Friday 30 July 2010

Social Engineering Skype Trusted Contact Inquiry

Even if it was, I don’t care
Yesterday night, I was almost a victim of social engineering based on trusted connections with a contact on Skype.
The question came, “is this you on picc??..” Then a URL constructed to have Facebook in the address.
I should have been suspicious of this because my friend from whom this apparently came does his punctuation and rarely uses strange words, but my basic feeling of trust overrode the logic to my thinking.
I clicked on the link and rather than it going to a page it downloaded a file with the .exe extension, which really got me suspicious – How could he have asked if I was on a picc or picture and then send an executable file rather than a picture or a webpage?
Persuasion of the friendly kind
The genius of social engineering here is that I was first persuaded by reason of the fact that this message came from a trusted contact asking a question that would rouse ones curiosity regardless of if you were on Facebook or not.
He had apparently received this code through his Yahoo email from a trusted contact and inadvertently ran the code but not realised that he had infected his system despite the warning he received from his Antivirus utility. It is possible that the utility might just have said opening a file of that type is unsafe rather than that it was malicious.
The clean-up
We all have the tendency to override such warnings and almost always have to pay dearly for it. His Antivirus utility did not detect the problem after a full scan, however, I also asked him to download Destroy which is a free utility that inoculates web browsers and searches for malware.
The utility detected Bredolab.fb which is a kind of credential logger, it was removed and we can safely assume the system is clean. However, I happen to be one of two people whose Skype profile was online on my friend’s system who received this stuff and like me, we reacted before we questioned the real provenance.
The significance of the second link is that, when I did not fall for the redirect URL on the first inquiry it used the TinyURL link shrinker to give the same reference but deceptively named like a picture (JPG) on Facebook, but I was not taking that bait twice.
The graphic of the situation appears below.
Skype Malware

Tuesday 27 July 2010

Nigeria: Our politically immature systems

The real issue
It can be easy to read the headline PDP disqualifies aspirants with less than N500m [1] and miss the real import of this development altogether.
I would contend that it clearly shows the unsustainable cost of our fledgling democracy, poor political nomination action procedures and immature political party organisation especially from the ruling party, it is a poor example.
Obviously, any quest for political office does cost money but an aspirant that really carries the approval of a constituency for which representation is sought should by nature attract the necessary resources and support to ensure that the aspiration gains recognition and possible nomination.
Money for office
Having money in bank might well mean one has been successful in other walks of life but in a society where sources of wealth are rarely properly audited to ascertain untainted provenance it would be unfortunate if criminals can gain access to political privilege and office just because they have the cash.
Ploughing ones personal finances into the quest for political office without inexhaustible resources can create the situation where the aspirant who then gains political office can do everything to recoup all the “investments” that have gone into achieving the objective.
A few months ago, an aspirant resorted to drug smuggling [2] to recover the costs of his having once run for office and failed and with the aim of running for office again but he got caught.
Closing doors to betters
It is saddening the more qualified representation might not have opportunities by reason of outrageous party rules to put themselves forward for political office.
The situation where personal finances are not separated from financing for political office makes the idea of political fundraising can be prone to embezzlement and such accounts might not be transparent.
Besides, this opens the avenue of patronage and undue influence peddled by those who consider themselves godfathers and would like loan sharks require that their fillips towards attaining office are fully paid up with outlandish interest distracting the elected from the representation of the electorate that cast their votes for the person to represent their constituent interests.
Idle political parties
As for the maturity of political parties, where the stipulation of a threshold of financial resources is stated before eligibility, it is the basest level of assessment without objective consideration, the party organisation in some ways fails to encourage the best representation if it is not ready to work for the best selection and then support the nominees from a central perspective.
In this situation, making people ineligible because they have not come up from the political rank and file as political jobbers rather than people who have garnered additional experience from outside politics makes clones of representation who have no ideas and vision apart from just politicking.
The wrong assessment criteria
One hopes this is not the condition for political office eligibility across the board and it is rather unfortunate that the leaders offering these conditions were once respected advocates of democratic representation borne from real ability rather than having bags of money stashed away to buy influence, access and opportunity.
These grassroots initiatives do nothing to help our democracy where the emoluments are unbelievably generous [3] and well beyond prosperous middle-class aspirations that it creates aggressive competitive games that involve the elimination of rivals by every means possible.
We then end up with mean, nasty, indifferent, isolated and haughty representatives satisfying their own personal ends rather than that of their constituency.
I would hope that this stipulation is roundly contemned and condemned; Nigeria really cannot afford to have these rules if our democracy should mature into one that is truly representative, responsive and understanding of the purpose of its being.

