Category Archives: Soapbox Tuesdays


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Kincavel Korner

Soapbox Tuesdays – Boxing

I’ll be clear right from the start – I do not like boxing. I do not consider it a sport.

Let’s face it, if you were to go out into the street and start punching someone in the face and torso repeatedly, the police would most likely get involved. People would be charged with all manner of offences including GBH, assault, and generally causing a disturbance.

So why is it any different when two boxers step into the ring?

Why is the law suspended simply because two people are surrounded on four sides by rope, with people cheering and a bell ringing to mark off 3-minute intervals?

The object of this so-called sport is to beat your opponent so badly that they fall to the ground, possibly unconscious, and are unable to get up to defend themselves any longer. Does that sound like fun? If it happened to you on the street, would you consider it sporting if your attacker stopped once you couldn’t get up again?

From Wikipedia:

Knocking a person unconscious or even causing concussion may cause permanent brain damage. There is no clear division between the force required to knock a person out and the force likely to kill a person. Since 1980, more than 200 amateur boxers, professional boxers and Toughman fighters have died as the result of ring or training injuries.Thus, in 1983, the Journal of the American Medical Association called for a ban on boxing.

It seems to me, this is the last of the gladiatorial “sports”, with the masses baying for blood and betting on one man’s ability to knock another man senseless, possibly causing brain damage (among other more visible, injuries). I cannot understand why, in this modern and supposedly enlightened age, this barbarity continues when it is nothing short of legalised brutality.

I’d be interested in hearing your point of view, whether you agree or disagree. Please leave a comment below and, if you post on your own blog, please leave a link to your Soapbox Tuesdays post!

Soapbox Tuesdays – Christmas Commercialism

Christmas comes but once a year, but you’d be forgiven for thinking it was more than just one day – more like several months!

I am not remotely religious and do not celebrate Christmas as a religious holiday. For me, it’s about spending time with friends and family, exchanging a few gifts and having a nice meal together. I’ll be honest; I love giving and getting gifts (who doesn’t?), but I’m certain I can’t be the only one who feels rather jaded by the tim ethe Bog Day rolls around.

The reason for this is the early promotion of all things Christmas.

I remember reading months ago that one store (I believe it was Harrods) had put up a Christmas display IN AUGUST. Forgive me if I sound a bit Scroogey, but August? That’s four months before Christmas. That’s still the summer. The kids are all still on their long holiday from school. Who wants to be thinking about Christmas in August?

A friend of mine posted on Facebook the other day that it must be Christmas because she’d just seen the Christmas Coca Cola advert on the television. My American friends haven’t even celebrated Thanksgiving yet, but here in the UK, it’s Christmas already.

Personally, I don’t think any Christmas-related products should be sold in shops before 1st December. No Christmas compilation albums being pumped through the sound systems until we’ve entered the twelfth month of the year. No Christmas trees up; no decorations; no crackers or bells; no stockings, cards or gift-wrap before November is out.

I once quit a job at The Sweater Shop because of Christmas music. The CD got stuck on the same song (Christmas Rapping by The Waitresses) for the best part of an hour and it literally drove me nuts. I handed in my name tag and told the manager I was leaving, never to return. It was still November and I had been hired for the festive season. I will never be able to set foot in another Sweater Shop as long as I live. I think the company is no more, so, thankfully, I’ll never have to face that possibility. I also still feel physically ill whenever I hear that song.

I feel sick when I see Christmas being promoted even before we’ve reached Halloween. But then, I’ve noticed they start getting in the Valentine’s Day Cards and Easter Eggs as soon as Christmas is over too.

Please, can’t we just have a shorter run-up to the holiday season so we don’t all get Christmassed out and turn into humbugs?

I’d be interested in hearing your point of view, whether you agree or disagree. Please leave a comment below and, if you post on your own blog, please leave a link to your Soapbox Tuesdays post!

Soapbox Tuesdays – Smoking

Last week, there was an article on Yahoo News with the headline Going for a smoke? Don’t forget to clock out, and I have to admit, it raised a big smile from me!

I’m really glad that Breckland Council has taken the step to do away with “free” cigarette breaks and hope that all places of work will follow suit because it’s something that has gone on for far too long. Let’s look at the numbers, shall we?

Let’s be generous and say our example smoker works full-time and takes four cigarette breaks during his working day (excluding lunch and designated breaks). Let’s say he takes 5 minutes to smoke his cigarette, but also add 5 minutes for him to get to the designated smoking spot and then back to his desk.

That’s 4 breaks x 10 minutes = 40 minutes.

