{Tue 2 October 2007}   To duvet or not to duvet?
In my opinion, this article in The Guardian’s Comment is Free by Theo Hobson on Dawkin’s latest crusade in the USA is appallingly bad journalism (whatever one’s religious belief or lack of belief), but many of the Comments on it are very intelligent and some very, very funny.


I think Commenter Taliesin20 summarizes Hobson’s motivation succinctly:

“As an example, my father (a fundamentalist Baptist Minister) hates sleeping under a duvet, preferring a sheet and blankets. My mother prefers a duvet and so sometimes my father has to comply with her wishes. But he’s spent the past 20 years on a crusade – he asks just about every man he meets whether they like duvets. Despite any evidence to the contrary he’s utterly committed to his thesis that all men hate duvets and are only tricked into sleeping under them by their wives as part of an evil female conspiracy. This is a small and rather silly example, but it shows how he thinks – if it turns out that duvet-liking and duvet-hating are equally valid forms of experience (and even that he’s in the minority in hating them), then he feels personally threatened. So he can’t accept that those who like duvets don’t want to impose their preference on him.”

Being one of those who think that anyone who still believes in sheets and blankets cannot possibly comprehend the true meaning of heaven, I’m enjoying the rare delight of being with the majority on this one!

I’d be careful about suggesting that all advocates of religion feel personally threatened by people who don’t share their faith (unlike Hobson who clearly believes that atheists are all of a kind and all out to get him), but the above analogy certainly seems apt to the content of Hobson’s rant.

jonolan says:

I wonder if the minister has considered that the duvet-preferring men might be homosexuals or, in the case of married men latent homosexuals. LOL! I mean there is a correlation between decorating ability and sexual orientation isn’t there?

OK, just kidding. It’s a huge problem when people refuse to accept the results of their own findings. It’s good to be skeptical of those findings and double check the study parameters, but at some point you have to accept facts.

Tia says:

Well, if he thinks they’re homosexuals, then he’d be pretty inconsistent for a Baptist minister if he didn’t write them off, wouldn’t he? (Just generalising heavily here, of course. I’m sure there are some Baptist ministers who believe that homosexuals are no more sinful than they are, and that everyone deserves equal grace… something Jesus is held to have preached, I believe…).

Re “having” to accept facts… unfortunately, I don’t think a preponderance of facts, no matter how good, wins these battles of the heart very often. People believe because they feel a need to believe. Choosing not to believe when one still feels that need is choosing a hard and usually very lonely road to freedom. For some, the disappointments and losses of the journey can destroy them before they find its delights.

Nic Paton says:

I personally like duvets from the knee down, but sheets thereupwards. Hate those cramped toes that a tuckin situation gives, but equally hate sleeping in an oven. I say, lets have duveets.

Tia says:

And…. that’s how Nic Paton became a millionaire! Nic, you may have said it in jest, but I think that’s a totally brilliant idea. You could take it further – duveets to specification… how about thin in the middle, warm on both ends – a lot of people, me included, hate to feel trapped, but get very cold feet. I also dislike the feeling of cold air around the neck and shoulders when the rest of the body is warm, but I don’t particularly need heat around the middle and a duveet could solve that! Er, talk about a tangent – what was it we were talking about? Oh yes, intellectual freedom and origins of the universe stuff, wasn’t it?

jonolan says:

Ummm… I hate to cloud the non-issue, but what about featherbeds? Are they OK? LOL!

BTW – thanks for stopping by Murky Pond, Tia :)

Nic Paton says:

If you like the tripartate approach, you can choose from a range of duveets product types:

The shuveet : thin end and thick middle.
The deet : thin middle and thick ends.
The deet sandwich : thin sides and thick “tongue” down the middle.
The Global Warming Shuveet – the middle actually contains a coolant.
The duveet boa : thick at the top only.
The shuveet “dutch oven” edition : includes a fibreglass frame to prevent claustrophobia and aid circulation.
The Rolf Harris Antarctica super-duveet : cross between a wallaby pounch and a bondage blanket, this restricts movement on the strictest possible terms, but ensures that you survive blizzard conditions.

Tia says:

Go, Nic! Who needs the day job?!

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