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While you were asleep: “Bomber” reaches White House, Prof wants drug decriminalisation, notable cartoonist passes

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Approx Reading Time-11Ahh, Monday…can’t wait to shirk your challenges. What happened while you were asleep? Well, the White House fell under attack from stupidity, there were renewed calls for drug decriminalisation and 2017 claimed it’s next victim.

 

 

 

White House “bomber” not very alert, nobody alarmed.

As our Editor-in-Chief claims to have learned the hard way one Christmas at Kingsford-Smith, dropping the comedic bomb of having one strapped to your waist is often a dud. So it goes with some hooplehead who decided to take the already “too-far” joke into the stratosphere by rolling up to the whitewashed house that everybody’s favourite orange lives in and claiming that he did, in fact, have a bomb.

It turns out he didn’t, and that lucky individual gets to see what a Secret Service jail cell looks like. However, in a day of criminals high on ambition and low on execution, the phantom bomber somewhat was surpassed. Enter, the bike rack jumper. Hours prior, an individual jumped over a bike rack in an apparent attempt to vault the fence. Whilst we would rarely dip into judgment at The Big Smoke Towers, the physics of it seem very…hopeful…and very stupid indeed.

It’s also worth noting that Trump wasn’t even in the White House at the time. Though the speedy actions of the Secret Service had one unabashed fanboy:

Salut, the 19th of March, may you live in infamy, a day where the stupid walked, drove and attempted to vault. Chin chin.

 

ABC interview: Professor calls for decriminalisation.

Ingrid van Beek, a name unfamiliar to most Sydneysiders, is the patron saint of the marginalised few. Having run the Kirketon Road Centre for the last 30 years, a facility which provides health care for drug users, sex workers and the homeless, van Beek has pushed the topic of drug decriminalisation firmly into the spotlight.

“I think it’s time the community faced the fact that a very significant proportion of people use drugs at some stage and clearly the fact that they’re illicit has not been a deterrent to half the population,” she said in an interview with the ABC.

Van Beek empathised with the problematic situation police face, stating, “Most police forces don’t prioritise drug users and most target drug supply. It does require discretion on their part. I don’t think it should be up to the police to apply that sort of discretion.”

The centre that van Beek runs typifies the approach she seeks. “We treat people in a very non-judgemental and respectful way and we’ve had amazing results in really bringing people’s lives around,” Professor van Beek said. “The biggest thing we’re up against is that people don’t see a future for themselves.”

The issue surrounding drug decriminalisation has been one long stuck in the collective psyche. However, decriminalisation has proven to work further afield, most notably in Portugal, and while the “druggie” has long been seen as a societal subset, a figure who is automatically labelled with what the stereotype demands, perhaps it is time to go to Plan B, and see that empathy does not mean validation of their choices, but rather seeing them as people, and not a problem to be solved.

Fingers crossed.

 

Bernie passes into pages of history, all the more drab for pages of art.

If 2016 was the year that struck down musical genius, I believe her dweebier sister, 2017, has a particularly morbid taste for notable cartoonists. Alongside the names Murray Ball and Bill Leak, etch the name Bernie Wrightson, who was a man who articulately frightened the trousers off readers with abject beauty, bringing Frankenstein and the Swamp Thing to the frayed nerves of those he dragged deep into the underworld of pencilled detritus.

For those unfamiliar with his work, Wrightson was an artist who was, in the words of the hoi polloi, fucking good. He possessed that kind of immediate genius, where eyes meet page, and you just know.

Beautifully ugly. Rest in visceral peace.

Just a quick aside: we should #PutOutOurLasagne in preparation for the passing of Garfield‘s Jim Davis. Not to be morbid, but last year taught us all to assume the worst is always within reach.

 

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