“Photographic evidence of a seventy-eight year-old lady and me standing on a table singing a lovely rendition of New York, New York.”
Just got back from Oktoberfest in Munich. Every year the centre of Munich is turned into a huge beer festival, where 8.2 million people will dress up in lederhosen and get absolutely plastered. Literally, the whole town. You get on the U-Bahn sober at around 11pm and all around you are the drunken remnants of another great day at the ‘Weisen’. This isn’t just a bunch of lairy young men either; men and women of all ages are down there (I’ve got photographic evidence of a seventy-eight year-old lady and me standing on a table singing a lovely rendition of New York, New York).
Would it ever be allowed in England? It would herald the next Sodom, with bits of vomit and missing teeth flying around everywhere. Yet I walked around Munich, half cut, with thousands of others, and saw few of the violent or detrimental effects which the press in England would like to portray as being the only repercussions of alcohol.
In Bavaria, beer is cherished as a part of the national culture (the mayor himself each year has the first drink), whereas in the UK if there is even one little sign of drunkenness, the media (and this is something which stretches across a wide breadth, not just the usual Daily Mail), jumps on it as something horrific.
Only the very finest spirits and wines are allowed to be presented in non-negative manner, as they, by their very nature, have little connotation with the great unwashed masses, who in a paradoxical manner are both lambasted by, yet also pandered to, by the mainstream press.
Even Parliament, which has one of the cheapest bars in the country, has wandered in on this great new alcohol scare by proposing minimum price per unit regulations. Why on earth can we not just be a bit more sensible about the whole affair? Alcohol is something which is enjoyed in itself by many people, rather than just its effects.
This is a very important distinction, and in clumsy attempts to control those who use it solely for a release, those who enjoy it are the victims of collateral damage. If people want to drink themselves into the gutter, making it more expensive will not stop them, it will only make them more efficient, and push everyone into either supermarkets or The Regal.
This current move against alcohol is something which is completely symbolic of the wider state of our nation. The ‘general public’, whoever that is, is pandered to by the most mainstream institutions of government and media as being children. Any form of independent thought and responsibility is just no longer acknowledged, and instead both political and non-political culture is consistently focusing towards the lowest common denominator; resulting in TV programmes where Gordon Brown weeps in an interview with the bile-producing, hypocritical, utterly detestable cunt Piers Morgan; who has also somehow managed to wipe everyone’s memories of what he did as editor of the Mirror. (Doctored any pictures recently, Piers?)
The recent Wayne Rooney affair is a prime example of this. What has essentially happened is that a young man (who is, admittedly, in the public eye) has been unfaithful to his wife. Yeah it’s bad mate, but my God, it’s not like it hasn’t happened before, and it definitely will happen again.
Reading the Mirror, Mail, Sun, Star, People, News of the World and even ‘highbrows’ such as The Times, it has been presented as Armageddon. In Italy, old Silvio has been going at it like a pig on heat for the last twenty years, but over there it’s kept firmly in the gossip-humour sections, not front page…
‘LOOK AT WHAT THAT SCOUSE FUCKING BASTARD HAS DONE NOW, I CAN’T BELIVE IT, SANDRA, STOP WATCHING JEREMY KYLE AND HAVE A FUCKING LOOK AT THIS, WAYNE ROONEY HAS SHAGGED ANOTHER WHORE – WELL THAT’S IT I’M NOT GOING TO WORK TODAY. I’M TOO UPSET FOR BRAVE COLEEN AND ORPHANED KAI.’
Can we not be treated like the grown-ups we are, and not the headless lemmings that it appears are taking over? Can the public not just be trusted for a short time to think for itself, and not have to look at the latest molehill renovated as Mount Everest every day? The media probably realises very few people care for more than 5 minutes, and therefore they are consistently producing new sensationalism and extremes. One copy of Heat is not going to last you more than a day, never mind a week. Mainstream public life in this country has descended into an episode of EastEnders, and it is rapidly losing any sense of irony, humour or even fun, which sadly has pervaded into the mindset of those with authority dictating how we should live our lives.