Sunday, January 08, 2006

Did Someone Leave The Sewer Entrance Open ?

Revealing though the saga of Ginger McBlackout was, there is a downside to it. Once again, the neo-prohibitionists loonies have been given a chance to pollute the airwaves with their garbage, and their crazed desire to define addiction down to the point where drinking a half of lager shandy is proof positive of mental collapse. Forget all this talk of innocent people going about their daily business and suddenly being suddenly being sucked into a whirlpool of drunken excess - that's just giving people false hope.

That’s the thing that sticks in the throat. While there is no doubt that Kennedy’s boozing did affect his ability to do his job, that’s not the angle many of the prohibs are taking. Nope, the line that’s being pushed is that the mere fact of heavy drinking should exclude him from high office. Need I even mention that You-Know-Who claimed to have taken more out of alcohol than alcohol took out of him ? Lady Thatcher liked her whisky as well. Then again, you can’t read the ‘gatekeeper’ scene from Macbeth and not realise Billy knew his booze. Ditto, when Crick & Watson cracked the secret of DNA they went the pub to celebrate. Hell, human civilisation may well have been founded by drunks. So we have our heroes, while the prohibs are desperately trying to get people to forget who their most famous supporter was, so naturally it follows that being wasted makes you unfit for serous work.

Of course, there are people who really shouldn’t drink and, in fact, I wouldn’t actually encourage anyone to drink. Ben Franklin said that beer was proof that God loves us, and wants us to be happy. You either understand what he meant or you don’t. If you’re in Group II then fine, just toddle off and do whatever you people do. The problem is not with people not drinking, it’s with people who enjoy the benefits of a civilisation built by drunkards, then sanctimoniously denounce HMS Booze and all who sail in her. Hey, we want volunteers not conscripts, but don’t claim that not pitching in is actually a sign of moral supremacy.

It’s enough to make you want to misquote Jack Nicholson:

We live in a world that has problems, and those problems have to be solved by men with booze. Whose gonna do it? You? You, Jenny Tonge ? I have a greater responsibility than you could possibly fathom. You weep for George Best, and you curse the hooch. You have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know. That Best's death, while tragic, was the price he paid for the very creative genius whose loss you mourn. And that my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, is the price of that creativity. You don't want the truth because deep down in places you don't talk about at parties, you want me in the pub, you need me in the pub. We use words like drunk, loaded and wasted. We use these words as the backbone of a life spent making something. You use them as a punchline. I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under a blanket that we provide, then questions the manner in which we provide it. I would rather you just said thank you, and went on your way, Otherwise, I suggest you pick up a six pack, and start going for it. Either way, I don't give a damn what you think you are entitled to, you can buy your own orange juice, you tart!

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