Print Story Some days, average columnists...
By Metatone (Sat Jan 15, 2005 at 10:26:21 PM EST) (all tags)
writing average columns come up with little phrases that brighten Sunday morning.


From here:

Harry has been engulfed by this tide of self-righteousness, swollen by those who have the Daily Mail where their hearts should be and who, if they were honest, have enjoyed every moment of the story, even while condemning the prince.

I just like the phrase "those who have the Daily Mail where their hearts should be"

Another boring quote inside:

Mary Riddell has a couple of good phrases too:

This asceticism sits strangely with New Labour's alcohol policy, which appears to have been devised in the Pig and Pineapple over several gallons of Malibu.


And, even if they were, the continental culture to which the government aspires is tarnished by reports that European drinking patterns can be pretty lethal too. Jean-Paul Sartre, sipping his whisky in a Paris cafe, may have been a proto-chav.

I think that the question of longer opening hours is quite a complex one. As I was at the bus stop last night after watching the Steelers-Jets game (a game full of ineptitude resluting in quite a dramatic finale) I had a great view of the downsides of UK city centre drinking. A bunch of lads engaging in a fight with the bouncers of Bar Risa. By the time the police turned up the group had moved on, although not fast enough. Besides the police found following the trail of blood easy.

Obviously I am predisposed to dismiss this problem because I want some places in this miserable city to open longer. I hate living in a city that shuts down so early. I guess I am just a nightowl at heart.

< Please help. | BBC White season: 'Rivers of Blood' >
Some days, average columnists... | 13 comments (13 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback
Also from Mary Riddell by OAB (4.00 / 1) #1 Sun Jan 16, 2005 at 12:15:29 AM EST
So is the volte-face by Michael Howard, who homed in on government discomfiture like a dipsomaniac falling on a can of Tennent's.

If you've not seen it by yicky yacky (4.00 / 1) #2 Sun Jan 16, 2005 at 12:31:55 AM EST

- (and it's often pretty noxious, I know) - try and see the 'Room 101' with Stephen Fry. I'd never been particularly impressed (or unimpressed, for that matter) with his opinions before but, aside from his rampant Apple-Mac fanboyism, his demolition of the Daily Mail and sundry low-quality aspects of our culture made me almost proud to be British. Very few punches pulled; he'd obviously turned up ready to vent.

Really not sure about the drinking bill either. I rampantly object to almost all of forms of socially patronizing commentary (which the current laws and much 'anti-' feeling on the subject are) - but to think that there won't be problems would be fatally naive.

My gut opinion is that a compromise position just won't work. As soon as there's a deadline, there's a target to drink towards, and British drinking has had elite training in the field of drinking-to-targets for decades. I can't help feeling that you either leave things as they are and deal with it, or you get rid of all the licensing-hours restrictions. I'm not sure a middle-ground offers anything new: It just means that the police will be dealing with incidents later and later into the night.

I can't help feel that there's no way we'd avoid an 'aftershock' period, as the culture / society adjusts, where problems may well increase short-term. What I fear is that the knee-jerk reaction to this inevitable period will be such that it's never implemented again, whereas, if they'd "left it to settle", we actually could have developed into a more mediterranean culture of alcohol within four or five years.

Vacuity abhors a vacuum.
I agree about the aftershock by Metatone (4.00 / 1) #3 Sun Jan 16, 2005 at 07:14:45 AM EST
period and the danger of a backlash.

The difficult question is quite why the UKians are such champion disorderly drinkers. I lived in Germany and they can certainly drink, but they don't seem to get quite so venemous. Equally, in my gut I do feel there is a connection between the atomised state of British life and the sheer oblivion seeking of a lot of the youngsters around me in my new uni environment...

What do you think?

[ Parent ]
The fighting culture by jump the ladder (4.00 / 1) #5 Sun Jan 16, 2005 at 07:39:36 AM EST
I don't think there's a culture that celebrates random acts of non fatal violence quite as much as England's. People really do go out here with the intention of having a load of beers, a kebab and a fight.

