Friday, July 18, 2008

Nothing good happens after 2am

Plenty of chat and opinion and letters to the editors at the moment as Melbourne adjusts to the State Governments latest attempt to flex its’ muscles and frighten the horses without actually having to tackle the problems of alcohol abuse.

Yes, there are problems caused by people who go out to city nightspots, get rollicking drunk, get kicked out, move on to another place, repeat same, get kicked out again and end up kicking a parked car, assaulting a fellow patron, taxi driver or by-stander and, yes the problem seems to have got worse in recent years. But the question is; how do we tackle it?

Our Nanny State came up with a foolproof plan. That is, it’s proof we are governed by fools when it comes to regulating our lives for us instead of making us each responsible for our own actions.

They imposed a strict 2am lockout policy. Once you are in a venue and the little hand is on the 2 and the big hand is on the 12, you can’t get into any other venue serving alcohol if you leave the one you are in. We take away the ability for normal people to have a choice. In this way we solve the problem of pissed idiots roaming the street looking for trouble. Hmmm. You reckon?

Problem One: Pissed idiots don’t work to the clock. They are pissed. And idiots!
Problem Two: The issue is not the time of night; it’s the fact that they are SO pissed. And idiots.
Problem Three: There are not that many pissed idiots compared to the numbers of people enjoying a night out and not being pissed idiots. Why impose blanket bans?
Problem Four: The definition of STRICT seems to have eluded the law makers because nearly every establishment that applied for an exemption – and there were PLENTY – all received one!

So not only do we incorrectly identify the problem, but we then propose a solution that will not achieve any real outcomes, and then, as if to underline the point, we say you don’t have to follow it anyway! Read that last sentence again, it sounds even more ridiculous the second time!!

The problem is, and always has been, this; pissed idiots cause the problems, not the beer. It is the bar staff who are expected to serve responsibly but, if you are too pissed to even get yourself to the bar you can still have your pissed idiot mates get them for you. This makes it difficult for even the best staff to watch every corner of a dimly lit and music filled venue while still serving others. Maybe if security staff could be deployed into the venue to identify them – and let’s face it, that’s not too difficult – we could slow them down, root them out and address the real problem.

Maybe we could help in our own small way. Instead of partying down into the wee small hours, we could be prepared. Before you leave the house for the night, make sure you have a couple of nice craft beers or a selection of imported specialties chilled and ready. Have a night out, leave when the pissed idiots start turning into pumpkins and hit the road, knowing that a quality beery treat awaits at home! Maybe I’m just getting old, but I also just don’t have the same tolerance for pissed idiots as I did in my youth. Plus, today’s’ brand of aggressive and violent dickhead just doesn’t have the same level of humorous charm that the dickhead of old had. If a bloke pops a dollar into a parking space and then sits down in the spot – FUNNY. If he then refuses to move because he still has half an hour left, VERY FUNNY. If a bloke walks up to an unsuspecting stranger and smashes his head in from behind – NOT FUNNY.

Deal with the dickheads. Get them early and get them hard. Make them aware that a civilised society has certain standards that separate us from the cavemen and the raving lunatics. Let them know that they are in a very small minority. Punish those who, after several attempts, still don’t appear to be willing to get with the program. Give bars and clubs the chance to earn a dollar but punish only those who keep misbehaving like the pissed idiots. Don’t line up every normal socialiser hoping for a good night out and every good, well run business and then threaten to smack them all really hard with a wet lettuce because a few people they don’t know are dickheads when they get a skin full.

And if you are only pretending to hold a wet lettuce, who really IS the dickhead?

So, stock the fridge at home with some nice beers, have a great night and remember what every AFL and NRL football player is told by their club – nothing good happens after 2am.

Prof. Pilsner

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