Friday, 19 October 2012

What we need is a Fuckwit Certificate.

Started thinking about this via a discussion on reproductive rights: specifically, the right of medical professionals to refuse to perform or assist in termination of pregnancy if that goes against their personal viewpoint/what they think their imaginary friend would want. There's also been that recent matter of the B&B owner who wouldn't let a gay couple share a bed, because her imaginary friend wouldn't like it.

Thing is, in a proper free world, people should be allowed to have all the imaginary friends - and all the apparently necessary prejudices and phobias that having imaginary friends entail  - that they want. But they should be upfront about their prejudices and phobias. After all, given that obeying their imaginary friend is Ever So Important and part of their Cultural Identity and their Very Selves, why hide it? Even those who are bigots just because they're bigots are generally proud of their bigotry.

So they ought to have to announce it. When you go to register at a GP surgery, the list of doctors should contain information to the effect that Dr A is opposed to abortion, Dr B isn't fussed about anything and Dr C is a bit fond of the power of prayer. If you're booking a holiday that's going to include visits to small scale independent B&Bs, any and every source of tourist information should include in its ratings: Sea View guest house is not keen on gays/Hill Top guest house insists on prayers before meals/Bide-A-Wee guest house is run by United supporters and will get all arsey with City fans. Etc.

Then people are sufficiently well-informed to be able to avoid the bigots and the nutters and get what they want or need elswhere.
In general, though, if you are superstitious to the extent that you want to stop other people from doing things that are perfectly legal and (outside of your particular cult) acceptable, you should probably stay out of careers that involve engaging with the general public. I have admittedly vague memories of some bloke who took a job in a train buffet but wouldn't serve alcohol, and wanted all alcohol removed from the buffet car for the duration of his shift. I seem to recall he got the sack... but then sued on the grounds of religious discrimination. That story may be a baa-baa-green-sheep racist invention, of course, but I *have* encountered people who are that self-obsessed and self-righteous, in other contexts.

So what we really need is some kind of 'Not all the services or facilities you might expect are available from this operative, because this operative is an arsepigeon' kind of easy-comprehension sticker or logo.

Perhaps it could look like this.

I pinched that graphic (and the other one) Somewhere Off The Interweb and wish its creator well. But maybe I've just offered her/him a lucrative new use for it.

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