Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Too Good to Be True

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  • Craig Ranapia,

    My main objection to drug use is that it tends to be the province of narcissistic tossers with little concern for their families and dependants.

    Well, I certainly feel like that once out the other side of the traditional Christmas/New Year Saturnalia.

    "I hurt all over."

    "Yeah, eating your own weight in Christmas pudding, and washing it down with a bottle of cooking sherry does that you narcissistic tosser. By the way, the vomit in the shower stall isn't going to move itself."

    God I love the holidays -- the opportunities for petty and spiteful cruelty are boundless.

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

  • Danielle,

    Danielle, if you really want to debate this one, bring it on.

    Um, yeah... I don't really get revved up by that kind of posturing, actually. It's not as though I have a problem with debate, but I'm not sure how to frame our respective arguments so that we aren't talking past each other. You say 'narcissistic tossers with little concern for their families and dependents!' and I say, wimpishly, 'that's kind of a giant, weird generalisation that I can't totally get behind, dude', and... fin. I mean, where do we go from there?

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3828 posts Report Reply

  • Andrew Paul Wood,

    I'm not going to respond to obtuse baiting - you know perfectly well what I mean. We will confine ourselves to illegal drugs and abuse of prescription drugs.

    Christchurch • Since Jan 2007 • 175 posts Report Reply

  • Andrew Paul Wood,

    Danielle: love u long time - different world views, but as I see it there are two classes of people who like recreational chemistry: the dammaged who find it easier than sorting their shit out, and those who think the insides of their own heads are far more interesting than anything that could happen in the real world. I'm more than happy to be shown otherwise.

    I'm not going to swallow the red herring about cigarettes and booze. cigarettes may give your cance but don't alter your perceptions drastically, and neither will a civilised glass or two of sav blanc. Everything else does - no one can deny that.

    Christchurch • Since Jan 2007 • 175 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    Oh, goodness me. That's a very extreme argument to be making about all those millions and millions of people, Andrew. Couldn't it also be because drugs are often... really fun? 'Sometimes a cigar', and all that?

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3828 posts Report Reply

  • Andrew Paul Wood,

    Call me a puritan, but I find "fun" that doesn't benefit others or engage with the broader world to be downright solipsistic, and thus revolting to me. At a deeply philosophical level to me I find that kind of self indulgence quite abhorrent.
    I also hold the accurate perception of reality and rational reasoning as being core to what it means to be a human being. I distrust self indulgence and self delusion as having any merit, even if some people consider it "fun".

    Christchurch • Since Jan 2007 • 175 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    I'm not going to swallow the red herring about cigarettes and booze. cigarettes may give your cance but don't alter your perceptions drastically, and neither will a civilised glass or two of sav blanc. Everything else does - no one can deny that.

    It's kind of hard to know where to start with that argument ...

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22753 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    I'm fairly anti-drugs, and am personally opposed to the legalisation of smoking of marijuana, but even I'd struggle to jump on that train Andrew.

    Call me a puritan, but I find "fun" that doesn't benefit others or engage with the broader world to be downright solipsistic, and thus revolting to me. At a deeply philosophical level to me I find that kind of self indulgence quite abhorrent.

    On this basis, shouldn't playstations be made illegal?

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Andrew Paul Wood,

    Ok Russell, perhaps a slight exaggeration, but not much - from experience I'd say one average strength joint probably has about the impact of three or four glasses of wine. And as I said, I place the utmost value on the clarity of perception. Drugs degrade your ability to interract with people in anything but a facile way because drugs ultimately are about what you experience, not how you interract with the world = solipsism = navel gazing = narcissism. As will drinking too much booze. One glass of wine does not turn you into a large paperweight. And cigarettes have no affect on the mind aside from a slight buzz. Brain chemistry is not a toy.

    Christchurch • Since Jan 2007 • 175 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    I think TV has to be made illegal too, Kyle. And eating. And sleeping. And... most stuff. That's a stance you'd expect from fourth-century Christian ascetics! It's... kind of awesome, actually! Go on with your bad self, Andrew. Just don't expect me to hang out with you at parties. ;)

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3828 posts Report Reply

  • Andrew Paul Wood,

    Actually Kyle (by the way, I was at Otago with you) I don't see the thrill in playstations either - but I guess you can play with other people and it doesn't stop you interracting, or noticing the kitchen is on fire, or whatever. I'm not arguing the legality of drugs, I'm offering a moral and philisophical position on why I dislike them.

    Christchurch • Since Jan 2007 • 175 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    I'm not going to swallow the red herring about cigarettes and booze. cigarettes may give your cance but don't alter your perceptions drastically, and neither will a civilised glass or two of sav blanc.

    Andrew, I don't think anyone needs the gorey details of my drinking at its worse but it was a damn sight more than "a civilised glass or two of sav blanc" and it certainly did sweet f.a. for my reasoning or perceptual skills.

    Call me a puritan, but I find "fun" that doesn't benefit others or engage with the broader world to be downright solipsistic, and thus revolting to me.

    I'd certainly call you a puritan. And since my favourite recreation activity is reading (and a good chunk of that being fiction), I'd have to put myself firmly in the solipsistic column. Re-reading Pride and Prejudice for the two hundredth time has no utilitarian value or 'engages with the broader world" (whatever the hell that means).


    Health warning: Do not drive or operate heavy machinery while under the influence of Jane Austen. You should have both hands free and your attention firmly fixed on the road.

