Sunday, July 09, 2006

Love thy neighbour

While suffering the night flight on the way back to Blighty, inflatable Empire State hat under my arm and sporting a "You Killed the Two Towers So I Couldn't See Them So I'm Gonna SUE You Bin Laden" t-shirt, this Dante's Handcart ponder-monkey couldn't help but think about minorities and the way people express their prejudices. Given the news that my Lib Dem namesake has handed in his resignation after telling a pro-Israel correspondent to "wallow in your own filth", Bill Bennet's eye-watering (if expected) stance that gay people should really be content with their birth family and not expect to have one of their own, and that Wiccans are being hounded out of their jobs, it looks like we're in dire need of a better way to demonstrate our narrow-mindedness.

Given the high altitude, the best idea to birth its grimy way out of the Dante's Handcart brain canal was a duty-free style system of personal allowances. Individuals would be permitted a number of "hates" based upon their personal similarity to societal norms, with the more "normal" people obviously having more (as is apparently the standard way it works). Different numbers of "hates" could be cashed-in for various methods of discrimination and vitriol - two for a simple tongue-lashing of a single-mother, perhaps, moving up to fifteen to tell a black person to move on the bus, and escalating upward through lynchings, tarring and feathering.

Anybody found exceeding their alloted "hates", however, would immediately be deemed a lawbreaker, therefore moving them away from what is considered "normal" and reducing their number of permitted "hates". Eventually such individuals would earn "negative-hates", and either have to hug gays or maybe lick a foreigner, something like that.

At this point the stewardess interrupted offering me the choice of chicken or beef, and so I only had time to throw my in-flight magazine at a mixed-race couple before settling down to some nice, English food.

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