Friday, February 27, 2015

The Daily Carlo: The facts blow 'alcohol-fuelled violence' claims away so let me buy boooze post 10pm you bastards!

Day Four of my Daily Carlo plot to blog every day and here is my fourth one! I am on fire!

I never thought I'd make it so far! To be honest, when I launched this new Carlo-Internet initiative on Tuesday, I was far from convinced I'd still be alive by Friday, what with my "lifestyle choices" that have been described variously as "less than optimal for living a long, healthy life" and "how the fuck is he still breathing?"

But I think what has got me this far is definitely my new fitness regime. Yes, thanks to the NSW state-wide 10pm closing time for all bottle shops, I am now in better shape than ever! What with my constant sprinting the bottlo at five to 10 every fucking night! captures the struggle.

But asides from possibly being the only thing stopping my body from total collapse, what possible good does this 10pm shut down do?

I mean, I don't want to repeat myself here. I have already pretty decisively exposed these lock-out/shut down laws in NSW for what they truly are: a plot to give James Packer even MORE billions via his "magically excluded from the lock-out laws" Star Casino, and now I am just waiting for the Walkley Award it shall inevitably earn me.

But still... there may been some of you out there, who just REFUSE TO LISTEN and STILL think maybe this shit is about "alcohol-fuelled violence"... which is an argument I have NEVER understood.

Like, obviously I get there is violence involving people who are drunk in our society. Christ, I know there is drunken violence. The fucking Daily Telegraph WON'T FUCKING SHUT UP ABOUT IT.

But what the violence has to do with being drunk has never been clear to me.

Because, and really this is an area in which I feel I have some expertise, I have never noticed that getting drunk leads to any particular increase in violence. Or "king hits". Or "coward punches". Or whatever the fuck the Daily Tele, whose journalists are famous for their sobriety, are banging on about now.

Like, I have been very drunk many times in many pubs. God knows how many. Over many years. I mean, I like getting drunk. And I like pubs. 

And yet I have somehow manage to refrain from king hitting a single bastard (and fuck knows I've been in pubs with many people just begging for a decent king hit) . 

In fact, I had seen no real violence at all of any note in any pub until I went to Darwin in 2013 (for a comedy gig for a refugee rights group, so you know, thanks government for torturing innocent people, otherwise I'd have never gotten the chance to see the NT!) 

While there, I ended up in some dodgy bar on what they like to call a "main road" in Darwin, drinking with Robbo, who lives up there, and Conehead, who came up for a trip.

Suddenly, at the table right behind us, these off-duty soldiers launched, with no warning, into a brawl that sent beer and chairs flying and only my rapid action in securing our table's beers prevented them joining the sea of spilt booze spreading across the bar room as bouncers rushed over to try to separate two furiously wrestling soldiers, trying to kill each other over God knows what.

Whatever it was, it was clearly not an issue easily resolved, because an hour later, as we sat out on the tables on the footpath, we could see two sides on the road squaring off, headed by the protagonists of the brawl inside the pub.

They stared each other down and shouted abuse before finally fresh kicks and punches started flying in a kinda pathetic half fight in which each side displayed its incompetent failure to actually get a kick anywhere near the other while seemingly imagining they were just like Jean-Claude Fucking Van Damme... 

And you watch that and get a sense of just how horrific it must be to be a poor fucking peasant in Afghanistan or Iraq occupied by these numbskulls, whose only form superiority is their fucking heavy weaponry.

And you know, it was hard to draw the conclusion that the problem here was they had just drunk too much. I mean, they clearly had -- but so had I!

I had just performed a fucking stand up set in a city thousands of kilometres from Sydney to about 20 people as part of an ill-advised, failed and totally well-meant attempt by these activists to "reach out" to Darwin's redneck community to explain why "blow up the boats" -- a solution advocated to me beforehand by a local -- was perhaps a bit problematic, you know from a "let's not murder innocent people" sorta perspective.

So you had better fucking BELIEVE I was drinking. And yet somehow, I managed NOT to be involved in an all-in-brawl. Maybe I just have incredible self-restraint, or maybe, I dunno, the whole "drunkenness leads to violence" thing is utter bullshit.

Turns out there is some solid evidence behind the "it's utter bullshit" view.

