Re: Steubenville

1

Does football cause this in people, or is it just a convenient excuse? Knifecrime Islanders, does the same happen for your football teams? (The news we hear here is mostly about violence between fans of competing teams, and tacky housing.)


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 03-18-13 12:38 PM
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1: Do you think it has do with the word "football" even though they refer to different sports in Knifecrime and Steubenville?

It is very bizarre that both in the U.S. and most of the world outside the U.S, a sport called football is the most popular of all sports. It's like the word made a deal with Satan or something.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 03-18-13 12:45 PM
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I assume `widely popular, aggressive, highly profitable for some, mostly played by men, teams identified by locality' is the important similarity. That the word is coincidentally the same is merely convenient.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 03-18-13 12:48 PM
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Of course Football doesn't "cause" this in people. What bullshit. There's a pretty good argument that the particular culture of immunity-from-consequences that surrounded this particular team helped the assholes here think they could get away with this without it ruining their lives, but the same could be said for any other system of entitlement and immunity (and there are plenty of non-entitled rapists, too).


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 03-18-13 12:53 PM
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What I find particularly horrible about this kind of case is that the rapists weren't ashamed of themselves at all in the moment -- no fear that someone would catch them having done something wrong, they felt perfectly secure bragging about it. What kind of world were they living in where they thought that this was a peachy keen happy fun thing to do, that it was totally safe for them to publicize?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-18-13 12:54 PM
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...the particular culture of immunity-from-consequences that surrounded this particular team...

In the U.S., at least, football seems to have a pretty strong tendency to generate these cultures of immunity-from-consequences.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 03-18-13 12:56 PM
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Sure, but so does, inter alia, money, social connections, general stupidity, living in a particularly sexist environment, membership in certain religious organizations, etc etc. There are plenty of ways in which idiotic asshole teenage boys will feel immune from consequences, most of which have absolutely zero to do with football.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 03-18-13 1:01 PM
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Popularity, or, indeed, mere excess of animal spirits, could explain the entitlement of the players in the moment. I can't think of anything else but music that makes the rest of the goddamn town defend the rapists despite such disgusting evidence. Maybe inherited wealth? Am I missing vicious defenses of cross-country runners? I expect hockey is the equivalent in Canada.

Running around kicking a ball surely doesn't cause this, but football is a lot more than that, as fans tediously tell one.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 03-18-13 1:04 PM
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Knifecrime Islanders, does the same happen for your football teams?

Up to a point, but fewer people seem to excuse the bastards when they're busted.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 03-18-13 1:07 PM
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I can't think of anything else but music that makes the rest of the goddamn town defend the rapists despite such disgusting evidence.

Sure, that might be true in this particular town -- but you can imagine a number of other scenarios in which "previously well liked boys defended from rape accusations by sexist town" play out. The problem here is rape culture, not team sports.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 03-18-13 1:07 PM
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It is the response of the rest of the town that perplexes me. Given that they're showing themselves cruel and self-interested, I'd expect them to be faster at jettisoning their heros when they show their flaws. There will be another set next year, after all.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 03-18-13 1:09 PM
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I haven't read this round of coverage.

When the case first made the news, the crime seemed less striking to me than some local authorities' participation in the non-prosecution. Someone in the school and either the DA's office or the sherriff's department. Is anything, even toothless formal rebuke, happening to those adults who stepped up to make sure this whole thing stayed quiet, or is that a personnell matter that can't be discussed?


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 03-18-13 1:13 PM
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Popularity, or, indeed, mere excess of animal spirits, could explain the entitlement of the players in the moment. I can't think of anything else but music that makes the rest of the goddamn town defend the rapists despite such disgusting evidence. Maybe inherited wealth?

Wealth would do it I think. In the Haidl/Nachreiner/Spann case in Orange County (unconscious teenage girl brutally gang raped by three high school boys who videotaped the incident), a bunch of Jane Doe's classmates and former friends took it upon themselves to spread the gospel that Jane Doe was a bad person and therefore deserved what she got, etc. I don't believe that Haidl/Nachreiner/Spann were football players, but IIRC they were all rich, and one of their dads was the county sheriff.


