Friday, 9 January 2015

Je Suis Charlie II

The whole of France stands together to defy Islamo-fascist gunmen while Oldham Athletic prostrates itself before pressure from sponsors and unsubstantiated death threats from mob-rule idiots who gained their knowledge of the Ched Evans case from the Daily Mail, Facebook or Twitter, rather than doing any basic research into the case or reading the court transcript (you have to sign in), which is a matter of public record. To do otherwise is merely having an invalid opinion based on hearsay, bias, bigotry, prejudice or just plain ignorance. As for the people making death threats against Oldham Athletic staff (and the girl in question, for that matter) - they're cut from the same cloth as the perpetrators of the Paris massacre.

The current mantra is that, as a footballer and a role model for impressionable youngsters, Evans shouldn't be employed in football till he apologises. Putting aside the fact that his case is currently undergoing a review by the Criminal Cases Review Commission with regard to a possible miscarriage of justice, and the fact that an apology is a de-facto admission of guilt and therefore logically incompatible with Evans' stance, how many footballers can you honestly say are role models? There is, today, probably only a handful. The daily rags and Sunday papers are filled with odious footballers' antics. Role models? Don't make me laugh!

Concerning the case, one first has to question why his pal in the 'rape', Clayton MacDonald, who was charged with the same offence, got off Scott-free while Evans was found guilty. They both had sex with the same girl that night in the same room (Evans was second, when the girl was arguably more sober). Was one jury right and the other wrong (which trashes the myth of the infallibility of the jury system)? I could guarantee that in any jury I could find evidence of bias and/or prejudice over something - they are attributes that we cannot escape as humans living in a social environment and subject to Group Think.

One has to ask whether being two and a half times over the safe driving limit (which in itself is very low) affects your judgement to the degree that you can't be held responsible for your actions. That's very subjective after the event. It's a crime to operate a car at the drink-drive limit - should it then also be a crime to operate your own body at the same level of intoxication? Or can the drunk driver be held not responsible for their own actions due to intoxication?

One has to ask why the girl in question didn't initially complain to the police about an alleged rape, but about her drinks being spiked (which they weren't - or at least there was no evidence in her blood). It was only later that the police themselves escalated it to a rape accusation - and they are under external pressure to get rape convictions up.

There are lots of unanswered questions about this case, and until they are answered, mob rule should not prevail - not that it should ever prevail in a civilized society anyway. In the words of Gordon Taylor; "He wouldn't have been the first person to be found guilty, maintained their innocence and been proved right."

Returning to Charlie Hebdo, some commentators are saying free speech, satire and offensiveness shouldn't encroach on religion, but the answer to that is to ask what it is about religion that inspires criticism and satire. Generally it's hypocrisy and religion's craving for power over minds - hypocrisy and power are the lifeblood of satire.

Buddhism doesn't attract much in the way of satire, but that's because it's not a hypocritical religion with dogma - it's actually refreshingly free of unquestionable dogma. In fact, none of the legal codes of traditional Buddhist cultures included blasphemy as a criminal offence (although some Thai Buddhists with a desire for power are now questioning that). The only real blasphemy in Buddhism is killing anyone.

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