Tuesday, 24 June 2008

Official Guide to Serial Stupidity - Tim Blair

Tim Blair (a.k.a. Timmeh) is a renown conservative blogger and vocal denier of many so called left wing conspiracies especially global warming. So it comes as no shock when an opinion piece turns up with him denying the benefits of Harm Minimisation presented in the much panicked about,  Choosing to use booklet.

Denial is a defense mechanism' postulated by Sigmund Freud, in which a person is faced with a fact that is too uncomfortable to accept and rejects it instead, insisting that it is not true despite what may be overwhelming evidence.

Tim Blair’s previous blog, timblair.net was a right wing hate site disguised as a social/political blog. Proud, blairites (a.k.a. Blair’s winged monkeys) would congregate like pack dogs at his blog for their daily spew of bigotry, aggression, abuse and anything anti-left. It was a popular site with a cast of regular contributors that lapped up every word Timmeh had to say. Blair’s style was to find a story that he fancied, copy and paste a paragraph or two and write one or two lines around it. Lazy? Probably but Timmeh had an agenda here. His rabid readers were notorious for their flock mentality, swooping down on a unsuspecting victim named on Timmeh’s blog. Like winged monkeys from the Wizard of Oz, they were tipped towards their prey and the onslaught began. There was much celebration afterwards on timblair.net as they would swap insults at the intended target’s expense. Pretty nasty stuff.

The problem was Timmeh didn’t get paid for his efforts and like all good wingnuts, he took advantage of the open market and moved his one paragraph opinions under the banner of News Ltd. His tribe was bewildered. They had been cheated by their own ideology of free enterprise. Even the US moderator, Andrea ‘The Scab’ Harris was out of luck and she lost her finger tight grip on banning anyone who she disagreed with.

Enough background on Timmeh and onto his latest dribble. Being a member of The Daily Telegraph team means you can write whatever you want regardless of the truth and you can even just make it all opinion without any factual basis. This gave Timmeh all the room he needed for his article, Official guide to serial slaying. As a RW opinionists, Timmeh has strong views on the drug debate, especially when someone tries to apply a much needed common sense approach. Timmeh didn’t like the Choosing to Use booklet that was at the centre of much controversy last week and in true, Zero Tolerance fashion, gave some utterly ridiculous comparisons. The Choosing to Use booklet was a standard anti-drugs education tool used in NSW schools but it also had some common sense ‘tips’. Zeroing in on just part of the booklet became the standard approach for the MSM and opponents. Of course, we got a completely different reaction from those that have actual experience in this area and again it became clear that moral panic and fears of “sending the wrong message” override any desire to actually help our kids be safe. The offending section of the booklet said:

The best way to keep your head together, is not to use drugs at all.

But, if you choose to experiment ... 

  • Get to know your family medical history, especially about their mental health.
  • Let your brain finish most of it’s development (after 18 years) before experimenting.
  • Use only small amounts and not too often.

... and remember some people will react badly and become seriously unwell after using only a small amount of a drug, despite thses tips.

These tips were only part of the booklet that pointed out the many dangers of drug taking but as we saw, many were quick to attack and it became a weapon to discredit Harm Minimisation. Timmeh’s attempt at writing more than one paragraph and being witty follows:

Choosing to Steal

Studies consistently demonstrate that many young people will experiment with shoplifting at some time.

Search store ceilings for security cameras before loading your baggy clothing with items that may fetch a handy few dollars at the docks.

Always carry at least $100 so you can claim to have had enough money to buy the dismal tat you've boosted, which you always intended to pay for and which you only concealed beneath your top to hide such flimsy trinkets from greedy global crap cartels.

The collection also included, choosing to smoke, choosing to drink-drive, choosing racism, choosing to gamble, choosing prostitution, choosing abduction.

Some RW bloggers are notorious for ‘group think’, where they quote each other’s articles with a consensus that their points must be valid because another journalist writer agrees with them. The articles are often just based on one initial source as well. One of Timmeh’s “Choosing to ...” comparisons was very similar to a recent post on DrugTalk by well known Zero Tolerance nutter and Drug Free Australia (DFA) secretary , Gary Christian. 

When a community decides that it doesn't want to tolerate young hoons in their cars who don't want to admit what every person with common sense recognises, that excessive speed kills, they don't make it a public health issue (of course hoons and their victims end up in hospital), they make it a law and order issue.  It is a law and order issue because young hoons make a definite choice to travel at excessive speed, whether or not it is a speed best calculated to save the life of a toddler who gets onto the road, or an aged person crossing it.  


Th cost of policing what Australian society does not want tolerated is very real.  There may be a squad especially paid to catch the offenders and seize their vehicles.  And if they do their job well, they will never get rid of hoons, but they will most definitely stop the exponential growth of damage done to the community which would inevitably come about if nothing was done.

Christains’ (very apt surname) post was not about the Choose to Use booklet but might of somehow given a lazy journalist an idea for a peice he was writing. Tim Blair writes:

It is only regarding drugs that authorities are so accommodating. Reckless driving by youngsters is probably more of an inevitability than drug use, but you'll never see an official document called.

Choosing to Hoon, which advises on the correct method of performing burnouts, spotting unmarked police cars and achieving increased horsepower with nitrous oxide ("use only small amounts and not too often'').

Instead, the RTA tells us there is no such thing as safe speeding.

This is a lie. A bad driver is dangerous even when parking. A good driver can travel at speeds substantially beyond posted limits, yet present no danger.

Zero tolerance is routine when it comes to almost every form of potentially dangerous behaviour besides taking illegal drugs.

For those who know Timmeh’s agenda, they might not be surprised that he finished his piece with a reference to polar bears and that global warming is a myth.

Related Links:

Official guide to serial slaying

Serial Slaying with Semantics


The Editor said...

Nice post on the ACDA list today, Terry. Well put.

– Michael

Terry Wright said...

Thanks Michael.

Your not doing so bad yourself.