Tuesday, December 02, 2003

You Don't Have to be Drunk to Be Stupid

The Register has reached a new low. What's worse than blindly liberal, anti-Bush and annoying political drivel? Let’s try, mindless and insipid puritanical, crypto-prohibitionist drivel.

John Gaps III's Effects of alcohol come in all shapes and sizes is a content-free nanny piece of the sixth order. It goes on for paragraphs and says nothing at all. Some lowlights:

So lets get to the point. Alcohol is a legal substance that is so powerful that it is worshiped and vilified in the same breath. A couple ounces can change lives in the eternal sense. Where cigarette smoking is bad in an incremental, lifelong destructive way, alcohol consumption is like spinning the big roulette wheel of fate, which is not unlike putting your hands on the steering wheel after a drink or three.

Mr. Gaps... you have no point. Ooohhh... it's powerful. Oooohhh... it's worshiped and vilified. Ooohhh... changes life in the eternal sense. Ooohh... big roulette wheel of fate. Come on. Don't want to drink Mr. Gaps... then don't. No one should get behind the wheel drunk. But Gaps makes having a drink sound like Russian Roulette. Back off Mr. Hyperbole man.

Alcohol is something you pay for twice, the price of it on the shelf and cost to your health and well being afterward. If you're lucky, you get a minor headache, a little less cash in your wallet and maybe a couple of things left undone before you passed out. The major costs can be mammoth. The destruction of your life and the lives of others.

Jeez... from just a few cocktails? Man, are you sure you're not talking about crack cocaine? Mr. Gaps (gaps in memory...?), do you pass out every time you drink? Perhaps you should indeed refrain.

All of us, "adults" and underage adults, have to make a decision about alcohol and its role in our lives. For a young adult, it means avoiding situations with alcohol, period.

"Underage adults"...??? What the hell are they? Oxymoron alert!!! Yep... I think that 18-21 year olds should avoid all contact with alcohol. Then on the 21st birthday they should go absolutely nuts -- Yeehaw!!!

There are several of things going on here that Mr. Gaps (Gaps in judgment?) glosses over in this preachy piece of editorial fluffage.

We have to make a decision about the age of majority in this country. Let's pick an age... 18...? Fine. 21...? Fine. 19...? (this age makes sense to me and would get most kids out of high school before the age of majority) Fine. Let's decide on one and stick to it. What we're telling young adults is that: hey... you get to have all of the responsibilities of adulthood and none of the privileges. It's bullshit. Kids are NOT stupid. They KNOW it's hypocrisy. And, speaking of hypocrisy…

We baby boomers are tremendous hypocrites when it comes to our kids. Yeah, we had a great time in our teenage and early twenties… BUT NOT OUR CHILDREN!!! Oh yeah…? Guess again buckwheat. You think that your kids are not going to drink and (heaven forefend!!!) smoke pot by the time they are 19 or so? Most of you are living in a dream world.

Of course we "adults" are not without blame. We generally treat our children well enough that, at some point, they want to please us. They do so by emulating us. Mom buckles her seat belt, and the child sitting beside her makes the satisfying click of his own restraint for praise. "Buckle up for safety" was the campy tagline in our 1980s minivan. What about Dad walking around with a beer or mixed drink in hand every evening?

This is another “argument” that attempts to influence (a small step from regulating) adult behavior with a plea “for the children”. Fie on it. What about those of us that try to provide a role model of responsible use?

Let's sum up: According to Mr. Gaps (gaps in logic?) You drink... you pass out... you die.

So what's the answer? I really don't know.

You’re right Mr. Gaps… you don’t. But that did not stop you from blathering on for a full column.


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