04 August 2006

Stop it, you'll go bland

Today in Spiked Frank Furedi explores the event to be held in London tomorrow which will bring into the open (and to the nation's television screens) a practice which has hitherto been " associated with sad old men wearing dirty raincoats".
He continues "now it is no longer seen as a sordid exhibition, but rather as an exercise in raising awareness about safe s-x." In keeping with the best traditions of political correctness doing drugs, drinking alcohol and smoking will be forbidden, while the event will be open to "people of both genders and s-x-al orientations", though people who exhibit "prejudice, disrespect and intolerance of other people" will be blackballed, ...er... sorry, asked to leave. Libertarians need not completely despair: fully clothed people will not be allowed into the rooms set aside for the competition.

What is this practice? If you've not deduced the answer already, read the article.

Levity aside, Furedi makes many pertinent points, not just about the subject of tomorrow's event. Take this for example:

In recent decades, intimate relationships between people appear to have become more complicated. The expectation of failure and of instability surrounds the institution of marriage, even of cohabitation. It is now common for people to approach their private relationships with a heightened sense of emotional risk. Popular and academic culture contributes to this process: it helps to legitimise our insecurities regarding the possibility of finding love and experiencing fulfilling and passionate relationships.

Today’s ‘therapy culture’ transmits clear signals about ourselves and our attachments to others. We are continually instructed to attend to our own needs in order to fulfil ourselves. Even happiness is discussed as a problem if its realisation depends on others. Indeed, feelings that distract individuals from the goal of self-fulfilment are often defined in negative terms. That is why in many self-help books the feeling of love, especially of the intense and passionate variety, is treated as a problem. Although love is portrayed as the supreme source of self-fulfilment, it is also depicted as potentially harmful because it threatens to subordinate the self to another. The passionate feeling of love towards another person is represented as destructive and dangerous.

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