The Daily Gibber is a confusing paper. It probably causes more heart attacks than smoking, cholesterol and meeting Ed Balls in a dark alley combined. I picture their newsdesk typists working themselves into a frenzy before starting, something like the Japanese idea of exercise before work but involving a lot of sugar and caffeine.
If one of them writes something like 'It'll snow, but don't worry, it won't be too bad', the rest pin him down and stuff him with doughnuts and strong coffee until he's as trembling and wide-eyed as Gary Glitter at a playschool. Then he'll write ' Snow! Snow! Argh!' and all will be well.
They also love to print contradictory stories so you can't tell where they stand. The Left insist it's a right-wing hack-rag but they act more like Lib Dems. There is nothing they won't fire up into a hysterical rant, even when they cover opposing viewpoints.
Currently they have a piece telling us we're all terrified of ex-addicts and don't want them living next door. How would we know? If they were active addicts, we'd maybe spot that but ex-addicts? How many out there have ever demanded to examine their neighbour's arms for old needle marks? How many will do so first thing tomorrow morning?
I bet the answer to the first is 'none' and I'd like to think the answer to the second is also 'none' but it probably isn't.
I'd have no problem with ex-addicts living next door. Why would I? They'd be more interesting than the Righteous who live there now. The pisshead on one side (he works, he can afford it) is interesting, the non-smoking non-drinking in-bed-by-ten curtain-twitching drones on the other side are not. I avoid them. All they can talk about are the other people in the street. They do the same to everyone - whoever is not there is breaking some imagined law they've just made up. I think it has not occurred to them that we speak to each other.
Others can tolerate them, I can't. I avoid them for fear I might break a real law, one of those that says 'thou shalt not smite thy neighbour with a plank ripped from a fence' or some such. They would strenuously object to an ex-addict next door. If I pretend to be one, they might move away... hmm...
Besides, since I am classed by all and sundry as an 'addict', I could raise no moral objection to an active drug addict moving in next door, never mind an ex-addict. It's interesting though. Since smokers are classed as 'addicts', how long before these hand-wringers object to ex-smokers living nearby? Or ex-alcoholics? Or people who were once fat but lost weight? All ex-addicts, all could spontaneously revert at any time. Imagine the horror of knocking on that thin neighbour's door to find he's ballooned to twenty stone overnight and his hallway is full of empty pie tins? Or finding your upstanding local prohibitionist unconscious in an off-licence window? The Clean Air Campaigner with a whole pack of Player's Navy Cut burning like a little forest fire in his face?
No, we can't have ex-addicts of any description. The Mail is happy to tap that thin wedge-end in a little further. Their piece bemoans the terrible stigma suffered by those who have tried, so hard, to rejoin the Collective by giving up their drugs. They must be re-assimilated.
In the same issue, there is a tale of a pregnant woman who likes a glass of wine. Now, you know me, I like a glass of wine. Tonight it's a Rioja, Vina Salceda, and I'm most of the way down the bottle. The bottle is made of glass, so it's one glass. Fear not, the snow will not hamper my lifestyle choice this evening because I've received my annual gift of twelve bottles from my primary customer. Add that to the supply I've already laid in and I won't need to buy any more for a long time. It could be weeks.
The pregnant woman in the story likes 'a glass' of wine. A proper one, with a stick on the bottom. Unlike me, she doesn't insist on finishing the bottle. One glass. That is nowhere near enough to cause the 'foetal alcohol syndrome' so beloved of the commenters. That's actually pretty rare, you know. You'd have to drink a hell of a lot to make that happen. Still, the Mail commenters never fail to amuse:
Whilst i was pregnant with my two sons i allowed myself a white wine spritzer on special occasions ( of which there were only two or three). I chose against drinking like many due to the ' just incase' factor. I have no problem with those on here that have comented that they have a glass or two a week but those that drink this amount and then support this mother for doing the same are forgetting that she is admitting to drinking EACH NIGHT not each week. I would find that excesive even when not pregnant, it's an unnessisary risk why take it?
leanne, west mids, 16/12/2010 17:42
Excessive, Leanne? I am way beyond your definition of excessive. Let's compare literacy levels, shall we? It is, after all, a favourite game of Mail commenters. One glass of wine a night is excessive even when not pregnant! Okay drinkers, tell the smokers again about how the 'thin end of the wedge' argument was just silly? Also 'she is admitting to drinking EACH NIGHT!' Admitting! It's a crime now. Confess, witch, and ye shall be spared. Confess that ye have imbibed a glass of Don the Devil's bottled evil at each sunset and enjoyed it, and repent ye the ways of the swigger. There is no safe level of the Devil's brew, you know. Sounding familiar yet?
