A brief note to confirm that I succeeded in reassuming human form in time for this morning’s ‘The Wright Stuff’ on Channel 5, where I plugged my sports show, summarised the news and gave some surprisingly forthright opinions on the relative dangers of alcohol and other drugs. In brief, I support David Nutt’s new report saying that booze is the most harmful drug currently used in Britain, not because it actually IS more harmful than heroin, but because it causes a hell of lot more actual injuries and illnesses and deaths at the moment, and we should be dealing with what actually happens at the moment, not what WOULD happen if other drugs were decriminalised. Yeah, it wasn’t so brief. And Matthew Wright was his mischievous self and kept claiming not to understand anyone’s point of view.
(I’m passionate about this because I love drinking and support liberal alcohol laws but, nearly every day of my life, I see people who can’t cope with those laws and wish that, as a nation, we could handle a drink a bit better. And feel it’s odd that as a society we talk about ‘drugs’ like they’re some silent menace we will never personally meet, yet cheerfully watch people go through the stages of alcohol poisoning on the streets all the time.)
Mr S Fry was at the party last night and, that very day, he had of course been involved in a scandal having supposedly said some ill-advised things about female sexuality. He had, by the time of the party, successfully used Twitter to explain that he’d been misquoted, and most people seemed to have accepted it. Not sure about the ins and outs of it – I’ve not had time to read the original article – but his explanation was certainly good enough that we ended up not talking about the story on the Wright Stuff, as had been planned…
But today’s papers were still full of angry pieces by females and feminist thinkers in response to Fry. It made me sort of wonder a bit about the future of newspapers. Twitter and so on have made people like Fry enormously powerful and immediate mass communicators, who can easily outstrip the one-a-day pamphlets that are meant to describe their deeds.
People have been saying for a while that books might be ‘replaced’ by virtual reading device thingies, but we’re all sentimentally attached to books, and they don’t rely on immediacy in the way the news media does. Newspapers are all about ‘the here and now’ but their idea of the here and now is not as here-and-now as the internet, where it’s – you know. Actually here and now.
I’ve not got time to round off these thoughts, but there we go, I never do round anything off on this blog. I more start balls rolling and see what happens.