Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: The Honours

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  • Sacha,

    It's not the reporting. It's how we're reporting.

    Quite. There’s clearly something going on. No argument.

    However, observing that young women are problem drinkers doesn’t mean we are forced to trot out the old stereotypes when it comes to explaining their behaviour.

    How many news stories say that street violence against some men means that all of us should stay indoors, just in case? Or that loose-fitting trousers might help the problem. Or that blokes should stay off the turps and "watch out for their mates" more?

    Spot the difference?

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19729 posts Report Reply

  • recordari,

    This seems apposite.

    "More than 80 percent of both men and women reported drinking alcohol in the seven days preceding the survey," said Kypri, "and 37 percent reported binge drinking in the seven days preceding the survey. There was also a high prevalence of alcohol-related problems, for example, 33 percent of students experienced blackouts in the preceding four weeks. The risk factors for binge drinking included being younger, starting to drink earlier, being a binge drinker in high school, and living with other students."

    And this on gender skew, or lack of it.

    "In other words," said Connor, "the majority of New Zealand university students are drinking in a hazardous or harmful way, and this is as common in women as men. These levels of drinking were associated with frequent adverse events, including one in 10 students being exposed to a drunk-driving trip during the preceding four weeks."

    From this article Hazardous drinking among New Zealand university students has its roots in high school.

    Full Journal Article & Abstract here.

    AUCKLAND • Since Dec 2009 • 2607 posts Report Reply

  • recordari,

    AUCKLAND • Since Dec 2009 • 2607 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens,

    I haven't bothered even checking their websites for the TV news since December 24th. Why? Because I predicted before Xmas that the news would be about Santa, the weather, drunk young women (preferably with film of scantily clad, pretty white middle class girls falling about drunk) and people drowning.


    And lo, it appears it has come to pass.


    And I didn't even need a crystal ball.

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2217 posts Report Reply

  • Tony Parker,

    Meant to post this one earlier. Kind of wraps things together-Doug Myers/libraries/drinking.

    Napier • Since Nov 2008 • 232 posts Report Reply

  • Jason Kemp,

    Happy New Year's to everyone. Good to see that Fran reads PAS.

    Doug Myers getting an award not so good but not a surprise. Luckily there were some people who got well deserved awards and that helps.

    I don't believe any of the NZ public are really fooled or even that bothered by the high profile awards.

    I'm looking forward to an excellent 2010.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 368 posts Report Reply

  • dyan campbell,

    And we don't seem to be unique in this.

    Both the trends - increased binge drinking in young people in general and a very sharp increase in young women in particular - these are global, market driven, deliberately crafted and highly profitable trends.

    We need to be aware how aggressively alcohol is being marketed to our young people and we cannot let the alcohol industry hijack the "rights for women" tag as the tobacco industry did a generation or two ago. This is criminal, and it is why it is offensive that someone like Doug Myers is recognised for "services to community".

    This marketing trend targeting women is worldwide:

    From the Calgary Herald

    In the Nova Scotia Liquor Commission business plan 2009-10, women 45 years of age and younger who live in Halifax have been identified as a revenue-generating target group. It is important for these women to know that they are being targeted for alcohol marketing strategies, and be reminded of the risks associated with alcohol.

    And the fallout - both in terms of physical harm and harm to society - is going to be enormous. This is blowing out health budgets and ruining the long term physical health of people.

    Women More Susceptible to Damage from Alcohol than Men

    The World Health Organisation has launched a worldwide campaign to try to do with alcohol what they did with tobacco a decade earlier, though how effective they are remains to be seen.

    auckland • Since Dec 2006 • 595 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford,

    Women More Susceptible to Damage from Alcohol than Men

    Fetal alcohol syndrome, is an unfortunate reality...

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4414 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford,

    OOW, ouch, I once had a liver biopsy. The doctor placed a very big needle between my ribs and extracted some liver tissue. Well, I found out what condition my liver was in, quite interesting really.

