Saturday, 5 March 2011

Meanwhile in China.

China. Middle-aged man gets jilted by a woman and instead of crying into his pillow and calling her a stuck up bitch, he decides to pick up the nearest knife, hammer or cleaver and head to school to hack up some kids. There were five attacks on school children in China last year.
This isn’t even a new thing, school stabbings in China have been going on since 2004 when a 21 year old broke into a high school dormitory and stabbed 9 boys to death. Similar attacks happened in 2008 when a guy called Chen Wenzhen went to his old school, killed a boy and a girl and then himself. In 2009, the first of the middle-aged man vs. multiple primary school student incident occurred when a 40 year old man broke into a primary school and hacked a four year old and a six year old to death.
The first case this year was a 41 year-old ex-doctor Zheng Minsheng who killed 8 kids (4 girls and 4 boys) and injured 5 others as they were arriving to school. Hours after Zheng was executed there was another knife attack at a different primary school where 16 students and a teacher were wounded. The next day a 47 year old broke into a kindergarten and stabbed 28 students, a security guard and two teachers. The day after that, Wang Yonglai used a motorcycle to break down the gates of a primary school and proceeded to attack and injure multiple students and a teacher with a claw hammer before pouring gasoline over his body and setting fire to himself. Again on May 12th, 48 year old Wu Huanming killed seven children, two adults and injured 11 others when he broke into a kindergarten armed with a cleaver and later committed suicide at his home. The Chinese media decided not to cover this attack incase it provoked more copycat crimes…
Obviously the press blackout in China hasn’t worked and the school knife crime has continued to rise, just when I thought I had finished this article another school dormitory cleaver attack happened in the early hours of morning in which nobody was killed but 13 students were injured including one student who lost a hand. This most recent slicing bucked the trend because it wasn’t committed by one middle aged man but instead by a group of youths. Apparently they had some beef earlier on in the day and then so decided to break into the rivals dormitory and stab some shit.
Will this madness never end? Why do Chinese men find such relief in mauling young children with household objects? The fact that no guns have been used in these attacks shows the strength of the Chinese one party government and gun laws in particular. With this clearly inherent sadism in the attackers, imagine if they had access to guns. I’m sure the murder toll would be a hell of a lot higher.
The mental health system in China has been very much neglected in the past and it is still culturally seen as a huge stigma to have any mental health problems. Perhaps school attacks are due to millions of potentially undiagnosed lunatics roaming the streets with easy access to sharp household weapons. The suicide rate in China, especially in rural areas, is extremely high. This is because of the awful living conditions and the huge amounts of competition for jobs and education. In China there has been huge changes in recent years with its industrialization and massive economic growth. This means people from rural areas of china are being forced to move into the cities looking for jobs obviously causing mass upheval and stress perhaps to the point of triggering those once repressed psychopathic urges.
Why children? Well that’s an easy one. Since China has a one child policy (and subsequently a rapidly aging population) children are like gold dust, they are the future, and clearly the place to find children is at a school. Instead of committing suicide like the rest of the shmucks in the village, these guys want to go out with a bang (or a slash, or a hack, whatever). They also hate the society they live in, so they are trying and cause as much damage to it as possible as quickly as they can.
Sadly, there is always a next step. A guy may decide his life isn’t really worth it. He might go to the hospital, find the maternity ward and start lancing pregnant women with a curtain poll or something. Dead woman? Dead unborn child. Since it seems the Chinese polices weapon of choice is an acme style net on a stick, maybe some long range weapons could help these maniacs up the death toll they take with them. We’ll see them tying knives to curtain polls, stabbing up the police and all the children they can catch. There’ll be brand new feudal style warlords in no time.

Friday, 4 March 2011

Charlie Sheen, eh?