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

  • Andrew Paul Wood,

    It's not that bas Danielle - there's still sex :) And even I get excessively drunk from time to time - but not very often has that resulted in anything positive. I only sit on the top of columns and flagellate while magates eat my flesh on the weekdays.

    Christchurch • Since Jan 2007 • 175 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    but I guess you can play with other people and it doesn't stop you interracting, or noticing the kitchen is on fire, or whatever

    I wouldn't put money on THAT.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4650 posts Report Reply

  • Andrew Paul Wood,

    Oh Craig - reading is still interracting with the author - if a little one way. It's hardly giggling at the curtains :)

    Christchurch • Since Jan 2007 • 175 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    It's not that bas Danielle - there's still sex

    But not masturbation, right? Cause you can't get much more self-indulgent than that.

    This game is amusing, but I'm afraid I'd still rather hang with Danielle.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4650 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Oh Craig - reading is still interracting with the author

    I'm not quite that metaphysical about it, though the very intense imaginative relationships people have with literature and other imaginary artefacts could (from one angle) be a very respectable psychosis. Unless you're one of those Trekkies who translate Shakespeare into Klingon. They're FREAKS. :)

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

  • Mikaere Curtis,

    I'm not going to respond to obtuse baiting - you know perfectly well what I mean. We will confine ourselves to illegal drugs and abuse of prescription drugs.

    Fine, just checking, although I fail to see any correlation between the legal status of a drugs and whether it enables or disables "clarity of perception".

    And as I said, I place the utmost value on the clarity of perception. Drugs degrade your ability to interract with people in anything but a facile way because drugs ultimately are about what you experience, not how you interract with the world = solipsism = navel gazing = narcissism.

    Are you speaking from experience? If so, then your position is probably a sensible one.

    I have a lot of respect for people who say "drugs aren't for me". Frank Zappa hated (illegal) drug use. He called such people "Assholes in action". And he produced, IMHO, the most sublime music of the 20th century, with a fair amount poking fun at drug use.

    Where I draw the line is "and drugs aren't for you either", especially when it involves authoritarian violations of one's freedom.

    Tamaki Makaurau • Since Nov 2006 • 528 posts Report Reply

  • Andrew Paul Wood,

    Emma, if you can't talk coherently to someone while your masturbating, you're doing it wrong - although admittedly that doesn't come up often.

    Craig, Harry Potter should be illegal - it's kiddie crack :)

    Christchurch • Since Jan 2007 • 175 posts Report Reply

  • Andrew Paul Wood,

    Where I draw the line is "and drugs aren't for you either", especially when it involves authoritarian violations of one's freedom.

    Perhaps, but I think anyone who drugs up when they're looking after kids or before operating heavy machinery are abusing their freedom.

    Christchurch • Since Jan 2007 • 175 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    Where I draw the line is "and drugs aren't for you either", especially when it involves authoritarian violations of one's freedom.

    Occasionally I argue with (otherwise) left-wingers who use libertarian arguments about personal freedom when it comes to drug use. I find it curious that people talk about collective responsibility everywhere else in their life, but when it comes to smoking a joint suddenly individual freedom is their political philosophy. You can argue about freedoms from 'the left', but typically from a different philosophical base than you would from 'the right'.

    I'm not in favour of smoking marijuana being legalised, but I'd also like the smoking of cigarettes to be banned. If marijuana was proposed to be taken in a oral form, particularly for medicinal purposes however, I'd be more interested in change.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    Emma, if you can't talk coherently to someone while your masturbating, you're doing it wrong - although admittedly that doesn't come up often.

    This is a conversation with someone which gets above the level of dialogue in your average porn film?

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Andrew Paul Wood,

    Ok TMI!! Eeeeew. But you can stop if you have to - you can't do that with drugs because there is no control over the effects.

    Christchurch • Since Jan 2007 • 175 posts Report Reply

  • paulalambert,

    Shep until we can ascertain where the Uni of Otago get their funding for those studies I will consider there may be a problem with their credibility. Academics are just as competitive as anyone else. Powerful vested interests in maintaining the legal/illegal drug status quo spend billions on pr and studies. Your Otago Uni can claim all they like, but it seems in the UK they've just found thatschizophrenia incidence rates actually haven't risen, despite all the media scaremongering there about stronger weed. Otago Uni students ran a Cannabis Awareness Week recently and the head of the Pharmacology Dept banned his staff from taking part. Go figure.

    Andrew you can get as la-de-da about it as much as you like, I deal in the real world. Context is everything, and whenever people get on their high horse about recreational cannabis use the context disappears down the toilet and people just shout past each other. There has never been a credible factual debate in New Zealand. Drug use only sells newspapers if there is either something awful or stupid as the context. I know plenty of people who've had lifelong use, and their children and grandchildren are still safe and well. I am concerned at the senseless suppression of a valuable plant, that pharmaceutical and alcohol industries certainly don't want anyone to be able to grow legally in their back yards.

    As for my respiratory tract, as a lifelong fag smoker, thats my problem. I won't be expecting a lung transplant for free anytime soon. In return I think mountain climbers, and other dabblers in extreme or dangerous sports shouldn't be expecting free life-saving surgery and treatment either LOL

    chch • Since Dec 2006 • 107 posts Report Reply

  • Mikaere Curtis,

    Perhaps, but I think anyone who drugs up when they're looking after kids or before operating heavy machinery are abusing their freedom.

    I agree - freedom and responsibility and all that.

    Also, having fun with your kids is better than drugs any day.

    Tamaki Makaurau • Since Nov 2006 • 528 posts Report Reply

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