Alarming News: I like Morgan Freeberg. A lot.
Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler: We were following a trackback and thinking "hmmm... this is a bloody excellent post!", and then we realized that it was just part III of, well, three...Damn. I wish I'd written those.
Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler: ...I just remembered that I found a new blog a short while ago, House of Eratosthenes, that I really like. I like his common sense approach and his curiosity when it comes to why people believe what they believe rather than just what they believe.
Brutally Honest: Morgan Freeberg is an intriguing guy...[he] asks great questions and answers others with style, flair, reason and wit. On the blogroll he goes. Make him a part of your regular blogospheric reading. I certainly will.
Brutally Honest: Morgan Freeberg is brilliant.
Common Sense Junction: Misha @ Anti-Idiotarian never ceases to amaze me. He keeps finding other good blogs. I went over to A.I. this morning for my daily Misha fix and he had found this guy named Morgan Freeberg in Fair Oaks, California, that has a blog, House of Eratosthenes. Freeberg says its "The Blog That Nobody Reads" but it may now become the blog that everybody reads.
Jaded Haven: Good God, Morgan, you cover a topic from front to back with a screwy thoroughness I find mind boggling. I'm in awe of your thought proccesses, my friend, you're an exceptional talent. You start by throwing in the kitchen sink, tie in someone's syphilitic uncle, bend around a rip tide of brilliance and bring it all home in a neat, diamond dripping package of an exceptionally readable moment of damn fine wordsmithing. I love reading you.
Mein Blogovault: Make "the Blog that No One Reads" one of your daily reads.
Philmon: When Morgan meanders, stick with him - he's got a point and it'll be worth it in the end. He's not a hit-and-run snarky quip kind of guy. The pieces all fall into place like tumblers in a lock and bang! He's opened a cognative door for you.
Rightlinx: Morgan at House of Eratosthenes is one of the best writers out there. I read him nearly every day because he manages to provide an interesting perspective, even though I don't always agree.
Poetic Justice: Cletus! Ah gots a laiv one fer yew...
Evidence arrives to indicate Tom Leykis, some four years and change ago, really pushed the envelope. I haven’t listened to Tom in about a decade, so I didn’t hear the show in question. It seems to be over the line, I’m convinced, even after reading MOJO Radio’s response to an official complaint.
The issue is drunk driving. Actually, that deserves elaboration. The issue is our society’s response to the problem. I can personally testify to the fact that Leykis has been harping on this for years; his politics are way different from mine, but I found him to be entertaining and enlightening, and made a point of catching his show whenever I could while it was playing here.
I can’t think of a more controversial position I’ve heard him take, on anything.
And I can’t think of another issue on which I agree with him more strongly.
Reckless and offensive as this stunt seems to have been, his point is right on the money. As a society, for all the bluster you hear we don’t do anything that seems calculated to mount an effective countermeasure against the drunk driving problem…and we do quite a few things that seem calculated to keep it going strong.
I have a favorite example in mind: Ordering beer with your pizza delivery. Can’t do it. Not in my county; wherever you sit as you read this, you probably can’t either. Now at first glance, this seems like a reasonable and effective rule. Hey it’s Sunday and the game is on, come on over to my place and we’ll get three pies with some brew. After everyone’s smashed and needs to get home, we’ll worry about transportation at that time. So yeah I can see the logic. Such a status quo can lead to nothing but trouble.
My objection is to the absolutism — the notion that if a little of something is good, a lot of it must be a whole lot better, and thus our nascent movement is betrayed by anyone stopping for a moment, for whatever reason. The notion that putting one foot in front of the other a few more times, is always an adequate substitute for thinking. As is so often the case with laws, it is non-productive and even demonstrably counter-productive. Who orders pizzas? A gaggle of guys watching a football game on Sunday…or slobby lazy bachelors without a date on a Friday night who don’t feel like cooking? Really — am I to believe the pizza parlors sit around six nights a week, twiddling their thumbs, waiting for Sunday when the real business starts? That’s just too much for my fragile little mind to absorb. Call me a dreamer, but I think most pizza is ordered by lazy people. No occasion involved. Just don’t feel like firing up the stove. Guys like me.