Yes, ABC News ran an article headlined "Alcohol-fuelled' violence not caused by alcohol but by 'macho' culture, anthropologist Dr Anne Fox says", that states:
Amidst the introduction of one-punch laws and lock outs, the main concern has been the so-called alcohol-fuelled violence that goes with drunkenness. But one anthropologist believes it is not a result of the booze itself. 
Dr Anne Fox has specialised in the study of drinking cultures in countries around the world for the past 20 years and has been looking at Australia and New Zealand ... 
"Australians, like many other people worldwide, have a very pervasive belief that alcohol can transform your behaviour, that it's a transformative substance, that somehow there's this genie in the bottle that can make you behave a certain way," she told PM's Mark Colvin. 
"Alcohol - as all of the scientific literature shows, which we've reviewed very extensively in the report - cannot be considered a cause of violence. If it was, we'd see uniform levels of violence among all drinkers." 
Countries such as Iceland consume more alcohol than Australia but report less violence. 
"They have a stronger culture of preloading, they have 24-hour bar opening, they even have high rates of gun ownership, but in Iceland there is almost no recorded violence," she said. 
"It's simply not a violent society and they have no belief that alcohol causes violence, and therefore you really don't see any violence in Iceland."  Most of Southern Europe follows this pattern, according to Dr Fox .... 
According to Dr Fox, alcohol "cannot hijack someone's better nature and make them violent" and the term alcohol-fuelled violence is not accurate. She said the focus should be on the causes and triggers of violence itself ... 
"Your inhibitions are just social rules. Anthropologists for decades now have been finding through international cross-cultural studies that the way you behave when you're drunk is mostly the way that your culture teaches you to behave," she said. 
"You can see across the world that people behave very, very differently, despite being morphologically similar human beings and drinking the same amounts of alcohol." 
She said Australia has a macho culture. "We see that it's not so much the patterns of drinking or the levels or consumption that determine how people behave, but other features of culture that are magnified through drunkenness," she said.

YEAH!!! So fuck off with your "alcohol-fuelled violence" bullshit! And most of all... LET ME BUY SOME FUCKING TAKE-AWAY BOOZE AFTER 10PM!!! FOR GOD'S SAKE!!! 

Of course, no one could disagree that the violence used to justify these laws is terrible. There is clearly a problem in our society -- but it is cultural problem not a booze problem. the problem is the macho culture and its ever-present twin -- misogyny.

And not only is blaming alcohol for this missing the real culprit, it is way of avoiding even acknowledging the problem. And this isn't just alcohol, but drugs in general -- as the somewhat ridiculous scandal involving a whole lot of rugby league and rugby players apparently enjoying putting coke up their nostrils shows.

It really says something about the nature of our society and how fucked up our priorities are. Here we have charges and claims centred on the apparently shocking that a bunch of professional sports players enjoyed cocaine at such events as a players bucks night and a post-season booze cruise.

You might think that is something of a personal matter, at most unfortunately a legal matter due to draconian failed drug laws. But no. This threatens to tear apart an entire club, the Gold Coast Titans, and ruin the careers of more than a few players -- despite the fact that some of these players have already been involved in scandals involving far worse actions or allegations.

Rugby player and code-hopper Karmichael Hunt, at the centre of the coke scandal, faced sexual assault allegations in 2008. No dent in his career. Greg Bird, suspended by the Titans over cocaine charges, was found guilty of violently assaulting his girlfriend. His career continued.

You can rape and bash women seemingly without a worry in rugby league, but don't enjoy a recreational drug in your own spare time or you are done.

The irony is it is this kinda pathetic hypocrisy that makes drugs and alcohol so essential to fucking survive this goddamn world in the first place.

Alcohol and drugs can worsen existing problems, but I see no reason why those of us who manage to drink and not punch must be punished. We all relate to alcohol differently... the song below, by that glorious Texas country singer Hayes Carll, sums up my relationship with booze perfectly.... less violence, more pathetic failure at life.

I keep knockin over whiskeys
no ones laughin at my jokes
they got me spinnin round in circles
like a tin can in the spoke

When i left town this mornin
with a smile upon my face
ahh babe i swear i never knew
I'd end up in this place...

So. My fourth Daily Carlo. Don't thank me, just buy me a beer. Via the Pay Pal button on the right of the blog. I promise that after drinking the beer, I won't hit anyone, unless you specifically request it.

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