Perhaps I'll feel differently when I'm a parent, but I'm glad I went to a quite terrible high school. (Small town, no choice- had to take wacky subjects like sixth-form History via correspondence school.) I'm sure I would've got much better marks if I'd gone to Grammar, but once you're in tertiary that's irrelevant anyway. I rapidly realised on arriving at university that I was surrounded by idiots from good schools and smart people who'd made it there despite coming from small towns and poor suburbs. And the smart people were also the nice people, because they'd never had some bullshit illusion of superiority instilled in them by their secondary education.
I live on K Rd, and don't feel threatened in the slightest. The homeless/prostitutes/street drunks who congregate at my end seem more likely to be victims than perpetrators of violence. The douchebags congregate further down... as others have said above, the problem isn't drunks, it's violent drunks. People need to tell their friends, 'Hey, when you get drunk you turn into an arsehole, how 'bout not drinking?' Cos y'know, most people are capable of getting pretty wasted and not doing anything unforgivably twattish.
I'm 27, so young but not a 'yoof', and yes, I 'pre-load'. It costs $7 minimum for a drink at a bar. Working part-time, on a low wage (as are all my student/muso friends), buy more than a couple of those in a week and you won't be eating. Yet we want to go out and socialise. If you wanna see a few bands, you'll be at a bar for a few hours, and nursing a drink for that long is hard (and some bar staff will give you dirty looks.) It's easier to nurse a beer for an hour and a half if you're already slaked and got a buzz on.
So what've the Herald/TVNZ got to say about this? That I have no God-given right, as one of those young broke people, to go out and have a good time? I should be working night shift at a service station instead so I can make that 5% deposit on a unit in Glen Eden and become an actual home-owning human being/Real Kiwi? Fine, just say so, and continue wondering why young everyone moves overseas. F***ing killjoys.
I like Duncan Black (Atrios)'s suggestion- The Big Shitpile.
he's been using it for a while
it originally referred more specifically to the teetering tower of swapped credit, but extending it to describe the general situation seems apt at the moment.
second the San Fran gig tonight.
though it'll be full of young people.