Back in 2003, the world was gifted with The Room; a movie that embodies the ‘so bad, it’s good’ genre. Reviews of the film include such golden lines as “This film is like getting stabbed in the head”, and the movie has been dubbed the ‘Citizen Kane of Bad Movies’.
Freedom of speech is undoubtedly one of the most important features of any democratic society. Without it, knowledge could not be shared, injustices could not be called out, and the marketplace of ideas would be reduced to a single, miserable stall. Yet the state seems to need constant reminding of the importance of free expression; to them, it always seems to take second place.
Scotland will become the world’s first country to set minimum prices for alcoholic beverages, following a clearance for the law by the Supreme Court. Beginning in May 2018, vendors shall be legally required to charge at least 50 pence-per-unit. To put this into perspective, an average 750ml bottle of wine contains 10 units; Scottish vendors will thus be unable to sell bottles of wine for any cheaper than £5.00.
The idea behind minimum pricing is that the cheap, strong booze popular amongst alcoholics and teenagers will be less easily attainable, thus reducing alcohol-related illnesses, injuries, and deaths.
In reality, minimum pricing is likely going to do more harm than good.
North Korea could, arguably, be considered the nation-state equivalent of a time-capsule; a society perpetually stuck in the cold-war era. For all the hermit state has been discussed, it is seldom (if ever) noted for progression, growth, or change of any sort.
Education used to be the realm of the wealthy aristocracy; to be educated was to be rich, while the impoverished masses remained illiterate and ignorant. Today it’s a human right of every child, as enshrined in Article 26 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
When informed that the already starving French had run out of bread, Marie Antoinette famously responded ‘then let them eat cake!’. In this (likely fictitious) exchange, the Queen effectively personified the separation of the state aristocracy from the plight of the common man.
Today, the state is equally as inept when it comes to feeding the poor.
First, we had Brexit; a landmark referendum and the largest constitutional change in recent British history.
Then, we had Donald Trump; defying all odds, the media personality and mogul rose the Presidency, beating Washington insider Hillary Clinton.
Now, Spain is facing civil unrest and massive political upheaval following Catalonia’s controversial decision to declare independence.
Did you think it was over? You poor fool.