The boiling frog principle

There were two different types I worked with – this was the normal type

One effect of the boiling frog principle – not our esteemed blogging colleague but the curious phenomenon whereby people cease to be affected any more nor outraged – is that when those of us not parboiled do get overexcited, the others just gaze across and think – what’s got into them?

Bruce Charlton made reference to it on the weekend:

We in the UK are very heavily desensitized in relation to desecration and heresy; this is the product of many decades of almost continuous and deliberate exposure.   It is standard behavioural therapy. People are naturally disgusted by desecration, as people are naturally afraid of snakes; but this can be unlearned by repeated exposure.

We, in the West, (since 1967) believe with moralistic fervour that it is both good and a mark of high status never to be offended by deliberate blasphemy – just as we now regard it as both ethical and sophisticated never to be viscerally disgusted by a wide range of sexual behaviours and acts which spontaneously strike people as wicked or disgusting.

By which standards are we judging the tolerance of things which are plain wrong?   By a set of universal principles which never succumbed to relativism, such a set as those of Christianity.   Or more historically, by the principles which were at least paid lip service to in the 50s and before, minus certain times in history where they fell right away, e.g. between-the-wars Paris and Berlin.

Worse, any who call society out on these things are called wowsers, stick-in-the-muds, told to get a life.  Not fun people.  I’d never want to become like those women in that photo captioned “the lips which touch alcohol will never touch ours” and yet I’d never ever want to become utterly devoid of any principle or scruple as these pussy riot females have.

In an affirmation that there are certain minimum principles of decency, it’s interesting that my Russian friend, from a different culture and with different politics to me, should send the following:

Most people in Russia suggest they girls should have receive 7 years at least…  This band is too dirty. West knows nothing about them.

One of them being on the 9-th month of pregnancy participated in a so called art-performance.

State didn’t took her child. Why? Is she a good mother? The mother of this girl said that the child was injured after the fall from the table. Child simply had no proper bed for sleeping.

This link shows that Russian liberal opposition participated and helped to this band to enter into the church.

As I said previously Russian liberal opposition has not more than 5% votes. Since they didn’t win the elections they decided to organise provocation in the Main Temple. Because they suppose that most of Putin’s electorate are religious people.

And not just any temple but a special one for most Russians:

The Church is built after the Glorious Defeat of Napoleon and rebuild in late 90-ties. So the crime not against the Putin (its to simple explanations) but against the nation that amazingly survived after Napoleon invasion. So, it is against the Spirit of Russian to defend their own land from invaders.

To understand the sense of outrage in Russia against these three, one needs to remember that not so long ago, Russia was still a family-oriented country where the grandmother and grandfather lived at home and weren’t put out to pasture, where despite all the social evils over there, minimum standards of decency did generally apply – this lasting way beyond the time that the west lost its decency.

That a 9 month pregnant woman should do sex on stage with other people and be cheered on by the left who are supposedly for “progress”, that this should then become the focal point of western outrage over their incarceration and that Femen should react to it by sawing down a Christian cross in Kiev which marked the deliverance of the Ukraine from communism and commemorated its victims – this seems to have passed my colleagues by completely.

My colleagues try to excuse them their behaviour, at most calling it “reprehensible” but let’s not dwell on it, shall we?

Yes we damn-well will dwell on it.  These three are the focus of a worldwide campaign of protest for their behaviour and no one stops to think why we are so vehemently opposed to them, why Russia is demanding 7 years, not 2.   People have taken leave of their senses in the west – things are acceptable now which would have had ordinary people shun those three in saner days.

In saner days, they’d never have been able to do anything publicly like that anyway.   They would have had at least a vestige of pride in themselves.

My Russian friend is certainly no saint himself – he’s been a bit of a lad, now settled down – but there are simply certain levels even he draws the line at – he and many others.   Those girls would be safer behind bars because they have angered a vast nation.

And I’d suggest that any of us who think that what these three are about is quite acceptable and not worth getting in a knot over –  there is a serious case here of losing the plot.   And as for the PTB organizing protest for them – the mind simply boggles when it was never about Putin anyway.

Let me finish this with an account of a brief moment in my time over there, at the university and I’ve thought about whether to print this or not.   It must be obvious that in a place with 900 girls and about 50 boys, the teaching conditions are … different.   It may be hard to comprehend but such numbers are not a paradise on earth but lose their mystique after the first hundred pass you by on the stairs each day.

Any male is at risk and there was one particular girl of 18, in one group, who was getting more than friendly, so much so that she got my number from the office and pestered me one night.  At university some days later, two girls asked to speak with me, her groupmates.   They urged me not to go through with it with this Kate.   I protested that it was the last thing on my mind and mentioned the phone pestering.

They knew all about her techniques and then, in that way in which females stick the knife into others of their sex, explained all about her, how she was the daughter of someone high in politics, that she’d had all her father’s colleagues, that she didn’t care, that she was diseased and no one would share a drink with her or change for sport anywhere near her.  That no one would willingly sit beside her.   I stayed friendly with her as I did with all of them and she passed well at the end of the year but I admit I was pretty wary from that moment on with any of them.

My Russian friend above used the words “too dirty”.   If I hadn’t seen this Kate, I’d not have understood exactly what he meant – this is not sexually dirty per se but dirty in the soul, in the heart, without any self-esteem.  I felt sorry for her because being not accepted is never nice and kids can be cruel.  Yet she really was dirty in so many ways, especially in hygiene.  That might anger you – me writing this – but I’d like to know how you would have reacted, had you been in that situation.

