Professor David Nutt of the University of Bristol is one of my new heroes.
Controversially (exactly to who I don’t quite understand) together with a team of highly respected experts he drew up a new classification system for drugs based on “harm”, the rankings placed Alcohol far above Ecstacy, causing outrage in middle England.
That and a few other unpopular statements (including my personal favorite involving horse riding) got Professor Nutt sacked from his job as the UK governments top drugs advisor in October of this year.
Of course it did.
No one wants to be told that everyones favorite societially sanctioned intoxicant is “the “gateway drug” that remains the greatest threat to society”
So, as I sit here slightly hungover on a Monday morning in Christmas week, It got me thinking.
Here in Tokyo, Christmas is the same spectacle of rampant consumerism and insanity inducing Christmas music everywhere you go as it is in England, but without even the pretence that is has anything to do with Jesus’s birthday.
It is however also “bonnenkai” (end of year party) season and the Japanese embrace that excuse to get embarassingly drunk like the world was ending tomorrow.
Nowhere else in the world can you see fully grown, suited and booted, “adult” men and women throwing up in public places or being dragged through the streets by their only slightly less inebriated coworkers with the abandon that you can here in “well behaved” Japan.
English people, for example, love to fight and attempt to have sex with anything that will let them when that drunk, but never have I seen a suit wearing 50 year old man throwing up on a train station platform at 9pm at night.
(The suit wearing 50 year old English gentleman prefering to save his vomiting for a post domestic violence visit to his own toilet, away from the public eye).
Of course when I’m three sheets to the wind, what I usually do is take my camera and try to find shinning examples of humanities inability to recognise just how damaging alcohol is to society, their families and themselves.
It forms a part of my “let the poets cry themselves to sleep” series.
All this waffle is just an excuse to show a few more photos from that series anyway, so I’ll bid you a Merry (in every sense of the word) Christmas and go pour myself a hair of the dog.