America Has a Drinking Problem

  

Category:  Other

Via:  hallux  •  2 weeks ago  •  48 comments

By:   Kate Julian - The Atlantic

America Has a Drinking Problem
A little alcohol can boost creativity and strengthen social ties. But there’s nothing moderate, or convivial, about the way many Americans drink today.

It is a good article, read it! That's an order.


S E E D E D   C O N T E N T



Few things are more American than drinking heavily. But worrying about how heavily other Americans are drinking is one of them.

The Mayflower landed at Plymouth Rock because, the crew feared, the Pilgrims were going through the beer too quickly. The ship had been headed for the mouth of the Hudson River, until its sailors (who, like most Europeans of that time, preferred beer to water) panicked at the possibility of running out before they got home, and threatened mutiny. And so the Pilgrims were kicked ashore, short of their intended destination and beerless. William Bradford complained bitterly about the latter in his diary that winter, which is really saying something when you consider what trouble the group was in. (Barely half would survive until spring.) Before long, they were not only making their own beer but also importing wine and liquor. Still, within a couple of generations, Puritans like Cotton Mather were warning that a “flood of RUM” could “overwhelm all good Order among us.”


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Hallux
Freshman Principal
1  seeder  Hallux    2 weeks ago

Alas a subdural brain bleed and blood thinners have taken the fun out of my life and I'm down to a TBS of some Scotch like substance when my daughter Sypes me from her local pub.

 
 
 
cjcold
Professor Quiet
1.1  cjcold  replied to  Hallux @1    2 weeks ago

The bees supply me with the basic ingredient for creating the nectar of the gods.

 
 
 
Paula Bartholomew
PhD Guide
2  Paula Bartholomew    2 weeks ago

I stopped drinking when I discovered a funnel.

 
 
 
Hallux
Freshman Principal
2.1  seeder  Hallux  replied to  Paula Bartholomew @2    2 weeks ago

I started drinking when I discovered a funeral.

 
 
 
r.t..b...
Masters Participates
2.1.1  r.t..b...  replied to  Hallux @2.1    2 weeks ago

Woke at a wake...

 
 
 
Paula Bartholomew
PhD Guide
2.1.2  Paula Bartholomew  replied to  Hallux @2.1    2 weeks ago

jrSmiley_10_smiley_image.gif

 
 
 
Gordy327
Professor Principal
2.2  Gordy327  replied to  Paula Bartholomew @2    2 weeks ago
I stopped drinking when I discovered a funnel.

What about an ice luge? 

 
 
 
Veronica
Junior Guide
3  Veronica    2 weeks ago

Very interesting article.

My hubby, my son & I partake when we watch NASCAR races on the TV.  There are certain drivers we drink to when their names or car numbers are mentioned OR if they talk.  There are certain words said by the announcers that we drink to (such as athleticism).  If they show the announcers or they go off on a tangent we drink.  We gulp if one of the chosen drivers bring out a "yellow".  

We also do this when we watch baseball (tje Mets) and football.  Each sport has it's drinking rules.  

We do enjoy our Sundays and it has nothing to do with church.

 
 
 
Hallux
Freshman Principal
3.1  seeder  Hallux  replied to  Veronica @3    2 weeks ago

I did stay at Abbaye Saint-Benoît-du-Lac many years ago, drinking started shortly after morning Gregorian Chants finished ... at breakfast.

 
 
 
Veronica
Junior Guide
3.1.1  Veronica  replied to  Hallux @3.1    2 weeks ago

Can I ask how that stay came about?

 
 
 
Hallux
Freshman Principal
3.1.2  seeder  Hallux  replied to  Veronica @3.1.1    2 weeks ago

I was to be married to a Catholic girl and the priest who was her uncle (who was much later to perform the rite) wanted me checked out. I passed ... the 'marriage fell apart 3 months later. Not all was lost as ever since I have a love of Gregorian Chants and a copious collection of recordings that are must listening whenever I wash the floors.

