Friday, May 06, 2005

Teen Drinking Redux


I just have to ask why the Post-Star feels a need to cover "teen drinking" as if it is a real issue? I would love to write a smart and devastatingly nasty letter to the editor for you which addresses this strange collective obsession on your part, but there's a small problem with that. I already wrote that letter OVER FIVE MONTHS AGO and you already printed it! Its copied below just in case you need to be reminded of how "smalltown" and puritanical your ridiculous position is.

I just want you to know that you're boring us all to death with your artificial focus on this non-issue. Please stop. Right away. You got rid of Molly Ivins because she was "always on about the same thing". She was a "one-trick pony", you guys said. Well, putting the merits of that merit-free argument aside, what the hell is it that you've become? You sure got rid of that "boring" Ivins woman pretty quick, didn't ya? You allowed your string-pullers to have their way with her removal and totally ignored the will of your own customers. Now, on an almost daily basis, you drone on and on about kids who ... gasp ... drank a beverage ... gasp ... in the privacy of their own home ... gasp ... with permission from their parents!

Sometimes, when I'm reading these idiotic attacks on these obviously well-intended parents and their kids (who are simply experimenting, which is what kids do, by the way), I can almost forget that we are involved in an illegal war and that our newspapers are run by people who love that war (not to actually be IN it, but to watch it "progress" and to cheer it from the sidelines like spectators at a sporting event).

Good job lulling the populace to sleep with nonsensical crap! I hope you will fire the "boring" staffers who keep messing around with this "teen drinking" idea as if it has merit. They're boring your readers to death and, Hey, we can't have that now, can we? ;-)


Letter from Dec. 22, 2004

Dear Editor,

Today, Ken Tingley ranted at Patrick Russell, a letter-writer who voiced an opinion running counter to Tingley’s own on the topic of underage drinking. Russell’s letter was about the Post-Star’s excessive coverage of the arrest of thirteen teens and the parents who had allowed them to “party” at their home. Russell stated, correctly, that kids will drink, so what’s wrong with allowing them to do so in a place where car keys and behavior can be monitored? Surely, home is safer than a bar or in the woods, right?

Ken spoke sneeringly of the “culture of acceptance” (which, apparently, is to blame for the 10 area teens killed in the past two years). He says Russell’s thought process is not “acceptable reasoning”. While the inference that Tingley has the capacity to engage in “acceptable reasoning” is undeniably humorous, I must take exception with his rather strange viewpoint.

Russell was applauding the well-intended behavior of two parents who “accepted” that kids drink alcohol. They decided it was better to know where their kids were than to try and stop them. Never once in his letter did Russell applaud teen vehicular deaths or condone underage alcohol consumption. He simply implied that these parents were trying to prevent deaths.
Contrary to Tingley’s opinion, that’s quite a reasonable argument.

How many alcohol-related deaths take place in Europe where alcohol isn’t a rite of passage, but just something you drink with dinner? Surely, that’s a healthier attitude, yielding a better result? I believe that all ten of the teens killed were in cars returning from unsupervised parties. If they’d been at home, they might still be alive.

That is “acceptable reasoning”, Ken, whether you agree with it or not.A good example of “unacceptable reasoning” might be the press’ shameless cheerleading of our unconstitutional occupation of Iraq. This has already caused the deaths of tens of thousands of human beings, American and Iraqi. Where is your anger about this, Ken? Do you, like so many others in the mainstream press, not see the hypocrisy inherent to your own “culture of acceptance”? Like our so-called leaders, you editorialize about steroid use and horsemeat while, somehow ignoring the fact that, yesterday, 22 young Americans were killed and many more will never be the same. Get your priorities straight! Where is your righteous indignation and editorial grandstanding when it’s actually warranted?

Matt Funiciello


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