HEY YOU! Yeah, you, student, teacher, passerby, whatever. What is it that you fear the most? Death? Poverty? Illness? Impotence? Whatever it is, the chances are that at some point in your life you’re going to have to face at least one of these fears full on in the face. So what’s the next step? Well you might quiver and faint and end up sipping Horlicks while your mother strokes your forehead and whispers calming words. That’d be fine, except it’d be boring. Why not follow in the footsteps of the heavily controversial Charlie Sheen?
Sheen this week set the Internet into a frenzy that hasn’t been seen since Emma Watson’s nipple fell out of her dress last week.  Appearing on Good Morning America, enthusiastic Sheen gave an interview in which he attempted to clear up some of the stories about him that the press had been circulating. Turns out they’re all true. In his own words, Sheen stated he was “…banging seven gram rocks and finishing them because that’s how I roll.” When asked if he was bipolar, Sheen simply stated that he wasn’t, saying instead that he was “bi-winning.” All of this because his brain “…fires in a way that is maybe not from this particular terrestrial realm.” Right off the bat, everyone assumed that he’d “banged” one of those seven grams rocks right before the interview and that the Charlie Sheen we all know was in fact now a crazy drug addict who should be locked up and hidden from the public indefinitely. Except he wasn’t. Sheen took a drug test, blood and piss, right after the interview and passed both without fail. So what can we learn from this, and how can we use Sheen to improve our lives?
            Sheen is a clear mascot for the “Fuck it, just do it” approach to life. He speaks of wild parties with porn stars and coke with a certain fondness but also with a sense of distance. He’s done that part of his life; he doesn’t have to do it again. Now Sheen could have backed away from all of this, hired a press agent to cover it all over and carried on making mediocre episodes of Two and a Half Men. But instead of running from it all, he simply turned around, probably with a shrug of his shoulders and simply asked “What?” No one can deny that he hasn’t been totally candid with the world and yeah sure, he seems a bit quirky in the interview, but that doesn’t matter. The fact is that there are no more secrets, no more opportunities for people to try and create rumour because he dealt with it. Charlie-fuckin’-Sheen is a good example of a guy who does what he wants. It’s his life, who’s going to tell him not to? Me? You? Are you seriously going to walk up to Charlie Sheen and be like, “What the dick are you doing?” I don’t think you are, I certainly wouldn’t. So next time you’re in a funk and all you want is mummy and daddy think of Charlie Sheen and face the “bull-S-H-I-T” in the face. The worst that will happen is you’ll die and as Sheen said, “Dying is for Losers.”

All quotes from Charlie Sheen.
Interview can be seen at:

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Public Enemy No.1: Horse Riding or Ecstasy?

By Mowgli.

‘The government ban on substances like cannabis and MDMA seems simply to be in
place to stop young people having fun’ says Professor David Nutt, a psychiatrist and
neuropsychopharamacologist (fuck), as he talks to a packed out crowd of students who
are probably only there to get their minor drug habits supported by science.

The talk Professor Nutt gave was immersed in the politics of government and their
Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD), from which he was fired after his
claims that, statistically speaking, ‘riding a horse is more dangerous than ecstasy’. Lad.
One of the biggest revelations of his talk was how politicians had completely ignored
concrete evidence from researchers at the ACMD when they declared the rationale for
their drug policy. For instance, Gordon Brown reclassified cannabis from Class C to
B in 2009 under the guise that it caused schizophrenia, despite the ACMD stating that
their evidence was completely against this claim. Even more staggering was the research
that went into the decision to ban mephedrone, when the ACMD was asked to prepare
a risk assessment of the drug two days before the vote for its illegalisation; essentially
banning something where the pharmacology had never been investigated, and the actual
physiological effects were completely unknown.

Important issues about the slant in the press were highlighted as well. Drone was only
banned because newspapers reported that it had led to the deaths of a number of young
people, though coroner’s reports often declared alcohol poisoning was the cause of
death. It was just a coincidence that these kids had taken mephedrone; you wouldn’t ban
Radio 2 because its playing when a drunk-driver crashes into a wall. Research into what
newspapers actually report found only a fraction of alcohol-related deaths were reported,
while every single ecstasy made into the tabloids somewhere.

But for all his merits, Nutt was clearly biased in his view, because for some time at least
he was the government’s bitch. He was just a bit aggy about it. An important thing to
take from him though is that governments don’t ban things because they are dangerous.
Huge numbers of people die from alcohol, but you can get a Kestrel from any corner
shop for £1. But drugs that are illegal, in effect, are still just pharmacological agents. Some are actually quite useful. Aside from the obvious pain-relieving effects of cannabis in horrific conditions
like multiple sclerosis, experimental work with controlled substances is proving fruitful.
One of the tutors here at Oxford is pioneering the use of psilocybin (the active ingredient
in shrooms) to treat depression.

So all in all, it seems that we are back where we started.

Looking at the concrete figures in the mess of unsubstantiated claims, I can only really
make one informed recommendation:

If you’re gonna pop some pills, don’t ride a fucking horse.