Monday 26 July 2010

Nigeria: Utter unpreparedness for the golden jubilee

Oblivious of the masses
If there is need for a clear indication of the disconnect between the ruling classes of Nigeria and its citizenry, it has become evident in the preparations for the 50th independence anniversary of the country.
The Presidency has first earmarked NGN 16.7 billion with a detailed prospectus of spending allocations and that drew criticism from all sensible quarters of reason that they did well to trim that budget down to NGN 9.48 billion and presented it to the National Assembly that has now approved a NGN 17.195 billion allocation [1] for the same event without any of the detail that first accompanied the request from the executive.
There is no doubt that the Nigerian democratic experiment is expensive and probably the most lucrative job prospect for anyone who deigns to be a politician, over 2 years ago, I analysed the list of allowances [2] on offer to our legislators and found they enjoyed in addition to their huge salaries perks coming to 1,260% of their basic salaries; all that has been improved upon.
I would contend there is no other job in the world that offers this level of emoluments, but these people sitting cosy and well pampered are so removed from their electorate that they must have been completely deaf and inured to the common-sense arguments that were made against that egregious extravagance.
The unpreparedness defies explanation
The last year has been a difficult one for Nigeria with the uncertainties in government due to the illness and subsequent death of President Yar’Adua but it should not have impacted on our ability to prepare for the celebrations if there were anything to celebrate – everyone knew 2010 would mark the 50th year.
What beggars belief that it would be celebrated on the 1st of October and the budget for the celebrations have only been approved in the 3rd week of July.
I doubt any well-to-do Nigerian would leave the full planning and budgeting for a 50th birthday to within just 9 weeks to the celebration.
Can this be done?
However, in that time, the carpets at the International Conference Centre need to be replaced (considered the tendering, selection, bidding, approval, award process and then the execution of the contract).
The Abuja international airport will be renovated with the provision of additional parking, (one wonders if the invitations have yet been sent and if there is any clue of who will be attending or an estimate of the expected or unexpected guests).
The Nigeria @ 50 logo [3] was only launched in June, less than 4 months to the event and the website which should already be live with information about the celebrations is still being built, I believe because I can find no reference to a government supported website.
Everything but the people
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs will get an allocation to distribute to the Nigerian missions abroad if they already have advanced plans for those celebrations and the Information & Communication Ministry will publish special reports in national and international media, there is no assuming those have already been done and dusted with someone having proofread the copy.
Somehow, in all this the people themselves seem to have been forgotten because none of this spend is for anything other than window-dressing for visitors, photo opportunities for contrived compassion to deprived children and a jamboree to burnish vacuous successes of the few as the general lot of the country.
Other countries at 50
If I remember correctly, Malaysia celebrated its 50th independence anniversary in August 2007 and from January they had already launched a government sponsored EXPO: “Malaysia's 50 Years Achievement” [4] and international media agencies had notices and advertisements for the event, for business opportunities, for tourism and more for months before and a whole year after.
Ghana that celebrated its own 50th independence anniversary on the 6th of March 2007 had a whole year of events from January through to December indicating a lot of planning had gone into celebrating the event and it goes without saying that Ghana does leave Nigeria in the shade.
With the Link Diagnosis 2.0 toolkit [5], the What is Ghana at 50 webpage [6] was published as early as the 20th of November 2007, almost 4 months before the anniversary.
Sadly, we have the technocrat Finance Minister defend this splurge with the statement, “Rather than fault the budget, people should ask, what is the money being spent on?” I think we are mostly agreed that it is being spent on the wrong things, but woe betide a Nigerian politician that dares to do the rightful thing when there is money to burn.

