Endless Hangover: Everybody drink and go home

Just don’t go home mad.Booze has been marketed forever as a high impact spirit , designed to get you real inebriated, in fact quite drunk, and the faster the better.If people actually drank responsibly, the companies themselves would be seriously impaired. There is a certain appreciation at the higher end of the price scale, say in the connoisseur and rarefied strata of  single malt scotches and certain cognacs, but for the most part the idea is basic mathematics: volume X %alcohol X time elapsed. In other words getting drunk as a performance sport. That means, to invoke the principle of non-benign, or potentially non benign consumption and all its volatile potentials and pitfalls.One could say it about the destination and not the voyage, of being, but not being in the present…

". The vagabond of the poem is portrayed, of course, as Chaplin’s famous drunken tramp, belching, staggering, and stumbling as he downs drinks and imparts his weepy tale. "...http://www.boozemovies.com/2010/03/review-face-on-bar-room-floor-1914.html

“The Face on the Bar Room Floor was Chaplin’s first attempt at parody, satirizing a popular Hugh Antoine d’Arcy poem of the same name. The poem, which was well known to 1914 audiences, relays the story of a vagabond who enters a saloon and begs drinks off the barflies in exchange for telling the tale of how he was laid low. According to the drifter’s story, he was once a great artist, but he turned to drink after the girl he loved ran off with a fair-haired youth. After relaying the narrative, the vagabond sketches a picture of his beloved on the floor of the bar and falls upon it dead.”…

Read More:http://www.boozemovies.com/2010/03/review-face-on-bar-room-floor-1914.html

Despite the realization that alcohol is a drug and a depressant, it retains a central role in American culture. Alcohol is said to “cue”  the transition from work-time to playtime ; in this context, alcohol is a suitable symbolic vehicle for the ritual transition from work to play because “it is already segregated and separated from work, it is an index to the appearance of a night-time attitude”, in addition to charged symbolic meanings.  Alcohol is associated with”time-out”, with recreation, festivity, fun, spontaneity and the dissolution of hierarchy: it “possesses a meaning in contrast to organized work.” Thus the stop off at a bar on the way home from work, institutionalized (and commercialized) as the ‘cocktail hour’ or”happy hour”, or the drink taken immediately on crossing the threshold of the home, “embodies the symbolism of a time period between work and leisure . …

"The film, set in the early 1900’s, stars Rogers as Doctor John Pearly, a dealer of extremely alcoholic patent medicine. Doc decides to give up the booze-pushing business and buys a rundown steamboat, which he fixes up with the help of an engineer (Francis Ford) who is addicted to Pearly’s potent brew. Pearly bets his fixed-up tub against the best steamboat on the Mississippi in a winner-take-all race, but he gets sidetracked when his nephew Duke (John McGuire) is sentenced to hang for murder. With the help of Duke’s betrothed, Fleety Belle (Anne Shirley), Doc searches the river for the one witness who can prove that Duke isn’t guilty, a prohibitionist preacher who calls himself “The New Moses.” Can Doc and Fleety Belle save Duke from execution in time to win the big steamboat race? What do you think?" http://www.boozemovies.com/search/label/Reviews

There is no doubt that heavy marketing establishes thirst, preferably as indiscriminate as possible, and maximum consumption without tippling over into increased regulation. Its easy tax money for governments. Beyond that, there is a certain ethos that we are drinking the country, or part of its aura, when we down, say a Glenlivet, or a Canadian Club. But when the image is less …

“One unknown genius invented a ritual involving a shot glass, a salt lick and a lime wedge, which had the dual benefits of promoting heavy consumption while masking the bone-rattling bad taste of many tequilas on the market. Pop culture did its part too: U.S. newspapers carried accounts of tequila-fueled deviance in Mexico, and Billboard hits like the 1958 pop number Tequila by The Champs evoked the drink’s allegedly hallucinogenic effects…. There have been attempts to bring Tequila in from the saloon and over to the drawing room, but the process seems bewitched by an identity trap and crude national stereotypes that have imposed themselves on the back of  the very divisive illegal immigration issue and the low income status common among first generation citizens. Also the imagery of the drug war has lent a whole urgency to the act of imbibing tequila.

"The second half of the short consists of the aftermath of an evening of drunken debauchery. Charlie and several of his work companions stagger out of the “Bachelor’s Club” and say their goodbyes before heading for home. This includes bickering over world affairs, a chorus of “Sweet Adeline,” getting tangled up in each others coats, and confusing Charlie’s cane for an umbrella. When it at last the men part, Charlie is so lubricated that he mistakenly hops on a lunch wagon, taking it for his streetcar home. This extended drunk sequence proves that, even after producing dozens of booze-fueled short subjects, Chaplin still found intoxication to be one of the most reliable themes from which to develop original comedy." http://www.boozemovies.com/search/label/Reviews?updated-max=2010-09-24T22%3A33%3A00-05%3A00&max-results=20

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“Then, over the summer, pop star Justin Timberlake

e=mobile"> got into the act, directing a nonsensical commercial for his own 901 Tequila brand that featured a skimpily attired woman and concluded with an inference of oral sex. Around the same time, the cable TV show Entourage featured a multi-episode storyline centered on the new Avion Tequila brand that involved alcohol abuse and a porn star.