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 03-18-13 1:16 PM
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Along the lines of the juxtaposition of the shots of Kimani Gray civil rights protestors being arrested with pictures of '50s and '60s civil rights protestors being arrested, it seems to me there's a good essay in here somewhere comparing Steubenville/Duke LaX and Scottsboro, Central Park Jogger, etc.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 03-18-13 1:27 PM
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In case someone missed it two years ago: "Athlete Overcomes Rape."


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 03-18-13 1:28 PM
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The problem here is rape culture, not team sports.

As a blanket statement, okay. But the particular ways that certain team sports seem to interact with rape culture is certainly an area worthy of observation.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 03-18-13 1:30 PM
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14: Much as I despise Duke and lacrosse players generally, I thought that one went in the unfounded column?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-18-13 1:30 PM
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Would the same athletes have thought they could get away with a murder? I get confused wondering if the same people think they're immune from any negative consequences for anything, or if they think that raping an unconscious girl just isn't the kind of thing that anyone's going to get all that upset about?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-18-13 1:32 PM
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17 - Yeah, NC attorney general Roy Cooper dropped the charges and said that the Duke LAX players were factually innocent, and Mike Nifong, the prosecutor, was disbarred for withholding exculpatory evidence. I'll note that I initially thought they were guilty as hell because a) lacrosse b) Duke.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 03-18-13 1:33 PM
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Oh, me too. That's why I remembered it as unfounded, because I remembered backing down.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-18-13 1:34 PM
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Probably not all that helpful, but-- Steubenville is where Jim Traficant kept getting reelected, a place that had real problems with police shaking down out-of-towners for money, evidence tampering, brutality, more maybe. From superficial visits, that part of OH has a really, really strong sense of regional identity.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 03-18-13 1:35 PM
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17: Would Nifong have been prosecuted if the accused were working-class black men? Would the defendents have been acquitted/cleared?


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 03-18-13 1:35 PM
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21: I thought that was Youngstown?


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 03-18-13 1:36 PM
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For the question posed in 18, I think the latter.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03-18-13 1:38 PM
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Would the same athletes have thought they could get away with a murder?
Probably not murder, but assault, drunk driving, etc. I should mention I'm working off of 80s movie stereotypes, not firsthand knowledge.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 03-18-13 1:38 PM
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23. Google tells me that you're right, towns are 55 miles apart.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 03-18-13 1:39 PM
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22.1: Almost certainly not. Look at what happened (that is, didn't happen) to the police/prosecutors who railroaded the Central Park kids.

22.2: Maybe eventually, probably not as fast? Again, look at the Central Park kids.

But still, just because working class black men would probably have been treated unjustly and worse in their shoes, doesn't mean that the Duke Lacrosse kids, demographically undesirable as I agree they are, actually raped that woman. Nifong wanted to prosecute them -- if there had been a case against them, it would have stood up better.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-18-13 1:39 PM
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25: one could gloss that as "anything short of murder, and maybe murder if it seemed unpremeditated enough". On the other hand lots of teenagers think they can get away with lots of things. They aren't necessarily the best judges of consequences.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-18-13 1:43 PM
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I guess. Maybe the stories about "Football players beat disfavored kid half to death" just don't get as much national play as the rapes.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-18-13 1:46 PM
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23, 26 -- I think the demographic is more extremely depressed post-industrial semi-Appalachian steel town. Where the rust belt meets West Virginia. I don't know the relevance of that but there it is.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 03-18-13 1:51 PM
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The rapists are the victims, implies CNN.

http://www.slate.com/blogs/xx_factor/2013/03/18/the_steubenville_rapists_are_anti_social_criminals_not_promising_young_men.html


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 03-18-13 1:52 PM
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I expect hockey is the equivalent in CanadaBoston.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 03-18-13 2:00 PM
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5

... What kind of world were they living in where they thought that this was a peachy keen happy fun thing to do, that it was totally safe for them to publicize?

Maybe a world in which that sort of thing happens all the time.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 03-18-13 2:05 PM
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27.3: Well, right, I mean, that's my point. If you're a working class black man, you can expect prosecutorial misconduct, and know that it will occur with impunity. And if you exist at the intersection of blackness and practically any other oppressed category, you've got a pretty high likelihood of just getting shot down in the street.

