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Rant time again [Aug. 1st, 2009|06:14 pm]
[Tags|, ]
[Current Location |Invercargill]
[mood |pissed offpissed off]
[music |The Seeds - "Pushin' Too Hard"]

I am pissed off. I don't know if it's that I've had to Not Say Anything to discussions on my friends page twice in the last two days because I don't like starting flame wars on other people's blogs, if it's because someone at work yesterday evening tried to tell me that some thug who closed-fist punched a four year old boy in the face wasn't a child abuser, or if it's because I just found out earlier this evening that my refrigerator had died some time during the week and taken a small freezer compartment worth of emergency edibles with it. I'm pissed off enough that I can't be arsed figuring that out. So I'm going to take this opportunity to probably offend two thirds of the people who read on any further.

So, it was on the radio this morning that the Aussies are starting up the "gay marriage" debate again. Whatever. The issue doesn't affect me personally, although my opinion on the subject hasn't changed from what I recall it was the last time the subject got brought up; which, for the record, is: The public have to decide whether marriage is a religious institution or whether it is a State institution. It cannot be both without getting religion interfering in the apparatus of the State where it should not be (even though that this country is a de jure theocracy, it is still best to limit any cross-over between the two). If marriage is to be a religious institution, then whoever marries whom should be of no business to anyone but the presiding minister or priest of whoever, and such marital status should confer no benefit whatsoever from any action of the State. If marriage is to be a State institution, then it should be freely available to any consenting adults without hindrance from anyone's religious beliefs.

But this isn't the angle I'm going to discuss tonight. I'm going to take issue with the traditional "but it's unnatural" whine I read or hear from the same sort of people who think that Jimmy Mason is some sort of hero, or who think that Barack Obama is a deep cover agent for the Soviet Union. Absolute lunatic wingnuts, in other words.

Simply put: it ain't unnatural. It happens in nature. I have personally witnessed it happening in nature. (Not that I had any ulterior motive in seeking it out, but it's fairly bloody hard to tie to survey pegs across a paddock full of steers without having to wait for the bloody things to finish trying to do something that steers are no longer equipped to do, and then get the hell out of the road, so that the surveyor could get a distance off my reflector.)

The next question that tends to be asked is why is all this sort of carry on (in the human population, I hasten to add, not the steer population) is a lot more "visible" than it was sixty or eighty years ago or whenever it was that These People were themselves young. The obvious answer to that one is "because there's more of them. Duh." But I think there'd be more to it than just that.

It's overpopulation.

And before anyone trots out the old one about how the world doesn't have a population problem but a distribution problem, they should reflect upon: who it was who said it in the first place and what the world's population was when that person died; and whether they think that a world, in which the sole remaining "superpower" is still so morbidly scared of anything resembling "socialism" (in the Fox News sense of the word) that they're still tiptoeing cautiously around the edges of developing a 20th century (let alone 21st century) public health system, is even capable of fixing the distribution problem in the first place.

Back to the subject at hand. I've read, not really all that long ago, but I forget where (and I've already gone and looked it up in the prime suspect in my shelves: no luck) that some species, in the wild, when populations get too high, cut down on how many of the next generation they produce. Breeding females have fewer young, or none at all. I wouldn't be at all surprised if this not having of young was in direct response to the environmental or social contraints of having too high a population.

I reckon that's what's going on in the world today. I've even got a number of friends (mainly on-line, but still friends for all that) who don't fit anywhere on the old-fashioned straight/gay scale. No, I'm not going to name them, that would be interfering in their business. Anyway, my point is that all of this is a natural reaction to this world's overpopulation problem. Not just the non-conformist orientations, but other matters that have been under discussion lately, such as all this stuff about how the average bloke is producing much fewer and lower quality sperm than they ever used to. I'd reckon that, somehow, somewhere unconsciously, the problem of the overpopulation of the world is beginning to be sorted out.

If the busybodies could just get their sticky beaks out of other people's lives, that is.