 
 
 
Veronica
Junior Guide
3.1.3  Veronica  replied to  Hallux @3.1.2    2 weeks ago

Wow.  I also have a love of Gregorian chants (even though I am now a "heathen").  There is something about them that just gets to me - much like Amazing Grace on the bagpipes.

 
 
 
Hallux
Freshman Principal
3.1.4  seeder  Hallux  replied to  Veronica @3.1.3    2 weeks ago

The room in the Abbey was built so that the sound travelled in a circle ... it was the closest I ever came to tinkering with some form of Christianity. 

 
 
 
Veronica
Junior Guide
3.1.5  Veronica  replied to  Hallux @3.1.4    2 weeks ago

Former Catholic here, the one thing I do miss from that period in my life is the music.  Love the chants and some of the hymns.  

 
 
 
Hallux
Freshman Principal
3.1.6  seeder  Hallux  replied to  Veronica @3.1.5    2 weeks ago

Even further back than the wedding noises I would attend Catholic Masses with my girlfriend of the time when they were still delivered in Latin, the switch to English took out all of the mystery that so beguiled.

 
 
 
Veronica
Junior Guide
3.1.7  Veronica  replied to  Hallux @3.1.6    2 weeks ago

My daughter (still Catholic) loves the old Polish church.  They do a mass in Latin and one in Polish.  It is a beautiful old Church.  Not like the barns they build today.

 
 
 
cjcold
Professor Quiet
3.1.8  cjcold  replied to  Veronica @3.1.3    2 weeks ago

Most rhythmic chants are based on breathing and CO2/O2 levels in the blood.

 
 
 
Paula Bartholomew
PhD Guide
3.1.9  Paula Bartholomew  replied to  Veronica @3.1.3    2 weeks ago
even though I am now a "heathen"
I knew there was a reason that I liked you.
 
 
 
JohnRussell
Professor Principal
4  JohnRussell    2 weeks ago

I was alcoholic until my late 30's. 

I know they say once alcoholic always alcoholic but I actually stopped heavy drinking on my own and although I drink a few beers ( 2 or 3) about twice a month or so, I have no problem stopping or even turning it down when offered. 

The passing of years was a big help in that regard. 

 
 
 
cjcold
Professor Quiet
5  cjcold    2 weeks ago

I am half German and Half Irish. Things just go better with beer.

 
 
 
Krishna
Professor Principal
5.1  Krishna  replied to  cjcold @5    2 weeks ago

I myself an half Scotch and half water!

 
 
 
Gordy327
Professor Principal
5.1.1  Gordy327  replied to  Krishna @5.1    2 weeks ago
I myself an half Scotch and half water!

I'll take bourbon, either straight or on the rocks.

 
 
 
cjcold
Professor Quiet
5.1.2  cjcold  replied to  Gordy327 @5.1.1    2 weeks ago

Developed a taste for Irish mist.

 
 
 
Paula Bartholomew
PhD Guide
5.1.3  Paula Bartholomew  replied to  Gordy327 @5.1.1    2 weeks ago

I can't stand whiskey except for Fireballs.

 
 
 
Krishna
Professor Principal
5.1.4  Krishna  replied to  Gordy327 @5.1.1    2 weeks ago

Are you a Southerner?

 
 
 
Gordy327
Professor Principal
5.1.5  Gordy327  replied to  Krishna @5.1.4    2 weeks ago

No.

 
 
 
Gordy327
Professor Principal
5.2  Gordy327  replied to  cjcold @5    2 weeks ago
Things just go better with beer.

This is true. As long as it's German beer. Preferably a dark lager. 

Marinating bratwurst in beer? 

 
 
 
Vic Eldred
Professor Principal
6  Vic Eldred    2 weeks ago

There was a time once, when people took pride in being able to drink a lot and not have it show.

 
 
 
Tessylo
Professor Principal
6.1  Tessylo  replied to  Vic Eldred @6    2 weeks ago

That's nothing to be proud of.