With the Steubenville thing in particular, you have the added outrage of incontrovertible proof in the form of audio and video recordings and independent, unforced confessions on social media. There's no reasonable doubt there at all. So you basically have this reverse lynch mob, where the mob is whipped up into a fervor that flies in the face of every logical interpretation of the facts of the case. On my FB feed, it seems like the greatest ire is reserved for the corporate media shills who are parroting this response, despite (presumably) not having much of an excuse of mob mentality or longstanding cultural loyalties. Except for whiteness. And patriarchy. And an almost fanatical devotion to the Pope.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 03-18-13 2:06 PM
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Note that the Steubenville Wikipedia page includes this:

Steubenville has had a reputation for political corruption. The U.S. Department of Justice alleged that the city and police force had subjected numerous individuals to "excessive force, false arrests, charges, and reports" and had engaged in practices regarding "improper stops, searches, and seizures." The report from the Department also stated that excessive force was levied against individuals who witnessed incidents of police misconduct, and against those who were known critics of the city and its police force. Those individuals were also falsely detained if the city and the police agreed that they were "likely to complain of abuse." It also stated that the officers involved also falsified reports and tampered with official police recorders so that "misconduct would not be recorded."
Over a period of 20 years the city lost, or settled out of court, 48 civil rights lawsuits involving its police force. The city paid out more than $800,000, $400,000 of which was between 1990 and 1996. As a result, the city's police force became the second city in the United States to sign a consent decree with the federal government due to an excessive number of civil rights lawsuits. The decree was signed on September 4, 1997 under the "pattern or practice" provision. Under this agreement, the city agreed to improve the training of its police officers, implement new guidelines and procedures, establish an internal affairs unit, and establish an "early warning system."[22]

I also liked the notable residents section, which includes Edwin Stanton, Rollie Fingers, Jimmy the Greek and . . . Traci Lords.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 03-18-13 2:32 PM
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Would Nifong have been prosecuted if the accused were working-class black men? Would the defendents have been acquitted/cleared?

Mmm... maybe. Of all the cities in North Carolina, Durham would definitely be the most difficult one to make broad assumptions about how racial politics play out.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03-18-13 2:35 PM
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It's nice to see the spiritual influence of Franciscan University has created such a great environment in that town.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 03-18-13 2:37 PM
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Huh, this is really very interesting. Apparently Steubenville has a very long history of political and police corruption -- particularly when it comes to protecting and covering up rapes.

Traci Lords was raped in Steubenville and then fled, before launching her porn career, and is applauding the prosecution and the publicity.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 03-18-13 2:42 PM
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29: here is a random one from the first page of google results.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-18-13 2:47 PM
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There seemed to be loads of others but that shit was depressing.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-18-13 2:49 PM
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Maybe the stories about "Football players beat disfavored kid half to death" just don't get as much national play as the rapes.

This one didn't get play because it was a rape. It got coverage because it was ignored until Anonymous went nuts.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03-18-13 2:51 PM
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Yeah on googling there are all kinds of sexual assault stories, as one might expect, with male and female victims.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-18-13 2:54 PM
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Here's a dude who whaled on people with his crutch during a brawl at a game.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-18-13 2:55 PM
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Here, try this search.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-18-13 2:57 PM
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Or replaced "charged" with "accused" above to widen the net.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-18-13 2:59 PM
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Anyhow for all that it's probably vanishingly unlikely for sexual assault to result in a charge, it might be even more unlikely for a regular beatdown to result in a charge.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-18-13 3:00 PM
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39: There's another famous one from NJ -- Glenn Ridge, NJ -- involving football players and a cognitively disabled girl. The whole awful story was made into a documentary and a Lifetime movie, etc.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 03-18-13 3:11 PM
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Anyhow, causal, not causal, whatever, but of course football is a big part of the equation.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-18-13 3:25 PM
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The thing that bothers me the most is that no adults have suffered consequences from this. I totally acknowledge that juvenile offenders should not be held past the age of 21. But this implies that adults are supposed to have been taking responsibility for them.

On what planet does a school official (an assistant coach) host keg parties for minors? On what planet does another school official see two kids carrying another unconscious student, and simply tells them to go to another house, rather than taking her to her parents or the hospital?

(You don't need to actually answer these questions.)


