Sunday, 18 March 2012

The Sunday: Time is Now Edition

Beyond Civil Partnerships: Last Sunday, the Roman Catholic Church, ever the bastion of impeccable morals, stepped up its embittered crusade against gay marriage. Whilst a letter by two senior Arch-Bishops opposing the notion of guy and guy, girl and girl, tying the knot was read out across the nations Catholic places of worship, John Sentamu did his bit to keep the Church of England on the same retrograde path by wading in with his opposition to the notion on the Andrew Marr show. Whilst the offending parties claimed that such opposition did not represent a form of discrimination, there persistent inference that gay marriage would destabilise society left them wallowing in the fear and bigotry of their own arguments.

Marriage itself is a peculiar institution. It's basically based on the somewhat unfulfilling notion that a relationship requires some kind of material validation, yet manages to provide a somewhat justifiable sense of acceptance and reassurance to religious and non-religious alike. With time it has become as much an institution of the state as the Church- something that wouldn't have happened had the Church not been quite so keen on wielding it's Holy influence in times past. No longer the sole property of the Church, marriage must reflect the kind of society we live in. In a modern, tolerant society, in which each holds the other to be equal, gay marriage should clearly be allowed.

A couple of weeks ago I heard a really interesting point made on a podcast in a discussion about gay marriage. The speaker believed that in 50 years time, those that oppose gay marriage now, will be viewed much the same way those who opposed Civil Rights in the 1950s and 60s are seen. Though the statement was made in an American context, I believe time will play out with the same results over here. As the generations shift and, with it, attitudes change, we are moving inexorably towards the legalisation of gay marriage. This is undeniable in Britain, where all three major parties are in favour of it and with every malign outburst to the contrary, its opponents place themselves on the wrong side of history.

Joy of 6: 6music turned 10 years old this week. I got a Digital Radio in 2004 but only came across 6music a couple of years later. Since then my dial (or the Digital equivalent of a dial) has barely been touched. There've been a few aberrations- George Lamb, the horror!- but overall 6music is a station that opens your ears to any number of artists that you've never come across before, and never would if you spent all your days listening to Radio 1, Absolute and Xfm. Diehards may whinge about the playlists but you can't be listening to Peel sessions from The Fall and Captain Beefheart b-sides all the time. For every overplayed dirge there's many more brilliantly crafted, exquisitely executed tunes, old and new. For now, this gem is getting me out of bed each morning.

Tired old Formula: Now I understand there are people out there that enjoy watching a sport in which the best competitors are provided with the best machines (in my view proper sports don't involve engines) and are then told to race, inducing a spectacle in which the idea of fair competition comes somewhat in line with that found at a Las Vegas casino. I am aware fans of such a sport do exist and they have every right to do so. But... I can not, for one minute, imagine their being enough of them to justify whichever channel that has the rights to broadcast it spending a small East African nations GDP promoting its coverage of it. BBC were guilty of it a couple of years ago when they took over from ITV, and now Sky are promoting their coverage as if they've won the rights to Jesus's coming out party. The whole she-bang kicked off in Melbourne this weekend. Certain things will have me awake at 4.30 in the morning- Formula 1 is not one of them.

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