Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Stop blaming alcohol.

I'm sick today. My glands are swollen and my voice is gone, also my ears are entirely blocked. It's probably nothing major, but I am drugged up to the eyeballs because I'm away at the end of the week to go running with Chumley Finn and I need to be not sick, or at the very least, upright.
I freely admit I was on the batter for the weekend, catching up with various chumlies and busy with work related things. Having been off the hooch for the best part of two months I am really feeling the effects due to a culmination of nights out.
But you know what? That's fine. I had terrific fun, I enjoyed those few days of hoochy-filled high jinks. It was a delight to meet chumlies over the weekend and head off to the pub for natters and tee-heeing.
But I'm sitting here this morning- Puddy killing the circulation to my legs-listening to the radio and listening to people wax on about the monster power of alcohol.
And I'm getting fed up.
Alcohol you see is the big evil.( Cocaine was last month) It is the -apparently- the indirect cause of the deaths of the two Polish men, who were stabbed by a gang of little shits in Drimnagh last week, it is the ruination of families, it is an uncontrollable, implacable destroyer of society, it is the reason our A&E sections in the hospitals are filled to bursting. It is so evil and all powerful we-the public- need to be reminded of its trickiness at every turn, we are told 'Drink Sensibly' asked 'have you had enough' subjected to po-faced actors looking up from under their brows to the camera at every turn.
Oh we've all had enough. Or at any rate I have. But not of hooch, oh no. I've had enough of awareness campaigns, I've had enough of crocodile tears, I've a pain in my ring with 'The Party's over'. I'm bored witless with it all.
Alcohol might be the trigger for all sorts of bad behaviour, certainly having a skinful makes you louder and more rambunctious, but for a very large number of us it doesn't make us kick people to death and it DOESN'T make us stab people with screwdrivers. I have never taken up a seat or a trolley in a hospital due to licking rum out of the bottom of my glass. Neither have I driven the wrong way down a motor-way, locked out of my mind.
Incidents of anti social behaviour are nothing new. Murder is nothing new. Blaming a substance is nothing new. Pontificating on solving society's ills is nothing new either.
We molly coddle our youth, make excuses left right and centre, we defend poor behaviour in very small children, we turn a blind eye to obnoxious carry-on in adults. We don't instill civil respect. We have parents who neither look up or down at their children and couldn't care less what they were doing as long as they're not hanging around the hosue. We have a court system that leans heavily in favour of 'understanding' the perpetrators of crime and why they committed whatever it was they committed and on and on the show goes.
And then when it blows up in our faces, why, we blame alcohol.
At the risk of sounding too much like a Daily Mail reader, isn't it time we stopped dribbling on about blame and started looking at responsibility? Responsibility for personal actions? Don't just hand wring and look to some far reaching factor, be it age or background or what you did or didn't drink that night. Let's just look at what you DID. Let's just deal with that. Maybe if there were less 'awareness campaigns' about drink and more 'If you cause harm you will play for it you little shit' Irish Society might be better off.



Anonymous sheepworrier said...

Yup, yup and indeed, yup.
Who will listen tho? Im sure you are preaching to the converted with the vast majority of your readers here. How do we turn this disaffection into something tangible?
Im guessing the Irish public will do what we always do - grumble slightly and just put-up with it.

11:34 a.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

No doubt, we're as apathetic as the next lot once we're not effected personally. Honestly thought, the aware campaigns are really starting to get on my frayed nerves.

11:40 a.m.  
Blogger Conan Drumm said...

We need a sentencing 'multiplier effect' (to borrow from some dodgy bit of economics methodolgy). When Joey Mary Scumbollocks breaks the law/causes an accident their sentence is automatically increased by the blood alcohol level in their system.

Being drunk ceases to be a mitigating factor and becomes the opposite. Oh, and vigorously prosecute people selling drink to underagers. Those fucking vintners and offie operators should lose their licenses.

11:42 a.m.  
Anonymous Darren said...

I cannot tell you how much I am completely in unison with you and your entire post (except I'm not actually sick today - I hope you feel better soon).

Too much is alcohol blamed for the woes of society. I drink! I enjoy it! I love to have a good few pints! I'm proud of it! It won't be long before I'll be ostracized for saying that.

Society is changing. No longer are bad people blamed for the wrongs that happen, but instead it's the drugs, the drink, the red meat they consume. How long before the courts prosecute Diageo for a bottle attack over the weekend instead of some little knacker named Micko who actually wields the weapon? Poor Micko - another victim of the demon drink!!!

11:47 a.m.  
Blogger The Bad Ambassador said...

