alcohol

Photo of the Day

Hunter rode the British made motorcycle BSA A65 Lightning while researching Hell’s Angels. When he lived in Big Sur in the early 1960s, he rode his Lightning so much he was known as “The Wild One of Big Sur”.

“Some May Never Live, but the Crazy Never Die”

Hunter S. Thompson

He was a gun-loving, hard-drinking ‘outlaw journalist’ with a taste for illegal substances.

Hunter S. Thompson reached the peak of his literary career in the mid-Seventies after his books, Hell’s Angels and Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas were published to great success.

His writing broke from conventional reporting and straddled both fiction and non-fiction, a unique approach which turned him into a counter-culture icon and won him legions of fans. His trademark reporting style became what’s now called gonzo journalism, in which he made himself a central character in his own stories. And a character he was: his stories often centred on his panache for excessive consumption while surveying America’s political and cultural landscape in a way that no one had before.

Asked to list what they require before commencing a day’s work, most would probably list things like coffee, toast and perhaps a cigarette or two, but not Hunter S. Thompson, who needed a kaleidoscopic bevvy of cocaine, Chartreuse and hot tubs in order to get his creative juices flowing.

His daily routine was charted by E. Jean Carroll in the first chapter of her 1994 book HUNTER: The Strange and Savage Life of Hunter S. Thompson, and remains an object of fascination, awe and horror to this day.

Thompson, who committed suicide at 67, was of course known for his heavy drinking and drug habit and they were both ingrained in his writing. He once said of them:  “I hate to advocate drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity to anyone, but they’ve always worked for me.” In spite of his well-deserved reputation for substance abuse, Thompson was an assiduous worker with a writing career that spanned six decades and included 16 books and a litany of short stories and articles.

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Photo of the Day

Linda Susan Boreman, more commonly referred to by her onetime stage name Linda Lovelace, was an American pornographic actress famous for her performance in the 1972 hardcore porn film Deep Throat.

The Harrowing Story of Linda Lovelace

Before home computers, before the Internet, there was Linda Lovelace. For those who may have missed the 1970s, Lovelace starred in “Deep Throat,” the first “adult” film to receive mainstream distribution.

Typical porno flicks of the time were sleazy, hurriedly shot and poorly lit. “Deep Throat” was comparatively better, and even had an unusual comic plot. Lovelace was unable to achieve satisfaction in the traditional matter because of — how to put this? — A physical anomaly. Without going into detail, consider the film’s name.

That was humorous, perhaps. But there was nothing funny about her real life. Lovelace later revealed that she was abused by her husband and forced not only to appear in this film but to perform acts of prostitution, as well.

Ask 100 people to name a porn film and its star and 99 of them will probably come up with Deep Throat and actress Linda Lovelace.

Released in 1972 Deep Throat was the first porn film to be shown in ordinary cinemas and played several times a day every day for 10 years at the Pussycat Cinema chain in America.

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Photo of the Day

My heart is as pure as the driven slush – Tallulah Bankhead

Tallulah Dahling

“Hello, Dahling . . . I’ll come and make love to you at five o’clock. If I’m late start without me.”
Her voice, her wit, and her face were captivating.

On why she called everyone dahling she stated that she was terrible with names and once introduced a friend of hers as Martini.  Her name was actually Olive.

Tallulah, with her signature “dah-ling”s and her notorious peccadilloes and her endlessly caricatured baritonal gurgle of a voice—a voice that was steeped as deep in sex as the human voice can go without drowning—would be easy to dismiss as a joke if she hadn’t also been a woman of outsize capacities. As it is, the story of her life reaches beyond gossip and approaches tragedy.
It was Tallulah’s real-life behaviour that really got people’s attention.

Tallulah’s scandalous career began at her seminary when, aged twelve, she fell in love with Sister Ignatius.  As she grew to adulthood she developed her romantic and sexual interests in a way which can really only be called trisexual: she would bed heterosexual men, preferably well hung, women and homosexual men, again preferably well-hung.  She stumbled across this life unprepared but took to it with enthusiasm and a breathtaking lack of concern for the proprieties.  She once said: ‘My father always warned me about men, but he never said anything about women!  And I don’t give a stuff what people say about me so long as they say something!’  She managed to keep them talking for the rest of her life, but her most admirable trick was always to pre-empt the insidious leakage of malicious gossip with reflexive innuendos so frank as to seem hardly believable.  Personal eccentricities, such as the refusal ever to wash her hair in anything other than Energine dry-cleaning fluid, probably helped to create the conditions in which she then felt able to defy more serious conventions in riskier ways.

