Happy St Patricks Day

Saint Patrick's Day (Irish: Lá Fhéile Pádraig) is a yearly holiday celebrated on 17 March. It is named after Saint Patrick (circa AD 387–461), the most commonly recognized of the patron saints of Ireland

   It began as a purely Christian holiday and became an official feast day in the early 1600s. However, it has gradually become more of a secular celebration of Ireland's culture.

It is a public holiday on the island of Ireland; including Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland

   It is also widely celebrated by the Irish diaspora, especially in places such as Great Britain, Canada, the United States, Argentina, Australia, New Zealand, and Montserrat, among others (source: Wikipedia)

 The Chicago River is dyed green each year 
for the St. Patrick's Day celebration, shown here in 2008
(source: Wikipedia)

   I am all for fun and celebration and have enjoyed the spirit of St Pat's day myself many years in the past.

   But, there is a worrying double standard seen today via the mainstream print media.

   I'm referring to printed advertisements in the newspaper pages (Herald Sun, Wednesday, March 17, 2010, page 17) pushing bulk quantities of alcohol in case loads (24 cans or bottles).

   Make no mistake this is no coincidence that these advertisements are published (with lots of green aspect in the color of the images) on the 17th March, St Patrick's Day.

   When media such as the Herald-Sun printed newspaper, printed and published every morning in Melbourne, Australia, are firstly seen to be concerned about the rising instances of alcohol related violence in our cities then go and publish advertising promoting the incentive to purchase alcohol in bulk quantities. . . well . . . I smell double standards.

   Not only do the advertisements push buying alcohol in bulk but the ad. I have in front of me today also announces the incentive to 'Earn Qantas Frequent Flyer Points' on your bulk alcohol purchase. Something along the lines of 'the more you buy the more frequent flyer points you can earn'. Smelly fingers in very smelly places, in my opinion.

   But hang on! I know the realities of commercial media. It's not about the content it's about the revenue, at least that's the mantra being sung by media representatives each morning as they march along the mahogany walls of executive media management corridors.

So where does the solution lie? Send in the 'fun police' and ban celebrations? Of course not.
Ban all alcohol related advertising? Not going to happen. Modify the way alcohol is advertised? Maybe.

   What about if large media groups donated a percentage of their advertising revenue to a relevant cause? In this instance, the Herald-Sun could write a fat cheque and give it to a worthy group involved in alcohol education programs in schools for example.

   It irks me to see my favorite newspaper undoing so much of their good work in raising awareness of alcohol related issues by pandering to the grubby motives of huge corporations pushing to sell alcohol in bulk quantities to the average bloke down the street. 

   Don't get me wrong. Profit is not evil or dirty. The road to making profit can be very dirty and in some cases downright filthy! Depends who's walking the road I guess.

That's my opinion.

What about you? Please comment below . . . and if you have a drink today, be safe.