Just An Observation Friday May 24th


 The main talking points this week have been opposite sides of the same coin with love and hate dominating as one young man is slain in broad daylight whilst parliament still debates the rights and supposed wrongs of gay marriage. There is also the matter of a hurricane in Oklahoma  which claiming several lives makes the east coast winds we suffer almost daily in Edinburgh seem like over enthusiastic breathing exercises in comparison.

The gay marriage debate which seems to focus on matters such as tradition, bigotry and institution –love obviously doesn’t really seem to come into the debate much and in a world where actions are more likely to be fuelled by hatred surely this is an aspect we should be concentrating on- and really makes sense if we are to have a wholly democratic society. If different religious beliefs and cultures are accepted then surely continuing to exclude one section of the population can no longer be justified whatever the reasoning. Attitudes and acceptance of homosexuality have evolved greatly over the last fifty years and if marriage is to retain any relevance in our society then surely it must do the same otherwise it will become an anachronism and out dated institution with little worth or value.

 I have been asked several times by friends and family on my views on gay marriage and my answer remains the same as it always has, in that I can’t imagine I would ever want to commit myself in that way but at the same time I would prefer to have the right to choose not to rather than having the choice unavailable and therefore the decision made for me. That is what really lies at the crux of this matter; the individual’s right to choose and in a democracy why is this still a matter of debate? Personally I do not care if David Cameron is backing this bill as a means of securing votes –surely as a politician securing votes is part of the job isn’t it?- and whilst I have supported very few-if any- of his proposals this is one which I do wholeheartedly agree with and the fact that it has been passed in the last few days shows that even Tories may have hearts albeit connected to winning votes.. Perhaps it is time to stop wasting time on this pointless debate and allow gays the equal right they are entitled to after all they can’t really balls it up anymore than their heterosexual counterparts who seem to have devalued the whole process and institution themselves over the last few decades. Perhaps a gay makeover is exactly what the whole thing needs and at least weddings might not all so much resemble bad taste parties-Fascinators puhlease! Surely a misnomer- in the fashion stakes. Or perhaps then again maybe they will but with even more sequins!

 Whilst parliament continues to debate whether gay love is worthy or not it would seem that an act of hatred committed in the name of love and fanaticism on the streets of Woolwich this week has incited hatred of a different kind. Apparently committed as an act of terrorism in the name of Allah-although this is disputed- it would be well remembered that whilst terrorists may use Allah as an umbrella to shield their sins most Muslims do not use terrorism to convey their message no matter what these fundamentalists claim. Thus the bile alongside torrents of racial and religious hatred which have flooded social media sites- my own news feeds have remained virtually unblemished by these outpourings though this is maybe down to my understanding of what a ‘friend’ actually is and have limited myself to intelligent and informed people with integrity rather than the instant ‘just add water’ variety social media encourages- show not only ignorance but also gullibility in that they are reacting, overreacting even, exactly as the perpetrators of these heinous crimes want them to.

 What is really important is that a 25 year old soldier is now dead after a frenzied machete attack in broad daylight in front of several witnesses. I don’t care what excuses and reasons are offered up, such an act is deplorable and unacceptable in a so called civilised society and such news is more likely to bring a tear to my eye than any carefully choreographed Hollywood tear jerker. However turning on a whole religion or race as a means of revenge-always a wasted emotion and action with little sense of resolve I believe- will not serve to assuage the situation but only inflame it.

These two different events have brought to mind a famous John Lennon quote wherein he maintained that it was okay to carry out wars in public but showing and making love had to be done out of sight and in private. The fact that this came from a documented misogynistic wife beater who abandoned his first child can be asuaged by the fact he had a radical personality change when he encountered his own personal Diety to whom he became wholly answerable to; Yoko Ono.

 Elsewhere the tornado in Oklahoma claimed 24 lives, including ten children, in what has seemed like a particularly bad news week. There is nothing positive to be taken from this and if anything can be referred to as an ‘Act of God’ then surely it is an unexplainable tragedy like this and not someone hacking and maiming an unarmed young man to pieces and an early death in the street.

 If after all this doom and gloom a little light relief is needed then the cinema holds the delights of the new Star Trek movie-admittedly I have not seen it yet- and Baz Luhrmann’s over the top camp extravaganza ‘The Great Gatsby’ which may horrify purists and literary scholars who admire F.Scott Fitzgerald’s classic novel but at least the costumes by Prada are worth seeing even if the soundtrack is little more than an irritant. A full review can be found here

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