Whether you’re a weird, skeevy guy in an ailing ska band, or a 70-year-old barrister who likes to demolish a few cheeky cab savs on a Saturday, everyone seems to agree that Sydney’s lockout laws are both a draconian pain in the arse and also the work of the devil (praise his name) himself.
From all appearances, the laws are destroying Sydney’s night life and taking out a bunch of its treasured venues at the same time. Obviously, alcohol related violence is a serious problem, but it seems like the lockout laws aren’t the best way to address it, so we’ve come up with some alternatives.
Now, I may not have had no formal education, but I’m pretty certain it would be difficult for violence to be fuelled by alcohol if it was impossible to get your grabbers on alcohol.
It’d be a rough adjustment period, as we became accustomed to being our regular hyper-anxious selves, but completely sober, as we sipped tap water and swapped pleasantries in terrible-smelling venues that charged $15 for a bowl of chips, but on the plus side, we probably wouldn’t be drinking our body weight in rum and coke and glassing each other.
I didn’t really do any research, but it’s pretty safe to assume that during past prohibition, absolutely no-one managed to get their hands on alcohol and everyone just sort of quietly accepted their new, inhibitionist lives as non-drinkers, who peacefully committed no crimes and said “sir” and “madam” to all of their elders.
Mandatory pillow suits
As the government’s extensive awareness campaign has shown us, one punch can kill, unless of course that punch is delivered by a fist wrapped in huge fluffy pillows. It doesn’t really matter how much you drink: if your entire body is wrapped in thick cushions, it’s hard to inflict violence on other people.
Instead of trying to punch the teeth off the guy who spilled your drink, you end up starting a series of highly enjoyable pillow fights with similarly armoured strangers, to the amusement and joy of everyone around you.
Not only will the bars be able to continue serving patrons for the hours beyond the lockout laws, but the Australian silly straw industry will experience a massive boom, as punters try to find ways to successfully get drinks into their mouths without the use of their hands or arms.
Everyone gets a cop
The number of patrons and the large area over which the nightlife is distributed means it’s difficult for police to respond in a timely fashion to alcohol-related incidents. But all that could change if we assigned one policeman to every person out drinking in an entertainment precinct. It’s difficult to escape the long arm of the law when he or she is literally at arm’s length, watching your every move.
Although costly, the measure would have other benefits. For instance: have you ever wanted to be best friends with a cop? Probably not, but I mean if you’re really desperate, you’re going to be spending a lot of time with this lawperson, so it’s probably an opportunity to make a friend for life.
I didn’t bother watching the movie of that name, because I value my time and I have a sixth sense for when something is going to occupy about an hour and a half of it with something objectively wasteful.
But from what I gathered, the plot of The Purge is that in a future dystopia, everyone is given 24 hours a year when crime is legal and people get their violent urges out, miraculously creating a utopian, peaceful society for the rest of the year. My gut tells me the science on this is solid.
Instead of one or two violent incidents on Friday or Saturday nights every weekend, we could have a single day each year dedicated to insane mayhem and bloodshed, where graphic designers in clown masks can run around with machetes doing cathartic revenge murder on everyone, because that one guy at their job keeps saying “intensive purposes”.
I urge Mike Baird to stop this business-destroying nonsense and instead consider some of the common sense solutions offered above, before Sydney becomes a hellish, overpriced urban nightmare where no-one wants to party, instead of just a hellish, overpriced urban nightmare.
If we are forced to continue dealing with the lockout laws, I recommend turning the entire city into a casino, providing an all-through-the-night party experience, while regular bars are shutting down because they have to shoo their customers out at sunset.
Apparently casinos are entirely exempt from the lockout laws, maybe because casinos are fun, or just maybe because the government makes huge amounts of money on gambling industry taxes.