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“I find myself in the unfamiliar situation of being in agreement with Winston Peters”

It’s going around.  Not sure what’s going on, but people are starting to see things Winston’s way.

The New Zealand First leader thinks the police have lost the plot, and so do I.

Peters has attacked the police for wanting to curtail the right of people to take their own wine and beer to race meetings. He uses his customary blustering rhetoric, describing the police as politically correct wowsers and comparing them with Nazis.

But he’s right when he says government policy should recognise that the vast majority of New Zealanders treat alcohol responsibly – a fact wilfully ignored by zealots in the police hierarchy, the public health sector and the universities, who think we’re all helpless drunks.

Peters is also undoubtedly correct when he predicts that a prohibition on people taking their own alcohol to race meetings would soon become a blanket ban on alcohol at other community events, and possibly even family picnics.

The latest police proposal surfaced in a briefing paper on ways to reduce “alcohol-related harm” – three words that I suspect the staff at Police Headquarters in Wellington are required to chant for five minutes at the start of every working day to remind them of their primary mission.

The briefing paper identified BYO alcohol at race meetings as a “key issue”. This caused immediate alarm on the West Coast, where the Kumara race meeting, at which people have traditionally been allowed to drink their own alcohol, is a signature event on the social calendar.

West Coast mayor Bruce Smith says that if the police get their way, they will kill off an event that has been attracting West Coast families for 134 years. And you can be sure the Kumara races won’t be the only meeting affected.

The police are getting involved in public policy making.  Their job is to implement the law.  We saw that they wanted to see Hate Speach laws over a week ago.   Read more »

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Perhaps the Police should form a political party

The Police are becoming political activists. They are lobbying to have guns that were previously legal removed from owners, and they are lobbying to have drinking laws changed.

They have, however, gone a step too far by using a scumbag who killed someone when he was pissed to lay blame on pubs serving alcohol after midnight.

Police have recruited a former Navy sailor who killed a stranger with a punch to the head to testify of the dangers of late night bars.

Grenville McFarland, 30, was jailed for the manslaughter of Tarun Asthana, who he killed with a blow to the head in November 2013.

Police approached McFarland to give evidence to the Alcohol Regulatory and Licensing Authority that bars should close earlier to prevent similar tragedies.

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A good judge tells fatty jazz fan she was pissed, too fat and clumsy

Looks like the UK has some top judges that don’t let fools trifle with the courts.

An 18-stone jazz fan who sued for compensation after an accident at Ronnie Scott’s was fat, drunk and careless in her high heels, a judge found.

Eren Hussein, 53, blamed dim lighting at the world famous Soho club after breaking her wrist and elbow falling down stairs after a party in 2012.

She wanted thousands in damages, but after a civil trial this week, a judge threw out her claim, saying the fall wasn’t the club’s fault.

Judge Heather Baucher QC said Mrs Hussein was intoxicated, obese, wearing shoes with high platform heels, and not taking care by holding the bannister as she descended.

“In her inebriated, obese state on three-inch platforms, that would be an obvious, simple step for anyone presented with what they saw as a hazard,” she said.

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Photo of the Day

Yula inspects makeup [Courtesy of Hanna Polak]

Yula’s Dream

The Russian Girl Who Grew Up in a Garbage Dump

It’s a universal story. There’s homelessness everywhere in the world… For 14 years, filmmaker Hanna Polak followed Yula as she grew up in the forbidden territory of Svalka; the garbage dump located 13 miles from the Kremlin in Putin’s Russia. Yula’s story – is a dramatic tale of coming of age and maturing to the point of taking destiny into one’s own hands. It is a story of hope, courage, and life

Youthful Yula has but one dream – to lead a normal life. She was one of the inhabitants of the “Svalka” outside Moscow. A few kilometers away from the Red Square, there it’s another world. This Svalka, known simply by its Russian term for rubbish dump, was the largest landfill in Europe.

Yula lives in Europe’s largest trash dump, called Svalka, just 13 miles from the Kremlin in Putin’s Russia. Her home is made of heaps of garbage, where she and her mother, Tanya, are forced to work for an illegally-operated recycling business. They’re paid in denatured alcohol (a substance similar to rubbing alcohol). The residents drink and bathe in melted snow. They eat rotten food scraps and sleep on trash in makeshift huts. Their only connection to the outside world is through the garbage of others and the glimmering views of Moscow that can be seen from the dump

Just like the others, the girl subsists on what she finds in the dump. From the mountains of rubbish she digs out clothes, food, cosmetics, sometimes an old radio, or a carpet. In the scrap collection centre metal junk can be exchanged for a bottle of vodka. Here this is the only currency.

