Wednesday, April 11, 2007

The case for boycotting alcohol

I've not posted on my potential boycotts for simply ages. Some people may think this is so I can go on swilling coke after coke whilst munching on a never ending stream of Big Macs and Chicken McNuggets. These are the kind of people at whom I shake my head with a world weary resignation. I pity you, I really do.

But now it's the time to make my most controversial suggestion. Perhaps I should become tea total. Entirely. Not allowing another single drop of alcohol to pass my thirsty lips, no matter how hot and tired.

Just say no
I could argue a case against alcohol that included the social harm it can do. Violent crimes and belligerent behaviour - when taking place outside of boardrooms and cabinet offices - are often linked directly to the consumption of alcohol for example. Except of course *my* alcohol example has never been linked to any such thing. I far prefer to fight sober.

I could mention the physical damage alcohol does to its consumer, which is far greater than that done by those drugs deemed too dangerous to be stocked on supermarket shelves. But that road, alas, leads to the abolition of greasy spoons, late night Double Deckers and/or simple indolence, and this would never do. I shall not be boycotting any of these!

I think the reasons why I'm willing to put it to the public vote that I simply stop drinking alcohol are three fold;

i) I don't need it

As an experiment the other night I went to a party in the full knowledge I was not going to allow any intoxicants to enter my system. I had a better time than I would have had if I'd been drinking, I stayed up later and danced much more.

Whilst others were smashing themselves on the head with mugs (why?) or pouring champagne (of all things) all over the floor in a reckless disregard for all and sundry I was simply having a good time.

This is not a one off.

ii) It's too expensive

For the poverty stricken getting wasted is a big deal. By opting out of the alcohol system and sticking to water, coke and coffee I have both a cheaper evening and a far more civilised one. All well and good.

iii) All my stupidities will be my fault

There will not be a single occasion when I can blame the booze. If I feel like dancing like a mad man it's because i want to - not because I'm pissed. If I want to get in a fist fight or proclaim undying love it's because it's my option to behave like a prat not because I was forced into it.

It's also possible these occasions may occur less frequently which may also be advantageous.

So that's my proposal - that when (eventually) I come to end of my list of things to boycott and it's put to the public vote it's quite possible it will put paid to my drinking days. Cheers.


Renegade Eye said...

I don't drink alcohol.

Dave said...

Jim, that sounds like a resoundingly stupid idea.

Alan Howe said...

"in vino veritas" or "Reality is an illusion caused by alcohol deficiency" - bog wall, Newcastle University, 1970.

Daniel S. Ketelby said...

Alcohol = good servant but lousy master???

Good luck with the boycott if you go ahead with it. I gave up alcohol last Lent (2006), partly in solidarity with societal damage caused by alcohol; it was an interesting, worthwhile exercise, but I went back to social drinking.

I'm writing from a faith position, and obviously there's a multivalent attitude to alcohol in Christianity. On the one hand, the symbolism of wine as Jesus' blood in Communion, and Jesus' first miracle according to one of the Gospels being the transformation of water into wine at a wedding feast. On the other, an ethic of stewardship which implies that whatever gifts and talents you have, you've been given for a reason, and the duty to avoid anything that imperils that (such as addiction to drink, drugs, gambling, porn or anything else).

Phugebrins said...

Are there any good reasons for alcohol? Perhaps there are, I don't know, but I've never been able to imagine why anyone would actually want to drink so I never have.

RichardSkween said...

Have pity on those who do not have the choice!

AN said...

As a historical anecdote on this subject, it is notewrthy that a temperance organisation led by Bob Stewart was one of the founding organiations of the communist party.

When most of the CP's leadershipp was arrested foor sedition in 1925(?) Stewart was the most senior person in line, and became general secretary, having had no experience as a militant, except for campaigning against the demon drink.

So when the CP went into the generla stike, the leadership were teetotal campaigners. The disastrous slogan, "All power to the General Council" (of the TUC) was issued in cold sobriety.

Draw your own conclusions.

(BTW this is 100% true, but rarely remarked upon fact of labour histiry)

Sean said...

My God Jim, you're starting to sound like a real misery!

I'm not a drinking man myself these days - my tipple of choice is grapefruitjuice and soda thank you very much - but on the rare occasions on which I do sup of the grape it is an enormously enjoyable experience. How about only drinking occasionally, and then not enough to get pissed?

I know its very boring, but over the last forty five years or so I have been a heavy drinker and a non drinker, and I have found from experience that being a very moderate drinker is far more pleasurable (and healthy) than either of those alternatives.

So cheer up!

Dave Marlow said...

This is uncanny how so many leftists don't drink, myself included. I don't pass any judgment on those who do, so long as it's responsible... But my reasoning is very similar to yours, Jim. Excellent post, certainly a bold move also.

Jim Jay said...

Another historical anecdote when old Chartist veterans had an anniversery celebration (1888 I think) it was booked in a temperance hall and the old war horses rioted because they couldn't drink.

to sean, i think if it meant being miserable I wouldn't not drink if you see what i mean - its just in the last few weeks of not drinking I'm probably having *more* fun rather than less.

Paul said...

Yes, come on Jim: cheer up. few things in life are more pleasurable than a pint of good beer in a good pub with good friends. Orange juice? Pah.

Alcoholic drinks are some of Mankind's most wondrous achievements: and sorely needed in these times of increasing misery. Plus I think we've all had enough of well-meaning people regulating our habits for our own good.

If anything needs to be reined in its the age-old tendency of leftists to ban things for the good of the masses. Do you want Gillian McKeith as Prime Minister? Thought not. get down the pub and get a pint of Theakstons in your hand. teetotalism is for zealots, and zealots are scary.

Anonymous said...

Hello. And Bye.