Of all Latin proverbs, the relativist adage De gustibus non disputandum est just may be the most subversive. The implication is that taste is wholly subjective, with no right or wrong anywhere in sight.
You like Bach, he likes Amy Winehouse, they like Eminem – who’s to say that one taste is better than another? Yet the very fact that this question can be posed throws the cultural door wide open to barbarism. And the now universal reply (‘Nobody’) welcomes barbarism with effusive cordiality.
Jerusalem c. 33 AD was different from the modern world in too many respects to mention here. I’ll single out just one: children, those to be suffered, were still children.
They must have been occasionally destructive, for children tend to break things at the best of times. But they also must have retained some innocence, some opened-eye way of looking at the world and marvelling at its beauty.
Back in my youth I had my suspicions. In those days Miss Jackson insisted on being filmed in the buff, the general assumption being that her exhibitionism served artistic ends.
Well, it certainly wasn’t for titillation, for I doubt that a commercially valid number of viewers would have been titillated by the sight of Miss Jackson’s bare breasts. My suspicion was then, as it is now, that she was trying to show off her female fixtures to prove she wasn’t actually a transsexual. Methinks the lady doth protest too much, I thought in a characteristically unoriginal way.
In 1992, in her mid-40s, Miss Jackson sought an alternative career, what with even the limited interest in her nudity dwindling away. She then became a Labour MP for Hampstead, the London haven for lefties and assorted perverts (just walk through Hampstead Heath at night to see what I mean).
One of my recurrent themes is that the world has gone certifiably mad, and not in a particularly nice way. Witness the latest bouts of insanity that have caught my eye.
One such bout is called Victoria McCloud, a master of the Queen’s Bench division. We’re all so open-minded now that our brains are falling out but, when they still stayed inside our crania, we would have been taken aback.
For Dr McCloud was born, raised and called to the bar as Mr Jason Williams. At some point Jason decided to convert himself surgically into Victoria and assume the name of his/her co-habitor, the similarly modified psychiatrist Dr Annie McCloud.
That’s how many words the French Ministry of Education has decided to change in order to simplify the language, making it easier for ‘disadvantaged’ pupils to learn.
By being able to spell oignon as ognon, such pauvres will now be empowered to tread a shining path to social advancement, at the end of which they’ll be trading, if not necessarily understanding, obtuse philosophical concepts with the graduates of France’s best Ecoles (most of whom don’t understand such concepts either, but have been expertly trained to hide these gaps behind obfuscation).