Home > Uncategorized > A story about someone who had sex.

A story about someone who had sex.

December 13, 2009 Leave a comment Go to comments

Back in the country where I come from, a long time ago, this would have been a story. An almighty scandal of a story that would haunt that individual until the day that individual died or emigrated. It would have affected their career, their place in society, their ability to carry on a normal life. It was not a civilised land, the country I come from, back in the good old days. It was a land where pugnacious moral custodians stalked the parishes, careful to mark any and all who night deviate from a strict – and usually unwritten – ethical code with the mark of the beast.

But time rolls on and I live in London and I work in the public sector. At regular intervals I look around and find that life is quite remarkably civilised. Fair hiring practices, transparent firing practices, and an absolute understanding that if you live your life within the boundaries of the law, your behaviour will not be noted down, used against you and gossiped about by vacuous creeps. We have laws about it and everything. It helps, of course, that we are ten years into a new millennium and no one who could conceivably call themselves civilised would create a massive public commotion over a person having consensual sex. No one would really say that this was a horrific betrayal of the trust we so naively placed in them, unless that person was the betrayed partner of the sex-having person in question. We have decommissioned the pillory and the public stocks, and we’re mighty chuffed with ourselves, unless we’re Mail readers. We, as a society, don’t judge a person’s ability to do their job on how they manage their private life.

Unless they’re really, really good at their job. Unless they’re famous for their ability to do their job. Because if they were so spectacularly good at their job that they had become world-renowned for doing their job then it would be very, very important that we know who they had sex with.

Halleluiah, I’m back in 1950s Ireland. I missed it the first time round what with not having yet been born, but now though public obsession with media figures I, too, can begin to imagine what it was like to live in a thoroughly nauseating moral autocracy.

The lovely thing about our particular moral autocracy is that we don’t have to believe in the values it espouses. Not really. We certainly don’t have to make claim to living by them. No, we just have to follow the tabloid-esque stories and spend our godforsaken lives ruminating about them like the bovine cretins we apparently are.

Conceive of it, if you will: a teacher in this country, in this year, publicly denounced and mocked in the press for what I believe is known as ‘marital infidelity’. Named, photographed, stalked, harassed. Career prospects in doubt because no employer will wish to be associated with so degenerate a monster.

Switch the picture: it’s a doctor now. Does that make it any better? If it was an actor? A politician? Now we’re getting places. Or, say, maybe, a figure in popular sports. Ah, why didn’t you say so? Yes, that provides ample justification for bored commuters to turn what passes for their attention to the lessons learnt so well from Arthur Miller. He’s a fucking witch!

And so we end the first decade of the twenty-first centaury with the news headline that a man had sex. Don’t worry – it’s not as though much else of note happened in the last ten years. Fin de fucking siecle indeed.

Pass me a drink.

  1. Rhian Jones
    December 13, 2009 at 11:50 pm

    Fucken A.

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