Ranting-Feel Free to Ignore

Sometimes I write these posts just for me. This is one of those. I really try to avoid ranting and raving. Occasionally, though, I come across things that just tick me off, and I can't really help it.

Blatant stupidity bothers me. Not the negotiable, difference of opinion stupidity, but opinion based on nothing, anti-logic stupidity. I also get annoyed with people who like to bitch about things, but really offer no solutions. People who take potshots at this, my hometown, also raise my ire.

All that explains why I typically avoid the Tribune's online forums.

The moon and stars aligned, though, and I found myself reading the online forum posts about this article. A few years ago, the City Commission adopted a "no-deal" policy in DUI cases. In other words, City prosecutors are generally prohibited from negotiating plea agreements in DUI prosecutions (the wisdom of non-lawyer politicians dictating prosecutorial policy to lawyers is a topic for another time). Not surprisingly, the City prosecutors are really, really busy with DUIs now.

In the article, one of the Assistant City Attorneys discusses youth drinking and says we have a real problem with it. The article then goes on to discuss the increased DUIs, but from the way the article is written, it is impossible to tell if the increased number of arrests stems from youth drinking, or some other reason.

Youth drinking is a problem in this community. Heaven knows I am trying my damnedest to keep my kids away from alcohol for as long as possible, if not forever.

Youth drinking is not a new problem in this community, however, nor is it a problem unique to this community. This is where the forums come in.

After making the reasonable observation that things really are no different from his own high school days, a poster by the handle of "LA Transplant" goes on to say: "There is no opportunity for young people in GF and it is sad. The leadership there has little regard for the youth. They are only worried about keeping GF the same as it's always been & crippling any growth that would bring new and fresh opportunities to town. My advice to the young people is to bide your time and then get out as soon as you can legally do so. Don't look back. There's more out there than drinking keg beer along side the Missouri or Sun rivers."

Holy non sequitur, Batman! We've gone from teenaged drinking, to the evil leadership, to Horace Greely. (Yes, I know it wasn't really Greely.)

I grew up in this town and I am willing to bet that the teen drinking problem isn't any more pervasive than it was when I went to CMR. How do I know that? Well, when kids were pretty much drinking every day all summer long, it would be hard for the modern kids to drink more than that, right?

Even though I only grew up in this town, I have managed to meet people who were raised all over the country, people in their 40s like me. Guess what? Most of them describe their youth pretty much like me. Beer busts wherever they could get away with it, chasing down their friends in their parents cars, cruising whatever drag was available, football games, etc., etc. (I could go into even more detail, but I plead the 5th.)

I am not minimizing the problem, but teenagers, alcohol and trouble have been mixing as long as all three were around, and they will continue as long as all three remain. Don't pick on GF.

Then someone named "humm101" uses the forum to put up three posts explaining that it is all the fault of....casinos! I guess it is not really "driving under the influence," it's really DWG, or Driving While Gambling. Without any suggestion that anyone in this town buys their alcohol at a casino, without any suggestion that any underaged drinker frequents a casino, our friend humm'er blames it all on the casinos. Can you say (not so) "Hidden Agenda?"

As someone who actually knows what he is talking about, I can tell you that the casinos in this town contribute little to the alcohol issue. How do I know that? Because casinos sell far less alcohol than the bars that used to be operated with their licenses. Because most casinos give away more coffee and pop in a day than they sell alcohol.

Oh, I know, I know. It's the message, right? "[C]ertain charity events glorify alcohol use, such as Blues & Brews and Margarita Meltdown" I think this whole "message" thing sounds like Live Earth to raise global warming awareness. (Show me one person who was unaware of the climate change issue who only learned about it after Live Earth.) "Geez, I didn't want to start drinking when I was 15, but everywhere I looked there were CASINO SIGNS, oh my god, I couldn't help myself."

Drinking is a problem. Mankind would no doubt be better off if no alcohol were allowed anywhere. (Didn't we try that once?) People like to be intoxicated as, frankly, so do many other mammals. Ever heard of the grizzlies and grain spills? It's not going away; all we can do is try to make intelligent decisions, and teach our children to do the same. Stop blaming others, stop trying to tell others what to do, and stop putting down our town. Some of these people and their whining is just a joke.

How about this hypocrite: "I enjoy my evenings out as much as the next. And to be honest, thanks to the lack of Alcohol free events in this town I have even been through a point of binge drinking." Let's see, I like to go out and have a few, and I have even exhibited alcoholic behaviors. But I'll tell everyone else what to do because it's not really my fault, it's the town's fault. If there were more alcohol free events, I wouldn't drink. Yeah, that's the ticket. I'll move somewhere else and then I won't binge drink anymore. In fact, I'll be better looking, and I will have a nicer car, too. Uh-huh.

And finally, speaking of comedy, Dante saves a special circle of hell for the "somebody" people. You know, as in "somebody oughtta." Never the writer himself, but "somebody." How about these gems:

"People moan all day long about how there is nothing to do around here and they are right to do so. But yet noone [sic] comes up with any good plans to change it. My personal opinion is in order for any change to happen, someone needs to start at ground level and whip this town into shape. Start by giving the kids something to do." (Can this person really not see the irony in her own post?)

"lets see some more proactive steps from the City to bring in businesses that are geared towards our children."

"help the parents and bring things into Great Falls for positive growth. Great Falls needs to wake up."

"tell the city to get together a group of people who can plan and actually take action to give these kids something to do."

"it is time for the City to "COWBOY UP", pull their heads out of their egos and put this town on the map for growth!!!!!!!!!!!!! Put a committee together to do this.. BRING IT ON!!!!!"

The best part is that these people actually think they're really intelligent, offering solutions. "Hey, I have a great idea, somebody oughtta..." If you really think there's a huge market here for something for teenagers to do, open the business, baby. Spend your own money. Be SOMEBODY.

Nah, just stay at home, type on your computer, and bitch about things. We need more of that in Great Falls.

UPDATE: Firefly picks up on my rant and expands. She even uses the..gasp..F word! I liked this part, since it reminds me of my family: "There are people that complain about nothing to do for kids. There are other people so busy running kids to ball games and ballet lessons, buddies houses, the roller rink, water slides, skate park, regular park, etc. that they don’t have time to complain. Do we really need the City to step in and find things for our kids to do? How f*cking disconnected are you from your kids that you can’t find things for them to do! I don’t think the City has the money or expertise to be raising our kids anyway."

Except that I never swear.


Anonymous said...

Parents are responsible for their kids. Kids will try to get away with anything they can. Crying for the city, state or federal government to regulate behavior is what one of your other blogs is talking about and it won't work. It takes a lot of energy, attention and effort to be a good parent. Don't waste any of that on bitching, just do the job the best you can.

Anonymous said...

First Night is a big event in Missoula, it flopped badly here.

GeeGuy said...

Did it flop badly, or was it that there was no one to take it over and run it?

Does Missoula have a Christmas Stroll?

ZenPanda said...

No one was willing to step up & take it over. Too bad.

Anonymous said...

Maybe there is a problem with the socialist culture within Great Falls & Cascade County & State Bureaucratic Government.

They talk about business but not private enterprise. They talk about bringing in facilities but not about private enterprise. They yap, yap and yap and tax, tax and tax and vote for bureaucratic controls over private enterprise.

Oh, and by the way, I believe there are at least 3 major alcohol/drug rehab facilities in Great Falls and Great Falls has a ton of social workers. And I believe that is more than any other area in the state.

Like piglets nursing at the teets of a bureaucratic pig, the sow demands taxpayers fan and feed it grapes and macaroons.

Rock on and keep ranting!