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Potpourri – No.17

Morphine seems to have stunned everything north of the neck as well as its required task, and I can’t keep my mind on any one subject. So have several different ones, and I’ll see you tomorrow.
The Olympics – obviously.
Why do we glorify freakdom – especially in the female of the species?
As a general rule, the sportsperson who is taller, has a higher muscle-to-fat ratio, and the larger heart and lungs will have the sporting advantage. Strength and stamina are part of the physiology which we chose to term ‘masculine’. So when we wildly applaud the female Gold medal winners, we are celebrating the ability of some women to remain ‘just’ the right side of genetic or hormonal testing which would declare them to be too ‘masculine’ to compete with the other ladies.
Tomorrow, Caster Semenya will be back on the racing track; she has testosterone levels three times the normal level found in women. She has no womb or ovaries, and internal testes.
None of the above is anyway her ‘fault’; she is, in the truest definition of the word, a freak of nature. The way she was treated after the the 2009 Olympics was disgraceful – details of her medical condition were leaked for the world to gawp at.
Testosterone testing was introduced, and athletes who took hormone altering medication to increase their testosterone levels to those of Caster’s were banned; Caster, on the other hand, was permitted to take hormone altering medication to reduce her testosterone level in order to be allowed to compete. Unsurprisingly, she was not as successful. She was, however, happier in her personal life, and has now married her long term girlfriend.
Last year, Dutee Chand, another runner, successfully contested the ‘testosterone test’ thus allowing Caster Semenya to compete at the Rio Olympics.
Rather than dividing the Olympics into male and female events, in these days of fluid genders, and non-binary toilets, should we not divide sports into events for different testosterone levels?
DNA testing.
The ritual game of ‘Pass the Partner’, as played on many a suburban housing estate, may turn into a modern version of ‘Goldilocks’ in the future.
Presumably working on the basis that those who fly tip may well have had to provide their DNA to the police for other reasons at some point, Birmingham City Council are considering DNA testing dumped mattresses for clues as to their original ownership.
The local papers will be up for this. Particularly when Doris’ husband uses as evidence in his divorce, the fact that Doris, 17 of her male neighbours – and the milkman – were jointly charged with the dumping of the marital mattress…
Legal Highs.
Last night I watched the BBC3 documentary – ‘The Last Days of Legal Highs‘.
I am now terminally confused, which is why at 5.30am this morning I was grilling Mr G (the only person I know who has ever smoked weed and also was handily around at that time of day) as to why he would cheerfully join a friend he knew to be alcoholic for ‘a pint’, but would be horrified at the idea of joining him from a smoke of ‘Spice’.
OK, it was 30 years ago, and he gave up smoking cigarettes years ago, but he has no moral qualms regarding drugs, or at least ‘pot’. So why is it different? Mr G ducked out of the debate with the riposte of ‘I’ll go and make the tea’; a debating tactic he has used successfully on many an occasion.
‘Gypsy King’, the ‘legal high’ shop owner, cheerfully admitted he was in the business to make money, and defended himself by saying that he was no more responsible for people becoming addicts or even killing themselves through consumption of his product than any pub landlord.
I can’t rebut that argument in any manner that wouldn’t also apply to the sale of alcohol.
Can anyone explain to me what the moral or ethical arguments are that see the police arresting those smoking pot or ‘Spice’, but coming to the assistance of a pub landlord who wishes to sell his product to his customers in peace and quiet and would they please remove the rowdy ones?
Dalian Atkinson.
Dalian was a 6’1″, powerfully built, former footballer. When the Police were called to an incident he was involved in, he was covered in blood (he had apparently ripped a catheter from his shoulder which had been used for kidney dialysis, although the police would not have been aware of this when they entered the room). He had his hands round the throat of his Father, and was screaming ‘I am the Messiah’.
The Police had been called at 1am by someone outside the family who had merely reported a disturbance, so they would not have been aware of the family relationship nor his previous medical history.
They had to judge their response purely on what they could see. One powerfully built man, clearly very agitated and disturbed, clearly involved in something which had occasioned a serious loss of blood, equally clearly intent on strangling another man.
Now Dalian’s nephew, Fabian, who was not reportedly present, is claiming that the police used ‘excessive force’. Another local resident is claiming that from her first floor flat she could ‘hear but not see’ the police ‘kicking Dalian’. (The sound of a boot hitting a body being easily distinguished from any other sound…).
I can see this case being taken up with gusto by the ‘Black Lives Matter’ brigade.
I want to know how many of them would have handled the situation in what they think might be a ‘proportionate manner’?
As in ‘would it help to talk about it’, or ‘can I get you a nice cup of tea’.
It is a desperately sad situation; he was obviously a very sick man whether mentally or physically. His family must feel dreadful today and my sympathies are with them – and with the Police.

Atkinson’s death has also prompted fresh concern about policing and race and particularly the way police deal with black people with mental health conditions.

…mainly from people who would freak out if they were expected to deal with that situation at 1 in the morning…

Tagged as:
DNA Testing,
Legal ‘Highs’.,
Rio Olympics

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