I became insane with long intervals of horrible sanity.
Edgar Allen Poe

The trouble with fighting for human freedom is that one spends most of one's time defending scoundrels. For it is against scoundrels that oppressive laws are first aimed, and oppression must be stopped at the beginning if it is to be stopped at all.
- H. L. Mencken

Many people would sooner die than think; In fact, they do so
-Bertrand Russell

What I have been telling you, from alpha to omega, what is the one great thing the sigil taught me — that everything in life is miraculous. For the sigil taught me that it rests within the power of each of us to awaken at will from a dragging nightmare of life made up of unimportant tasks and tedious useless little habits, to see life as it really is, and to rejoice in its exquisite wonderfulness. If the sigil were proved to be the top of a tomato-can, it would not alter that big fact, nor my fixed faith. No Harrowby, the common names we call things by do not matter — except to show how very dull we are ...
-James Branch Cabell

December 17, 2014 - 12:30 p.m.

You say stop and I say go go go

As seems to often happen this time of year I'm on a string of nights not doing anything. That means I have to find other things to write about.

I did go to Heather again. She asked me to go to Home Depot with her to get paint. The Home Depot on DeKalb is very strange, they hide the entrance. You get to the corner and see the building and there's no way to get in it. We had to walk all around it to find the parking lot. The entrance is from that. Guys an arrow pointing which way to walk would be nice.

I watched episode 3 of The Librarians. What I watch on TV seems to have almost no correlation to what's popular with my friends or general public. Is it a great show? No, but it's fun and not idiotic. When they are trying to save the world the show doesn't concentrate on their personal dramas. It just struck me that the plural of drama should not be dramas, it's Greek. And some research shows that it is dramata. Not even I am enough of anti-barbarism fascist to insist on that

Despite the fact that I did not get enough sleep last night, I got up too early, I am going to try and tackle something difficult, the concepts of consent and intent. What got me started on this was the Jian Ghomeshi affair. For those of you not in Canada or Frheads Jian was in the band Moxy Frvous. After the band's breakup he became a huge star on the CBC from his show Q. It all fell apart when at least 15 women accused him of sexual assault. He say that though he was violent it was all consensual. There's no good summery article but this hits the points relevant to my discussion, Jian Ghomeshi did not ask for consent, accusers say.

Jian was fired as a result of his preemptory defense in anticipation of a woman making accusations against him. In his defense he showed pictures of a woman whose ribs he broke. Yes he showed evidence that he broke a woman's bones thinking it was a defense. Why? Because he said she consented to the violence. And that's what got me thinking. Does someone giving consent give license to do anything he consents to. Many people automatically say "Yes! No one should interfere between the actions of two consenting adults." But that' an answer for people who don't want to think, who don't want to make hard decisions. There are people who would consent to all sorts of self-destructive acts. There are people that want doctors to amputate healthy limbs. There are people that want to be eaten! Should we allow that? We don't of course. Any doctor removing a healthy limb would be guilty of criminal malpractice. We don't automatically block people from doing things that harm themselves. We let people sell cigarettes even though they kill. We as a society make case by case decisions which evolve with time. We try and reach a consensus. We often don't. But that doesn't mean we should avoid making the decisions. I know for me I view what Jian did as at best taking advantage of women with problems. At worst he simply beat and raped them.

And it goes beyond people with psychological issues. There are people acting under duress. Desperate people will do desperate things That doesn't mean that it's right to take advantage of it. We have usury laws to protect people in desperate need of money. We have workplace harassment laws. Can someone financially dependent on Jian really be free to make a choice? Is that what we mean by consent?

The most common case is that if diminished capacity. We say by law that a child is not able to give consent to sex with different regions using different age cutoffs. It's obviously something that differs from individual to individual but I can't see any way of rationally making a decision for one person.

More common than that is people being drunk or stoned. While pretty much everyone agrees it is wrong to give a woman a date rape drug people do differ when it comes to voluntarily taken drugs and alcohol. How many drunk people end up having sex with people which they would never have done sober? Is it rape? If both were drunk, which is most usually the case who raped whom? What if a woman gets drunk totally on her own and comes on to a man is he wrong to have sex with her? Well I would never do it. I had to change that last sentence as I found it hard to not write, "take advantage of her." That's the phrase that came naturally. I was once at a party where a beautiful female friend got drunk. People were worried about how she'd get home and I volunteered to get a cab and take her and make sure she got in her apartment OK. I was taken aback when someone admonished me to not take advantage of her. I felt insulted especially when he repeated it. But of course he didn't know me well, he was her friend not mine, and plenty of men would take advantage.

But now to go back to two drunk people. If two people are equally drunk and one is too drunk to consent isn't the other too drunk to form intent? How do we deal with this? What happens is that no matter how we decide lots of people will disagree. There is no consensus.

OK I have no intentions of giving answers just to get you thinking. Most important to get you to see that it's something you need to think about. That it's not easy.

OK now on to breakfast. I consent to that whole-heartedly.





Annoying People - September 03, 2016
This Play Was The Pits - September 02, 2016
Banking on Getting Better or Avoiding Katastrophe. - September 01, 2016
Unlike Gilligan I Got Off the Island - August 31, 2016
Call of the Wilder - August 30, 2016




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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 License. Horvendile December 17, 2014
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