The News From Blighty

Isn’t good.

I suppose if I had the time I might start another blog and devote it exclusively to such things.  But, I do think not so.  I am not capable of coming up with a sufficiently depressing picture for a header: pictures of flowers, babies and beautiful hills being more to my liking.  Oh, and the occasional white tiger walking by.  And, I’ve not yet seen a slag heap I find worthy of the stuff being churned out by the denizens of “England’s green and pleasant land” these days, whose run of the mill activities are beginning to frighten me seriously, after merely having repelled me for some time, now.  A proper satanic mill it seems the place is becoming.

I am not speaking of anything in The Sun, either, that freak show of a daily paper.  Though, on a lower more common level, The Sun’s daily issuings are a generous helping of the waste products of what some might say has become the true British spirit, world view; give it your own name.  Perhaps the urge to “national suicide” will do.

You don’t believe me?  Well I am not out to convince anyone, nor to suggest action of any kind…except perhaps prayer.  Wasn’t it Someone who said, “Against these (things) only prayer will do.”?

The things..oh, yes, the things.

Here is one:  A fellow named Gosling told a lady on a British TV show that he had killed a man who was suffering from AIDS.  He was a person whom Gosling refers to as his “bit on the side”, because, you see, Gosling was already in a deeply committed relationship with  another man.  The news report ends in this fashion:  “…(H)e [Gosling] was the forgotten man of broadcasting until this week, when he told of the killing of his ‘bit on the side’.   ‘If there’s a heaven and he’s looking down, he’d be proud of me,’ Gosling told (his interviewer).”

While the man has been arrested and the comments on the story closed, there are still several available to be read.  The responses indicate that most readers (a) favor euthanasia and (b) think that the story, which is critical of Gosling and his actions to say the least (but very Britishly so), should never have been written.  Do they wish never to hear of such things: too terrible to contemplate, too distasteful for a society thought by many to be still wrapped in Victorian values?  Do they heartily disagree with the author’s points?

I wish I knew, but am afraid to find out.  One thing I am coming to a conclusion about, though is that the once Great Britain is becoming a dangerous place for the old, the weak, the ill and the insane.  Well maybe not the insane.  Read on. This is the tale of an old woman who wanted to die and a doctor who told her how to do it.  The woman had Multiple Sclerosis.

I knew a young man who had Muscular Dystrophy.  He died not too long ago.  I also know the lady who cared for him and loved him, and the wonderful fellow he was.  His friend gave him a reason to continue living, just as he gave her one, and I can’t understand why a doctor can’t figure that out, that the disease ain’t the problem.

In this case, though, the doctor, an old woman who should know better herself, wasn’t arrested because the police in Scotland couldn’t figure out, I guess, a way to put her firmly in the middle.  She’s proudly defiant (remind you of someone?) about her “good deed” and says, “”The CPS would not have had a leg to stand on trying to prosecute me. What jury would have convicted me?   But I know it’s stressful to go to court and it would have been horrible being cross-examined.”

Yes, well, truth is sometimes that way, horrible, brutal, ruthless.

And then there’s this“The Society for Old Age Rational Suicide was established in Brighton and Hove, by several right-to-die activists and humanists, in 2009 on December 10, which is observed internationally as Human Rights Day (as the UN Declaration of Human Rights was adopted on December 10, 1948).  Presently, the main objective of SOARS is to begin a campaign to get the law eventually changed in the UK so that very elderly, mentally competent individuals, who are suffering unbearably from various health problems (although none of them is “terminal”) are allowed to receive a doctor’s assistance to die, if this is their persistent choice. Surely the decision to decide, at an advanced age, that enough is enough and, avoiding further suffering, to have a dignified death is the ultimate human right for a very elderly person.” This comes from their website, a group of folks who have discerned we all have the right to suicide, and only we have the right to decide the causes for it, which may be as fragile and futile as having a bad day.

I bring communion to an old couple.  He’s 100 this June past, and she’s 94.  He can remember stuff that happened in 1920.  They live with their son and his family.  The other day while visiting them he complained, as he often does, of his aches and pains and all the pills he takes.  She sat near him on the couch listening to every word she’s heard a thousand times, gazing intently at him.  I don’t say much to him when he asks why God lets him live like this.  I simply point to her.  When I do he smiles.

Well that’s the old.  Now to the other end of the spectrum.  Here’s something to help your medicine go down: “It is clear that some young people are not fully aware of the prevalence of STIs and how they can protect themselves against getting one,” said Helen Jenkins, contraception and sexual health specialist.  We fear that STI rates may continue to rise, particularly among young people, without increasing access to comprehensive sex and relationships education in all British schools.   Many teachers tell us that they don’t have the confidence or information to teach sex and relationships education effectively, despite knowing that many of their students are sexually active.”

The link to the story in The Guardian reports the alarming rise in the number of teen-aged boys, and especially girls, who contract venereal diseases in Britain each year.  (I choose to use the term Venereal Disease because of its negative and shameful connotation.  Call me a scold.)  One of the effects of a VD infection can be, and is often, a loss of fertility.  And the solution for all of this?  It is to teach them more about how it’s done.  If what is already the practice here in the United States is adopted, in this regard, the poor children may well see themselves in ever larger numbers asking for medical help.

It dawned on me that what is happening over there is a steady emptying of the gene pool from both ends, the Perfect Storm of disease and death.

I am unsure how I should  react to these things unless it is simply to hang my head and hope that when I pick it up again the memory of them won’t be there.  Are you?

“The Enlightenment held out the hope that with enough of this ‘proper study,’ man would come to know himself sufficiently to eliminate the evil and suffering that had always beset his existence. Man would obtain something like a Newtonian knowledge not only of the universe but of himself, with all the predictive and mechanical advantages that such understanding had brought in the study of inanimate nature.”  Theodore Dalrymple, City Journal.

“Benjamin Franklin, wrote in a letter that ‘the rapid progress true Science now makes, occasions my regretting sometimes that I was born so soon. It is impossible to imagine the Height to which may be carried, in a thousand years, the Power of Man over Matter. . . . O, that Moral Science were in as fair a way of Improvement.’ ” Joel Mokyr, City Journal

Yes, well…


About Peadar Ban

There isn't much to say. I am here. I am here. I am here.
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