Monday, September 24, 2007

Good reporting there, Bob

A reporter for the Telegraph, a UK newspaper, decided that it was time to blow the lid off of a "disturbing youth trend" in his home town of Faversham. His story cut to the chase, causing people to learn about this new development in the community. Was it a new surge of drug use? Perhaps a crime wave? Maybe he found that politicians were filtering money from the government's coffers, spending it all instead on hookers and re-election.

No. Instead, he discovered the trend of teens "drinking to get drunk". Because, after all, no group of teenagers across our long and storied history has ever set out specifically to get drunk when they start drinking. Heck, we'd even bet that the first time that young Trog, at the ripe old age of 14, got blitzed by eating some fermenting grapes, his first thought was "Ugga oog app", which translates to "I swear I will never do that again."

Of course teens are drinking to get drunk. Especially in cultures where drinking has any sort of a stigma associated with it. Admit it, if you aren't drinking yourself, how often do you find yourself shaking your head when the first thing someone orders at a restaurant is a cocktail? Now, we're not advocating excessive drinking (unless you've had a really bad day/week/year, or there's just an awesome party going on). But we certainly wouldn't refer to the concept of teens drinking to feel intoxicated as a disturbing trend. If anything, we would call it a continuation of history.

Maybe this reporter needs some other story ideas. In the wake of his hard-hitting story about teens and their habits with alcohol, maybe he should write a story about the elderly starting to lose their memories. Or maybe something about dogs barking when threatened. How about the long-term effects of a lack of oxygen, or the fact that many people enjoy sex just for the sake of having sex? If we can help him find other "disturbing trends" in the world, then we're sure he'll be able to get himself an award.

Or he'll start opening his eyes and realizing that some of these disturbing trends aren't that disturbing after all. It's not like he found a politician only willing to speak the truth.

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