People who are in for the night.
Want a pizza? No problem, I’ll pick up the phone. Pizza with beer? Sorry. There’s beer in the fridge, or if there isn’t…you go without. Tap water. Milk.
Or…we can go on down to Round Table or Mountain Mike’s, and get a pitcher. C’mon. We’ll drink responsibly, like the commercials say…and with two glasses, maybe three, I’m sure we can limp home. We’ll be there for awhile, right? Four beers over an hour or more, isn’t that okay?
You can probably see my point now. The “no beer with delivery” rule might prevent some instances of drunk driving. Clearly, it might very well be responsible for causing some. A society that is really serious about stopping it from happening, with zero tolerance, ought to at least look into the issue. We don’t.
I don’t remember if Leykis discussed that, but I do remember him talking about this: Insurance premiums. And driving school. Now, if you have a real problem with alcohol and you just can’t be persuaded to stop driving when you’re tanked, these are two big expenses that you’ll have to make room for in your budget. Why? Your lifestyle choice is an ongoing threat to entirely innocent people, and you have to be “stopped” before someone gets hurt…but these things don’t stop you. They get money out of you, they don’t stop you. Stopping you, would be: Your license is gone. If you continue to drive, we’ll take the car. If you’re caught borrowing someone else’s car, you go to prison until someone’s convinced you’re going to change your ways. Which means a life sentence, because there aren’t too many ways to demonstrate that in prison. And if you do happen to get someone killed, you’re put up against a wall and shot.
And then there are bars. Bars with parking lots. Why? If at any given time there are going to be five employees there, there should be five or six parking spots, plus maybe a space for a limo. Of course, if we were to start yanking liquor licenses from establishments that don’t want to tear up their parking lots, we’d hear a lot of protestations about “designated drivers.” This is an entirely legitimate complaint; I’d invoke it myself, and I’d have cause to do so.
But that’s the only way you justify it. And apart from the fact that the designated-driver convention has been open to, and fallen prey to, abuse — now it’s the sole justification for bars to have parking lots. I mean bars — not places where you can pick up television equipment and digital cameras and ice cream and oh by the way, we have Budweiser on tap too. Not those. Bars. Retail establishments that are there for the purpose of serving alcohol.
They have parking lots for the vendors? For the Coors company representative who wants to talk to the owner about a new contract? For the plumber to stop by when the toilets won’t flush? For people who want to drink Dr. Pepper? Give me a freakin’ break.
Those are three things just off the top of my head, that we do or don’t do — somewhat oppositional to the goal of stopping people from getting hurt or killed. If I really worked at it, I could probably keep adding to a growing list all day long.
I was born within a year of Candy Lightner’s daughter. Therefore, I’ve been able to watch the anti-drunk-driving movement blossom from it’s humble beginnings during my early adolescence, after the daughter’s tragic demise, and of course it had a direct bearing on the process to which I was subject when I was first learning to drive. I’ve been fully conscious of this for most of my mortal life, and I think I’m in a position to authoritatively state: Leykis is right. Like so many things we do that are supposed to save lives, it’s a money grab.
That’s not to say the two missions don’t overlap here & there. In the early stages of what’s called “increasing public awareness,” I think those who seek to make a profit pursue a common mission with those who seek to mitigate the danger to innocents. But once we shifted out of that phase, based on what I’ve managed to see, the public-safety objective became secondary, and tragically, random. Maybe, now that we’ve got bushels of public and private bureaucratic machinery in place that’s all expected to do one thing, but is probably engineered to do something else — the time has come to run a complete audit on all of it, every nut, bolt, screw and rivet.
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