Cracker by Damian Christie

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Cracker: P is for Politics.

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  • Stephen Judd,

    Obama (and Bush for that matter) were essentially in the youthful experimentation phase. I don't know if that's comparable to a man in his 40s deciding P is the best way to relieve stress and taking it to the point where it "was becoming an issue." Being supercity mayor is unlikely to be low-stress.

    Although I do think Prast has a point about the hypocrisy of alcohol users and legalisation, we could argue that Williams has been under the same spotlight for alcohol abuse.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3122 posts Report Reply

  • Damian Christie,

    @Stephen. Yeah well put, I thought the same thing about stress having someone reaching for the pipe...

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1164 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    This of course is not my sole voting criteria - "policy" is also useful, but having had a P habit in what can only have been the reasonably recent past is an automatic exclusion from receiving my vote.

    I would not ignore it, but there's no way I would ever let an issue of character that did not manifest in any known problems (like violent outbursts or insane behavior) take precedence over policy. If his recent performance in tasks relevant to the management of the city were good, then it would seem that any personal habit of his was under control and it's possible that "having problems with it" could be as simple as he didn't like how much it was costing his personal finances, or maybe it was causing erectile dysfunction. I don't really care. Well, alright, I'm rather interested, in fact, but as I say, I make a conscious choice not to let something like that influence my evaluation of him as a mayoral candidate. As it happens I don't really think much of him on that score, he doesn't seem to have any ideas. Also, my memory of opinions on him inter-personally from people I trusted (many years back) was that he was an arrogant wanker. That is something I'd rather not have in my mayor again.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10629 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    in his 40s deciding P is the best way to relieve stress and taking it to the point where it "was becoming an issue.

    It's the scene. There is a social group that move in the same circle and actors go there(and hairdressers)As a social situation, one partakes, for pleasure. Going faster is fun, so exciting(that's what P does, it adjusts your mental/physical state at first, then you keep looking for that buzz, which is always around the corner, so that pleasure gets harder and harder to find.That's when you see the desperate situations. I think P is the insidious one, as control goes out the window when physically one can't keep the pace and after a while the mind and body break down if one continues,and then one reads stories about snakes and ladders.The go slow drugs aren't as radical, no story there then, but for some, the excitement of P probably does relieve stress, I'd suggest just as Ritalin can.
    John Waters said to Stephen Colbert recently, Wouldn't you rather your kid be a drug dealer,than a drug addict?I'd have to agree.
    Well said Ben 8)

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    A bit like Willie Apiata running for Mayor and the Herald referring to him as a pig-hunting farmer.

    Thing is, if he did run, he just could win. Disciplined, knows how to keep his mouth shut. Takes orders well. cares about man and country (ours). and..and photogenic!

    Very. And I hate to break it to you, but according to some laydeez I spoke to last week, not nearly as fetching in real life. Gutted!

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22743 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    I think P is the insidious one, as control goes out the window when physically one can't keep the pace and after a while the mind and body break down if one continue

    I think the means of administration is a big part of the issue. Inhaling it is the dopamine-rat part -- a hit so big and rich that the urge to do it again, then again, is irresistible for some people.

    The problem there is that each hit loads another dose of methamphetamine that stays in the system for 12 hours. That's how people end up staying awake for six days.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22743 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    This of course is not my sole voting criteria - "policy" is also useful, but having had a P habit in what can only have been the reasonably recent past is an automatic exclusion from receiving my vote.

    I too would be wary, but the recent past would be relevant for me. Addict in the past couple of years? Nope. 10 years ago and clean since? Let's hear what you have to say. I'm not opposed to having elected leaders who have seen the darker side of our society, it's something relevant to their work.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    Inhaling it is the dopamine-rat part -- a hit so big and rich that the urge to do it again, then again, is irresistible for some people.

    Indeed. It's why most people smoke pot rather than eat it, too. The difference is that they're likely to sleep more.

    Just as well alcohol isn't inhaled. There would be a lot more dead people.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10629 posts Report Reply

  • Grant McDougall,

    I don't think Simon Prast should run our new Super City. And now, as a result of his own forthrightness, it's almost certain he won't.