Sunday 25 July 2010

Nuptials in Raguhn

A journey to Raguhn
To the countryside of East-Germany just about 150 kilometres from Berlin to the South was the event for the day yesterday. Borne from the significance of blogging a friendship has developed for the good, in my view.
Raguhn is almost a non-descript town, if not village in the German state of Saxony-Anhalt and its Category 6 station was not open for rail traffic for 3 weeks of July and that meant looking for alternative means of getting there.
A train to Bitterfeld passing through Lutherstadt-Wittenberg – sounds familiar, that was the city where the Christian reformation movement started almost 500 years ago by Martin Luther, worth a visit on my next sojourn to Berlin, I would think - and then a 40-minute bus-ride.
Buses for trains
At Bitterfeld I met other fellow travellers to the wedding, one of whom was uncannily from Amsterdam and hardly a kilometre from where I live who flew in on the same flight from Amsterdam and was flying back on the same scheduled flight – one would have thought the bridegroom would have been mindful of what was more than a mere coincidence.
Unfortunately, when we got to Raguhn my mobilephone-based Google Maps failed to bring up any maps, that is becoming an issue and needs resolution, I have been to a few places with the hope that my mobile GPS would be of help, only to be disappointed.
Thankfully, my co-travellers had printed out the directions and one of whom was a doctoral student of architecture and well, his map-reading skills were evidently not leading us in the right direction until we got some help from a local gardener.
It is the countryside
When we retraced our steps, we needed to cross the railway line that was being upgraded, a sign was put up stopping pedestrians from crossing at that point but there was no pavement or sidewalk (American English) for us to ply – I felt that was dangerous but the rule-bound and recently liberated from Easterm German Communism workmen could not see the sense of our hop-scotch over the railway lines when we could be run over by vehicles that definitely had all right of way.
In the end, a bus came by, drove us up the temporarily abandoned Raguhn Station giving us the safety of a present pavement but no shorter distance to walk, disillusionment was about to set in with the all too familiar countryside fragrance of cattle dung.
We finally found the location, a road badly in need of serious upkeep, with potholes and undulations that could cripple the able if not careful and there we were a large expanse of land, more of a park than a garden, with a tennis court, swimming pool, a number of out-houses, sheds and more.
The ceremony begins
The countryside ideas of the bijoux gave way to the concept of space and lots of it, only if the wind would put on the brakes and the weather would move on for some sun to shine.
The introductions were numerous, relations, families, friends, acquaintances and more, I probably was the only one with the toddler daughter of the couple who hadn’t commenced a PhD programme – it was full of doctors but probably none that could administer basic first-aid services.
The couple then came out dressed in traditional Nigerian dress, the bride with a professional tied headwrap called gele in Yoruba and the ceremony or party began – no fuss or outrageous ostentation beyond sense of typical Nigerian parties but a sensible and well-organised series of events centred around food and entertainment.
Joy of parents expressed
There was a lot of that, the father of the bride, an accomplished choir master and violin virtuoso performed with a small orchestra a number of popular classical pieces and we started off with drinks and cakes.
The mother of the bride lead a few folk dances that were as entertaining as they were almost clownish too and then we had a Powerpoint presentation that gave us a story about the couple, their forebears and the expectations for the future.
A barbecue with more entertainment closed the evening with music from a university band and discussions between the bride’s mother and the groom’s aunts through an interpreter – interesting questions, more interesting answers and well multi-cultural unions are just things opportunities for a wonderful learning experience between the relations of the couple.
Wishes and departures
We were given helium-filled balloons and cards on which to write wishes for the newly married couple, the views varied between the stridently religious and the generally pragmatic but in all most balloons lifted off with the best of wishes and goodwill from all.
The quest to return to Berlin began with wondering how and where to get a bus for the connection to Dessau, a stopover and a journey set to last almost 3 hours. Eventually, a family offered me a lift to the West of Berlin, Spandau, it was then that I realised how far out of Berlin we were.
I got back to my hotel by 23:30 hours, that was just about the time I would have had to catch a train from Dessau for a 2 hour journey to Berlin – a wonderful, pleasant and beautiful day out and my very best wishes for a long life together of happiness, joy, love, health, wealth and prosperity for the couple and all their children, starting with the first.
Raguhn? Well, I know where it is now.

