Helen Martin: A load of idiots caught in the net

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WILL history record the internet in the same way as it recorded the agricultural and industrial revolutions, or will it ultimately be more on a par with the nuclear bomb – something we wish had never been invented?

Of course, it’s all down to how people use it. The question is whether mankind is mature enough as a species to manage. Looking at Edinburgh alone, I’m not convinced.

Apparently, 12,000 students in this city have signed up, in just two months, to www.Sh*gAtUni.

It seems 6000 register to gawk, and 6000 are “active users” of the site which offers “no-strings sex”. Not surprisingly 5000 of them are men and 1000 are women. Men pay £89.95 a year, women pay nothing.

All those experts campaigning against prostitution as an industry exploiting women might be better targeting the 1000 so-called educated female Edinburgh students who aren’t even getting paid for it, bearing in mind there is no relationship beyond the sh*g, it’s purely casual sex, and more than 7200 people in the city have a sexually transmitted disease, including more than 1000 with HIV.

At least they are all willing participants . . . . or will be until one of their one-night-stands takes to the web to critique their body and performance in less than flattering terms. Then it will be tears and humiliation.

Speaking of which, the Jambos Kickback pond life is at it again, harassing and insulting 40 girls, including young married women and mums, who have taken part in the Miss West Lothian beauty pageant fund-raising for the children’s charity River Kids.

Surely there must be nice Hearts fans on there too, who have something better and more important to focus on than writing hurtful, derogatory, nasty and cruel comments about young women doing their bit for a good cause? Of one girl they wrote: “If my girlfriend looked like that I’d kill myself”. Another saddo with a misguided superiority complex said: “Carrying a few recessive alleles [genes] that lot”. (Obviously he’s never grasped the concept either of irony, or people living in glass houses.)

One girl was said to “look like she’s just been strangled”, another was described as being a “munter” with two years of make-up on.

Kickback could do itself and the club’s reputation a huge favour if it controlled content. Failing which it could always insist those who submitted the rude, bitter, bullying comments enter a Mr Hearts, post their own – doubtless handsome and heart-stopping – pictures online, and see what response they get. Proceeds to River Kids rather than Hearts FC, of course.

Moove aside cattle

WELL, talk about locking the stable door. In a new book about the infancy of Jesus, His Holiness The Pope stands by the virgin birth, but says donkeys and cattle were definitely not present at the scene of the Nativity.

His reasoning for the latter seems a bit sketchy. He says there is no mention of animals in the gospel. There’s no mention of piles of cow poo or donkey nuggets either, but possibly the scribes thought it was sufficient to say the son of God was born in a stable/manger and leave some details to the imagination.

Christmas is the one celebration that unites factions of Christians throughout the world. It doesn’t do to overanalyse the facts. Why is the baby Jesus so often represented as blond-haired? Who picked December 25 when we know it wasn’t that date at all.

So don’t chuck out your traditional Nativity scenes and cards. As every primary teacher knows, the doe-eyed beasts are necessary so that every child has a part in the play. The donkey stays, along with the sheep and cows
. . . . no matter what the Pope says.

Track down the neds

WHAT’S the difference between a tram and a bus? Apparently passengers have to be very well behaved and well dressed on a tram – no loud iPods, no offensive T-shirts and no big pets. I can’t remember ever seeing someone playing a musical instrument on a bus, but that’s banned too, as is dressing in any way likely to damage the seats, bulky luggage that blocks the aisle (Hello? This is an airport tram!) or having too much to drink – try that one on the late-night buses.

The bit I like best about the new tram rules is that inspectors will be able to force people to form an orderly queue to board. What are they expecting? Unruly hordes of intoxicated, bare-bottomed neanderthals barging their way on for the pleasure of travelling back and forth to the airport, dragging their Alsatian dogs while playing bagpipes and wearing a rude T shirt?

I have been on many trams, it’s no big deal. I cannot think of any circumstance in which I would wish to use an Edinburgh tram on its current route, but I can think of a billion reasons (each with a “£” sign) why I’d rather not. Thomas the Tank Engine has more potential to be a useful form of transport for me.