I don’t recall any of those girls at the university being prudes – that age is pretty feisty as a rule and tends to motor-mouth – but they were quite clearly sickened by her.  She was so outwardly pretty too that I’m sure she had attracted quite a bit of heat.  When I saw what those pussy riot females were really about, Kate sprang to mind again immediately.   So yes – anger at them – but also sadness too.

5 comments for “The boiling frog principle

  1. Tom
    August 20, 2012 at 07:40

    Why did they accept the certainty of gaol and the risk of far worse for a political action of no possible personal benefit?

    Cui bono?

  2. August 20, 2012 at 08:15

    In the Russian reports, they stated that they were martyrs for the “cause”, that their jail would highlight the plight of women and the corruption of religion – their two main beefs. Therefore, they were pleased they only got two years, as now they were celebrities worldwide.

    And the west has come in, as choreographed, has seen the hated word Putin and leapt through the air to the conclusion that these are poor innocent victims with Putin’s heel on their necks. Their reasoning was exactly the same as the terrorists at Beslan – that the crime is excused by the greater cause.

    It’s also the reasoning of Guy Burgess – that to betray his country was as nothing when it was a corrupt mess and his embracing of Soviet communism would “sweep away the whole cankerous mess”.

    As the Russian report said, the selection of that Khram was quite specific and deliberate – it was a special church which symbolized the victory over Napoleon or alien power by the glorious Russian spirit.

    You and I don’t carry on like that, my Russian friend’s language is colourful but when under perceived threat, they do get all Mother Russia-ish.

    They certainly knew it would shock and in their limited brains, any publicity for one’s chosen cause is good publicity, particularly if thrown in jail for a crime and therefore able to play the bad girls – which is what their street cred required. They needed form to speak to the criminal class over there, gangland, as equals. In this was the typical female as well – wanting to play with the big boys they admire so much.

    You may or may not know about the young people’s mafias. In our town, it was a street location – Hadi Taktash – and to be associated with and accepted by these kids who kill rivals and are incarcerated for it was everything. Kids in our school who needed street cred told stories of how they’d cut this person or that and became known as hard people. That is a light to a firefly for girls who are desperate to be seen as equally bad as the boys, only these three did it differently – through a band.

    Many of our girls at uni spoke of Hadi Taktash after I broached the topic and they were shocked I even knew about the young person’s gangland. Many of the boys in this gangland go on to bigger things in the criminal community after proving themselves. It’s a very criminal society, as you know, Tom. I have form in this area – I was briefly and peripherally involved in London’s Chinese gangland too, simply because the opportunity arose and I learned some of the criminal jargon in the Chinese language.

    These three dead losses as people are not the stuff of which heroines are made. These are never likely to understand in the least how deeply they’ve offended because they separate who they are and their cause, as you have done Tom [you say what they’ve done is reprehensible but dot dot dot]. Their personal agenda – glory within the criminal class and the political cause are two different things. Trouble is – Russians have joined or conflated the two elements and have rejected these girls.

    A conspiracy theorist might even say it was orchestrated by Putin forces because the internal effect has most certainly not been anti-Putin and the more the west does what it has, the harder they’ll stick to Putin and interpret it as the west against Russia, the nation. You mention the Russian people buying narratives and that I appear to have as well.

    I know Putin for what he is but I also know these girls very well because they are a known type. The liberals, as my friend wrote in a follow up email, don’t see in the least the residual conservatism in Russia and don’t understand you can’t enable dirty little beasts like this to head a cause for freedom. The only people within Russia who’d embrace freedom in this way would be the young burgeoning criminal class.

    However, the liberals reason that those outside Russia – and they reason correctly, as my friend wrote – people in the west would not see the gutter nature of these girls but only the martyrdom. They reason that international pressure can bring Putin to heel. It will never do that except temporarily through debt to the EBRD or the various clubs, e.g. Paris. money is the arbiter here. And just as with Yeltsin – it is lip service and Russia can default whenever needed. The deal with the EU devil is that they’ll pump money in for the oligarchy if Russia plays ball and allows their culture in, e.g. credit.

    So this has been a mish-mash of publicity hungry guttersnipes co-opted by the liberals for a political point – agin Putin/the Church, while the girls’ causes are feminism and religion itself.

  3. richard
    August 20, 2012 at 14:55

    Until today I supported PR, a bit outrageous but free speech, no real victims, etc etc. Thanks for revealing the truth. I thought myself an ethical chap and well able to spot evil. Wrong. Time for a bit of reflection and re-evaluation of my own beliefs and I am somewhat ashamed of my refex action support of these people.

  4. August 20, 2012 at 15:37

    Richard, the thing banks on the west’s view of Putin [not incorrect] and the way these three have been painted to us. It was never part of the narrative that a western blogger happened to have spent twelve years in the country and had a conduit to Russians who could send him the material on the girls, complete with photos.

    So their strategy was sound to present them as the martyrs to the cause as who would ever question it?

  5. richard
    August 20, 2012 at 16:28

    Thanks James, I suppose it’s better to have been expertly bullshat than to have a thoroughly defective moral compass. I’m still alarmed at my Pavlovian response though. Must ratchet up the old skeptometer. Even RT isn’t telling the whole story here.

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