In general, I hate the rhetorical question “Well, what am I supposed to do?”; but that is because it is often asked when the person, usually an official or other nuisance, has got themselves into a silly position and been criticised.
The question often demonstrates that they do not know what they are doing and perhaps that they have been irresponsible. They have had one daft solution to a problem and no idea how to get to a second when the first fails, like a cat banging its head on a locked catflap.
It could have been an opportunity for them to learn; but that is rejected.
It's related to the officialese “we apologise” which is followed by incomprehension if it is rejected on the grounds of insincerity. You hear the bad tempered child in them saying “but I said sorry”.
However, in this case, where the law is interpreted to require a man to silence a cockerel, I think it is reasonable of the man to ask just how he is supposed to silence a cockerel. (The answer by the way is to deprive it of the dawn with a cloth over its cage, interfering with its rights so that humans it does not know or care about lie in bed after the sun is up.)
Crowing is what cockerels do. They do not seem to have much grasp of human expectation. They do not seem to reason.
It's what children do, she said.
Not all of them do, I replied.
Mine do, moving away from a suspect general theory to a personal rebuttal.
Well, again, crowing is what cockerels do.
Are we seriously suggesting that we need children more than cockerels?
We have a superfluity of children. They're everywhere; and many of them are growing up sociopaths.
The mother I just spoke of had been leaning back in her chair, talking on her phone, not paying any attention to her child. That child pretending it had become a parrot, if that is what it was doing, was a creative response to the selfish rejection.
When I suggested to the woman that her children were behaving unusually, she shifted her ground: all children do it, she said.
When I denied that, she asked me if I was saying that she was not raising her child properly.
I suppose that is just what I was saying.
A baby is for always, not just as a by-product of fucking that helps you label yourself as normal; and it should be dissuaded from learning that making a dreadful noise is in order to impose its will. The best way may be to give it some recognition. In this situation, being totally selfish and managing to survive were rendered identical.
That child will make us want to hang it.
The question (Are you saying that I am not raising my child properly?) may well be thought decisive. After all, parenthood is sacred. Like the right to drive; and the right to defraud.
I was asked the question once before, on a train in Cornwall. I suggested to a woman that she exercise some control over her child which had been making the whole carriage unhappy while she watched it with a benign smile.
She told me her convenient-to-her lore of child behaviour.
When I told her I did not accept her terms, she told me to go back to England if I didn't like Cornish parenting.
How did she know I wasn't Cornish?
My accent, she told me. I asked her when her family had arrived in Cornwall.
What did I mean?
Well, I said, I regard myself as Cornish and can trace my family there back a long way, including names which are Cornish beyond doubt. It’s an accident I was born in London. What about you?
The conversation was at an end, my position declared stupid.
It's not that we need many children. Population growth may level off but it's already way too high; and the demands that the existing population make already means that our ability to feed ourselves will decline with resultant desertification.
We may be able to grow scum in vats; but I would prefer fresh eggs and chicken.
If we are to have so many children, it must be on the basis of livestock farming. That way is sustainable and a means towards providing them with a decent upbringing
I know nothing of the community in which the condemned man lives; but it is unlikely that it is benign. I expect it to be destructive. Most communities are.
In the few benign communities I know, there are cockerels yelling their heads off at all times. I suppose that's because, in a benign community, people tend to be sane.
The magistrate said that people are entitled to a night's rest.
The first time I became aware of one of my nearer neighbours, she had poisoned a fox. It had barked in the night; and that, she said, disturbed her. She was told that it would only be for a few nights; but she would bring the universe to heel at once and put out rat poison, in a dose suitable for a rat; so that the fox died slowly, screaming. I am told that this screaming was referred to as evidence in support of her action. She saw it as further evidence that the fox was imposing its will on her maliciously.
Cockerels and foxes have a right to life without interference from self justifying morons. They tend to be nicer people, just doing their thing, not trying to subdue the planet.
The woman who killed a fox plays loud music, slams car doors, slams house doors, shouts in her garden and so on. She’s often noisy.
Of course, that’s something completely different.