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Home | 2016

Wishful thinking

Posted by Thersites on UTC 2016-09-15 16:15.

Our resident shaven-headed, right-wing, heartless knuckle-dragger writes:

Female tennis players, cricketers, football and rugby players generally don't get paid as much as men. There is a simple explanation: spectators and viewers vote with their feet and remote controls. Given a choice, they prefer some sports to be played by men, preferably well-known ones. Wishing it were different will change nothing, because that's how it is. Saying this is not to demean the skill, endurance and commitment of sportswomen, which is clearly just as great as that of men.

The embarrassing lack of spectators for the Paralympics in Rio tells us the same story. Given a choice, the punters prefer sports to be played by able-bodied competitors not wearing very much, preferably well-known ones. Despite the 'success' of the Paralympics in London in 2012 the fact remains that, given a choice, audiences prefer not to watch participants battling to master various prosthetics. Wishing it were different will change nothing, because that's how it is. Saying this is not to demean the skill, endurance and commitment of disabled athletes, which is clearly just as great as that of able-bodied ones, possibly greater.

A recent newspaper story about the brave and punctilious way that a checkout operator in a supermarket coped with the obvious difficulties he had in carrying out the tasks required by that job was heart-warming, but missed the point. Perhaps it was his first day on the job, but checkout operators shouldn't dump your purchases in a pile, squash your bread and require special consideration in receiving money and giving change. That could serve as an inverse definition of what is required of a checkout operator. Our hearts may be warmed, but the queue is getting longer and longer quite pitilessly. Wishing it were different will change nothing, because that's how it is. Saying this is not to demean the endurance and commitment of this checkout operator, which seems to be exemplary. There must be many things he can do well in the right context: checkouting is not one of them. Let's try him in the local tax office, where his steady diligence will be much appreciated. He will definitely be better than the current average there.

We live in a society which seems to assume that with enough love and wishing, the blind can see, the lame can walk and the mentally deficient can do anything.

Fortunately, the British Government has not repeated the spectacle of a blind cabinet minister, David Blunkett The Right Honourable The Lord Blunkett, whose scandal-spattered tenure in the job was only enabled by the expensive support of a team of document-whisperers and braille writers. We have become wearily used to having government ministers with only limited intellectual specifications, but the one talent they definitely need is the ability to read. Whether they really understand what they read is another matter. Wishing it were different will change nothing, because that's how it is.