Thursday, May 26, 2022
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Modern life through the Looking Glass

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Beware the Jabberwock, my son

The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!

Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun

The frumious Bandersnatch!

THAT verse of enchanted gibberish from Lewis Carroll’s Through The Looking Glass is as clear as a windowpane compared with this from the Daily Telegraph a while ago:

Mother of Dead Trans Teen in Sperm Legal Bid

‘The mother of a dead transgender teenager is planning to launch a landmark legal case to preserve her daughter’s frozen sperm so she can have a grandchild by finding a donor egg and a surrogate mother. Under UK laws if her daughter Ellie had been in a relationship, her partner would have had the right to ask for her sperm to be retained. But that right cannot be transferred to her mother without a ruling from the Court of Session.’ 

I begin in admiration of the mother’s physical prowess demonstrated by her intention to launch a landmark. The Albert Memorial perhaps? Blackpool Tower? And then we are given that wonderful poetic-philosophical hyperbole, her daughter’s sperm. This is logical grammar so replete with paradoxical sense and reference that its explication would demand the combined analytical powers of Ludwig Wittgenstein and F R Leavis for a whole year.

But cheer up, Mullen! That Telegraph piece is just a drop of madness in a world of resounding sense. Like hell it is: pick up any newspaper, switch on the radio or TV and you will find something similarly surreal inside five minutes. 

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Peter Mullen
Peter Mullen
Peter Mullen is a Church of England clergyman, writer and broadcaster

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