by Gareth Roberts
Wednesday, 8
December 2021
Reaction
10:56

What drugs on TV tell us about media elites

Their world is more removed from reality than ever
by Gareth Roberts

Chris Farrimond, the splendidly titled Director of Threat Leadership at the National Crime Agency, stepped on a mine while discussing increased cocaine consumption by the middle class. Farrimond told The Times that:

“It’s become more glamorised and probably the depictions that you see in the media — I’m talking about particularly films — glamorise it, at least to some degree, so perhaps from that point of view, there’s a little bit of influencing going on.”
- Chris Farrimond, The Times

You can tell his heart isn’t really in it; ‘perhaps, at least to some degree, a little bit’. Farrimond is right to be hesitant. The influence of glamour and celebrity can carry you only so far. You have to have a product that people like, as any advertiser could tell you. People ingest substances, whether it’s Twinings Tea or heroin, because they enjoy ingesting them. They make a risk assessment based not on television but on the real world — in the gruesome modern phrase — because of their ‘lived experience’. Not their Eastenders experience. 

I suspect that, as usual, the reverse is actually the case and that increased media depictions of drug use are mirroring the increased acceptability of drug use in certain sections of society — the sections overwhelmingly more likely to be working in TV and film. 

The media industry has become extremely isolated from the real world — to such an extent that Lorraine Kelly, the undisputed queen of banal, middle-of-the-road daytime TV, recently had to vehemently deny live on air that sex is unchangeable.

The increased prevalence of TV and film drama where drug use is merely a facet of the characters’ lifestyles, and not something that has immediate, deleterious consequences for them, is a reflection of that class’s experience. In its own way it’s as incomplete a picture as the silly — and I suspect counterproductive — Reefer Madness-style anti-drugs storylines in soaps and children’s shows.

How much impact does drama actually have in a free society? I suspect both abstinence and abandon could be hammered across the media and not much would change. Most people view TV and films as a diversion, not as an ethical guide, and sensibly so. 

I think the situation is more of a loop, and much more complex than either heaven or hell. A healthy message of everything in moderation can never be sent, for obvious reasons. It is obvious to any normal older child that the prohibition of illegal drugs is arbitrary and illogical, while alcohol and tobacco legally trash their consumers’ lives and enrich their manufacturers. 

Instead of fretting about society being influenced by television and films, it would be a much better use of everyone’s time and attention to consider how little society is reflected in the dislocated, socially disconnected ‘content’ produced by media elites.

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Mike Doyle
Mike Doyle
5 months ago

Defund the BBC?

Jon Redman
Jon Redman
5 months ago
Reply to  Mike Doyle

Good call. There are very few issues (offhand I actually can’t think of any) that would not be at least somewhat ameliorated by defunding the BBC.

Drahcir Nevarc
Drahcir Nevarc
5 months ago

“It is obvious to any normal older child that the prohibition of illegal drugs is arbitrary and illogical, while alcohol and tobacco legally trash their consumers’ lives and enrich their manufacturers.”
What’s illogical about that? The rationale is obviously that we don’t want illegal drugs to trash their consumers’ lives and enrich their manufacturers, as has happened with legal substances like alcohol and tobacco.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
5 months ago
Reply to  Drahcir Nevarc

A drink and a smoke is one of lifes few remaining simple pleasures. Only the worst kind of puritans would want to see it denied to people

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
5 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Then change his statement to better fit what ever reality one choses:

” It is obvious to any normal older child that the prohibition of illegal drugs is arbitrary and illogical, while sugar and fatty snacks legally trash their consumers’ lives and enrich their manufacturers. “

” It is obvious to any normal older child that the prohibition of illegal drugs is arbitrary and illogical, while fast cars and high powered motorcycles legally trash their consumers’ lives and enrich their manufacturers. “

“” It is obvious to any normal older child that the prohibition of illegal drugs is arbitrary and illogical, while casinos and bookies legally trash their consumers’ lives and enrich their manufacturers. “”

” It is obvious to any normal older child that the prohibition of illegal drugs is arbitrary and illogical, while payday loans and consumer debt legally trash their consumers’ lives and enrich their manufacturers. “

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
5 months ago
Reply to  Drahcir Nevarc

Drachir, I also copied that amazingly stupid and wrong line as I read through;;;;;;;

” It is obvious to any normal older child that the prohibition of illegal drugs is arbitrary and illogical, while alcohol and tobacco legally trash their consumers’ lives and enrich their manufacturers. “

So exactly what do these older children know of living out destroyed lives on the streets as a meth/heroin/crack addict that they have such a deeper understanding of the human condition than I do? That because it is legal to have a beer Fentanyl laced heroin must be too.

I mean come on, false equivalents are not opinion. They are just absurd.

‘ It is obvious to any normal older child that the prohibition of armed robbery is arbitrary and illogical, when legal guns and decriminalized shoplifting legally are accepted. ‘

or

‘ It is obvious to any normal older child that the prohibition of murder is arbitrary and illogical, while military are armed and trained to do just that.

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
5 months ago

“Director of Threat Leadership at the National Crime Agency,”

This cannot possible really exist as a government position, or so I thought till I did a search on it, and guess what – it is real.

DirectorofThreatLeadershipattheNationalCrimeAgency Chris Farrimond believes treatment of casual drug taking needs get to a point where it is as socially unacceptable as not wearing a seat belt or smoking indoors. He says they need to “educate the population” about the impact of drug supply to create “peer pressure” which will force behaviour change.”

haha, what insane cra* is the modern government becoming?

Attention Chickens, I want to introduce you to the Fox who will be in charge of your welfare, Mr Farrimond, give the Chickens a statement as to your goals and plans……’

Arnold Grutt
Arnold Grutt
5 months ago

“It is obvious to any normal older child that the prohibition of illegal drugs is arbitrary and illogical, while alcohol and tobacco legally trash their consumers’ lives and enrich their manufacturers. ”

This is a stupid argument.
The deleterious ‘social’ effects of alcohol are more akin to illegal drugs than tobacco. I defy anyone to cite any instance where merely smoking tobacco has caused anyone to commit any kind of crime or to become ‘anti-social’ in that sense.
I have smoked for 56 years. So far my life has not been ‘trashed’ in any regard. I voluntarily accept any risk, however this, through the idiotic notion of ‘public health’ has been taken from my hands. I am supposedly now responsible to the National Health Service, a grotesquely useless and damaging organisation which corrupts the natural process of supply and demand and deforms outcomes, as well as absurdly enriching private providers who are merely valued more highly for being quicker than the tottering NHS rather than offering a better quality of service to the individual on any one occasion.
I don’t care whether ‘druggies’ kill themselves. I do object to their frequent presence in the killings of and attacks against other people, not to mention crimes of gain (burglaries, muggings etc.etc.).

Last edited 5 months ago by Arnold Grutt