Saturday, November 12, 2005


Reading Gore Vidal's great historical potboiler Julian (I suspect this is a repeat reading, though I may be confusing it with Count Belisarius by Robert Graves) I'm puzzled about Eunuchs. Yes, castration can retain a good voice and guarantees that the recipient won't fuck around / think about his genetic legacy as he has none. However, this doesn't explain why they predominated in bureaucracy, particularly senior bureaucracy, when they, over millenia (Assyria, Media, Persia, Greece), proved themselves as corrupt/acquisitive as their sexed counterparts; indeed, often they retained their sex drive. Either they were self-perpetuating or castration provides other significant advantages methinks.

Today in the oh-so-fantastic Berliner/Guardian I find that there are significant mental changes when one hits puberty. This is to be expected. Yet they are significant /crippling/ mental changes. "It is possible that brain reorganisation that occurs at the onset of puberty also accounts for this educational dip, as well as the social challenges of adjusting to a larger school and a new learning environment" according to Dr Sarah-Jane (Yes, not Colin animal-rights fascists) Blakemore. I wonder if the castrate is able to avoid this dip? I wonder what other advantages the lack of hormones conveys? I wonder why the hell I'm thinking about this at 1.00a.m. on a friday night...

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