Tuesday, 9 November 2010

The Demon Drink

In this age of what I have heard described as 'body fascism' to defend the consumption of alcohol at a level beyond the rather feeble levels 'set' by 'authorities' such as the British Medical Association is unfashionable. By the way, of all the people that I have dealt with in my life, I have never come across a group with more out-and-out, hopeless and reckless drunkards than the medical profession: one that I can think of used to have so much to drink, on a daily basis, that help was needed to get her into a cab which was to take her to the train station and so back to home and beauty, after a drive, at the other end, in her large Mercedes.

However, back to my onions - or is it sheep - George W Bush admitted to alcoholism, the American people did not think that this disqualified him from being their President and he did what he had to do. Charles Kennedy, on the other hand, sometime leader of the Liberal Democratic party in the UK, was caught napping a couple of times, after the habitual over-indulgence in the Parliamentary bars (which is as generally traditional as the over-indulgence to be witnessed in the bars frequented by the legal profession in central London) and, for being caught,was censured by other, more purse-lipped, Scotch members, and then got the heave-ho plus many lectures from various, self-righteous journalists (another group renowned for their liking for the products of the grain and the grape), on the perils of the Demon Drink.

For my own part, with Omar Khayyam:

"I often wonder what the vintners buy
One half so precious as the goods they sell."

I doubt whether many great people would have been the same without their addictions: from Tallulah Bankhead to Winston Churchill and from F E Smith to John Huston. What a pale little age we live in, populated by bullies and the bullied, because the kill-joys have taken control.

But they are not taking control of me.

Today's picture is of a bottle of over-proof, pre-1915-French-ban Absinthe, courtesy of oxygenee.com.


  1. Henry Kissenger said that the greatest thing to happen in the 20th century was AA

    I think that the charisma of addiction to alcohol is a little dated now - but certainly I have heard it said many many times that alcoholics are often very very talented people. They will acheive great things but invariably at a cost to those around them. Usually I think their children, their partners and their work colleagues suffer and end up covering, hiding, boosting and in the end caring or rejecting the active alcoholic.

    We all have individual choices to make about the way we live and have fun. The big problem with alcoholics in responsible positions is that their addictions can and do affect the people they are supposed to be making decisions about. If the essence of being a professional is making decisions then a drunken decision is worrying to say the least.

    Cultural shifts away from addictive substances is okay isnt it? The reality is though that that shift is not represented accurately. As you will know there is a monumental shift amongst all social groups to illegal drug taking; a huge dependence in the country on prescribed crap for "depression" and an awful lot of binge drinking amongst the young. Those things lead to huge social problems; crime, offending to feed habits, premature death, and an entire army of citizens who are spaced out on the good doctor's prescrips.

    I think that choosing as I do not to drink alcohol is okay. I am happy doing that. I had fun in other ways. Mostly through doing things in sobriety I never dreamed of doing when I was a drinker on a daily basis. You know, seriously, I mean more concerts, walks, theatre, travel, reading and simply being alone. Not being uncomfortable at being myself.

    I am going to give up the fags next; maybe!!!!!!!!!!


  2. The world could have done without Henry Kissinger more than it could have done without Tallulah Bankhead; Winston Churchill; F E Smith, and John Huston - in fact, it might be in a better state without Henry Kissinger - but - Hell - each to his own.

  3. PS Don't give up the fags - little tubes of joy! (according to old Pottter - another good socialist).