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Post No. 25

February 25, 2009

Whether or not a play called Stitching by one Anthony Neilson is to be staged is currently the topic that’s got our island’s attention by the short and curlies.  At least that was what the 20-02-09 edition of Xarabank was about. Apparently this Stitching is one sick puppy of a play, and the local classification board decided to veto it.

The guest panel was divided, obviously. Divided in two, in case you were wondering.

“Nobody should tell me what I can or cannot watch”

“You can’t have Tom, Dick and Harry staging anything they like”

“Yes”

“No”

And so it went on for about an hour. It felt like a rehash of the divorce debate.

I think that the heart of the matter is whether or not one accepts absolute values. And the implications for the fabric of society, to borrow a cliche’.

People who reject absolutes necessarily reject society and their place within it. You cannot have boundaries that others will have to respect. Because the establishment of a boundary is an absolute act in itself.

A nice freshly painted fence is a clear indicator of where my territory begins and ends. You know you should not leap over it and walk on my lawn – even though you can. If you do, then you can’t complain when (and if) I do the same. Because if you complain you are being discriminatory (against me). You are allowed to do something that I am not allowed to do. Not good. No sir. We either skip over each other’s fences or nobody does. In which case, what’s the point of fences?

This brings us back to life and real people. We all have fences. Some of us take offence when we’re called stupid, others hate it when somebody forgets a birthday, most find it unacceptable that our spouse plays the field, etc …

This is where morals (including law and religion) come in. Law-abiding citizens and adherents to a particular set of religious beliefs have one thing in common. They live their lives (or should that be life?) within the defined limits that are the same for everyone wherever they stand.

Although it is possible to modify these limits it is highly inadvisable, because if everybody decides to bend the limit a little, the perimeter will be deformed out of recognition. That is a problem.

If I throw my chocolate wrapper out on the street and someone told me that I’m polluting the environment I’d think he was crazy BUT if everybody disposed of their chocolate wrapper in the street … see what I mean? And if I may throw my stuff out on the street everybody may.

Same goes for morals, law and religion. Censorship can only make sense if we believe that our actions  will affect society at large. At the end of the day this is a numbers game…

Toodle-oo.

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