As a child, Yula played innocent games with the other children and with the toys found in the rubbish. She cracked jokes, listened to music and read magazines plucked from the trash. She listened to the radio to keep up with what was going on in the outside world.

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25% of emergency admissions related to alcohol. And marijuana?

The evil weed is illegal. Too dangerous apparently for the masses to be trusted with.

Meanwhile, 25 % of all emergency hospital admissions are alcohol related.

Emergency room doctors are calling for changes to alcohol laws following a survey that’s found nearly one in four ED patients are there because of booze.

A snapshot of every New Zealand emergency department by the Australasian College for Emergency Medicine has found a quarter of patients were there because of alcohol-related issues.

That compares to one in seven when the survey was conducted last year.

Waikato Hospital emergency department clinical director John Bonning said the results were ” absolutely diabolical”.   Read more »

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Told you: Calls for plain packaging on beer now

Plain Packaging for beer: Is this our future?

Plain Packaging for beer: Is this our future?

I warned everybody, and have been doing so for years, that if we allow plain packaging for products like tobacco then it wouldn’t be long before calls for plain packing came for other products, most notably alcohol and sugar.

Well, no one listened to me. Commenters on this blog also, rather po-facedly, stated that they didn’t mind on tobacco. Now there are calls for plain packaging of alcohol.

Alcohol watchdogs are concerned beer branding featuring cute cartoons or resembling softdrinks, may be too appealing to minors.

The rise of the craft beer market has resulted in a new wave of creative, colourful, and often cartoonish labels as alcohol producers compete for consumers’ attention.

Auckland craft brewery Behemoth Brewing Company, has “brave bikkie brown ale” featuring a cartoon monster eating a cookie on its bottles.

A mouse riding a dog appears on Scallywag rich amber ale from Auckland craft brewery Schipper’s Beer, while a badger wearing a jetpack stars on its Boffin bitter.

Even the Mac’s beer range, owned by major brewer Lion, features labels with drawings of wolves, a shark fin and an Indian Pale Ale called “birthday suit” with a grizzly beer holding a hop bud. And two months ago, the darling of the New Zealand craft beer scene, Garage Project, released a “Lola cheery cola beer” in a can with a striking resemblance to Coca-Cola.

But while this type of branding can be fun and exciting for adults, it can spell confusion for youngsters, said Rebecca Williams, director of the Alcohol Healthwatch group.

She said cartoons on alcohol labelling sent a message to minors that alcohol consumption should not be taken seriously, blurring the reality that it contained a toxin.

“Look at the colours of them – they’re cute, they’re quirky,” said Williams.

When children liked a brand or could relate to it, it translated into early alcohol consumption, she said.

“I think it’s about time somebody was challenged.”

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Photo of the Day

John Phillips may easily be called one of the best pop songwriters of the later 20th century. He honed his songwriting and arranging skills with singing groups that gained a modicum of success. But his crowning musical achievement was the work he did with his '60s group the Mamas and the Papas. Photo: MTV

John Phillips may easily be called one of the best pop songwriters of the later 20th century. He honed his songwriting and arranging skills with singing groups that gained a modicum of success. But his crowning musical achievement was the work he did with his ’60s group the Mamas and the Papas. Photo: MTV

Forbidden Fruit

A Lifetime of Debauched and Reckless Behaviour

John Phillips, destructiveness was too extravagant even for Keith Richards, who once kicked Phillips out of his house for being too uncontrollable

Unlike some other musician/addiction profiles, the John Phillips story is not necessarily one with a cheerful ending.

Mackenzie Phillips, his daughter, was 10 years old when her father taught her how to roll a joint. She had her first taste of cocaine at age 11. At 14, she landed a role in the film American Graffiti , and one week after her 18th birthday, she was arrested for the first time.

When she was 10, her dad gave her, her first adult job.

“Dad said, ‘I’m going to give you a project,’ Dad had a job for me! This was exciting. I was in.”

“I got really good at rolling joints. I was the official joint roller for all the adults.”

McKenzie says she was allowed so much freedom as a kid that the only rules her dad gave her were to spend one night a week at home and to always change her clothes before returning in the early morning.

“A lady never wears evening clothes during the day. It’s cheap,” John Phillips, who died in 2001, told her.

He did have one boundary. One day, Mackenzie found a purple pill in her dad’s bedroom.

She instinctively took it. But it turned out not to be just any pill — it was the last of the LSD pills made by the famous drug cook Owsley Stanley, and it was a collector’s item among moneyed celebrity druggies of the time.

“It was as if I’d crashed a normal dad’s Porsche, he said, ‘You took my last hit of Owsley. You’re grounded!’ ”

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