Friday, June 01, 2012

And now with your indulgence a harrowing Friday tale involving Barry "Taliban" O'Farrell ...

(Above: Barry "Taliban" O'Farrell pointing out the evils of drink).

So it being a Friday, hopefully the casual reader will indulge the pond in the telling of a harrowing, pitiful story.

Having long admired the civilised, cultivated urbanity of the French and the Italians when it comes to matters of sex and wine, the pond recently invited the son's - let's call him Greg's - girlfriend - let's call her Jasmine - over for a casual evening meal.

They've been consorting for months now, and no doubt have been fucking - how else to explain her panties in his wash?

Happily the age of consent for sexual interactions in NSW is 16 years (yes they call it "interactions" and you can check your state here - watch out for sodomy in Queensland and under 17s in SA).

It's a comfort to know that they're taking sensible precautions in relation to pregnancy and STDs - I gave Greg one of my patented middle-class lectures last week, and got knowing sighs and a lecture in return - thank the long absent lord for sex education.

It's hardly surprising, since I first caught Greg wanking at the age of 12, and he's been at it ever since. Who knows, he might yet become a Liberal politician in the Federal parliament and an ornament to society.

He might also become a little more mature about emotional engagement, lacking to date (as it is in most Liberal politicians). Jasmine seems like a nice girl, but in an aside last week, she showed an unexpected level of maturity, by saying she was pleased Greg was her first but she knew young love didn't always last. She wanted to go off to France to study, while Greg dreamed of becoming a politician.

Anyway, as I was saying, I invited her around for a meal, and naturally I poured a glass of wine for my son, and in the way of being polite also poured a glass for Jasmine.

Having grown up with a fully alcoholic grandfather and a socially alcoholic father, I'm extremely anxious that Greg understand that alcohol should be enjoyed in moderation. It was a good red, but only one glass, the limit for all of us in company, though I do confess we had a nip of Rutherglen tokay with dessert (Chambers will always do the trick).

Greg abstained on this one, he doesn't like sweet, and he's thoroughly condescending about young people who drink mixers, and such like crap designed by breweries for young people after a sugar and spike fix. He prefers his riesling dry and his passionfruit in a decent crisp NZ sav blanc.

Oh okay wine snobs are by default wankers, but there's no need for them to be lushes.

Anyhoo, it was a pleasant meal, and Greg took Jasmine home, and at 5 am the next morning there was a sharp rap on the door. It turns out Jasmine's parents adopt a strict Islamic approach to matters of alcohol, Jasmine had turned stool pigeon and state's evidence, and I'd been arrested by Barry "Taliban" O'Farrell's state thought police force.

I was found guilty of serving alcohol to a minor, given a suspended jail sentence and a substantial fine. With a conviction, I was banned from working with children, tough for a teacher, so it ruined my career and my life.

I took to drinking heavily, had to sell the house, moved on to welfare, and after becoming homeless, now roam King street as a beggar ... toss me a coin if you see me, and I'll curse Barry "Taliban" O'Farrell for five minutes for your entertainment.

Oh okay, it's just a shaggy dog story, but except for the last bit, I've lived it all before. As for the bit about Barry "Taliban" O'Farrell?

Well that bit's true too.

Police will be given new powers to stop parents turning a blind eye to under-age drinking, making it a criminal offence to host house parties where alcohol is consumed by under-18s.
Under the plan being pushed by the O'Farrell government to make it easier for police to fight the teenage booze culture, adults would face a maximum 12 months' jail for supplying alcohol to any minor who is not their own child. Police and academics have welcomed the push, saying it has to be made clear drinking ''begins at 18, not before''. But civil liberties groups warned against turning parents into criminals over a ''sip of champagne''. (here)

Yes, instead of thoughtful education in the use of alcohol, which should surely start at home, Barry "Taliban" O'Farrell is going to criminalise the activities of parents acting as bootleggers, as if they're just the same as Al Capone in the glory days of Chicago and prohibition.