This one should take the year's award for idiot irony:
No doubt you'll be saying next that it is safe to drink and drive and that a drink or two only kills the odd person!
Alcohol is a poison - fact.
The foetus is extra sensitive to toxins - fact.
Drinking while pregnant is unsuitable for the unborn baby and to continue to drink is plain selfish.
- Crazy News, UK-Stalingrad, 16/12/2010
There's that Righteous technique again. 1. You think one glass of wine is harmless. 2. Therefore you think that getting into a car when you can see two steering wheels and four hands and the road looks like a writhing snake is harmless too. So if you think it's okay to go to a pub for one pint, Crazy, you think it's fine to stagger out of there at closing time, piss on a passing cat, throw up on a policeman and then shit yourself. Yes? Your logic, Crazy.
Then we have 'facts'. Alcohol is a poison. If you drink more than you can handle, yes. The same is true of water. I have days of not-drinking because I'm too busy or have to get up early, and sometimes just to prove to myself that I haven't slipped over the edge into alcoholism. Alcohol, like pretty much anything, is a poison if taken in excess, but excess is different for everyone. It can cause liver damage but you have to drink a lot for a long time with no respite if you want to do that. The 'fact' is that Crazy is a mindless drone who accepts every spoonful of crap he is fed.
The foetus is extra sensitive to toxins - well, no. The foetus is tougher than you think, Crazy. Babies used to be born in caves and mud huts and smoke-filled one-room cottages (this is before tobacco came to the UK, so don't get all excited) and in the backs of carts. They were dropped into all kinds of crap, literally. They played with farm animals and in the dirt and in open-sewer streets. During pregnancy, daily food was not guaranteed. In the UK, for many centuries, nobody drank untreated water. They treated it by turning it into beer. Small beer, to be precise, a fairly weak beer but nonetheless safer than water. Pregnant women drank that in chimneyless thatched cottages filled with smoke from the cooking fire, they ate meat (when they could get it) with the outside burned to a crisp and thereby filled with toxic acrylamides.
Only the toughest babies survived. Somehow, we seem to have lost that selected trait.
And... selfish? Whose child are we talking about here? Crazy's? I hope he's not breeding. Certainly not my child. So what the woman does to her unborn child is not my concern. She'll have to live with it, not me.
Okay, I know, someone is going to say 'But don't you care about the cheeeldren?' No. I don't care at all about the cheeeldren. There are six billion people on this planet, am I supposed to spend my time worrying that they might be having a bad day? Next door, both sides, have children. The pisshead has two friendly, pleasant, intelligent children who I would allow in my house if it was raining and their parents weren't in. The Righteous have two self-important, demented fuckwits who I would not invite into my home if there was an ice age and their parents were eaten by a sabre-toothed tiger. If the tiger was looking for dessert I'd open the curtains and get the popcorn. And, probably, the video camera.
If you have children, they are your children. Not mine. I have no interest in them at all. I will never offer childcare advice because I do not regard it as any business of mine how you choose to bring them up. That's your job. As the Sixties shop-stewards loved to say, Demarcation, comrades! I do not buy into this socialist crap about them being 'our' children because I didn't get a poke so I am not accepting responsibility here. You have an infestation of children in your house, you decide what to do about that. Not my business. The children are their parents' future. Not 'ours'.
Next up is the standard Righteous argument 'So you think parents can do what they like with their children, therefore you support child abuse'. No, I do not support acts of violence against any individual whatever their age. With a few certain exceptions, one of whom lives next door. Child abusers should be dealt with like any other violent criminal, which nowadays means a severe ticking off and a holiday, but unfortunately I'm not yet Dictator of the newly named country of 'Seeyoupalyerfackindeid'.
An aside, since I seem to have drifted from the main point as usual. I am now on my second glass bottle of wine. This is Tobelos, another Rioja. Very nice too.
The best part of Crazy's comment is his signature. He places himself in UK-Stalingrad with the wonderful irony that he is one of those the USSR would have snapped up as informers on the non-conformists. He sees the problem but doesn't realise it's him!
Anyway, back to the original premise.
In one article, the Mail bemoans our failure to re-assimilate those who want assimilation back into the collective. In the other, it bleats that not being part of the collective gets us treated like evil pariahs. The Mail commenters support both articles with equal zeal.
Far Right? Ridiculous. This paper is Lib Dem through and through. The only party that can fall off a fence and land on both sides.
Quantum Physics should be taking an interest.