Monday, March 19, 2007

Bad Example?

So, the England cricketer Freddie Flintoff has been stripped of the vice-captaincy and suspended for one match after some late night drunken antics during the Cricket World Cup. Apparently he's setting a bad example with his behaviour. To whom, exactly? The self same press who are slating Flintoff are forever telling us how we've become a nation of binge drinkers. Surely he's just behaving as any other young English bloke does at a weekend? As far as I can make out, he went on an alcoholic bender all night and ended up having to be rescued from a peddle boat. Where I live, that's a pretty average Saturday night (apart from the peddle boat - round here blokes his age are more likely to be found drunk in charge of a shopping trolley). I should imagine that most people back home would be cheering him on!

Mind you, it isn't just Flintoff who has been misbehaving, according to the press. They've also had it in for various young female pop stars of late, accusing them of setting bad examples. Apparently Amy Winehouse likes a drink, Lily Allen has allegedly been beating up members of the paparazzi and Joss Stone, well, she's been weird and speaking with a strange mid-Atlantic accent. In the case of Winehouse, I suspect that most journalists are simply jealous of the fact that she can probably drink them under the table. In the case of Lily Allen, since when has it been a bad idea to give the press a kicking? As for Joss Stone, well OK, she is weird, but the accent is hardly surprising as she's spent so much time in the US. But, as with Flintoff, aren't these three simply behaving in exactly the way the press claim that every other young woman in Britain behaves - binge drinking and starting fights? Far from setting bad examples, aren't all of these people simply trying to live up to the stereotype of youth presented by the media? Far from them setting the bad example, surely it is the press which is leading our youth astray?



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