Electric push-biking in Berlin

Expensive loyalties dispensed of
I have let my Accorhotels card subscription lapse and really I cannot justify that amount spent to retain membership against the benefits one seems to get for EUR 260 a year, there are other loyalty schemes that are free and offer very good deals.
The one advantage I had with the Accor Favourite Guest Card was the late checkout – giving me up to 16:00 hours on the day of departure. The problem with late checkouts is you vegetate rather than attempt to be productive with the time you have before going to the airport.
Novelty bikes and rides
I was out of the hotel by noon, stowed my baggage with the hotel porter and walked up toward Berlin Zoologische Garten when I decided to rent a bicycle instead and arranged to meet up with my friend at Alexanderplatz in the East.
I had the choice of a blood-and-guts pedal bicycle or an electric bicycle, I decided on the novelty of the latter and what a ride it was, by the second stroke the electric motor kicked in and it was a whizz. Berlin has a good few bicycle tracks, it is quite safe to ride without helmets – Tut! Tut!
Met, reclined and visited
We then decided to meet at the Brandenburg Gate, which after going off in some strange direction, I found my bearings enough to get back on course. We met just beside the luxurious Hotel Adlon and the reclined in the tiergarten for about an hour during which we visited the homomonument and the Global Stone Project before going for coffees and blackforest cake in the Moabit area.
It was a pleasant day and on pleasant days one should indeed hire a bicycle, we returned in time to pick up my baggage, checked in early at the counter and had a latte at Starbucks with the utterly creamy carrot cake – not good for the heart at all but wonderful to taste apart from the cream.
Now, I walk through to customs and wait to board my flight back to Amsterdam.

Friday 23 July 2010

Thought Picnic: Celebrating being with the one you love

The jet-setter aim
I think it is time to adjust to some realities I have frequently failed to acknowledge for a long time. I have just returned from holiday and now I am off to Berlin for the wedding of a friend just outside the great city.
In some ways, I could easily live the life of a jet-setter without much angst or worry. I am single, I have no pets and sadly I have no partner to cuddle to when I return home after every day of work.
What I need
I know, I need companionship but somehow I cannot seem to get one seriously going, everyone seems to be out for a fleeting meet, all with their quest to break records of the number of unique dates they have had and mostly enjoying the life of one young, free and single.
One is getting to that point where young is beginning to stretch the imagination, free and single however is not what I want to be, well, maybe free to make the right choices but not single for an interminable length of time.
My most desired lover has gone and remains a memory of what could have been, the last image I remember was that tall and glorious walk just across the street in Gran Canaria, I tried hard to keep that memory from getting too much of a hold on me but it was there a feeling of regret and longing overwhelmed with the reality that nothing more will come of it and nothing will replace it either.
My very best wishes
However, as I go to Raguhn this weekend, I go with the best of wishes, a sense of compelling encouragement and the joy of participation to wish this couple a very happy and long married life of love, sharing, bearing and caring – the bridal bouquet once fell in my hands but I was already spoken for then – I would not be rushing for this one, whilst I earnestly desire a lifelong companion, I think there are others who probably deserve it more.
My role as observer and chronicler of the wonderful lives of others and the interesting life of me will not wane regardless of the circumstances – I should just make the best of where I am at – as for where broken hearts go, well, this has seen some rough times but is not ready to be broken.

