2022 minus 41: Blaming the pills… or the booze…

Posted: 21 November 2021 in 2022 minus, stuff
Tags: , , ,

Not for nothing is there a saying about ‘the straw that breaks the camel’s back’. Every so often something, usually trivial, something unimportant, will occur that speaks to something much larger.

Today it was a Tory MP explaining away calling another (now former) Tory MP a cunt.

Apologies to those of you offended by my use of the epithet, but – to be be honest – if you’re upset by reading the word, then – to be equally honest – this blog probably isn’t for you anyway.


Sidebar: I’ve always found it amusing those who explain their not liking the word ‘because it’s the mark of a poor vocabulary’. I agree with the comedian Nick Doody, who responds by saying that no it isn’t; he knows all the words you know plus the word ‘cunt’.


The Tory MP in question, one Christian Wakeford, Conservative MP for Bury South, apparently called Owen Paterson (he of the forbidden lobbying thing), and then he explained it by…

Now, obviously, in the larger scheme of things, it’s not a big story. It’s not. But yeah, it’s one of those straws.

Remember Roseanne Barr, and when she was fired from the restarted Roseanne? And why?

Racist tweets, which she then blamed on her taking Ambien, such a ridiculous claim that the manufactures of Ambien, Sanofi, issued a fairly caustic denial: “While all pharmaceutical treatments have side effects, racism is not a known side effect of any Sanofi medication.”

It surprised me for several reasons. First off, as I’ve mentioned a few times, I’m on fairly strong painkillers myself, because of the fucked up foot. That’s, as I’ve also mentioned, is not necessarily the technical term for it, but it suffices. And at no point has the fairly huge dosages of cocodamol ever made me want to be racist… nor has it ever made me racist.

Note: you can sometimes fairly, and justifiably, blame very strong painkillers for many things, including slurred speech and confusion, as Wendy Williams did in 2018. That’s purely to do with physical reactions to unfamiliar strong painkillers, and the side effects thereof.

That’s not the same as, say, Australian football club president Eddie Maguire using the same excuse in 2016 to explain his 2013 racist comments about a player.

It’s reminds me of Mitch Benn’s observation that… no, wait, I’ll come to that in a minute.

Because painkillers aren’t the only thing people blame, of course. There’s always the old favourite: alcohol. Oh, that’s been blamed for racism, antisemitism, misogyny, homophobia…

Apart from say, Rob Ford, John Galliano, theres Mel Gibson. You remember Mel Gibson? Yes, that Mel Gibson. The antisemite and abuser Mel Gibson. Yes, Mel Gibson. The Mel Gibson who blamed his antisemitic rant when he was stopped in a traffic violation on… oh, you guessed it, alcohol.

Now, it’s been pointed out occasionally that Cardiff University found that

alcohol makes make people racist and homophobic‘,

as Metro’s headline had it. But if you look at the piece, the research says no such thing. Indeed within the first few lines, it says that Alcohol acts as an ‘igniter’ to people expressing their prejudices in the form of violent hate crime.”

And now we come back to Mitch Benn’s observation that I mentioned earlier: After Gibson had his troubles antisemitically raged while pissed, Mitch observed that alcohol doesn’t make you racist nor abusive; it just stops you forgetting to pretend not to be.

i.e. alcohol doesn’t affect your beliefs, merely your filters.

I’ll end today by going back to the Tory MP I started this with. You remember, the MP who explained away his calling Owen Paterson a cunt by saying his using the word was a mix of anger and codeine…

So, just to remove any ambiguity at all, to make this as clear as I possibly can:

If I ever call someone a cunt, it’s never because of the heavy amounts of cocodamol I take on a daily basis.

It’s because they’ve been a cunt.

 

See you tomorrow, with… something else.

 

 

Sixty-one days. Sixty-one posts. One 2022 slowly approaching.


I’ve signed up to ko-fi.com, so if you fancy throwing me a couple of quid every so often, to keep me in a caffeine-fuelled typing mood, feel free. I’m on https://ko-fi.com/budgiehypoth

This post is part of a series of blog entries, counting down to the new year. You can see the other posts in the run by clicking here.

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