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Blog of me. I’m Alexander Jones.
15 July 2008
There’s a new Southern Comfort advert doing the rounds in the UK, subtitled “For Picture-Perfect Nights”.
The spot places absolutely no focus on the qualities of the drink itself, instead choosing to portray the scene of a trendy club playing trendy rock music, in which lots of pretty guys and girls flirt, dance, and order trendy mixers for each other.
Right, look. I am pretty libertarian in political orientation, so I’m hardly going to argue that glamorizing alcohol use on TV should be banned. Let’s be reasonable, the advert’s on after the watershed, it carries the “Drink Aware” badge, and we all know that susceptible kids who are unable to enforce their own limits are long since tucked up in bed. (Hah!) I’m sure the angry letters have already been sent to the ASA, so there’s no need to go down that route. But, what I find incredible is that this advert so purely and remorselessly promotes the recreational use of drugs, and because it’s “only” alcohol, that somehow makes it OK.
This double standard is beginning to grate me now. It is widely accepted amongst those with the credentials (I make no stronger claim than that) that alcohol use is much more harmful both directly to the human body and to society in general than many of the drugs we currently outlaw (BBC report). Why, then, is it still illegal for me to drop a couple of E’s at a rave, whilst Big Alcohol are allowed to actively pimp the entirely functional aspect of spirit-strength alcoholic drinks on prime time TV?
The alcohol and tobacco industry lobbyists have it so well embedded in popular opinion that everyone else’s drugs are bad. They are loving their cozy little duopoly on recreational intoxication. What does it take for sanity to prevail?
01 July 2008
BBC News reports on the newly announced Post Office closures in various counties in the North East of England. 57 of them are due to be shut in the near future, pending a six-week consultation.
As I watched the report on BBC Look North, in which a pretty respectable gathering of protesters had assembled at one of the closing branches, I couldn’t help but notice that almost every single one of the people in the crowd had white hair.
Have you ever been to a Post Office? Whenever I go to one to post a parcel or whatever, the place always seems to be crammed with old people, it takes about 20 minutes to get through the queue, during which I have to endure a robot man and woman repeat the phrase “Cashier number twelve, please.”, or variations of, over and over again, and then I have to pay “Large Letter” postage because my marginally elongated birthday card is, unfortunately, slightly exceeding one of Royal Mail’s f***ing arbitrary dimensions.
So what exactly is it about Post Offices that old people are so obsessed with? They are shit, and you can do everything you would need to do regularly at any number of other newsagents, corner shops or supermarkets. For pensions, can’t they be paid by BACS by now? If not, why not?
Answers on a post card, please. (Blog comments also read.)
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