Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: The Honours

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  • Danielle,

    Are we in a society where the victim is held solely responsible for their actions?

    In the case of the Lisa ad, the victim was held responsible for *someone else's* actions. (No, I'm totally not still incredibly bitter and ranty about that ad, why do you ask?)

    ETA: Also, I'm quite interested in the ongoing reporting of this 'OMG drunken laydeez' story. I'm sure there were indeed more drunk women out there on NYE, but I have a sensitive wee ear out for the beginnings of a gendered moral panic...

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3828 posts Report Reply

  • dyan campbell,

    Danielle, if by moral you mean a responsibility to other people in society not to squander precious resources on binge drinking, then yes, moral. And yes, women are much more expensive to clean up after in terms of binge drinking, as they are smaller, metabolise alcohol less well and, well, cost more to clean up after.

    These same women want medical treatment, once they have screwed up their health, but again we are faced with a moral question when we decide who gets resources and who doesn't. Not all resources are purchasable. There are only so many livers available.

    Alcoholics are receiving one in four of all liver transplants in the UK.

    According to The Daily Mirror, the number of transplants being awarded to alcoholics has risen by 60% in the last 10 years

    And the demand may be up 60% over all, but it's up 90% in the last decade for binge drinking induced liver failure in women. Yes, there is a moral element to this. Is it just to deny these women liver transplants? Is it just morally right that they get liver transplants and people who have other liver diseases become much, much, less likely to get them? No budget increase will solve this one. Some moral responsibility has to be put somewhere, though there are whole branches of ethics in philosophy devoted to deciding that exactly.

    auckland • Since Dec 2006 • 595 posts Report Reply

  • recordari,

    but I have a sensitive wee ear out for the beginnings of a gendered moral panic...

    Quite right, too. That can lead to comments like 'they should have known better', and other such helpful genderalisations.

    Some moral responsibility has to be put somewhere, though there are whole branches of ethics in philosophy devoted to deciding that exactly.

    PS. Damn, too quick. How do I agree with both of you, and still be credible?

    AUCKLAND • Since Dec 2009 • 2607 posts Report Reply

  • recordari,

    You think that's scary, you want to see what a bunch of heavily drunken men looks like:)

    Seen it. Suppose that might be part of Danielle's point. The fact that this is 'old news' makes as less shocked by it, but in fact it is no less shocking.

    AUCKLAND • Since Dec 2009 • 2607 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    if by moral you mean a responsibility to other people in society not to squander precious resources on binge drinking, then yes, moral

    Yeah, I'm sure you're right about all that, but I'm not talking about the actual costs of female drinking to the health system. I'm using the term 'moral panic' to describe the ways in which this story might continue to be reported in various media. Like I said, we're only at the beginning of the discussion and it might all peter out, but I have this condition called Extra-Sensitive Ear...

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3828 posts Report Reply

  • pollywog,

    You think thats scary, you want to see what a bunch of heavily drunken men looks like:)

    but at least for women, a quick trip to the bathroom and a subtle application of 'thin lizzy' means they can once again get amongst it with little or no sideways glances...

    ...i got so horribly pissed one time i had to take out the louvres in the toilet window, climb out and stagger home rather than face the judging crowd

    somewhere else • Since Dec 2009 • 152 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    And the scary stat that the majority of heavily intoxicated youth at R&V were young women.

    Actually, while that was clearly the inference being drawn, it wasn't actually the stat. The stat was that women heavily outnumbered men in the detox tents.

    The missing piece of information in between those two statements is are heavily intoxicated women more likely to be taken to the detox tents (as opposed to laughed at by their friends and left in a paddock) than men are?

    And Danielle, I don't think you're being over-sensitive. They actually had a guy there saying, and I admit I'm paraphrasing for angry, "Remember the good old days when drunk women were seen as sad and desperate?" Yes, because nice women were at home, taking care of the drunk men's children.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4651 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Like I said, we're only at the beginning of the discussion and it might all peter out, but I have this condition called Extra-Sensitive Ear...

    I heard that too. Does that mean I have Girl's Ears?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22848 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Danielle, if by moral you mean a responsibility to other people in society not to squander precious resources on binge drinking, then yes, moral.

    Woah, Dyan. Would you deliver the same sermon to, say, HIV victims? They cost heaps. Fact is, people don't always make good choices.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22848 posts Report Reply

  • pollywog,

    because nice women were at home, taking care of the drunk men's children.

    which begs the question ? who's looking after the drunk peoples kids now ?

    ...reminds me of the joke about the social worker who comes across little jimmy sitting in the gutter quaffing a bottle of jim beam and saying "you're too young to be drinking and shouldn't you be in school ?"

    to which jimmy replies"nah fuck off, i'm only four"

    ...i dont think it'd have quite the same imapct if it were young jenny sitting in the gutter but times thay are a changin'

    somewhere else • Since Dec 2009 • 152 posts Report Reply

  • recordari,

    but at least for women, a quick trip to the bathroom and a subtle application of 'thin lizzy' means they can once again get amongst it with little or no sideways glances...

    Like that charming young man who did the 'thin lizzy' for the cameras at Camp Matai on the news, a safe haven for binge drinkers, where the 'Camp Mother' promised to look after the little urchins and make everything turn out swimmingly.

    Fact is, people don't always make good choices.

    No they don't. But lets think about the 'It's not Ok!' campaign and the anti-smacking legislation. Do we agree that they had a positive impact? Sometimes people do actually have to be told, quiet loudly, not to make bad choices. I'm not sure that's so much a moral debate as a common sense one.

    AUCKLAND • Since Dec 2009 • 2607 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Does that mean I have Girl's Ears?

