You’re 30 years old and someone still decides what time you have to go to bed.
You might think they don’t, but rest assured, they do! All over Bangkok, the decision to stop partying is taken out of your hands by someone else. Someone made a law that clubs have to close at 2am. (Someone else made a decision that they’d illegally ‘sell’ club owners an extra hour, but that’s another story).
Sure, you can go home and have your own private party, but why the fuck should you? Why can’t you carry on partying if you want to? Is it because you can’t be trusted to go to work or study the next day? That’s a bullshit argument… It’s no-one’s business but your own. Maybe it’s your day off. Maybe you don’t work until evening. Maybe you’re incredibly wealthy or retired. Or maybe you just hate your job and if you drag your ass in the next day, you’ll go on a killing spree… But that’s your own choice… isn’t it?
I know there are after-hours places… I practically live in those dark, Satanic corners of Bangkok. But sometimes, I’m quite happy partying in a club – the music is good, crowd is jumping, the atmosphere is just right… and then… The friggin’ lights come on. The music changes. The bouncers start moving us out…
Tell me, who is happy with that situation? The guests? The club owners? Nobody! Well, maybe the staff, but those guys want to party after work too… and guess what? They can’t! Because their constitutional right to party has been taken away by someone they’ve never met.
Actually, I don’t know if it’s a constitutional right, but it should be! ‘The pursuit of happiness’? Someone has taken that right away from us.
“But Johnny! What if those clubs are in residential areas?” I hear some of my more retarded readers whining in a nasally, annoying voice that makes me want to hit them in the head with a nail encrusted baseball bat. And I answer, “What if they’re NOT?” What if they’re in an entertainment zone? Away from residential buildings? No noise or traffic to worry about? Problem solved.
“Oh Johnny! What a great idea! You’re so smart! Would you like to touch my boobies?” I hear some of my larger-chested readers ask in a husky, sensual voice that makes me want to wrestle them naked with virgin olive oil. And I answer, “It’s not a great idea! It’s so simple and basic, but it hasn’t been done! I have no idea why not… And, yes please… I do want to touch your boobies.”
Think of the poor nightclub staff. They wrap up work at 4am… or 7am… And if they want to go to a club, it’s not possible. Their only option is Swing. And in a city of sixteen million people, the idea that there is only one late, late club and it’s such a shithole is embarrassing.
And who decides that you must go home at 3am? Or 6am? Someone else! A politician (let’s call him Mr. Asshole), you’ve never met has decided for you… What a DICK! Mr. Asshole has never met you. He doesn’t know your life, your tastes, and your party-stamina. So why is he qualified to make that decision on your behalf? Is he smarter than you? Hmmm…. Let’s see…. Consider the current crop of politicians in your own country – anyone standing out as a shining beacon of democracy and hope for the downtrodden? Or is it the usual bunch of corrupt, conniving, adulterous morons?
Of course, Mr. Asshole isn’t smarter than you! Remember, politicians are responsible for ALL the curbs on your personal freedoms and the stupidest rules you can think of. Mr. Asshole decided that ALL clubs have to close at the same time… Oh brilliant (!) And put all the drunk people on the streets at the same time, all trying to get the same taxis.
What else is Mr. Asshole responsible for? Oh yeah… If you have a wank in Indonesia, the punishment is decapitation. Swiss Mr. Asshole decided that guys can’t pee standing up after 10pm. And in France, Monsieur Asshole decreed that it’s illegal to name a pig Napoleon.
Mr. Asshole decided that gay people can’t get married. That’s right. In plenty of countries all over the world, two people in love can’t get married if their genitals look similar. Even more ridiculous, until only 8 years ago, being gay was considered a ‘mental illness’ in Thailand. And who made that decision? Khun Asshole!
Call me ‘a liberal lunatic’ if you like, but frankly, I don’t care who you marry because it has no impact on my life whatsoever and it’s not my business. And likewise, it has no impact on Mr. Asshole’s life what time we decide to stop partying so he should refrain from interfering.
These laws are simply not doing the job they are designed to do. Children aren’t protected by stopping us having a beer at 3pm. There’s no valid reason to close a club at 3am if it’s outside of residential areas. And there’s no justification in preventing two same-sex people marrying if they want to (Unless you want to start quoting the bible at me. And then it’s just a case of whose imaginary friend is the toughest.)
That raises another topic… Alcohol bans for religious holidays. Let me see if I’ve got this right… Some religious leaders frown upon alcohol consumption. For virtually every day of the year, they tolerate it. But on a few special holidays, they really want to force their view of alcohol consumption upon others, so they ask politicians to enforce a nationwide ban. Mr. Asshole agrees and then instructs the police force to prevent consenting adults from having a drink even if they aren’t of the same religion, aren’t devout or if they don’t believe in any god whatsoever.
Correct me if I’m wrong, but I thought a policeman’s job was to protect us from bad people… murderers, rapists and thieves. But now they have a new duty, which is to enforce someone else’s moral code upon millions of unwilling people? Excuse me, but that’s bullshit! Why are we not rising up shouting a big “Fuck you AND your moral code!” There is not a single reason why the police should be involved with religion in any way whatsoever. Religion is purely on a voluntary basis – right?
I’ve got a friend who heeds Snoop Dogg’s advice… He smokes weed every day. And I mean every day! And he’s done so for decades. And after years and years of subjecting his body and brain to this terrible abuse, he’s 10 kilos lighter than me. He runs his own business. He’s good looking, smart and popular. And still he smokes weed every day! It’s like he just doesn’t CARE about the dangers… maybe because the dangers are as imaginary as the religious folks’ friends.
