9. Farting is socially unacceptable. In Roald Dahl’s the BFG, the titular Giant comments that it makes no sense to be proud of burping and embarrassed of farting. After all, farting is inevitable, while burping can be avoided. And yes, we generally frown on a big gross belch in “polite” company. But farting is always considered worse than burping. Why, exactly?
8. Red and green or amber and green are the best colors for stop lights and power indicators. My husband is color blind. If a traffic light is sideways, he can’t tell the difference between a red and a green light. He also can’t tell when his Kindle is being charged or is finished being charged (amber/green). I find it highly ironic that a disability that affects more men than women is not catered to in our traffic light system, especially since it was men who designed the system in the first place!
7. We swear on the Bible in court. OK, maybe a long time ago, this had some weight or validity. But nowadays who really takes the Bible seriously? In a culture where fewer and fewer people attend church regularly, how is swearing on an ancient book going to make perjury less likely?
6. Children are innocent and pure. While children are ignorant, they are hardly innocent! Any parent knows that a child as young as 2 can manipulate, lie, and exploit loopholes. This doesn’t make children evil at all. But children are inherently selfish and lack empathy, making them terrible examples of purity and holiness, despite what many people like to believe.
5. We put kids in swim diapers. This is actually hilarious to me. My daughter’s swim suit bottoms were, by themselves, tight enough to “catch” any poop she might have expelled. As for urine, swim diapers are not absorbent. They literally exist only to give the illusion that a child in a pool is not randomly spicing it up with urine.
4. It’s not OK to eat every kind of animal. I’m not talking about kosher laws. I’m talking about the aversion in the US to eating horses, cats, and dogs. What’s the big deal? Meat is meat. How is a horse different from a cow or a deer? How is a dog different from a pig?
3. Money has value. Sure, the US has a large stockpile of gold and precious metals, but our currency isn’t linked to that. Money is valuable only because all of us take the government’s word for it. We’ve all agreed that society works better when we have some random token to facilitate the exchange of goods and services. But money has no intrinsic value.
2. Bodies need to be embalmed and encased in expensive wood and concrete coffins. It’s nice that we can embalm people. When my grandmother died, it took us 3 weeks to get everyone assembled for her funeral, and embalming was the blessing that allowed that to happen. But since when is that necessary for every single corpse? And why do we buy super expensive wooden caskets then bury them? Of course, it makes money for the funeral home, but what if we could just rent the casket for the funeral, then bury the body in a shroud?
1. War has rules. I understand the point of the Geneva Convention and other rules of war. But it is inherently absurd that an enterprise which has as its goal the domination of one group over another by means of deadly force, has rules governing the use of that force. How ridiculous that first you shoot down a ship, trying to destroy it and kill all the sailors on it, but once the ship starts sinking, you suddenly now are obligated to save the lives of those same sailors, even if just to keep them as prisoners of war.