in the sky.

So, pump out your perpetual problem, censor my speech, but please be aware that we’re circling the drain as a species. If I’ve offended you, good. I doubt I’ll make the papers (except this one). But then again, what do I know? I’m not a doctor.

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