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Thursday, October 27, 2005

The New Puritans

Ick, just waded through a screed at The Observer about these so-called New Puritans, the trendy new church of young socialists. In a nutshell they are young control freaks just as bad as those churches who decide every aspect of members lives. It is dressed up with a very thin veneer of concern about over-consumption, environment, social responsibility blah blah blah. They encompass the anti-capitalist who snidely derides the employer while tallying up your purchase, the brave souls who deflate SUV tyres at night and the disparaging tossers who look down on fat people. But ironically in the week of the death of Rosa Parks we have a group very similar to that which ruled over the American South in her time, the paternalist Dixiecrats using their religion and morals to oppress the others they didn't care for. I mean just take a look at these profiles of some talked to:
Dislikes smokers, junk food, fat people's excuses
Likes hard work, organic food

Dislikes cars, pregnant smokers, ready meals, meat
Likes exercise, staying-in, being responsible, being thin

Dislikes alcohol, air travel, dogs, disposable coffee cups
Likes economising, cycling, selfsufficiency
The truly are puritans, their likes all involve astringency and responsibility, as they see it. Probably their families like many are from a strong protestant background. But their dislikes are all about other people and what they do, or convenience. In otherwords they hate those who do not do as they do. What's more they are quite happy to force what they want on other people, to take an example,
She now feels that it's not enough to try to educate people and that the only way forward is to regulate smoking and bad diets. 'There should be really skinny entrances to McDonald's. If you can't fit through the door that would be a pretty good indication that you shouldn't go in at all.' Conceding that this might be taking the tough love approach too far, she admits she'd settle for taxes 'on foods that have high percentages of sugar or fat, extra revenue which would then subsidise production, preferably local and organic, of healthier food'.
Just listen to the dripping condescencion
She doesn't have much truck with excuses either: 'I get quite annoyed when I see really obese people complaining that diets don't work. They always seem to blame their weight on something. But it's too much junk food, carbohydrate or whatever - and their lifestyle - that's causing them to be like that. It's time that we took responsibility for our own actions.'
Maybe they do eat too much and are lazy, but is that really any of your freaking business, Katie? You are scathing of their lack of personal responsibility so what do you want to do? Force all sorts of taxes and societal impositions on them... good thinking that girl, how exactly will that promote personal responsibility? Answer, it won't. The rest is shot through with the same theme on different topics. There is a ditzy survey at the end, with the New Puritan being described as
Congratulations. You are a New Puritan par excellence, prepared to be not just socially conscious but socially critical, even if it brings you into conflict with friends, lovers and/or dog owners. You have heightened ethical sensibilities which allow you to see the folly of competitive individualism and the prevailing consumerist madness. Never let anyone tell you this is single issue agit-prop, for you will have the last laugh.
See, it ain't about individual responsibility because that would involve letting people go. The underlying thrust is be responsible for yourself, in this way we are, or else.

Tossers. I can't imagine the Observer gushing over this "puritan socialism" if it was promoted by religious puritans, oh no. They manage to steer clear of investigating the more sexual side of it here. That would be coming way too close to the suggestion of religion and people would be liable to turn round and tell them to f*** off out of our lives. Government out of the bedroom and straight into the kitchen it seems is the order of the day.
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Posted by Chefen | 10/27/2005 05:50:00 AM

2 Comments:

Blogger Hildebrand said...

If a may raise just a small point. As a member of the Catholic Church I accept the Church's right to tell me how I should live my life because I am a member by free choice. The right of religions to regulate one's life is surely a sine qua non of a religion. What infuriates me about puritans whether they be old style religious puritans or new style socialist puritans is their desire to make everyone else conform to their prejudices and to condemn anyone who doesn't. I was taught as a Catholic to "love the sinner, hate the sin" compare this to an email I received from someone on a penpal site in response to my photo which showed me with a cigarette in my hand "I hate smokers". That one line says it all.

10/29/2005 11:11:00 AM  
Blogger ODM (Original Ditch Monkey) said...

I agree - they sound like a bunch of nutters to me.

11/01/2005 11:27:00 PM  

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