    It's all that Avril Lavigne :)

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19740 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    No they don't. But lets think about the 'It's not Ok!' campaign and the anti-smacking legislation. Do we agree that they had a positive impact? Sometimes people do actually have to be told, quiet loudly, not to make bad choices.

    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.

    Dyan then moves from criticising female binge drinkers to talking about alcoholics. Alcoholism is a physical addiction with a genetic component - I think calling it a 'bad choice' is a bit... I was going to say 'simplistic', but I think the word I want is 'unfair'.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4651 posts Report Reply

  • pollywog,

    Sometimes people do actually have to be told, quiet loudly, not to make bad choices.

    ...and when that fails, give em the smack ?

    somewhere else • Since Dec 2009 • 152 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Yes, because nice women were at home, taking care of the drunk men's children.

    Nailed it. Six o clock swill, anyone?

    are heavily intoxicated women more likely to be taken to the detox tents (as opposed to laughed at by their friends and left in a paddock) than men are?

    Quite. The downside of traditional male gender roles is the assumption of invincible self-reliance that our political champions of the right are prone to inflict on everyone - so we can each lie in our own pool of vomit.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19740 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Phew. I see what recordari meant about the pace.

    It's not really possible to smack your wife round without hurting her.

    Or yourself, where it counts.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19740 posts Report Reply

  • Dinah Dunavan,

    Poor old early suffragettes. They thought that if women got the vote their civilising influence would get men out of the pubs and home early and gentler. Instead women joined the men getting pissed. I wonder if anyone at the time predicted that?
    Not that I'm saying we shouldn't have got the vote.

    Dunedin • Since Jun 2008 • 186 posts Report Reply

  • pollywog,

    so we can each lie in our own pool of vomit.

    i hate being that guy:)

    ...and then there was the time i woke up next to some guy who had pissed himself and soaked me with it :(

    somewhere else • Since Dec 2009 • 152 posts Report Reply

  • recordari,

    Dyan then moves from criticising female binge drinkers to talking about alcoholics. Alcoholism is a physical addiction with a genetic component - I think calling it a 'bad choice' is a bit... I was going to say 'simplistic', but I think the word I want is 'unfair'.

    This is so complex and fraught with 'the fine line' of interpretation that it's doing my head in. Can't you all be a bit more simplistic about it?

    Emma, your point is well made, and it is something I was trying to express earlier, but deleted for lack of reference. 'Bad choices' depend on the capacity to make good ones, and too often people lose that capacity, for reasons that are not at all simplistic, and are often very unfair.

    Think I'll go re-read the Holiday Musings post, which now involves nudity and German tourists...

    AUCKLAND • Since Dec 2009 • 2607 posts Report Reply

  • pollywog,

    ...and then there was the time i woke up next to some guy who had pissed himself and soaked me with it :(

    on thinking back, maybe he was a she ?... dunno, i really was that pissed, besides does it really matter ?

    somewhere else • Since Dec 2009 • 152 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    I will dispute the genetic component, then add cultural.

    Pretty much everything is a combination of genes and environment.

    Psychiatric geneticists John I. Nurnberger, Jr., and Laura Jean Bierut suggest that alcoholism does not have a single cause—including genetic—but that genes do play an important role "by affecting processes in the body and brain that interact with one another and with an individual's life experiences to produce protection or susceptibility." They also report that fewer than a dozen alcoholism-related genes have been identified, but that more likely await discovery.

    From here. Your genes affect how strong an effect a particular drug has on you, what levels of the enzymes that process alcohol you have. Given our children have two alcoholic grand-parents, I had a long chat with my doctor about this. She was adamant that while there is a genetic pre-disposition, environmental factors like family stability and good drinking role models were more important.

    This is so complex and fraught with 'the fine line' of interpretation that it's doing my head in. Can't you all be a bit more simplistic about it?

    Heh. I have this sort of mental guideline that if you're talking about a particular group, you should write as if members of that group are reading - because this is the internet, and they are. Hopefully this helps to regulate the urge to get all judgy-pants in most people.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4651 posts Report Reply

  • recordari,

    My apologies to anyone reading who found me too judgemental. Thanks for the tip, Emma. My objectivity was dancing round it's own maypole.

    AUCKLAND • Since Dec 2009 • 2607 posts Report Reply

  • Just thinking,

    Alcoholism used to just hit the men of my family, now it's hitting an aunty.
    Her body has started to waste away and the old DTs are clear to see. She's not 50 and I suspect her life will be 20yrs shorter judging by the way alcoholism has killed others in my family and full of the dramas this disease brings.

    Putaringamotu • Since Apr 2009 • 1158 posts Report Reply

  • Just thinking,

    The QSMs for managers is the correct award.

    http://medals.nzdf.mil.nz/category/b/b8.html

    The reports of one firefighter reflects the bitterness and pain he is feeling. I think the jounalist has some fault here too, as it clearly isn't an award for bravery as the firefighter was reported as saying.

    Putaringamotu • Since Apr 2009 • 1158 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole,

    The reports of one firefighter reflects the bitterness and pain he is feeling. I think the jounalist has some fault here too, as it clearly isn't an award for bravery as the firefighter was reported as saying.

    It's been 20 months, and there's been no formal recognition of the actions of those on the pointy end. Now we've got three people whose contribution was to manage the response (which is precisely what (Assistant) Region Fire Commanders do. They're at the Incident Control Point, not out there with BA and a delivery) being given medals. Whether or not they're gallantry medals is irrelevant, really, it's still a decoration being given for actions in relation to the incident. I'm not in the least surprised that those who were caught up in the explosion (and I suspect that the fire fighter who's spoken out is one of the two who had to rescue his colleagues) are bitter. I'd be bitter too, and very, very cynical.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

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