He has a 5-day working week, so that’s 5 days x 40 minutes = 200 minutes (which is 3 hours 20 minutes) every week.

Lets say he has 8 weeks holiday, so he’s working 44 weeks per year. That’s 44 weeks x 200 minutes = 8800 minutes per year = 146 hours 40 minutes.

Divide that by his working days (8 hours per day) and you have 18 1/3rd days spent smoking whilst at work! And all that time, his non-smoking colleagues are still working…

But it’s not just the smoking breaks that bugs me. SInce the ban came in on smoking in public buildings, it’s been a lot nicer for non-smokers who can now go to the pub without coming hom stinking of cigarette smoke, but I hate having to walk through billowing clouds of smoke as people stand outside buildings to have their cigarette breaks – often holding them at a level that is just right for hitting a small child in the face as they toddle down the street or are in their pushchairs. I also hate being stuck behind several smokers walking down the street – I can barely breathe for choking and if they’re walking two or three abreast, it’s impossible to get past them on the pavement. If the road is busy, there’s no way round them at all. Both my child and I are stuck breathing their second-hand smoke till they respond to my “excuse me, please”.

So here’s what I’d love to see – no smoking on the streets at all. Smoke in the comfort of your own homes, in your car, and in designated smoking spots, but not right on the street where the rest of us have to walk through it. I really hope that’s the way things are headed!

I’d be interested in hearing your point of view, whether you agree or disagree. Please leave a comment below and, if you post on your own blog, please leave a link to your Soapbox Tuesdays post!

Soapbox Tuesdays – Alcohol vs. Class A Drugs

Yesterday, I came across an article on Yahoo News with the headline Alcohol ‘more dangerous than heroin’ and  I just have to comment on  it for my first Soapbox Tuesday.

You see, I actually agree that alcohol is more dangerous than Class A drugs.

Yes, I know that you can (and most likely will) become addicted to heroin after taking it just once, whereas most people do not become alcoholics, so the issue here is not necessarily one of the likelihood of becoming addicted (although I’m sure nobody will disagree with the statement that one may become addicted to either), but in terms of long-term effects, I really do believe that alcohol is the more dangerous drug.

From the article:

His [Professor David Nutt] team analysed how addictive a drug is and how it harms the human body as well as other factors like environmental and socio-economic costs, such as health care, social services, and prison.

They found heroin, crack cocaine and methamphetamine, or crystal meth, to be the most lethal to individuals.

When considering their wider social effects, alcohol, heroin and crack cocaine were the most dangerous. But overall, alcohol outranked all other substances, followed by heroin and crack cocaine. Marijuana, ecstasy and LSD scored far lower.

Marking substances from zero to 100 based on their criteria, alcohol scored 72 overall, compared to 55 for heroin and 54 for crack.

Now, I will hasten to point out that I do occasionally drink alcohol, although these days, not very often and not very much, but I’ve had possibly more than my fair share of drinks in my lifetime, and I’m not disputing anyone’s right to have a drink, in a pub or club or in the comfort of their own home, but please bear with me…

Above, in brief, are some of the short- and long-term effects of heroin on the body (pinched from Wikipedia). I’ll also add to that the well-known fact that you can die from an overdose the very first time you use it…

… the same can be said of alcohol!

Yup, you can overdose on alcohol to the extent that you get alcohol poisoning and die as a result. I’m also willing to bet that if you injected alcohol into your veins, you’ll be dead pretty quickly too.

But that isn’t the only danger where alcohol is concerned. How many people do you know would shoot up and then get behind the wheel of a car? Now think again, how many people you know who will have a drink or two and then drive home from the pub. Fair enough, they might be below limit, but the drug is still in their system and reducing their effectiveness while in control of that vehicle. Go a step further – I’m sure many of us know someone who has driven a car while over the limit, whether by a little or a lot. Not all of those people will be involved in an accident, but many will. Those who do risk killing themselves – and others.

And then there are all those incidences of people who, with a few drinks in them, become very handy with their fists. You know the ones – they lose their temper more easily and it flares up to the point where they’re swinging punches. Or picking up blunt objects and hitting someone with them. Or a broken bottle. Or a knife.

One hears countless news stories of those who have brutally beaten and/or killed while under the influence of alcohol. Funnily enough, I don’t think I can recall many such stories of heroin-users doing that whilst under the influence of their drug of choice.

I’d be interested in hearing your point of view, whether you agree or disagree. Please leave a comment below and, if you post on your own blog, please leave a link to your Soapbox Tuesdays post!