This morning I am very tempted to adopt the head in the sand policy about what is going on with the world, but news just rolls these days and I find it impossible.
It doesn't help that I went to bed last night with radio headphones in, intending to listen to the last bit of Radio 4 as I dropped off, but I ended up listening to the World Service all night during my fitful sleep, and awoke saturated with bad news.
It also didn't help that I watched the shooting of the Russian Ambassador in the art gallery in Turkey, and the little detail of his tie flicking out at the front as the bullet passed through, lodged in my mind. Well it would, wouldn't it? I didn't want or need to veiw the aftermath of the Berlin atrocity.
This morning there was a debate - or a series of debates - about whether or not the Great Apes should be granted rights. Of course, it has to be a legal argument, and it is bound to end up sounding very similar to the medieval arguments about how many angels will fit onto a pinhead.
Rights come with obligations and responsibilities. If you give a chimpanzee the equivalent of human rights, should they be held accountable for murder? They kill each other all the time.
If an animal is sentient or intelligent enough to appreciate legal or moral rights, then we are not currently setting a good example to them, so they will probably avoid muder charges by comparing their behaviour to ours, with the added mitigation that they never attempt genocide as we do, even though their tribal wars are just as bitter.
Attempting to grant rights to animals is just another form of sticking our noses in where they are not needed or wanted. Far better to stick to our own moral structures when dealing with all other forms of life on earth - you know, the ones taught by all the great monotheistic religions of the world.
At this point, I have to admit to coveting other men's wives, but that's as far as I am prepared to go.
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