How strange to see the barmaid profiled in a national newspaper

Laurie Lee\’s daughter, Jessy.

Of course, the profile\’s because she\’s Laurie Lee\’s daughter, not because she was the barmaid at the pub I frequented when I lived in Cheltenham. But still, slightly odd to read it. Despite having written for the papers on and off for a bit now I still rather have this idea that there\’s the real world, of people you know, and that everyone on the TV, in the paper, is off in some other world. One that\’s not real: which is why it\’s always ever so slightly odd to find the two mixing.

8 comments on “How strange to see the barmaid profiled in a national newspaper

  1. And from reading of Laurie Lee’s bio you get the impression that if he was living today he would be classified as a pedophile. Writing about having a five yr old sitting on lap and saying that the child decided to marry him at that point and then starting a relationship with the girl when she 14 year old and he 32 and only marrying her when she finally reached 18 is definitely weird behaviour.

  2. Well yes, he would be. As would numerous historical figures who courted and married girls under the current magic age.

    Come to think of it, an engineer I worked with who was around 60. Talking over coffee one day, about his long happy marriage and his kids and so on. He started courting his wife when she was 13 and he was 5 years older.

    Yes, this subject keeps coming up and, yes, I keep banging on about it. But the term “paedophile”- which once referred (and still technically does refer) to persons with a particular fascination with the pre-pubescent has been gradually extended to anything beneath the age of consent, or is increasingly heading into “any large age gap” territory.

    14 year olds are often sexually attractive in a normal way to normal males. This is just a straight matter of fact. It is not “weird behaviour” at all.

  3. Worth remembering, Ian, the average age of consent across Europe, adjusted for population, is under 15. Maybe that says something about the Brits.

    OT but anyone else find they can only access the latest posts here from the archive? That’s in IE. Firefox show’s the latest as “Well that Was Exciting” As for comments……

  4. Ian B, I agree with you about pedophile being used when it should be ephebophile. It’s a natural human thing to be sexually attracted to teenagers as during the vast majority of human history reproduction was carried out at young age because people died relatively young too. It’s only recently that we can reproduce well into our 30s and live well into our 80s and beyond. Evolution hasn’t caught up.

    I’m not saying that Laurie Lee was a bad person for what he did in his life, only that it would be judged as bad in these very very recent times.

    BiS, force a refresh of the site by pressing Ctrl-F5. It seems the site isn’t telling browsers that new information/pages are available.

  5. It shouldn’t be “ephebophile” either. That one doesn’t even make any sense. It’s a psychological diagnosis defined by an arbitrary legal age. It’s absurd.

    Neither does evolution have anything to “catch up” with. We’ve been able to reproduce into our thirties and live into our eighties for as long as we’ve been a species. Primitive villages have trees with old men sitting under them, and old men of high status collect young women as wives, not old ones. When Solomon was collecting his thousands of wives and concubines, he wasn’t picking old ladies.

    Look, this is just a resurgence of the nineteenth century “social purity” programme of trying to stop teenagers developing a sexuality so they’d grow up to be chaste and neurotic and end up in colonies for the distressed and disturbed. There isn’t anything else to it. And we really have to call a stop. Because it’s barmy.

  6. It’s still more accurate to say ephebophile than pedophile. The word does have a definition, it is not without meaning.

    That we’ve been technically able to reproduce into our thirties (and now into our forties) and live into our eighties doesn’t mean that it was normal. Only a very small number of people lived into old age. The demands of living required women to reproduce early rather than have a career first as we do now.

    Can’t disagree with you about your last paragraph. The New Puritans are taking over.

  7. Ian B – “Look, this is just a resurgence of the nineteenth century “social purity” programme of trying to stop teenagers developing a sexuality so they’d grow up to be chaste and neurotic and end up in colonies for the distressed and disturbed. There isn’t anything else to it. And we really have to call a stop. Because it’s barmy.”

    That it isn’t. Because the same people are fine with 13 year olds banging each other. I think it is in part an attack on the Sexual Revolution by the Religious Right – if they can get people to say sex with wrong with children they will work to expand that until adultery is a crime – but more an attempt by the Secular Left to level the sexual playing field.

    A 32 year old man has enormous advantages when it comes to sleeping with 15 year olds if he cares to use them. He has a car by and large. He has a job. He has been to Paris. A 15 year old boy can’t compete. Yet no one wants a sexual marketplace where 32 year old men sleep with anyone but 32 year old women. So they are trying to shame and bully men out of the younger end of the market while cheering 15 year old boys on.

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