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 03-18-13 4:56 PM
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PLANET FOOTBALL WOO


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-18-13 4:58 PM
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Dave Zirin on Steubenville. A groundbreaking 1994 study showed that college athletes make up 3.3 percent of male students but 19 percent of those accused of sexual assault.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-18-13 6:36 PM
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49 Actually, on what planet are all high school parties involving alcohol not held in the presence of adults. Almost all the ones I went to were. In few occasions that was because they, or rather their high school aged kids were the hosts, in others they were official high school events.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 03-18-13 9:07 PM
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52: I can think of maybe one such party where there were parents (who took everyone's keys and made sure no one had too much to drink). As a general rule where I grew up, high school parties with booze took place at the houses of kids whose parents had gone out of town.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 03-18-13 9:17 PM
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teraz, did you go to high school on mars? the stanster is correct. except when it's time to party at alameida's house my high school people!!! fun may not actually apply.


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 03-19-13 4:12 AM
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Yeah, I remember a graduation party where the parents did the take-the-keys thing, but that's it. I had two friends who were fairly recent Russian immigrants who had both convinced their parents the most outlandish things were standard American teenaged practice, but they were definite exceptions. (Oh, and I guess a couple people had moms in the vein of Amy Poehler's character in Mean Girls -- the whole sad age-innapropriate flirt with the boys, just one of the gals thing.)


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 03-19-13 4:32 AM
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The take the keys party sounds good in theory but in practice can land you a charge of contributing to the delinquency of a minor. Since that type of charge could result in my wife and I both getting our professional licenses revoked by the state those parties will not be happening at my house.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 03-19-13 6:20 AM
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@56 I'm guessing that the house of the kid whose parent is a cop rarely ends up being the designated Party House in his/her circle of friends.

I could be wrong though.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 03-19-13 6:33 AM
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The liquor stores in this part of Ohio have signs posted telling parents that serving alcohol to kids underage is a crime, even if it is at a party in your own home.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 03-19-13 6:37 AM
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I thought Teraz went to high school in Switzerland.

Anyway, in this country parents may occasionally host parties with alcohol for minors though they are constantly told not to do so. If a TEACHER did it? Instantly fired. Holy crap!


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 03-19-13 6:40 AM
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57- The last place the cops would think to bust a party!
Growing up in suburban spoiled brat land, parties were either at houses where parents were away, as described, or out in the woods of various parks/large properties/nature reserves. Parents who were home when drinking happened are liable for everything that happens (and are sometimes liable even if they weren't home but should have known something would happen.)


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 03-19-13 6:53 AM
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Hosting something like that sure seems like it would have been more feasible in decades past. The tendency of The Kids these days to post every godamn thing they do complete with pics to social media? Oh hell no.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 03-19-13 6:57 AM
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I was bought drinks a few times by teachers when I was underage. I used to do theatre stuff and 'crew' for trips away to arts competitions, and a couple of times a teacher bought me a drink at an after-party/event. I imagine the school would have frowned upon it, but I'd have been surprised if anyone would have been fired for it. We live in more censorious times now, though.

It's legal in the UK for parents to give their kids alcohol at home, though. I can't remember when I started drinking at home. 7 or 8, 9 maybe? But by that I mean, one small glass of weak shandy or domestic strength lager with a Sunday meal, or similar. Sort of in the French mode, only not wine.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 03-19-13 7:18 AM
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My daughter went to high school with a bunch of ex-pat kids. Many of their families viewed our drinking laws as quaint relics of a Puritan past, but nothing to be taken seriously. Parents allowed alcohol at freshman and sophomore parties, and pretty much every time some kid ended up pass-out drunk. No one wanted to come to our house for a party.

(When she was in 5th and 6th grade, we were known for the best parties ever. Sic transit.)


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 03-19-13 7:21 AM
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|| So, Halford, is today's copyright decision from the USSC going to kill off the remaining book retail trade in the United States? |>


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 03-19-13 7:30 AM
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I was bought drinks a few times by teachers when I was underage. I used to do theatre stuff and 'crew' for trips away to arts competitions, and a couple of times a teacher bought me a drink at an after-party/event. I imagine the school would have frowned upon it, but I'd have been surprised if anyone would have been fired for it. We live in more censorious times now, though.

At my school on Saturday lunch times we got one small glass of cider (Woodpecker, horrible stuff). I think That might have only been for third years (ie 15/16) and up. There was also a bar at the JCR for upper sixth formers on Saturday, mainly to discourage us from drinking in town (which was policed relatively strongly, considering, by teachers patrolling the pubs). But it was a two pint limit, I think.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 03-19-13 8:51 AM
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||
The dangers of cookie-cutter suburban homes. Oh, and "self-defense" gun owners too.
|>


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 03-19-13 8:51 AM
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which was policed relatively strongly, considering, by teachers patrolling the pubs

"Right, I'll be patrolling from this corner seat here for the next six hours. Better get something to fortify myself."


