Striking a balance between a relationship that's both sustainable and commercially beneficial is something all creators should consider deeply. Increasingly YouTube creators are non-controversial, jolly and relatable which acts as a death trap for misunderstanding and disappointment for beloved fans.
The ideology which terrorists are fed aids this process too. When people take on a belief system, they begin to see the world in an abstract, intellectualised way, rather than through direct perception. They begin to see the world in terms of concepts and categories, developing a dry and rigid outlook which becomes so powerful that it divorces them from the immediacy of experience and contact. It encourages them to see other human beings not as individuals but as units in an abstract, conceptual and deadly game.
The case of the Australian couple who have taken the twin, but not the Downs syndrome sibling from the surrogate Thai mother, which has been in the news this week raises some interesting ethical issues. I don't mean to comment directly on that case here because the facts of that particular case are far from clear. The only thing that is clear is that it is very sad that it has happened. But what were the alternatives?
There's been a massive outcry this week over the young lass who allegedly performed sex acts on 24+ blokes in a nightclub in Magaluf. A lot of people seem to think it's an indication of our crumbling society. Part of the dangers of drinking. Others have ignored the drinking and seem pretty stuck on this being a case of double standards. Sexism.
By highlighting Christian 'virtues' of responsibility, hard work, charity, compassion, humility - is he suggesting that other groups don't have those virtues? If so most people will not believe him. If he is acknowledging (in among the rather confusing language) that most people share these virtues - again, why highlight the Christians? Many Christians are indeed hard-working, compassionate and modest but so are many non-Christians and even many people with no faith! Christians do not have the monopoly on being moral and doing good...
Defining children according to wealth or merit in specific subjects sits very uncomfortably with me. What about supporting kids' interests, building on enthusiasm? What about maintaining friendships between kids of different social backgrounds rather than keeping them in separate worlds? Isn't it heartbreaking when children are separated from their best friends...
Whether we like it or not, criminalising the buying and selling of sex is an attempt to legislate morality and exercise control over private sexual behaviour. Sex workers are human beings and selling sex is their business. Sex workers must be entitled to the same labour rights as other workers and the same human rights as other people.
What might be the basis for not accepting second class health? Perhaps because its as innate to our spiritual sense to feel health is natural as it is politically to demand equal rights. "In health there is freedom. Health is the first of all liberties," mused Swiss poet and philosopher Henri Frédéric Amiele.
What struck me about this exchange was the extent to which it revealed a widening disconnect between the haves and have nots, on the level of morals as well as income, exacerbated by the recession and the current government's policy of making the poor pay for an economic mess effectively created by the greed of the rich.
On the one hand, the British public, clearly sceptical of intervention in Syria, had their voices heard. Last night was, however, also a profoundly bitter moment because of what it says to the world about the morality of the British people. Is it not ironic and tragic to be celebrating the triumph of democracy and freedom of speech through ignoring the cries of the Syrian people for exactly the same rights?
I play devil's advocate here only to drive home the point: we need biological manipulation to make sport a spectacle. In fact, I will rephrase that: sport IS biological manipulation. The more pertinent question is to what extent is biological manipulation fair? And can we justify accepting certain forms but not others?
It's a relief to be able to call him Joseph. And it will be a relief once he's treated just like any other Joseph. It's been said before and it will be said again: there's a Ratzinger-sized space in Rome's nearest prison cell just waiting to be filled. The former Bishop of Rome should soon become the Inmate of Rome.