This guy is a rich, successful businessman (with a totally hot babe for a girlfriend) but he is a habitual criminal. But only a criminal because Mr. Asshole decided that marijuana should be illegal. Despite the masses of evidence that it’s less harmful than alcohol and/or tobacco, generations of politicians are still making my friend (and millions of others) a criminal.
It’s not just weed, either. The War on Drugs was launched 40+ years ago. And as with all wars, the first casualty is the truth. The media force-feed the public with a diet of misinformation and downright lies. Of the top ten most dangerous drugs in the world, FIVE are legal (barbiturates, alcohol, benzodiazepines, tobacco and buprenorphine). Two of those are legally sold in supermarkets with nothing more than a warning label and an age limit.
Substances such as cannabis and ecstasy don’t even feature in the top ten. But someone (Mr. Asshole’s dad probably) decided that they would ban those substances, while selling and taxing more dangerous products in bars and restaurants.
What if ecstasy were legal? Would that lead to a rise in its use? Possibly – although cigarettes are legal and fewer and fewer people are smoking than ever before. And if it did lead to a rise in its use, what would the negatives be? People would dance and love each other more, drink alcohol and fight each other less.
Cocaine? It’s a Helluva drug according to Rick James. And every day millions of tons of it are insufflated by tens of millions of people all over the world. And virtually every single one of them has a great experience and lives a happy, successful life. Sure there will be some people who abuse it. Some people will get fucked up and die… in exactly the same way that people get fucked up and die from drinking too much alcohol.
“But, Johnny! “ I hear that same whiny bitch start to ask, “If drugs were legal, everyone would take them!” Oh really? So if you could buy heroin at 7/11, you’d go and score heroin? That says more about you than me.
Let’s get something straight…
Nobody in the history of the entire human race ever successfully banned anything… ever. “Shit… I can’t buy any drugs tonight because the police seized them all!” said no-one ever. Anyone can find drugs, anywhere, anytime… IF they want to. I remember being in a doughnut shop in Wisconsin at 2 o’clock in the afternoon. Nothing happens at 2pm in Wisconsin doughnut shops. But I asked a guy who knew a guy, who called another guy and by 3.30pm, I’d scored 3 grams of shitty cocaine from a guy who later played bass with Eddie Van Halen and drove his Porsche off a pier so his spiteful ex-wife couldn’t win it in a divorce. Wait. Just to clarify, it was his Porsche and spiteful ex-wife… Not Eddie Van Halen’s.
Mr. Asshole tried to ban alcohol with prohibition… It didn’t work. It simply made gangsters wealthy. And that’s exactly what’s happening now. Drug dealers are getting rich, because making something that people enjoy illegal, makes it expensive.
Imagine for a second that drugs were legal. Imagine you could go to a REAL Drug Store and buy your gear. What are the downsides? More people would take drugs… Almost certainly. But those drugs would be quality-controlled. Bought from a licensed dealer who must ensure his products are safe and effective. Gangsters wouldn’t be involved in the process at all. Kids would be prevented from even entering these shops. Health warnings and dosage advice could be written on the packaging. And helpful advice about keeping hydrated and not OD-ing printed on posters on the walls.
The drugs would be free from impurities. They would be consistent so people would always know what they were using, rather than guessing. And they would be taxed. And that tax money could be used to educate people of the dangers of drugs abuse. If the war on drugs had never happened, 80,000 Mexicans wouldn’t have been killed. 31 MILLION people in US wouldn’t have been arrested. And people like me would be able to get our kicks without buying products that have to be transported in Nigerian arseholes.
“Johnny, it’ll never happen!” they say. Maybe… But don’t forget that once upon a time, Mr. Asshole decreed that gay men should go to prison. Now look at that law. How ridiculous and unfair it seems. And I can foresee in the not-too-distant future, people saying, “And can you believe they used to jail people for smoking weed?!”
How did those changes come about? A change in people’s perceptions. The truth came out. Being gay didn’t tear apart the fabric of society. Smoking weed isn’t dangerous.
Soon enough, when enough people have realized, there will be pressure brought to bear on Mr. Asshole. Party people (who should have their right to party upheld) will say, “Sensible use of drugs is OK… Nearly everyone who uses drugs has no adverse effects… And SOME people’s lives are actually enhanced by them…” (Bob Marley, John Lennon, Lewis Carrol, Sigmund Freud, Thomas Edison, Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Carl Sagan, Arthur Conan Doyle, Billie Holliday, Pope Leo XIII, Jack Nicholson, Pablo Picasso, Elvis Presley, Sir Walter Scott, Franklin Roosevelt… etc. etc. etc.).
Clearly, there are plenty of people who have no interest in drugs at all. And we shouldn’t expect those guys to support the drive towards legalization (or at least decriminalisation). I wouldn’t expect a teetotaller to vote in favour of 24 hour licensing. But there’s no reason for them to vote against it either. It has no impact on their lives and they have no right to force their moral code upon us, anymore than we drug users should spike their drinks and let them feel what they’ve been missing.
At the end of the day…. (and often the start of the next morning), drugs make a lot of people feel awesome. They enhance a myriad of experiences and provide people with new and exciting perspectives.
And what kind of person would try to prevent complete strangers from feeling awesome? Stop them from partying after 3am? Calling a pig Napoleon? Marrying someone they love? Mr. Asshole – that’s who.
Disclaimer: Johnny Dope’s opinions expressed here represents his own and not those of Bangkok Nightlife. Names, characters, places and incidents either are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental. Bangkoknightlife.com does not encourage buying, selling or using drugs in any way.