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4414 posts Report Reply

  • dyan campbell,

    Fetal alcohol syndrome, is an unfortunate reality...

    Yes, well, I would categorise FAS as damaging to society as a whole rather than to women.

    When I said "alcohol is more damaging to women" I meant if a woman drinks the same amount of alcohol as a man - even if you adjust it proportionately to their respective sizes - women's bodies are damaged far more readily and far more extensively than are men's.

    For example, alcoholic women develop cirrhosis of the liver faster than men, they develop alcohol–induced damage of the heart muscle (i.e., cardiomyopathy), and nerve damage (i.e., peripheral neuropathy) after fewer years of heavy drinking than do alcoholic men.

    Female alcoholics have die at 100 % higher rate than male alcoholics do; female alcoholics are more likely to die from suicides, depression, alcohol-related accidents, circulatory disorders, and liver disease.

    There is emerging evidence women's brains are more susceptible to damage from alcohol than men's - which may go a long way to explaining the huge disparity between the sexes in mental illness and suicide associated with alcohol dependance.

    auckland • Since Dec 2006 • 595 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford,

    Yes, well, I would categorise FAS as damaging to society as a whole rather than to women.

    Yes, but women are also part of society as a whole. I am now confused as to why you are polarizing the issue.

    which may go a long way to explaining the huge disparity between the sexes in mental illness and suicide associated with alcohol dependance.

    Are you not talking about the higher rates of alcohol related male suicides, imprisonments and undiagnosed depression than women?

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4414 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    More about those fire service honours from national commander Mike Hall:

    "In this case the nominations for Queen's Service awards came from Dame Margaret (Bazley, New Zealand Fire Service Commission chairperson) and myself and were designed to recognise the efforts of our senior staff for their leadership and support during the difficult weeks and months following Tamahere."
    ...

    "Yes, they were doing their jobs but they did it well, with compassion and consideration for their staff. I am happy that seeking formal recognition for their efforts was the right thing to do."

    He also confirms bravery awards are likely for others - but can't say anything yet because they are still being worked on 20 months after the incident.

    Just as well the service is not required to organise piss-ups in any of Mr Myers' breweries.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19729 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler,

    He also confirms bravery awards are likely for others - but can't say anything yet because they are still being worked on 20 months after the incident.

    Again, pretty standard.

    See for example, the NZDF http://medals.nzdf.mil.nz/category/d/d8.htmllist of (military) recipients of The New Zealand Bravery Medal:

    Able Hydrographic Systems Operator Keran Mana DURRANT, Royal New Zealand Navy (Retired); and Able Chef Tyson Wiremu JOB, Royal New Zealand Navy - date of actions: 16 August 2004; year of award: 2006

    And:

    Staff Sergeant Dion Wayne PALMER, Royal New Zealand Army Education Corps - date of actions: 17 January 2004; year of award: 2006

    And:

    Sergeant Ngametua TETAVA (C748537), Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment - date of act: 17 October 1999; year of award: 2005

    (Among others)

    And the NZDF list of non-military recipients of the New Zealand Bravery Star, including:

    Peter James DEAM - date of act: 9 April 2000; year of award: 2005

    And:

    John Bell FENTON PENETANA - date of act: 10 December 1999; year of award: 2005

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 3207 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    That's ridiculous. Do they do a full background check on each recipient or something?

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19729 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    By which I mean interrogate their kindy teachers. Slowly.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19729 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    I really don't think that's an equivalent position. It's possible to drink heavily without actually hurting other people. It's not really possible to smack your wife round without hurting her.

    I feel bound to point out that last night's news reported on research suggesting that smacking led to better outcomes for kids. On 'incredibly fucked up once you take the wide view" scale, that comes in pretty highly for me.