Wednesday 21 July 2010

Holiday Snaps: Holiday ends

July should find other places
And so the day came to pack my bags and return home after 17 days away. I cannot say July is the best time to visit Gran Canaria, it is hot, can be humid and many of the locals have gone on holiday.
I cannot say I was much enamoured by the holiday crowd either, things were strange, bizarre, incredible and quite unfunny at times nothing like the people you see in over Christmas and the New Year or in May. I had to deal with animated squeals of negrito, negrito caught between disgust, annoyance and amusement.
I have also been on the island in June, August and September, I think I like May and the turn of the year is usually running away from the cold of Northern Europe.
Almost a disconnect
My pickup arrived on time and the drive to the airport was without event, I was next in the queue and after check-in I settled in the lounge waiting for boarding.
There was a delay to boarding; it took the best part of one hour, with a stop-over in Madrid there was the risk of not making the connection to Amsterdam or having to run for the plane with the danger of my baggage following a lot longer after.
There was only 10 minutes to spare before boarding when I arrived in Madrid and I was already mentally prepared for a night at the airline’s expense in Madrid if things did not link up but the airport crew strike in France meant my connecting flight would also leave late.
Not caught speeding
The flight still took off just 5 minutes later and watching the flight tracking system on the monitor we reached the cruising height of almost 28,000ft but never made 1,000 km/hour, I had my camera ready to take the picture of that but the highest land speed we reached was 998 km/hour before we began descent and the feeling was strange to noticed the reduction in speed to just over 700 km/hour and the to think you’ll never be allowed to do 298 km/hour on land itself except in special circumstances or on high-speed trains.
We arrived in Amsterdam on time where it was 22° Celsius at 22:40 hours, not much different from where I had departed earlier in the day.
Truly home
My good friend came to collect me saving me the struggle of hauling my 30kg of baggage back home. Now to sort out the leakage on my boiler, holiday sometimes takes you from of thinking about these things, but for every journey away there is that home is really sweet home.
In response to the question that came on up on my Facebook page about where that home is, well, it is not in Nigeria, it is in Holland, my heart is in Europe even if my mind does do a lot of thinking about Nigeria not to say that I feel like an Englishman – there is no point pretending the association back then amounted to acceptance, we were singled out as foreigners no matter how hard we tried to adapt to being like our people.

Monday 19 July 2010

On the rise of juvenile witchcraft stigmatisations

A horrible development

It is sad and disheartening to hear that there is a rise in child witchcraft accusations in Africa [1]. I have never been able to watch the harrowing depictions on child witchcraft exorcisms that have appeared in documentaries in the recent years.

Worse still is the violence meted out to these accused children with the aim of cleansing them of their witchcraft powers.

I cannot understand if witchcraft were metaphysical, paranormal or spiritual how physical torture with increasingly bizarre rituals of unbelievable cruelty can be the means of negating the power and influence of witchcraft.

The hold of superstitious gullibility

The fact that certain of these charlatan exorcists can be religious leaders holding sway over frightened, superstitious and gullible congregations is bad enough – these crowds aid and abet childhood cruelty with the thinking that they are doing good.

Anyone who allows reason and common-sense to influence their judgement would very well know that if indeed these children were witches, wizards, sorcerers or more, they could easily have pooled their powers to wreak havoc amongst their tormentors teach them a veritable lesson they will never forget.

Helpless against a baying mob

These helpless, hapless, deprived children who are usually orphans, handicapped, destitute or different, especially albinos who for no reason of theirs have encountered misfortune and should find a more sympathetic, humane and compassionate society are rejected and what better way to reject them than to cast them as practitioners of witchcraft then engage in a public lynching of the children dressed as an exorcism.

Religious leaders themselves, frauds and agents of devilish concepts with their eyes on filthy lucre find a ready audience who are ready to believe any tale about their lot in life being hindered by the activities of their wards. There is money to be made in pointing accusing fingers and almost nothing can be done by the child to fight back against false accusations.

Either way, once accused of witchcraft, you are stigmatised and can never be innocent of it in the eyes of those who are lead to believe such atrocious claims.

Nothing Christian about this

From a Christian perspective, even Jesus said [2], suffer (allow, encourage) little children to come unto me and every child that suffered any affliction was humanely and compassionately healed r delivered; not brutalised as we find done today by apostles and evangelists of malevolent wickedness, gratuitous sadism and criminally actionable grievous bodily harm.

To which Jesus did say, perpetrators of violence against children can expect nothing better than drowning in the sea by hanging a millstone [3] round their necks. The preceding verses [4] talked about the need for childhood innocence, trust and humility, hardly anything about childhood witchcraft a concept that have developed for no justifiable reason than to feed the iniquitous ministries of people pretending to run a legitimate church.

