Tuesday, July 28, 2015

The Ultimate Aphrodisiac

According to Henry Kissinger, 'power is the ultimate aphrodisiac' and, on the face of it, the recent revelations as to what Lord Sewel gets up to when he isn't sitting in the House of Lords would seem to confirm that.  After all, I've still got more hair than him, not to mention quite a few years less on the clock, but I've never yet found myself snorting cocaine (allegedly) off of the breasts of a prostitute (or anyone else, for that matter), but then again, I don't hold a political position which puts me close to the centre of power.  More to the point, I think, is that I don't have money.  Because that's the real truth - wealth is the ultimate aphrodisiac.  At least, for a certain type of person it is.  Let's face it, if Johnny Depp, say, worked in a shoe shop rather than being a fabulously wealthy movie star, I doubt that he would have got laid as much, or have attracted the kind of beautiful models, singers and actresses he has.  I grew up watching old Cary Grant movies on Sunday afternoons, leading me to believe that young women are attracted to older men.  However, as an older man I finally realised that younger women were only attracted you if you were wealthy older movies star Cary Grant.

But, to be perfectly frank, I really don't care about the extracurricular activities of Lord Sewel.  As far as I'm concerned, it's pretty much a private matter.  I'm in no position to stand in judgement over the foibles of foolish, wealthy old men.  What does interest me about these revelations is the level of moral self-righteousness it has ignited amongst both press and public.  'Lord Sewer' one of the tabloids dubbed him.  Really?  Like journalists and newspaper proprietors never get involved in sex and drugs parties with prostitutes?  Worse still was a bit of vox pop I heard on the radio with various idiots from the street being asked their 'opinions' on the scandal.  "Disgraceful.  A man in his position has no business getting involved in that sort of thing', opined one moron, identified by the interviewer as a builder.  Again, really?  Does anyone still think that social position should dictate standards of behaviour?  And this from a builder, who probably regularly rips off his customers, over-charging for shoddy work and who has probably also been featured on Cowboy Builders, Rogue Traders and half a dozen other consumer programmes.  I know which of these I think is more reprehensible.  Let's not forget that His Lordship was doing all of this behind closed doors and surely had a reasonable expectation of privacy.  I know that The Sun will claim some kind of public interest defence, arguing that Sewel, in addition to being Deputy Speaker of the Lords and a former Minister, was also responsible for drawing up codes of conduct for our parliamentarians, thereby making him a hypocrite, it should be remembered that such codes of conduct have to do, mainly, with things like expenses, rather than their private sex lives.

In truth, of course, it has nothing to do with public interest, but instead offers a chance to be self-righteous whilst simultaneously taking a prurient pleasure in reading about Sewel's sexual antics, described with lip=smacking relish by those guardians of morality in the tabloid press, (let's not forget that this is the same newspaper which regularly features teenaged girls topless).   I don't know where this new self-righteousness has come from, but it's suddenly everywhere, usually hand-in-hand with the modern vogue for being offended by the most innocuous thing that you happen to disagree with.  Even hackers (surely one of the lowest forms of humanity) have been bitten by the bug.  Only a couple of weeks ago, apparently full of self-righteous indignation over the infidelity they were encouraging, a group of hackers broke into one of those dating sites for married people wanting to cheat on their spouses, stealing their membership lists.  With this information, these bozos then effectively tried to blackmail the site's users, threatening to publish their details if they didn't leave the site.  Who set them up as arbiters of the world's moral standards?  People who go around stealing private data really have no business believing that they are morally superior to people who cheat on their partners.  One is a criminal act, the other isn't.  Again, we come back to the fact that, whatever we might feel personally about the users of such online services, it is entirely their private matter.  It simply isn't any of our business.  It especially isn't the business of self-righteous web criminals, any more than the sexual peccadillos of peers of the realm are the business of sex obsessed tabloid newspapers with a record for illegally hacking phones.    

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