Mechanical

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Yup. I live in the UK. Witness this news article about binge drinkers. First sentence:

"Parents are to be given government advice on how much children should be allowed to drink in an effort to curb binge drinking."

And the article only gets better from there.

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Already skipped out on hanging out with friends due to jet lag. It's killing me. Much worse coming back than going out.
I was just reading the BBC's Have Your Sayabout this - they're having a field day on this one. It seems to be a toss-up between arresting the parents and allowing the kids to wipe each other out.

I'm guessing you don't miss the drunken youths slumped in your doorway that you used to get in Nottingham?
Nah, I generally lived in an upper class area in Nottingham. I just had vomit all over my doorstep, not drunken youths :)
Aw, I give up with this stupid country. We've turned into a nation of violent, binge-drinking, illiterate idiots. A joke to the rest of the world. Sigh. Time to consider emigrating, I think - assuming any other country is still willing to let Brits in.
Yeah, the world's going to hell...

I was thinking of maybe trying Mars. It looks nice and quiet, judging by the Phoenix lander images ;)
No, we haven't turned into a nation of violent binge-drinking illiterate idiots, whatever the media would like you to think.

You are extremely unlikely to be a victim of violent crime, the rate of which is now about the same as in the early 80s after a much higher peak between 93 and 99. While the number of offences is surprisingly high (about 2.5 million a year, or one per person every 25 years) the vast majority of those are repeats for the same person or violence between criminals.

I can't quickly find any reliable-looking statistics on literacy, but I would be very surprised if the literacy rate now is lower than, say, twenty years ago.

And binge-drinking is ridiculously defined as being the drinking of four pints of beer in one session (for a man - it's three pints for a woman). So was I a problem binge-drinker last night when I had four pints in a nice quiet pub with a friend after work? No, of course I wasn't. The definition is stupid, and any press reports and political pontification based on it are doubly so.