I think what bothers me most about people who use the “slippery slope” argument against gay marriage is they always say it’ll lead to people marrying dogs or cars.

Thing is, I find the underlying mindset disturbing more than the fact they’re making the argument. Cars aren’t alive. Dogs are incapable of providing informed consent. Neither are legally resposible for themselves, recognised as sovereign entities. The underlying mindset seems to be that marriage is something that you do to others, wether consentual or not. It seems to cry “I beleive marriage is an act of violence” first, arguably worse than the explicit text that they only beleive it should be commited against the opposite sex.

Or given the context, perhaps that should be the opposing sex.

It screams, “When I marry someone, they are my property”. My object. My slave. My Husband. My wife. My dog. My Car. Mine.

Maybe it’s actually the frequent use of the word “partner” they object to.

Love the self-proclaimed internet intellectuals who on one hand laugh themselves sick at “idiots” who don’t know the sun is a star but will on the other hand righteously demand that The Pill should “just work” for guys instead, because there’s no way it could be a complex biochemical problem to solve.

Apparently you get instant garunteed results if you just throw enough magic Science -juice at a problem.

When I read about how prepared homes in Canada are for cold weather, it makes sturdy brick common in UK houses feel more like ancient stone. And the more I think of it the more I think of stereotypical Transylvania; the dark dank streets, suspicious and isolationist serfs wandering around in cheap tatty clothing, old and imposing little forts of homes, owners ready and primed to shut the curtains at visual intrusion.

Is it that hard to imagine the UK falling into a second Dickensian age?

I haven’t been too keen on police uniforms in the UK for some time. With all the changes in equipment over the years, particularly with the addition of the stab-vests/webbing that everything hangs from, it’s made it look rather ad-hoc as well as making it a lot heavier for the officers. And while there’s a definite cost involved, at some point there’s got to be a review to redress this and boil down all the add-ons into singular combined pieces of equipment, lest the domestic police officer end up hauling backpacks of gear around like Marines on a march.

Last night something specific crystallised about it though, and that’s the high-visibility jackets and patches that are now part of the selection.

I don’t know about you, but I associate high-visibility jackets with emergencies; officers or paramedics dragging wounded people to safety, running into burning buildings, floods, disasters, high-peril, high-drama events.

And I think for that reason it’s made me more wary of police patrols. I know it may sound silly, but by donning those same jackets it’s taken an approachable, respectable entity that’s supposed to be a part of a community and turned them into walking ominous suggestions that we’re in an emergency whenever they’re around.

The jackets make me think of disasters rather than safety. And I suspect if you stop to think about it, others would agree.

I doubt anything will be done about it though. To incorporate things like stab-vests, utility-belts, visibility aids and communications into would take time and effort to test, refine and deploy. I’m sure there are more than a few maker/hacker/artistic types like myself who’d leap at the chance to add some oil to smooth the grinding gears of society like this, but frankly even if we came up with a magical ideal new kit layup it would never see use as there are vested interests in legacy supply-chains. What an independent agent or company could make in-house for a tiny budget, a supplier will charge hundreds of times more for (as well as angling to further lock you in to them in future (EG; proprietary communications systems, maintenance contracts, promise of discounts)).

That said though, assuming you already had designs, getting equipment manufactured on a bespoke basis (sending the design out for manufacture by a generic 3rd party) would come in a LOT cheaper. The only issues that might remain are again how much sway those existing supply chains can pressure the decision-makers on choosing it or similarly influence those that decide whether equipment meets specification (as has happened before, altering spec so only one pre-selected choice is possible).

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