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-19-13 8:55 AM
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Actually I retract my pause-play marks because it is entirely relevant to the thread.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 03-19-13 8:55 AM
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Drinking a little beer is probably fine for an adolescent's intellectual development, but in the states at least, it's rare for a fifteen year old to drink beer and not get into harder stuff soon thereafter. I have nothing to back that up but personal observation. I drank most of one beer in high school, and many other things since.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 03-19-13 8:59 AM
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but in the states at least, it's rare for a fifteen year old to drink beer and not get into harder stuff soon thereafter

Surely completely unrelated to the policies and social mechanisms that force all of that drinking to be in secret at parties with no adults around.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 03-19-13 9:04 AM
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"Right, I'll be patrolling from this corner seat here for the next six hours. Better get something to fortify myself."

For a lot of them, yes. I mean, this was technically on their free time, though it was considered part of their teaching duty. Some did actually go from pub to pub, but there were a hell of a lot of them at the time.



Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 03-19-13 9:10 AM
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It's legal in many US states to serve alcohol to your own underage children (and, at least in Virginia, to your underage spouse. Thanks, Virginia!). The problems show up when you have other people's kids at your house. I have occasionally heard the idea of having all the relevant parents in place so that such a party could be technically aboveboard, but I don't know if anyone actually goes to those lengths.


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 03-19-13 9:11 AM
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Ugh, 66 is the county where I grew up. It really is wall-to-wall cookie-cutter suburbs, edging closer and closer to the farmland area I lived in.


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 03-19-13 9:14 AM
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Surely completely unrelated to the policies and social mechanisms that force all of that drinking to be in secret at parties with no adults around.

Or we could recognize that while it is related, giving your kid a beer at home will not keep him from secret parties where cheap vodka abounds.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 03-19-13 9:16 AM
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My untested plan is to give my kid an early taste for the good stuff, so that cheap vodka becomes unappealing for its cheapness (and maybe it's vodkaness as well. We'll work on that.)


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 03-19-13 9:30 AM
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The drinking age wasn't an issue where I grew up. Officially it was fourteen for beer and wine and sixteen for liquor. The de facto one was a bit lower than that. On Planet Earth, but in the land of bankers, gorgeous landscapes, xenophobia and high prices (twenty five years ago cocktails ran between 10-20 Sfr, though a 'deci' only cost 1.60 Sfr).

Having parents present at a party isn't much fun for them, but I'm pretty sure it helps reduce rape, though not eliminate it. A kid that might be afraid of directly intervening or of calling the cops might be ok with telling the adults that something bad is going on. The only sexual assault case I heard of in my school took place at an unsupervised afternoon weekday hookey party. It was stopped by a close friend of mine, a very fratty American, vaguely right wing guy raised by a rabidly right wing father. The girl wasn't unconscious but was having a hard time stringing a sentence together when he walked in on them and asked if everything was all right. He had to threaten violence to get the guy to stop - not needed when you have adults around. And the presence of adults acted as an inhibiting factor for all over the top activity

75 Worked on me - I asked to try some when I was thirteen, didn't touch the straight stuff for another four years.

The take the keys party sounds good in theory but in practice can land you a charge of contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

Thank you MADD. How an organization evolves from seeking to prevent drunk driving deaths to effectively arguing that dead teens are an acceptable price for discouraging the immoral practice of drinking is beyond me.

NB Are we going to see CNN expressing sympathy for the defendant in this case? Murder is worse than rape, but life without parole is a hell of a lot worse than a year or two in juvie.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 03-19-13 1:47 PM
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72 -- in my state, you can serve a non-intoxicating amount to underage kids. My son can taste the wine, or the whiskey, but you couldn't run much of a party that way.


Posted by: CCarp | Link to this comment | 03-19-13 7:25 PM
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64

So, Halford, is today's copyright decision from the USSC going to kill off the remaining book retail trade in the United States?

Good to see the forces of darkness lose one even if the majority opinion relied in part on the somewhat dubious proposition that Congress couldn't have intended to do something idiotic.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 03-19-13 7:55 PM
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