[ Parent ]
I suspect by TheophileEscargot (4.00 / 3) #6 Sun Jan 16, 2005 at 07:56:18 AM EST
Even if all the alcohol in Britain turned into water overnight, they'd still go out for a load of coffees, a kebab and a fight...
It is unlikely that the good of a snail should reside in its shell: so is it likely that the good of a man should?
[ Parent ]
That's why by jump the ladder (4.00 / 3) #7 Sun Jan 16, 2005 at 08:06:35 AM EST
I think that the licensing hours should be changed. It won't change things for the good or the ill in the long term but I resent having to be told to go home at 11PM for my own good.

[ Parent ]
I think by yicky yacky (4.00 / 1) #11 Sun Jan 16, 2005 at 08:53:10 AM EST

that there's an undoubtable difference between drinking here and almost any other place in the world. Beyond that, I really don't know why. Victorian repression? Island mentality? Who knows?

I've taken part in it myself, on many an occasion, but I've never had that "must get in a fight" thing that does seem disturbingly present. Fighting's just unnecessary agro, and eats into hard-won drinking-and-talking-shit time (which there's never enough of) always seemed 'inefficient' to me.

Then again, I'm from the original generation of late-80's/early-90's party kids, and it was because pubs and pub culture were shit that we got up to the things we did. These days, there's been feedback both ways - parties got sanitized - licensed - fed back into club culture - and eventually pub culture etc., so the whole thing's been dragged right back to where it started. So, in a way, I'm not really qualified to comment, having become disillusioned with a great deal of it.

Vacuity abhors a vacuum.
[ Parent ]
I really doubt it will develop into by jump the ladder (4.00 / 1) #4 Sun Jan 16, 2005 at 07:19:38 AM EST
A med style drinking culture. A med style drinking culture is one where you lose face if you appear to be drunk and there's a horror of losing control. You can drink but it's more about posing around when you go out.

Whereas as here, it's badge of honour to get fucked out of your mind on the weekend on either drink or drugs and controlled drinking is looked down upon.

[ Parent ]
True, but by yicky yacky (4.00 / 1) #10 Sun Jan 16, 2005 at 08:40:34 AM EST

I didn't say "a mediterranean culture"; I said "a more mediterranean culture". Even a slight shift in that direction would be a good thing. I kinda think hope that if bars were open until, say, five am or later, that there'd come a point where not-being-able-to-go-the-distance would become more of an embarrassment than not-getting-fucked-out-of-your-mind. The getting fucked thing is part and parcel of racing the barman to the bell. Remove (completely!) the bell, and the race becomes (much more) idiotic.

[Plus, if you want a beer at 3am, you should be able to get one, IMO]

Vacuity abhors a vacuum.
[ Parent ]
But is that true by Dr H0ffm4n (2.00 / 0) #12 Mon Jan 17, 2005 at 01:22:08 AM EST
All of the commentary suggests that people drink faster because they know the pub is closing at 11pm. Is that true? How do we know? Just because it's not the case in the med when the bars stay open later disregards all other cultural factors.

[ Parent ]
I've no idea. by yicky yacky (4.00 / 1) #13 Mon Jan 17, 2005 at 01:51:55 AM EST

Hence hope, not think.

From a purely selfish point of view, I'm not sure it matters: When I'm still supping away at 2am the down-ten-pints lot will long ago have had their fights and passed out.

Maybe the problem is simply that the enforced early closing time forces hundreds of different people, in different states, on to the streets at the same time, and has nothing to do with racing to the bell, per se. Maybe if you extend the opening hours past the point where a significant number would like to be tucked up in bed (and 11-11:30pm is not that hour), you'll end up with a more gradual dispersal and diffusion of people.

The main reason I'd like to see an abolition of the current rules is plain anti-nanny-state-ism. I'm hoping the rest might eventually evolve naturally anyway, but have no idea, or evidence, as to whether it will or not.

Vacuity abhors a vacuum.
[ Parent ]
Which city by snugglebunny (4.00 / 1) #8 Sun Jan 16, 2005 at 08:27:04 AM EST
I want some places in this miserable city to open longer. I hate living in a city that shuts down so early.

You've described most of the UK.

Leeds... by Metatone (2.00 / 0) #9 Sun Jan 16, 2005 at 08:35:29 AM EST
Never mind getting a drink, just finding somewhere to go out of the rain and sit down after a certain time is a ridiculous challenge...

[ Parent ]
Some days, average columnists... | 13 comments (13 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback