Friday, October 30, 2009

Stop your wining

Wine Glass by Pants

An interesting email popped through the pantychute this morning. Sender Jenny Hardy works for a British PR firm tracking the impact of the recent UK Home Office hectoring against youthful high jinx. Her firm Rubber Republic is apparently ‘part of the award-winning Team Rubber creative boutique’?? Their awards aren’t detailed. Perhaps they got the plaudit for locating Martin Lukes’s missing Blackberry™.

Here is the mail with all its adorable linguistic idiosyncrasies,

I am looking for some opinionated bloggers to spare some time if they are interested on the subject of Binge Drinking in the UK to watch the online video and comment on the campaign. The campaign draws to a close on Friday and it would be great for me to feedback to the Home Office some intelligent comments, instead of LOL.

As you are in/from Australia, have you seen the australian and binge drinking adds? I was quite shocked, very different approach.

If you are able to help out, please take a look at the campaign, you may have already seen it? and let me know what you think, I have no expectations for you to blog about the video, you are welcome to of course. I just would like to know what you think, or your readers think.

Please let me know if you require any further information.

‘Opinionated’? They certainly know how to butter one up these charming PR people. Surely you mean erudite, Jenny. And carpet-bombing the internet with requests for feedback the day before responses are required? Is that strictly professional? Pants does not like to be bottom-trawled like some unfortunate shrimp. Last resort is not a description that goes down well here at Seat of Pants.

Well, you know me, generous to a fault. Where Gordon ‘Scrooge McDuck’ Brown is concerned, my goodwill recognises no boundaries. What do I think about binge drinking? I’m in favour of it, obviously. Oh, sorry, I think I’ve finally worked out what is wanted here. Pardon me while I go and look at the video…

Okay. I’m back. Amusing trope involving a clinically sober young man doing things in broad daylight that very drunk people often do after pub closing, like roll around in their own vomit and throw rubbish bins through shop windows. Punchline – you wouldn’t do this in your right mind so why do it when you’re legless? Boom, boom.

It’s a spectacular own goal in two obvious ways:-

1. The young people seen observing this extraordinary behaviour don’t appear to think it’s at all disturbing. Bang goes the shock value then, not to mention the peer reinforcement. Perhaps they thought it was a play by Sarah Kane or a new reality TV show. No one is going to ‘react’ to something as obviously staged as this. The British public is inured to high street stunts. Anyone who gets shot in the street for real these days is likely to be left to bleed to death as people will assume it’s an episode of
The Bill being filmed.

2. A fundamental lapse in logic has occurred here. People get drunk in town centres precisely to enable the sort of outrageousness that would simply be pointless at home. You can drink indoors for about a tenth of the cost of drinking at a club but what could be sadder than sitting on your sofa and singing Olé, olé olé olé! to a blank wall? Vomiting on your own floor or throwing a bin through your own window would clearly be madness and probably not covered by insurance.

Mercifully I missed the Australian campaign as the television here is too appalling even to be enjoyed vicariously. I can make a guess as to its hysteria level as moral panic has been something of a national project for as long as I can remember. I also need no forecast model to predict that these campaigns will have zero effect because people don’t like to be told what to do with their dwindling freedoms by idiots who can’t even manage to teach children to read and write.

Everyone knows that alcohol consumption has dropped progressively over the last two or three generations. In the fairly recent past manual workers would bolt from their heavy machinery to the pub for their fifteen-minute morning smoko to find six beers lined up in front of their stools. Everyone also knows that the time to drink to excess is when you’re young and your brain cells are still regenerating and you don’t have tedious responsibilities like child-rearing and pension-planning to dampen your spirits, so to speak.

Jenny, you can put me down as a LOL...