Prosecute the practice mercilessly

This rotten practice has to stop and it can only stop when followers begin to follow good and sound doctrine.

Meanwhile, civil authorities [5] must not be afraid to visit the full force of the law on anybody who abuses children especially those who do it under the guise of witchcraft exorcism or some bizarre religious persuasion; the life of these children is hard enough, to make it a living hell is just unconscionably evil and an abdication of society of its responsibility to help the vulnerable.

Just because we cannot love the children or dare to like them for whatever reason does not give the license to make injurious accusations that offer the opportunity to visit the wickedest imaginations of evil violence on them.


[1] BBC News - Rise in African children accused of witchcraft

[2] Luke 18:16 |

[3] Matthew 18:6 |

[4] The Little Children - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

[5] Witchcraft: Akpabio Warns Churches

Other references

UN publishes IHEU statement on witchcraft in Africa | International Humanist and Ethical Union

Beliefs - A Nigerian Witch-Hunter Defends Herself -

Dispatches - Saving Africa's Witch Children - Channel 4

Saturday 17 July 2010

Holiday Snaps: Tenerife from Las Palmas

Early up and going
I seem to have settled into real holiday mode without wanting to tax myself with anything beyond sleep and some excursion.
The second book I picked up to read seems to be going at a page a day, though today, I have already managed 10 pages – appalling.
On Thursday, I was up at 04:45 for the early pickup to Tenerife Island, it arrived at 05:30 and after a few more pickups we made for the port of Las Palmas.
Abridged visit
My excursion was to visit Mount Teide, the highest peak of Spain before going to Loro Parque but the weather forecast, of high winds and rain clouds meant that was out of the itinerary. Maybe I should have switched to a visit to Fuerteventura Island, but that is for another time.
Normally, we would drive through the clouds towards the mountain and have clear blue skies above regardless of how dull the day is below on the island.
The ferry from Las Palmas was run by Armas and it was to last 2 hours rather than the Fred Olsen high-speed link from the North-West of Gran Canaria which was for 70 minutes and completely enclosed.
You had a breakfast snack, three outside decks from which to take pictures or breathe the fresh sea air and chairs that did really recline better, it was my fifth visit to Tenerife.
Doing other things
When we arrived at Loro Parque, I decided on visiting other parts of the island than seeing dophins, penguins, parrots and orchids again, you can only have so much animal entertainment, it is not like some band with a new album every now and then – the moves are tried and tested rather than versatile and innovative, to the first timer however, there is much to see.
I needed a full English breakfast in the afternoon and the New Robin Hood bar offered the choice of a Maid Marian, Robin Hood or Friar Tuck breakfast, I asked for the Robin Hood and ended up with the Friar Tuck which I tucked in with little to spare and ready to tip the scales at a terrifying number I cannot bear to view.
A walk round the black beaches and a few photographs, I returned to the rendezvous at Loro Parque and we made our way back to the port at Santa Cruz de Tenerife.
Weathering the return
Unlike the Fred Olsen embarkation point which is beside the port building we were quite a distance away but soon boarded the sea craft and reclined on deck chairs for up to 30 minutes after leaving port before the weather came in.
Included in our fare was a dinner buffet which was fine enough, the advertised Wifi connection on the boat was there but not beyond the boat itself – you find that these services have not yet reached a level of reliability to expect much.
It was past 23:00 when I got back to the hotel, there was a cold snack left in my bedroom but I was just too tired for much, in the end, I spent the whole part of useful Friday in bed and even did not go out at night – it was restful, let us see what today brings – 3 full days to go yet.