The Premier, Barry O'Farrell, is leading the effort to reduce tolerance of underage drinking among parents. He wants to bring NSW into line with the most stringent states, Queensland and Tasmania.
Mr O'Farrell, who has two sons, Tom, 18 and Will, 12, has stamped his mark on the problem, calling an inquiry into the supply of alcohol to minors by Parliament's social policy committee. He has asked the committee to propose changes to the Liquor Act which would create the new criminal offence the Premier is seeking.
Specifically, Mr O'Farrell has asked whether it ''remains appropriate'' that the law allows parents to ''authorise'' other adults to serve their children alcohol.

Yes even if Jasmine's parents hadn't been stern Islamics, even if I'd obtained their permission to give her a glass, I'd still have gone down the gurgler.

Queensland? You mean brave Barry "Taliban" O'Farrell's new law will stamp out Schoolies' week in Queensland? Even though Queensland has signally failed at the job, with its "stringent" laws and "deep intolerance", which never seems to get in the way of Gold Coast folk making out like bandits and providing the means for young people to get as pissed as parrots (of course you could shut down all licensed premises and suppliers of alcohol for Schoolies' week - come on down Eliot Ness and see how long you last before the Gold Coasters started to shriek like lemon pips in a Pimms).

Why is it that conservative politicians always want to regulate the bedroom? And now it seems they want to regulate the kitchen and the dining table ...

Will criminalising a glass of wine over an evening meal stop binge drinking amongst teenagers? Only if the state goes fully Taliban ...

Cameron Murphy presented the case for the bleeding obvious:

...the Council for Civil Liberties said it was a ''drastic step'' to create a new offence.
Its president, Cameron Murphy, said he could not see how the change would alter the behaviour of minors drinking. ''Turning parents into criminals is not going to assist in the long run,'' he said. ''Is an adult going to lose their job because they, with consent, supplied alcohol to their friend's child?''

You don't have to be a libertarian to know that Barry "Taliban" O'Farrell is being silly and futile.

Hopefully at some point he will read Michael Koziol's piece State intrusion into a family's drinking decisions calls for a cold shower.

It is true that puberty is hitting earlier and earlier. With biology pushing relentlessly in the other direction, lawmakers seem intent on preserving this notion of an innocuous childhood free of the so-called devils of sex and booze. And to hell with any parent whose understanding of teenage behaviour has moved beyond the rudimentary and technical.
We invented alcohol, the teenage drug of choice. We legalised it, we celebrate it, and now we have to deal with it. But a law which hamstrings parents and puts teen drinkers on the street will only maximise harm.

No doubt at some point the faux libertarians will join the fray - people like the IPA and Chris Berg. Inevitably, any contribution they make will be tainted by their unrevealed but well-hinted at industry sources of funding (well-known in the case of cigarettes and alcohol).

Koziol, as an editor of Honi Soit, seems to remember what it was like to be growing up ... as he explained in his piece Schoolies? Hell YEAH. On that basis, he can be forgiven for calling himself a libertarian and a misanthrope, and for writing for the punch-drunk Punch, or getting a run in Fairfax when there's a strike going down ... and setting down some common sense points that completely elude the Premier of the state of NSW. Clearly a little early drinking did Koziol no harm ...

By the way, the pond notes that it has at various times endured life amongst politicians and the police while on assignment. Can you imagine a bigger bunch of pisspots? Especially the Liberals. How many times was Peter Costello indiscreet over a bottle of red? Could you ever conceive of a worse set of examples to teenagers?

Does anybody in the conservative side of politics look at the 21 year age limit in the United States, or the impact of the absence of sex education and contraception on teenage pregnancies in deep south states? The pond was almost crushed to death in New Orleans on new year's eve as young people jugged down giant-sized, super-sized beers that would pass for swill of soap in Australia, until they were a wild mob of out of control animals.

21? Go tell it to Al Capone ... 18? Go talk to the Taliban ...

If Bazza "Taliban" O'Farrell wants to take a stand against excessive drinking, let him start by banning all advertising of alcohol, and most particularly products targeted at teenagers. If along the way, as a bit of collateral damage, it takes out nauseating advertisements for beer promoting itself as a proud facilitator of "Mateship" and the "ANZAC spirit", so much the better. Talk about a golden yawn.