 
 
 
Hallux
Freshman Principal
6.2  seeder  Hallux  replied to  Vic Eldred @6    2 weeks ago

There was a time when a gentleman or a lady knew when to drink as in Nick and Nora Charles.

 
 
 
Vic Eldred
Professor Principal
6.2.1  Vic Eldred  replied to  Hallux @6.2    2 weeks ago

Correct

 
 
 
cjcold
Professor Quiet
6.2.2  cjcold  replied to  Hallux @6.2    2 weeks ago

Nick and Nora were the epitome of style. Dashiell Hammett nailed it.

 
 
 
Hallux
Freshman Principal
6.2.3  seeder  Hallux  replied to  cjcold @6.2.2    2 weeks ago

As did William Powell and Myrna Loy.

 
 
 
cjcold
Professor Quiet
6.2.4  cjcold  replied to  Hallux @6.2.3    2 weeks ago

Ya gotta love it when directors, actors, stunt folk, writers, producers, crew, editors and most importantly the audience are all on the same page.  

 
 
 
JohnRussell
Professor Principal
6.3  JohnRussell  replied to  Vic Eldred @6    2 weeks ago

Back in the day, I had a few friends who could pound them down.  One of my good friends was a 6ft 2" , 250 pound Irishman. He could drink two beers in the bar for everyone else's one. Cost him a lot of money when everyone was taking turns buying rounds. This guy could drink 15 beers in an evening, get in his car and drive home like nothing was happening. Never had an accident and was never pulled over by the cops. 

When I would be visiting at his house on occasion, he had a refrigertor in his basement that had nothing but Miller Lite in it, never less than 6 or 7 cases in there , 365 days a year. 

He was not a slouch either.  He worked two jobs for many years, he was a building engineer for the Chicago Public Schools for many years, and then took a night job as an engineer at the main Chicago water filtration plant.  He was planning to retire with two pensions.  Then he got lung cancer at the age of 59 and was dead less than a year later.  His wife got a hefty settlement from the city because he had been one of the volunteers to remove abestos from the schoolroom ceilings and it turned out that a lot of the guys that did that job came down with lung cancer. 

 
 
 
Vic Eldred
Professor Principal
6.3.1  Vic Eldred  replied to  JohnRussell @6.3    2 weeks ago

I have known quite a few like the one you describe. One of them (also an Irishman) had a long battle with alcohol. His name was Bill. It was only when he was facing jail time/losing his driving license that he decided to do something about it. He joined AA and it cured him somewhat of the drinking issue. However, some say he didn't go though the program properly. You see, he had a unique personality. He could charm people whenever he wanted to. He had that gift. The problem was he seldom did. He enjoyed getting people pissed off. I can always see him at the race track, when somebody would have their paycheck on a horse (we all know that doesn't happen/s). The guy's horse would have a slim lead turning into the stretch, the eyes almost popping out of the guy's head and there would be Bill screaming "look at that horse on the outside, he just won't go away!" Then Bill would insult the waitress somehow or irritate the bartender. Other people I knew would ask "what are you doing sitting with this guy?' "He's gonna get somebody killed!"  I never knew what I should say?

Now I do. He moved to Florida and every year he invites me down for the winter months. I figured it out. I was the only friend he ever had.

 
 
 
JohnRussell
Professor Principal
6.3.2  JohnRussell  replied to  Vic Eldred @6.3.1    2 weeks ago

I suppose my friend was technically an alcoholic, but his heavy drinking never caused him a problem. He had a great wife and three great kids and had two good jobs that he rarely ever took a day off from. He was just one of those freakish people with an incredible tolerance for alcohol. 

My brother wasnt far behind my friend. He is almost 69 years old and can still throw down 10 or 12 beers over the course of an afternoon and evening. He goes on golf trips with his buddies, who all also drink a lot of beer, all over the country three or four times a year, which he can afford to do because about 5 years ago he sold his business to a venture capital company for millions of dollars. 

Some people get drunk on three or four drinks and others can drink 3 or 4 times that with very little effect. 

