Monday, 28 November 2005

Rant

I’ve had another enquiry about his New Puritan business.

A few weeks The Observer ago accused me of being a New Puritan, not only that but I was apparently the poster boy of New Puritanism! First off it became immediately apparent that whoever had written that had never seen me, if I’m going to be a poster boy for anything it’s going to be for Balaclavas or paper bags. I decided to let that one go but was intrigued as to what a New Puritan is, like most people I had not heard of New Puritanism before so I decided to investigate. I was shocked! If I’m a Puritan, New or otherwise, then Hunter S Thompson was a nun.

From what I understand a New Puritan is a muesli knitting weirdo who is hell bent on inflicting their own dreary humourless lifestyle on all around them. They propose the banning of drinking, smoking, sweets, SUV’s, air travel and just about anything else that makes life enjoyable. For entertainment I can only assume that they sit around and punch themselves in the face with bricks, everything else it appears is strictly off limits. To my mind these New Puritan loons are nothing better than the idiotic spawn of those yoghurt weavers we used to find so amusing.

If these New Puritans want to deny themselves all the pleasures of life then more power to them, at least I won’t have to talk to them at parties like their yoghurt weaving ancestors. The problem is that they seem to have decided that they are the ‘moral minority’ and wish to enforce their views on everyone else by banning pretty much everything. This I take issue with on a number of grounds and so I find my being accused of being no less than a poster boy for such a movement highly insulting. I am, I suppose, an environmentalist, I am raising money for the Woodland Trust by living in the woods for a year. I have said that I would like to encourage people consume less and recycle more and that, as far as I know is about the extent of it. The key is that I would just like to encourage people not inflict my opinions on them, if people don’t want to do as I think best then, as annoying as that may be, that’s their choice. I personally would defend anyone’s freedom of choice and that includes their freedom to disagree with me. New Puritans cross the line by trying to inflict their views on others and so get big thumbs down from me.

The other thing with the ban everything approach is that it is ultimately self defeating. Running around the place preaching to people and trying to brow beat them into acquiescence really is not going to work. It is just going to put people off, who the hell is going to listen to some self opinionated wazzock telling them not to give their kids sweets and not to go on holiday? Other wazzocks perhaps.

What I’m trying to do is show that it is possible to live a full and modern life in harmony with nature. My response to being called a New Puritan was to fly to Barbados for the weekend and then off-set my carbon emissions by giving some money towards replanting the rain forest. There is no need to do without and lead a life devoid of enjoyment but there is a need to be a bit responsible about our actions though. I hope that by proving that it is possible to live in the woods whilst having a full and fulfilling life that others will realise that maybe it is possible to put in a bit of effort and do some recycling. Maybe some people will decide that maybe they should do something to offset their carbon footprint. If so then I’m happy.

I’m going to sound like a bit of a nutter here but I believe that we can, if we so choose find a way as a society to live in harmony with nature whilst still having all the trappings of modern life that we currently enjoy. The first step towards achieving this goal is realising, in theory at least, that the concept is a valid one. I personally believe that everything is possible, apart from understanding women, and that the only limit on human achievement is self belief. The road to a better world comes not from banning the fun things but from finding ways to accommodate the things we enjoy.

12 comments:

Sarah Mackenzie said...

Right on :)

SameOld said...

I fear you are a victim of lazy journalism. The media can't get their head around anything that can't be instantly pigeonholed and flogged to the public. I'd put journalists below estate agents. You are lucky if they can get your name and age right! Stuff them. We are all rooting for you!

Old_But_Not_Wise said...

Those of us who are reading this every day don't have any doubt what you're doing this for. Thanks for keeping me aware and making me fall about laughing at my desk most days!

ODM (Original Ditch Monkey) said...

Thanks guys

Pandiotic said...

Can everyone feel the love in this blog?


jeez, get a room.

ODM (Original Ditch Monkey) said...

bite me hippy

Pandiotic said...

You are more purile than Puritan, but more envied than environmentalists, and more hip than hippies, more beat than the Beatniks, and most of all you are more anodyne than anonymity.



I got the love if you need it, baby.

ODM (Original Ditch Monkey) said...

Groovy

Pandiotic said...

and you suck walnuts.

ODM (Original Ditch Monkey) said...

I am the Walrus

SameOld said...

what did I tell everyone about smoking crack?

ODM (Original Ditch Monkey) said...

To save you some?