    Regardless of the P use, I don't think he stands a shit-show anyway.Obviously he's a mover 'n' shaker in the arts / theatre scene, but he's got no political experience and no profile outside of the arty-farty scene. Plus, I doubt he's got the oodles of dosh needed for an extensive publicity campaign.

    Dunedin • Since Dec 2006 • 759 posts Report Reply

  • chris,

    I don't think he stands a shit-show anyway.

    Yeah I picked it as a preemptive cocktail party defensive excuse for losing. In terms of an opinion on the issue I'm also partial to Ben's;

    I would ever let an issue of character that did not manifest in any known problems (like violent outbursts or insane behavior) take precedence over policy.

    I'd be impressed if Prast were prepared to put his money where his mouth is and undergo a P test to prove he's beaten the Jones, that would show a degree of willpower a large number of our representatives couldn't muster. In that vein, to contextualise it'd be quite nice if all candidates were willing to be voluntarily drug tested, more relevantly it'd be great if all elected representatives were required midway through their terms to undergo drug testing, not necessarily to be acted upon/ prosecuted, nor to make rash conclusions that it inhibits their ability to do their job, merely to get a real perspective around some of the legislation that comes out of the hallowed offices.

    In a democracy, surely MPs should be the most useful subjects for examination of illegal behaviour, merely to keep the laws in step with the reality of the demographics.

    I'm not convinced the specifics of this or that drug, whether it be P or pot or liquor bare much relevance here, and this insistence on contrasting the relative stereotypical effects shows a mind prone to the propaganda. I've met a couple of 'One Can Charlies' in my time, whose physiological reaction to alcohol make it look as bad as PCP.

    Mawkland • Since Jan 2010 • 1302 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd,

    it'd be quite nice if all candidates were willing to be voluntarily drug tested,

    I am reminded yet again of the farsightedness of Iceland's Best Party, whose policies include a drug-free Parliament by 2020.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3122 posts Report Reply

  • Mark Graham,

    Personally, the use and misuse of drugs (including alcohol) in New Zealand is one of lack of teaching of appropriate behaviour to our children.

    Let's face it, as teens and young adults, much of the partying is directed towards getting inebriated to the point of lack of control. Witness the inevitable Monday morning cliche..."Man, I got so-o-o wasted in the weekend...".

    Doesn't matter what drug we use, many of us, especially younger people, focus on the excessive instead of mood enhancing. But why is it we drink to get drunk, smoke to get wasted, etc...

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 215 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    more relevantly it'd be great if all elected representatives were required midway through their terms to undergo drug testing, not necessarily to be acted upon/ prosecuted, nor to make rash conclusions that it inhibits their ability to do their job, merely to get a real perspective around some of the legislation that comes out of the hallowed offices

    I suspect there wouldn't be a lot of excitement there -- Parliament's problem drug is alcohol. But yeah, in a perfect world, people making drug policy would be able to be honest about past use without it being game-ending.

    I'm concerned not to appear overly censurious about Prast. Lord knows, I've enjoyed the odd recreational substance. But if, as it appears, he thought he'd be able to do this without having to venture on something that the whole damn town knew about, that's pretty naive.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22743 posts Report Reply

  • chris,

    Apologies for the reminder Stephen, not the brand of insanity I was edging towards. I had my eye on the likelihood of a statistic like 41% of our MPs had residual THC in their systems and it's time to take another look at decriminalization.

    he thought he'd be able to do this without having to venture on something that the whole damn town knew about, that's pretty naive.

    Certainly, in this day and age. Everyone knows Drugs raise double the eyebrow quotient of a DUI conviction, or almost any number of past misdemeanors. I do like that this little storm in a tea cup has come to pass, there's been very little mention of previous drug use in NZ electoral campaigns, and ultimately who are we fooling.

    Mawkland • Since Jan 2010 • 1302 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd,

    why is it we drink to get drunk, smoke to get wasted, etc

    I honestly would love to see a Royal Commission of Inquiry into the Roots of Desire For Oblivion.