Would Bazza have the courage? As opposed to the totally useless step of criminalising parents? Oh look, up in the sky, a bottle of stray vodka and orange is wending its forlorn way back to Russia ...

And now, since it's Friday, a few lighter highlights. News has arrived that Andrew Bolt repeats himself like a monotonous clock always striking twelve, and plagiarises himself in the process (Andrew Bolt caught plagiarising himself). Who'd ever have thought an abjectly predictable mind was predictably abject?

And the ACA got itself hooked up on its hooker story (ACA back away from controversial Thomson prostitute interview). A pixilated, voice altered, unidentified woman making allegations while pocketing 60k? What were they thinking? On those terms, the pond is available any day of the week to make allegations about Barry "Taliban" O'Farrell ...

And thankfully, Colbert and Stewart are back from their break (sorry Mr. Micallef, you need better writers and better production budget, but hey, it's the ABC, though we do approve of you being as mad as hell. Better luck tonight).

Colbert in particular had fun with the Donald, "baskeball with tooth enamel", who has returned to the public eye with a fresh bout of birtherism. While Romney grins like a Cheshire cat and wonders who let the Donald in the door ...

Truly, the United States is passing weird, and why Barry "Taliban" O'Farrell wants to introduce social conservatism US-style into Australia surpasses understanding, when he could be looking to the cheese-eating, surrendering Italians and French.

Enjoy the weekend, and remember to ensure you and your children and their friends (if you don't have any spawn, there's nothing wrong with that) drink responsibly and in moderation ...

(Below: the basketball with tooth enamel...

And the orange ...


  1. Well done, DP. Am raising a glass to that right now. Well, actually, necking the flagon, but it's all to the good. Digger.
    What do you reckon about the wall-art contretemps, DP? Will it run over the weekend, endlessly circling around Abbott's judgment of "tacky"? Will there be a circus of Gallery aficionados popping into MP's offices to take snaps? Or, Abbott having had his 2 minutes of denunciations ("Entartete Kunst!") on the brekkie shows, Paul Kelly & The Cardinal will call "Time!"?

  2. O'Farrell's stunt reminds one of the good old days. R v Fidler 11 Nov 1913: "The offence of which the appellant was convicted was failing to support his wife and children... he was sentenced to six months' imprisonment."

  3. Yes Joe and then let the woman and the children consort with a known criminal!

    And thanks EA for the heads up, always alert to the rich comedy of life. As usual, it turns out that the truth is inclined to be tacky. And as usual, Tony Abbott doesn't seem to have much of a sensa huma when the shoe is on the other foot. Of course Ditch the witch, and Ju-liar and Bob Brown's bitch aren't tacky, just frolicsome and playsome.

    It seems Tony "Run Rabbit Run" Abbott is getting loopier by the day, but he let the relentless negativity out of the box, and there it will stay. But it's a pity the poster missed some key points. Surely Abbott is threatened most by feminist gays and whales fleeing climate change ...

    What a pathetic bunch of righteous dingbat sooks ...

    1. Righteous, yeah, that's it. Instead of pulling on the Nanny outfit, couldn't he have laughed it off? Gawd 'elp us if anyone on the other side had come over all huffy.
      He could have said "Hell, I've seen worse on a hand-scrawled placard". Or, "Let me know when the t-shirts are available on eBay".
      Tell me, DP, has Abbott taken over from P.Costello as the Gallery's pet? Seems about 90% of the scribes are lining up to pre-warm *his* dunny seat, too.
      The objective punter would expect to see Abbott's "tacky" lampooned to buggery, but it seems there are orders to be obeyed. Maybe they'll get onto something entirely original, like Gillard's bum & nose.
      The funny thing about this morning's piece of panto is that the piece immediately after Abbott's whine, on Today, was about the surrogate kiddy who will have two males as parents on the birth certificate. A question on that to Abbott would have brought on a flood of eloquence.


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