Thursday, December 23, 2004

Silly Season Headlines

You can tell the silly season is upon us by observing our media. Today's headlines are no exception. Auckland City Councils are looking at banning aerosol paint to under 18 year-olds in a hopelessly naive effort to stop taggers from defacing property. Never mind the article points out that taggers are diversifying with marker pens and window gouging. Banning spray paint will fix the problem.

The Councils shouldn't bother. For one, Chairman Jim wants every aerosol labelled, signposted and restricted to adults soon, as three or four people died from huffing the fumes off them a while ago. His SOP aims to ban everything that might possibly maybe hurt stupid teenagers. (Note: one of the deaths that brought this SOP into daylight was a 27 year-old).

Secondly, no-one in the Auckland Councils seems to suggest mentoring these taggers in their artistic skills is a Good Idea. Auckland is one of the most boring places to grow up in, and it is no surprise kids are making their own fun. Although their talents might be better aimed at becoming the new Colin McCahon, the designated mantra of government to everything is: if in doubt, ban it.

Banning things only works if you can enforce it. Who will do that? Another Council Business Unit perhaps, like the Brothel Patrol, the Smoke Police, the Health Inspectors, the Dog Poo Crew, or the Noise Control Killjoys (first The Temple, now the Speedway. Who is next?). I know! Let's get our police to enforce it, along with the gazillion other things government heaped on the under-funded, resource-scarce and crap moraled police force.

Meantime down in Christchurch, the highly-competitive herbal high market is causing concern. Drug Foundation Exec. Direc. Ross Bell said there was "hysteria" from some Christchurch doctors who said young people were checking into A&E after eating too many pills. There are reports that Christchurch Hospital has been getting a 'cluster' of admissions; six people a week. Are they the same six people each week?

Even if they aren't, I'm certain more people get admitted to hospital with gardening injuries. The media aren't seeing this as a cause for concern. Legal party drugs sold without labels dangerous: watchdog, screams the Herald. Where's the danger? "People might not know what they are taking and might not know the recommended dose." Gee, sounds like they're talking about homebrew. I suppose the Herald must maintain the same level of proportion they used for the P epidemic, just to be consistent.