Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Drugs don't work...

Illegal drugs are bad for you, although they can make you feel nice sometimes, but mainly they are evil and nasty and ruin your life. Everyone knows that because we all saw what they did to Zammo in Grange Hill years ago. Damn ruined his relationship with the lovely Jackie Wright, them drugs did, and Zammo ended up hating Jackie for she sent his packet of smack down the sink. But today, reading the website of the local newspaper around these parts, the Hull Daily Mail, which calls itself the Mail to differentiate itself from a national newspaper of the same name, and also because it has delusions of grandeur, I realised that there is a more serious problem that drugs can cause: They make you resort to cliches and sound a bit like you might have been made up by a reporter. And I quote...

" former child drug-user told the Mail he started using cannabis at 12 before graduating to harder drugs within 18 months.
He said: "My personal advice is don't do it. I've been there, done that and got the T-shirt and it's not a good life."

Surely talking like that is worse than any dependancy or drug-induced paranoia or psychosis. If, indeed, the former child drug-user did say any of that. But, if he did, is he suggesting that going places, doing stuff and wearing a T-shirt is not a good life? Say the weather's really nice and you're enjoying the rays, walking here and there, doing things, feeling utterly at one with the world, maybe even enjoying a natural 'high' and wearing your favourite T-shirt, isn't that good? I'd jolly well say so.

The Mail also does a marvellous job of stating the obvious, in the most obvious manner by using the word obvious, just in case you're one of those readers that is a bit slow on the uptake:

"Obvious signs of drug abuse include syringes, needles and pill boxes."

Y'don't say! Although, "pill boxes"?! That's a posh drug user, ain't it? As for needles, Sharon's Knit Things might have something to say about that. Anyway, after telling us that it's young kids that are taking drugs and we should all panic because they're getting out of hand and that none of this would have happened a decade ago (although it was certainly happening when I was a 'kid', two and a half decades ago) because a decade ago everything was lovely and right in the world and drugs didn't exist then, and nor did evil, someone, apropos of being shouted at by a news editor no doubt, adds a quote about 16-59 year olds to fill the last paragraph up nicely:

"A recent survey claimed 31 per cent of people aged between 16 and 59 in England and Wales had taken drugs at some stage in their lives, with two-thirds no longer involved."
And that, folks, is your Drug Horror Story in a nutshell. More in your Mail.

Listening: The Fratellis - Costello Music.


bazza27 said...

"If indeed, the former child drug-user did say any of that", Your'e not suggesting the Mail would make things up, surely!. Incidentally, also listening to the Fratellis, pretty damn good.

Benjamin said...

The irony really is that newspapers like the HDM have the most banal understanding of the English language. It resorts to using the simplistic tag 'drugs' and fails to elucidate, other than to announce (shock horror!) that drugs are bad.

There is a serious problem that kids who begin smoking cannabis at a young age are in danger of progressing to harder drugs. This article promotes the stereotypical notion that all drugs are bad and we can put them all in the same box.

Much hard work and money goes into drug education programmes for schools to educate young people against such simplistic views.

Dave W said...

I can only agree with your point of view, Ben.

Dave W said...

And, if I'd not been in such a rush to post my comment, I was going to say that the most alarming thing is that it's a 'top down' problem at the Mail, if you'll excuse the management-speak. The editors - and there are a fair few who operate under such a guise - are extremely clueless about life and language. You wouldn't believe some of the things that the so-called management can be overheard saying somedays, and their entire modus operandi appears to be about reinforcing stereotypes and encouraging prejudice. No, actually, you probably would believe it.