Thursday, September 30, 2004

Rich cultural heritages

It was only a matter of time:

The trial on sex charges of the majority of adult males on Pitcairn Island, a place so far from anything that no plane can reach it, has begun, and I’m disappointed. I’d always heard that the descendants of the Bounty mutineers spoke with 18th-century accents, but hadn’t heard any actually speak until the BBC news yesterday. The women interviewed had only a mild accent, vaguely Australiany, not at all how I imagined Pitt the Younger and Daniel Defoe speaking. Pitcairn, which already has too few people to be really viable as an economy (or, indeed, a gene-pool, if you catch my drift), will become a ghost island if the men are convicted. They insist that having sex with 11-year old girls is part of their rich cultural heritage.

While the Italian government has been issuing non-denials about paying ransom for 2 women hostages in Iraq. The ransom was reputed to be one million American dollars, so the US has had some cultural influence on Iraq after all. Italian politicians, newspapers and polls have all said, So what? You’d think a country with a rich cultural heritage of kidnappings would know so what.

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