 
 
 
Vic Eldred
Professor Principal
6.3.3  Vic Eldred  replied to  JohnRussell @6.3.2    2 weeks ago
Some people get drunk on three or four drinks and others can drink 3 or 4 times that with very little effect. 

Yup.

 
 
 
cjcold
Professor Quiet
6.3.4  cjcold  replied to  Vic Eldred @6.3.3    2 weeks ago

BAC, however, stays the same. 

You're still legally drunk even though you've had lots of practice hiding it.

Spent my decades as a farmer/rancher musician, bouncer, bodyguard, martial art student> instructor, paramedic, environmental scientist, and, now a retiree of all of those occupations

Probably drink too much these days as I am retired and no longer have a function.

 
 
 
CMK
Freshman Silent
7  CMK    2 weeks ago

The Drinking age here is 16 but a beer was often presented at much younger ages at meals. Many of our beers have a much higher content than  America. I believe America creates a taboo that is unhealthy by pursuing age restrictions to 21.  Our drinking age is largely ignored and it is presented at social gatherings.

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
Professor Principal
7.1  sandy-2021492  replied to  CMK @7    2 weeks ago
I believe America creates a taboo that is unhealthy by pursuing age restrictions to 21.

Agreed.  It would likely be wiser for young people to drink moderately at home, where they're safe, and where their parents can demonstrate moderation.  Instead, they start drinking (legally, anyway) away at college, among other young people who are inexperienced drinkers, without a safety net.  It's kind of a recipe for binge drinking and other dangerous behaviors, like driving drunk.

 
 
 
Dragon
Freshman Silent
8  Dragon    2 weeks ago

I gave up alcohol almost 10 years ago, was on a healthy kick, also greatly reduced sugar/carbs/meat. Still don't drink alcohol but unfortunately went back to sugar/carbs/meat...there is only so much sacrifice one can make. I do not miss alcohol at all but I wasn't a big drinker to begin with. I am the designated driver when we go out with friends, a good role to have. 

 
 
 
MonsterMash
Sophomore Participates
9  MonsterMash    2 weeks ago

My uncle was a heavy drinker. one day I said " As much as you drink I've never seen you drunk" he laughed and said " You're wrong, you've never seen me sober"

 
 
 
cjcold
Professor Quiet
10  cjcold    2 weeks ago

Ya gotta love it when actors, writers, producers, crew, editors and the audience are all on the same page.  

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
Professor Principal
11  Buzz of the Orient    2 weeks ago

As Bob Hope used to sing...Thanks for the memories.  I never drank that much, never particularly loved to drink beer except for an ice cold one when just coming off of 18 holes of golf on a hot sunny day.  But I did like wines, although I rarely got drunk - just didn't like the feeling of getting drunk.  High on grass was okay buf not on alcohol.  But when I came to China I experienced a drink I knew nothing about, and the first time I tried it I had no idea what it would do to me other than the fact that I had to be almost carried out of the restaurant afterwards.  That drink was Moutai baiju, which is described by some Westerners as "drinking liquid razor blades,"  And you drink it straight - never mix it with anything.  It is 53% alcohol, distilled from fermented sorghum and rice.  However when I discovered that alcoholic drinks were one of the culprits to cause me to have gout (a pain I wouldn't wish on anyone), I gave up alcoholic beverages entirely, and have not even tasted an alcoholic drink for about the last four years, the last one being one beer in a Pizza Hut. 

Want to know what Moutai baiju is all about?  Just read this... 

.

 
 
 
Gordy327
Professor Principal
12  Gordy327    2 weeks ago

"To alcohol! The cause of, and solution to, all of life's problems." --- Homer Simpson

 
 
 
igknorantzrulz
Masters Participates
12.1  igknorantzrulz  replied to  Gordy327 @12    2 weeks ago

ik'll drink to that, and homer, and whatever else comes to mind

 
 
 
Krishna
Professor Principal
13  Krishna    2 weeks ago

Are you a Southerner?

 
 
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