Just watched the president’s statement on the Oregon shootings. He was righteously, and rightfully, pissed. Then I checked Facebook. One of my gun-nut “friends” said Obama will do anything to score political points, and the clear answer is for everyone to go around armed, because shooters choose gun-free zones, blah blah blah bullshit bullshit bullshit.
Yeah, unfollowed that guy. Don’t need to hear that today.
As the week of the drinking project draws to a close, I’ve been thinking? ‘Bout drinking. Our magazine is policy-focused, but as I said in a radio interview yesterday, extreme college drinking is not a policy problem, at least not wholly. It’s cultural. I’m not sure what caused it, if anything caused it. I talked to one dean who said the modern era of blackout drinking started with “Animal House.” I said, “But that movie was about an earlier era of campus drinking,” and she essentially shrugged. Who knows? Most people my age who were lucky enough to have the traditional college-as-sleepaway-camp experience probably drank beer, and only beer. We were out to get hammered, yes, but there was a certain act-like-you’ve-been-there-before mood in the room. If you barfed, you’d gone too far. These days, I think barfing is the point. Puke and rally! There’s a phrase I learned this year.
If you haven’t checked out the I’m Shmacked YouTube channel, you really should. These videos keep getting better; check out the one from Florida Central University and tell me that doesn’t look like the most fun school in the world (with lots of great, shakin’ booties). Who wouldn’t want to go there and party with all those fine booties? Universities can’t compete with this. So what’s the answer?
I’d start with lowering, yes lowering, the drinking age. Phase in a new threshold of 19, say. It’ll be a rapprochement, of sorts, with kids. How do you make someone trustworthy? Trust them. Who doesn’t think that part of the problem is that we make alcohol this ridiculous, forbidden fruit for 20 years, 364 days, 23 hours and 59 minutes? Then one…more…minute and WHOA 21 SHOTS FOR YOUR 21ST, DUDE. I’ve been letting Kate have a glass of wine with Thanksgiving dinner and other occasions for a couple years now. Of course, it can’t be when she will ever drive a car, because if she’s stopped and breathalyzed, if she blows a whisker over.00, she loses her license.
Bottom line: We can’t treat the most popular and pervasive mind-altering drug in the country like crack cocaine on one side of the line, and like ambrosia on the other.
But I’m already sick of talking about this. I want to enjoy the weekend, eat a taco or three, chillax. Think I will. Hope you will, too. Let’s all join hands and think good thoughts for my young friend Dustin, who’s getting his gall bladder out today, too. All together now: Ommmmmmm.