I agree 100%. This kind of knee jerk reaction infuriates me. The whole "the natives are restless - we'd better look like we are doing something" act drives me absolutely demented.

They'll put up the price of a pint, pinning all society's ills on the demon drink, and nothing will change. Nothing, that is, except the folk who can enjoy a drink without pummelling people or destroying public property, will be penalised for the actions of the twonks who can't.

For what its worth, I have no drinker's agenda. I have a feed of spirits maybe 7 or 8 times a year. I get tipsy and merry, have the craic and go home without causing any problems (although I did liberate a boat once).

11:49 a.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Right Conan, proper checks on ID would be a start.
Darren, you and your hooch loving ways will always be welcome here.
It's amazing to me that people don't understand that a man or woman who acts like an anti-social shit while drunk it just an anti-social shit who happens to be drunk.

11:54 a.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

BA, I believe I may have to read that story at some point.

11:56 a.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We always let the politicians and the media slippy-tit us over these things. The papers and tv aren't going to alienate readers by telling them it's their fault. In the UK press there's a whole hoo-haa about cheap drink. No mention of responsibility. Tax cheap drink more and something else just becomes the best bang for buck drink.
The problem is so many people these days don't want to take responsibility. They're happy to blame whatever it is on the government, t.v. computer games without owning up to their input, their influence.
Can't get a job - it's the governments's fault. Ignore the fact that people who can just manage to speak the language can find their way to the start of the career ladder without any help.

Teenage pregnancy, that would be the fault of the schools, or the government. Not the parents, not the children.
Eat processed food until it makes you ill and your body gives up, do no exercise - it's the government's fault. For some reason you can't be expected to manage any discipline of what you voluntarily put into your mouth.

I don't see things changing unfortunately. Just too many people looking for the excuse, any excuse . They want rights all day long but don't want society to have any expectations of them.

12:00 p.m.  
Anonymous Babs said...

I agree with you too FMC. If someone is going to be violent they will be violent with or without the alcohol, I HATE when people pull the "ooh I was drunk and didn't know what I was doing" bollocks. It pisses me off something fierce. I have been drunk, incredibly dribblingly falling over and wanting to stay there drunk, I have been throwing my guts up drunk, I have been shouty voiced and laughing at nothing drunk, I have consumed alcohol at an incredible rate and yet I have never committed a violent act while drunk, why? Because I don't have it in me. People who do, have got it in them. I know a few people who shouldn't drink, purely because it makes them lose their inhibitions and think that perhaps being violent is a good thing. Alcohol doesn't make you violent in my opinion, it makes you lose your inhibitions and it turn makes you think that perhaps being violent is ok.
I have been ridiculous while very very drunk but in a way that I can laugh it off the next day or crawl under a rock with the shame of my ridiculousness.
I have skipped for 5 miles home from town while holding hands with strangers, I have said things I probably shouldn't, I have kisses people I shouldn't have kissed and danced in a fashion that should be reserved for alone time only, I have shouted at smart arses in chippers and smoked woke everyone in my house with my jumping up the stairs, but to blame alcohol for stabbing two men to death with screwdrivers is taking it a little too far is it not?

12:04 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Babs my darling, I have been known to find kebabs velly delish while drunk. We ALL carry something.

12:37 p.m.  
Blogger Medbh said...

I'm sorry to hear that you're under the weather, FMC. I will refrain from prodding you to come out and play so that you can rest up and be well for your big trip.
You're a peach.

1:17 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Thank you Darling, I'm considering taking Anthony Lane to bed. When are you away?

1:32 p.m.  
Blogger Manuel said...

There is no personal responsibility anymore......

4:02 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

That's why there should be more blunderbussing.

4:28 p.m.  
Anonymous Pinkie said...

Though the awareness campaigns dont bug me so much as the Mrs Tayto ones do - ye gods!

But definitely, we need to stop making excuses for little shits being little shits and just accept that they ARE little shits.

6:43 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

What in tarnation are the Mrs Tayto campaigns??

6:46 p.m.  
Anonymous AM in Brussels said...

Would Mrs Tayto be our esteemed Mary Harney I wonder?

That's who I thought of when I pictured the Tayto man.

Well done on the award by the way. That one particular post was truly wonderful. I said it then, and I'll say it again. Write a book. Please. I'll even buy a copy!

8:08 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Thanks toots, you're too kind.
Must go now, been bleaugh all day but had no choice but work. Needs to go lie down now. Is it normal to see wriggly lines at the edge of your vision? No don't even bother to answer that.

8:18 p.m.  
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