    This is a question I've been waiting to hear asked in the news media as the debate over the alcohol licensing laws continues, but we only seem to be interested in proximate causes, not root ones.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3122 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    I honestly would love to see a Royal Commission of Inquiry into the Roots of Desire For Oblivion.

    I don't think everyone's aiming for Oblivion, at all. Sometimes, people might just want to have bigger fun.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22743 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    Sometimes, people might just want to have bigger fun.

    Or might genuinely want to expand their mind. My parents, (aunties, uncles) were of the generation of mind expansion and frankly I am glad they were on that bus (yes ,there was a book) because I believe they made great parents and probably their experimentation was part of that. They certainly have a broader view of drugs available now than many of my friends parents do.They are also not quick to judge others. I like that.

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Or might genuinely want to expand their mind.

    Yes. I've written here before about a particularly rewarding day on magic mushrooms at the Tate Gallery.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22743 posts Report Reply

  • Gareth Jenkins,

    What about Tim Shadbolt? He seems to be as competent as any other NZ mayor, and his brain must be fried.

    I don't think past drug use would have much bearing on a person's ability to run a city. Surgeon, pilot, customs officer - yep. But mayor? Nah. It's not like the other candidates are geniuses or pillars of society.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 13 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    A bit like Willie Apiata running for Mayor and the Herald referring to him as a pig-hunting farmer.

    To be fair, I don't think Corporal Apiata would be standing for any political office while serving in the SAS and if he chose to do so in civilian life, he'd be firmly discouraged from making any military service a high profile feature of any campaign. Don't think that's a bad thing either.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    Yes. I've written here before about a particularly rewarding day on magic mushrooms at the Tate Gallery.

    Grounded Natural is the way to go!

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • Damian Christie,

    I would ever let an issue of character that did not manifest in any known problems (like violent outbursts or insane behavior) take precedence over policy.

    Yeah that's the thing though isn't it Ben. Neither of us know Simon Prast. We don't know whether or not it was simply costing him a little more than he would've liked, delaying his plans for an extension on the house. Or if he was spending days on end chasing the dragon, failing to meet his commitments, letting down family and loved ones. We don't know.

    But I would say that of the high profile people I have known who were/are heavy users of P, the general public wouldn't be able to tell in terms of the way they did their job. But spend a day in their company and you will see a string of bad debts, gang involvement, generally untrustworthy or unreliable behaviour and so forth. I'm willing to bet Simon Prast exhibited at least some of these symptoms to those who knew him. And that's why realised, or was told by someone, that he needed to sort himself out.

    To quote a former meth cook and dealer I interviewed for a Metro feature a couple of issues back (on drug dealers), "I'm yet to meet anyone who has become a better person as a result of heavy use of methamphetamine."

    And let's also assume that Mr Prast's P use wouldn't be common knowledge (before his outing) if it had've only been occasional, and mild.

    When it comes to choosing a mayor, I'm much more likely to vote on perceived character than hard policy, because the mayor has no real control over what happens unless they also control the council.

    Personally, I'm not going to vote for someone who I think has even an outside chance of using the mayoral credit card for $800 cash withdrawals at 4am...

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1164 posts Report Reply

  • Damian Christie,

    Funny you should mention the shrooms Russell. It's that season again, and any number of people can be seen hunting as I jog past certain spots early in the morning.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1164 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    Funny you should mention the shrooms Russell.

    Whilst up north I noticed blue ones on the land, at which point a friend said to be well aware before one partakes, of which I totally agree and would advise anyone the same.

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd,

    Sometimes, people might just want to have bigger fun.
    ...
    Or might genuinely want to expand their mind.

    Sure. I'm not opposed. I love expanding my mind.

    But I think the attitude of getting wasted, the sort of thing that caused Palmer to wring his hands in the small hours of the morning, is not generally motivated by the pursuit of self-knowledge and enlightenment. And I think we do have a particular problem in NZ, and I'd like to know why.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3122 posts Report Reply

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