    We need to be aware how aggressively alcohol is being marketed to our young people and we cannot let the alcohol industry hijack the "rights for women" tag as the tobacco industry did a generation or two ago. This is criminal, and it is why it is offensive that someone like Doug Myers is recognised for "services to community".

    I think my precise point is that it's not criminal. If we're going to legalise something, and let someone sell it in the capitalist marketplace in a relatively liberal way, then getting upset when someone turns out to be good at selling it and it causes heaps of harm... not surprising. If Doug Myers didn't do this, fifteen other liquor barons would (and did). There's only one parliament setting the laws however, that's the place to turn your wrath if you're unhappy about alcohol harm.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    If we're going to legalise something, and let someone sell it in the capitalist marketplace in a relatively liberal way, then getting upset when someone turns out to be good at selling it and it causes heaps of harm... not surprising.

    Not surprising, no... but honour-worthy?

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    Not surprising, no... but honour-worthy?

    Well that's true, at least for me and you.

    But if we're going to hand out honours for people who make craploads of money selling stuff (and we clearly do, and for some people, such as Faye/Richwhite, there are honours for making craploads of money by screwing over heaps of people and not selling shit), I fail to see why Doug Myers is any less worthy because he made money selling booze, rather than cows or widgets or bytes or movies. The country has said all these things are OK.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    The country has said all these things are OK.

    OK, sure... but honour-worthy?

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Not surprising, no... but honour-worthy?

    Well, I'm sure the Fat Police don't think anyone in the dairy sector is honour-worthy due to their trafficing in obesity and death. I wouldn't give Peter Jackson a silver tea spoon on the basis of the miserably over-rated (but massively successful) LoTR trilogy, but obviously someone begs to differ.

    Seriously, the only honour I can be arsed getting outraged about is this one. (And perhaps a recidivist plagiarist should have his CNZM for withdrawn?)

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    OK, sure... but honour-worthy?

    But you could say the same thing about any person who is listed as having made 'services to business'. I don't believe making craploads of money is worthy of having a sword waved near your heard and getting to put 'Sir' on your business cards, it seems to me that having craploads of money is reward enough.

    But if that's your complaint then you could say that about any number of honour recipients. People were complaining about it in relation to making money via selling alcohol.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • recordari,

    Well, I'm sure the Fat Police don't think anyone in the dairy sector is honour-worthy due to their trafficing in obesity and death.

    It's not what we're eating, it's how we're eating ;-)

    AUCKLAND • Since Dec 2009 • 2607 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    I fail to see why Doug Myers is any less worthy because he made money selling booze, rather than cows or widgets or bytes or movies. The country has said all these things are OK

    Some things that Myers did would have been illegal had we had a takeovers code at the time.

    I suppose you could say he did us a service by taking actions so antithetical to the interests of the ordinary shareholders he was supposed to be serving that eventually something had to be done about it.

    By that time, of course, he'd legged it with the money. I don't find his periodic lectures on the economy persuasive in the circumstances.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22839 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    But you could say the same thing about any person who is listed as having made 'services to business'.

    Oh, I don't know. In our economic system we need enterprise to foster employment and not everything that is sold harms or kills you. This coming from an old and rather inveterate commie.

    I wouldn't give Peter Jackson a silver tea spoon on the basis of the miserably over-rated (but massively successful) LoTR trilogy, but obviously someone begs to differ.

    I didn't like the films any more than you did, but it would take a small minded approach indeed not to see what an achievement it was. And - case in the point above - it created an industry from little more than scratch.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • 3410,

    I suppose many see Myers' "honour" as an indicitive of New Zealand's wacky moral compass; problem drunks are bad, drunk-drivers practically evil, but the dealer just an honest businessman (except for illegal drug dealers, which are even worse than those in the first two categories.)

    It's all in how you look at it, really. If you take a "personal responsibility" approach, then Myers has not contributed to untold societal pain and cost. Rather, thousands and thousands of people have merely failed to exercise good personal responsibility in their use of his product.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 2618 posts Report Reply

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