[User Picture]From: quietdarkness
2009-08-01 02:22 pm (UTC)
You know, I am of the opinion that as long as it ain't my bed, feel free to knock yourself out in any way you want to, as long as you aren't hurting anyone (unless your partner wants to be hurt, which is a whole other can of worms.) And if gay people want to marry, I am behind them 100%. I believe that government should allow it and fill out the forms and stuff, and if a church agrees to that kind of ceremony, cool. They should be able to do that. If they don't the gay couple can have a civil ceremony, just like some hetero couples. It's not a matter of overpopulation. A review of world literature leads me to believe that the 10% of the population that is gay has been stable over the years. It's just that they are more open about it. I remember the bad old days that if you were gay, you were looked at like you were from Mars. It think it had more to do with visibility and activism.

The public healthcare you enjoy in your country would not work in the US. The UK system, the Canadian system...none of them would fly. Oh honey, US Citizens DEMAND so very much more of their health care experience. They expect to be able to get that CAT scan NOW. They expect that heart surgery yesterday. They expect a nurse to be there immediately when they call and all hell is raised if they have to wait. This includes our poor people, who are on government funded health care plans. Plus, we nurses make a BOATLOAD more money than other nurses in other countries. I am not taking a paycut to do what I do. It's a lot more complicated than just chucking the whole thing and starting over. What your system has will just not fly, due to the US culture. Contrary to what the media reports, we DO have a public health system here. It could be improved, but every single person, legal or illegal, have access to care if they choose to take it.

And no, I'm not offended. You make interesting points.
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[User Picture]From: southerndave
2009-08-03 10:09 am (UTC)
It was actually a criminal offence to be gay here as late as the mid 1980s (and there were Pronouncements Of Doom From On High when that particular law was repealed, which, for some odd reason, haven't actually eventuated...) I think it's a sign of how society has matured that it seems so archaic now, like people not being allowed to write with their left hands.

I don't have any personal experience of the US health system (as I'm sure you've guessed...) so it's interesting to hear the view from an "insider". What I've heard that made me think that were a few stories (fairly much at the "friend of a friend of a friend" level) of people involved in some sort of accident, or with some sort of illness, which would have been treated in the public system here, being bankrupted due to hospital costs over in America.

What we have here is fairly much a two-level system. There's the public system, which provides a very basic level of care, funded through taxation; and if anyone wants a bells-and-whistles service they can "go private", and either pay through the nose for it or have an insurance policy that picks up some of the cost.
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[User Picture]From: themachinehead
2009-08-03 06:02 pm (UTC)
In 2001, half of bankruptcies filed in the US were considered medical bankruptcies. So yeah, it's not quite a perfect system.
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[User Picture]From: southerndave
2009-08-09 08:07 am (UTC)
That's something I didn't know... I'd have thought a lot would be about education costs (I've also heard horror stories about education costs in America, of about the same level of reliability as the horror stories about health costs, i.e. "there's probably a problem but I haven't heard any first hand reports yet") and a decent number would be due to failed businesses or failed marriages... there were a lot of reports a while ago about students filing for bankruptcy after they'd finally got their degrees.
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[User Picture]From: southerndave
2009-08-21 09:13 am (UTC)
Back again... Someone on my friends list is trying to get a grasp of the issues surrounding health care reform from a vantage point at a similar distance from the US as my own. Would you mind if I quoted:
The public healthcare you enjoy in your country would not work in the US. The UK system, the Canadian system...none of them would fly. Oh honey, US Citizens DEMAND so very much more of their health care experience. They expect to be able to get that CAT scan NOW. They expect that heart surgery yesterday. They expect a nurse to be there immediately when they call and all hell is raised if they have to wait
to her?
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[User Picture]From: kiwipixie
2009-08-03 01:42 am (UTC)
I knew you were a friend for a reason! I agree with everything you have said so far, and am in no way offended - in fact my fiance(opposite gender, not that it matters) and I have NO intentions of reproducing - ever! Even with distribution (not likely) our world resources are greatly overburdened with our grossly overpopulated selves, without people choosing to add to the problem with no regard for the future. I could go on but I won't. It will give others something to say I am sure.
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[User Picture]From: southerndave
2009-08-03 10:14 am (UTC)
And here was me thinking we were friends because of however many years' worth of science fiction club parties and the like :-)

As far as I'm concerned, my next generation's already catered for. I've got a niece and nephew and enough of my friends have children that I'm spoilt for choice for Younger Generation to teach bad habits to. If I want to leave anything else to posterity, I should start getting down to it and doing proper first drafts of the novels I've written.
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