07 December 2011

Argumentum ad Antiquitatem

Because arguments from antiquity are getting old.

A broad definition describing ‘Tradition’,
Is ‘that’s just the way things have always been done’.
It’s nice when applied to the dress of a bride,
Or a yard glass of ale when you turn twenty-one.
But it soon becomes strange when opposing a change,
And relied upon solely, as if it’s enough.
If we never advance from traditional stance
Then we may as well keep all the following stuff:

Religious castration. Race-based immigration.
Foot binding. Forbidding gay people to wed.
Apartheid division. Slave trade. Circumcision.
The hanging of men by the neck ‘til they’re dead.
Lobotomies. Caning. Sex-ed by abstaining.
Denying black people and women the vote.
Widespread public flogging. Old-growth forest logging.
Bloodletting through cuts in the arm or the throat.

The hunting of foxes. Bare-knuckled pro boxers.
Re-homing indigenous children with whites.
A solemn expression of prayer in each session
Of parliament. Flabby posh men wearing tights.
The Queen of Australia and royal regalia.
A seat allocation in ‘smoking’ or ‘non’.
Church leaders dictating. Bullfighting. Bear baiting.
I think my point’s made. Now it’s time to move on.


  1. Brilliant as usual - and fits in so well with my 'quote of the week': “Loyalty to petrified opinions never yet broke a chain or freed a human soul in this world – and never will.” - Mark Twain

  2. Nice work. On the "bare-knuckled pro boxers", they were mentioned on QI this evening, specifically that bare-knuckled boxing resulted in fewer deaths as the boxers would pummel each other on the chest rather than punching the head, which would hurt their own hands. Once the boxing gloves were introduced the hands were protected, and everybody started punching at the head, resulting in more deaths.

    Wikipedia doesn't really agree or disagree. The most relevant reference I have seen to that is "Furthermore, as the contestants did not have heavy leather gloves and wristwraps to protect their hands, a certain amount of restraint was required when striking the head." says "... rather than risk a broken hand by aiming a full force shot to their opponent's skull."

    Several websites made the point that gloves are more likely to produce head injuries (brain trauma) and bare knuckles more likely to incur bleeding and facial scars.

  3. @Nick, I saw QI too - about half an hour after penning that line. And I thought, "Oh. Bugger".