Thursday, January 25, 2007

Randomiser #25: 25 January 2007

Today's song: Daft Punk, "Crescendolls"

Oh, hold on, there's a video for this....

Well, I call it a video. It's actually part of their movie Inter5tella 5555 (or something along those lines), which was basically a full-length video for the whole Discovery album. I suppose it's meant to be embracing the world of today's anime, although frankly, I always thought it looked more like a cast-off from Battle of the Planets. Breaking it down into a video for every track made for some terribly odd television, as well. I've never sat through the whole thing, and I can't honestly imagine it's worth hunting down.

"Crescendolls" is one of those tracks where Daft Punk hit on a good idea - and that's specifically one good idea - and then repeat it until dead. Fortunately, it clocks in at three minutes thirty, so they get away with it. I saw Daft Punk live at T in the Park a few years back when they were touring the first album, and they were stretching even the most minimal tracks out to outrageous lengths. It was one of the most boring things I've ever seen. At this length, though... cute.

Also today:

- Civil War: The Return.... uh, wow, that was bizarrely underwhelming. What a strange comic.

- I read with interest the ongoing dispute about whether Catholic adoption agencies should be subject to the equality legislation that would require them to accept homosexual couples. My initial reaction was to have some sympathy for their position, but the more I think about it, the more I'm convinced that their position is not just wrong, but indefensible. Obviously you need to have a degree of respect for religious observance and to a degree that's going to involve tolerating beliefs that might otherwise be unacceptable. I would never, for example, support forcing churches to accept gay weddings if that was contrary to the religious beliefs of the congregation.

The difference here, though, is that "running an adoption agency" is not an act of religious observance. What you effectively have is an adoption agency that wants to ignore equality legislation simply because of the religious beliefs of the management. But the whole point of equality legislation is to force people to do things they wouldn't otherwise be willing to do, in the hope of engineering social change. What's the difference between a Catholic adoption agency, and an adoption agency that merely happens to be run by Catholics? What's the difference between a Catholic adoption agency and a Catholic school?

If you concede this point then it becomes a foothold for people to claim exemption from any equality legislation simply because they have strong views to the contrary. Running an adoption agency is an essentially secular activity. If the Catholic church wants to support adoption agencies, that's fine, but it has to do it on the same basis as everyone else. If you believe that religious beliefs should be a defence to equality legislation (in the context of essentially secular activities) then in reality you don't believe in equality legislation in the first place, and you should be directing your arguments there instead of seeking exemptions for one particular church.