"Don Quixote had his windmills /Ponce de Leon took his cruise
Took Sinbad seven voyages /To see that it was all a ruse
(That's why I'm) Looking for the next best thing"
- Warren Zevon
I think that this provides a usefulexample of the way that the media reports things selectivley in order to sensationalise issues.The research quoted was carried out on young people who use Positive Futures, a project that attempts to counter social exclusion. According their website Positive Futures has: "Projects run in each of the 30 worst affected areas of drug-related crime in the country"So we're hardly looking at a represenative cross section of British youth here. But when has the truth mattered when the press get another chance to rant about "hoodie Britain"?
I do like to keep coming back to these reports and reports of reports just to keep a little running theme through l4next.If I had a little more time, I'd be tempted to start a seperate blog that just looked at this sort of thing and how the media are presenting a distorted picture of Britain and Britain's drinking habits.At the moment I'm content to heckle (quitely, I guess) when the language or message is particularly egregious.What I find wrong here is that the terminology is vague "Third of teens 'drink to get drunk'". Is that a third of all teens or a third of teens who are drinking?How is drunk really defined. Everybody who picks up a drink probably wants to alter their state of mind. Whether to relax or become more talkative, or whatever. At what point does this go from light buzz to drunk?Are teens really drinking to just get drunk or is there a social aspect of their drunkeness that is really the point of their drinking?There is, as always, a broader point that drinking can be problematic and that British society does seem to have certain problems related to drink, but "scare" stories like this only seem to address that at arms length. We're asked to look at these horrid alcies with contempt, cross the road, and thank your genes it's not you. Until the scare-mongering stops and problems are addressed with more understanding and less hypocrisy then the problems will remain.
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