Friday 16 July 2010

Thought Picnic: Now if you were in my shoes

Woman to woman
Throughout today that song has been going on in my mind, it contains the Barbara Mandrell lyrics, Woman to woman, now if you were in my shoes, wouldn’t you have done the same thing too.
Like a broken vinyl record player this is replayed again and again, as the other part of the refrain, it says, Woman to woman, if you’ve ever been in love, then you know how I feel – with a greater sense of feeling about many who have never been in my shoes but seem to know exactly where the shoes are pinching my feet.
Their sympathy is patronising, their apathy is based on ignorance and their indifference is borne from the fact that they know no different from their own particular experiences and their assumptions about things they have never partaken of. It extends beyond woman to woman to include man to man and woman to man.
I know my own things
Before I had cancer, I could never fully relate to how people suffered the disease, after I had it and the treatment that followed, I need no new appreciation of the pain of cancer, the rottenness of chemotherapy, the deprivations that come with serious illness and the fight that rises up in you for every ounce of strength that is your life-force, I just know.
However, my knowledge and experience is hardly the embodiment of all occurrences of that kind of circumstance, people go through their battles with different approaches, strategies and outcomes but we can in many ways support each other a lot better than those who look in from the outside with the know-it-all hubris that accompanies their interaction.
Experience is not always needed for understanding, there are genuine people who have deep compassion and empathy, who are reasonable, friendly and wonderful to relate to, this is not about them.
From ancient to modern
In the same vein, there is sexuality and there is faith, there are struggles, conflicts, angst, anxiety and there are desires, if choices could have been made surely, other choices would have been considered and the outcomes might well be different.
I find that I now have to assess the issues of ancient views with modern understanding whilst I run the gauntlet of fundamentalists of different religious persuasions.
Even I, probably irrationally and unreasonably, am not fully persuaded of the whole theory of evolution, from the perspective of man’s creation, I do very well believe the amazing evolution of man’s creativity and the wealth of knowledge that has benefitted mankind to great ends.
The advances in science, medicine and technology which in biblical times would have passed for witchcraft and sorcery, the new understanding of man’s psychological makeup which had every negative connotation until psychologists, psychiatrists, sociologists, anthropologists and economists unravelled the knotty issues.
Incontrovertible fact against fable
It is however convenient for people to suspend their intellect and reason for some norm of times past and use that as a template for modernity with ill-fitting consequences.
It makes one wonder how sexuality is no more codified in terms of mental illness or some psychological disorder, neither is it in professional circles considered a lifestyle choice but a personification of the subject, wholly integral to the identity of the person who might in turn demonstrate the requisite tendencies.
Has new knowledge and learning left the tomes of religious stricture behind or has it evolved into logical conclusions that are reasonable but are challenged by blinkered religiosity masquerading as right, just, moral and true?
The questions are there to challenge the “earth is flat” view of man’s existence, identity, personality and expression, so much has changed about the knowledge of man such that religion and interpretations have adapted, evolved or adjusted to serve the purpose of man because religion exists for the service of humanity and not the other way round.
Rectal fixation
The more contentious topic of sexuality is how many are fixated on the sex and not on the identity. If expressions of love are only seen in terms of the act of sex and the satisfaction it offers, the holders of that view diminish the wide spectrum of human emotions leaving them bereft and wanting in the knowledge of the essence of deep emotional involvement that comes with committed relationships regardless of gender pairing.
It is so amusing how religious heterosexuals are so anally-fixated on matters in which they have no experience and cannot begin to fathom how it affects people who have no qualms on the matter.
The reductionist view that sex is only just for procreation is interesting and it beggars the question whether heterosexuals in relationships with a finite number of children have only had sex a finite number of times just for that particular and primary purpose only, procreation – the truth?
Maybe it would interest the squeamish that anal sex between heterosexuals has existed for time immemorial partly as a contraceptive and partly as a variation to the sex-life, who would however admit to that is a different issue.
Does it affect you that much?
If there is any group of people who probably know about the experiences, it would be bisexuals, heterosexuals probably have no inkling about homosexuals just as homosexuals might not be persuaded of heterosexual affinities and so the matter of conscience comes to the fore in one simple question.
Does homosexuality affect the relationship between heterosexual partners? If it does, they have issues they need to deal with and sort out; if it doesn’t then why all that angst and emotional energy expended in condemning what you are not interested in? What you don’t do is what you cannot contemplate except if there is a latent desire for something you have not yet been brave enough to acquire.
If you’ve ever been in my shoes, then you will feel the same way too, until then, you know nothing, absolutely nothing about it.