Garth George: No surprise over pants-down Len

By Garth George

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Garth George
Garth George

So Auckland Mayor Len Brown has been caught having it off with a woman not much more than half his age - and what a furore that has caused in the press, on radio and television.

Heaven knows enough has been written about the affair, but I wonder how many men in their late 50s or older had the immediate reaction of "lucky devil" when the news first hit the public.

Because it wasn't just a one-nighter. He had the pleasure of bonking the lady for all of two years.

No one in this entire affair has come out with any honour, except perhaps the security guard who caught them at it in the iwi room in the council building - and kept his mouth shut.

Now there's a man who knows his duty.

What gets me about the whole drama, apart from the eagerness of the female lead to spill as many sordid and intimate details as she could, is that anyone is surprised, let alone shocked.

Casual and/or illicit sex has been going on in the halls of power - in local and national politics, big business, academia and the professions - since they were established and, as long as power acts for some as an aphrodisiac, will continue to do so as long as power elites exist.

When it comes to sex, we all have our opinions.

Some of us - fewer and fewer as the years go by - see sexual intercourse as the ultimate expression of intimacy between a man and a woman, a physical, mental, emotional and spiritual bonding that is one of the richest and most precious gifts given to us by our Creator.

A few see it, quite wrongly, as nothing more than a means of procreation.

But for most of us these days, and for decades now, the act of sexual intercourse is seen as simply a physical function, much like having a meal together or playing a game of tennis, something to be indulged in purely for sensory pleasure.

There have always been double standards, particularly around sex, but it occurs to me that this less-than-desirable human trait is, in this country at least, alive and well.

This nation is every day saturated in sexual imagery, staring us in the face wherever we go and whatever we do.

The advertising industry in all media, including billboards visible to everybody irrespective of age, unashamedly use sex to sell anything from underwear to perfume to motor vehicles.

Television, magazines and newspapers serve up a regular diet of salacious articles and images of partly-clad or naked women - and men, too.

Advertisements for a string of drugs designed to restore or increase sexual performance regularly crop up on television and in magazines, along with those "Sex for Life" ads we find sprinkled through newspapers day in and day out.

Call up the Google search engine on the internet and type in the word "sex" and you will be presented with 2.27 billion (yes, billion) pages on that subject (in 0.22 of a second, incidentally).

Type in "porn" and Google will deliver you 1.18 billion pages of it - in 0.13 of a second.

Anyone with a computer and an internet link can spend a full 24 hours looking at cyberspace porn sites - from nudity to hard-core heterosexual and homosexual sex to bestiality and other utter depravity - without it costing a cent. And by the end of the day there would still be several days of viewing left.

In a land awash with sexual titillation aimed at everybody from little children to the intellectually disabled to the aged, blaming Len Brown for his illicit dalliance is ingenuous, if not hypocritical, to say the least.

Nevertheless, adultery rarely comes without a dreadful cost - and not just to the adulterer.

garth.george@hotmail.co.nz

- ROTORUA DAILY POST

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