But even without those hi-jinks, tequila may have trouble rising above its residual reputation. Because while Scotch marketers can evoke the Scottish highlands and suggest that drinkers could enjoy the single malt spirit while working their way through, say, the oeuvre of poet Robbie Burns, Mexico’s reputation abroad carries a whole other basket of (sometimes negative) cultural associations.” ( Simon Houpt )

"Even in societies where only one alcoholic beverage is available, such as palm wine among the Lele of Zaire, a weaker, sweeter version, Mana ma piya, is considered suitable for women, while Mana ma kobo, described as ‘strong’ and ‘fierce’, is a man’s drink (Ngokwey, 1987). This literal association of the qualities of men’s and women’s beverages with ‘masculine’ and ‘feminine’ attributes is also a near-universal phenomenon. ‘Feminine’ drinks are often weaker, sweeter, softer or less ‘pure’ than their ‘masculine’ counterparts (Freund, 1986;Gefou-Madianou’s, 1992; Papagaroufali,1992; Purcell, 1994; Macdonald, 1994; Nahoum-Grappe, 1995). Where female drinking is particularly deplored but nonetheless occurs, alcoholic beverages consumed by women are often conveniently granted a sort of honorary ‘non-alcoholic’ status, such that their consumption does not count as ‘drinking’ (McDonald, 1994; Purcell, 1994)."http://pzrservices.typepad.com/vintageadvertising/2008/10/index.html

Read More: http://m.theglobeandmail.com/news/arts/leah-mclaren/go-on-get-famous-youll-be-the-envy-of-idiots-everywhere/article1861598/?service=mobile

Most studies support the notion that drinking is more “socialized” in some cultures than in others. That is, in Western nations where alcohol is consumed as wine, probably more often in integrated social settings such as meals and religious ceremonies, and also cafes where family members of both genders and different ages participate rather than in settings devoted exclusively to drinking- such as male-dominated bars-, alcohol use is behaviorally benign. There is less acting out of the type labeled as loss-of-control drinking that provides the grounds for large-scale alcoholism treatment. Beer consumption and a Temperance tradition are, indeed, the best predictors in a powerfully predictive model of AA membership.The potential consequences of alcohol are no laughing matter, yet the enjoyment by many is deeply rooted.  Culture remains the primary force shaping both the way alcohol is used and the consequences of its use in a given society. The alcohol companies are experts on deconstructing and operationalizing the pervasive influence of culture on drinking.

---“Drinking tequila quickly is a very classed, racialized mode of consumption, one that is not taking anything seriously. It’s about the after-effects and not the moment, not about savouring taste. “I can’t tell you the number of people who tell me, ‘Oh, when I got drunk on tequila, it was so different.’ Well, that’s all a social construction. That’s part of a fantasy that the consumer wants to have. There is no different psychotic special effect tequila has.”---http://www.lovelyish.com/709131713/risque-advertising-really-sucks/

“Sarita Gaytan says the issue is deeply thorny, and tied up in notions of Mexican masculinity, colonialism, and even the suppression by Mexican leaders of the country’s indigenous population. “There are embedded ideas we have about tequila being cheap, being something you drink quickly – not to be savoured, and I think that’s very much related to how Americans understand and see Mexico,” says Ms. Gaytan, a faculty fellow at New York University who is currently writing a book tracing the cultural history of tequila. “Yes, that image travels to Canada, Australia, and Europe, but it comes out of the particular relationship between the U.S. and Mexico.” She argues that tequila has long been promoted to Americans as a way of “consuming Mexicanness.” ( houpt)

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“Preference for high-status beverages may be an expression of aspirations, rather than a reflection of actual position in the social hierarchy. Drinking practices, as Douglas (1987) reminds us, are often used to “construct an ideal world” or, in Myerhoff’s terms, as ‘definitional ceremonies’ through which people enact not only “what they think they are” but also “what they should have been or may yet be” (Papagaroufali, 1992).

There may also be a high degree of social differentiation within a single category of beverage. Purcell (1994) notes that in Ancient Rome, wine was not simply the drink of the elite: its variety and calibrability allowed its use as a differentiator “even within exclusive, high-ranking circles”. Wine was, and is today in many cultures, “a focus of eloquent choices”.

"During their traditional cactus-wine ceremonies, the Papago of Mexico frequently became "falling-down drunk"- indeed, it was common practice among the more dandyish young men of the tribe to paint the soles of their feet with red dye, so that when they fell down drunk the attractive colour would show. Yet the drunken behaviour of the Papago on these occasions was invariably peaceful, harmonious and good-tempered. With the ‘white man’, however, came whiskey, which became associated with an entirely different type of drunken comportment involving aggression, fighting and other anti-social behaviours. These "two types of drinking" co-existed until the white man, in his wisdom, attempted to curb the ill-effects of alcohol on the Papago by banning all drinking, including the still-peaceful wine ceremonies. Prohibition failed, and the wine ceremonies eventually became indistinguishable, in terms of behaviour, from the secular whiskey-drinking."...http://www.sirc.org/publik/drinking6.html

Choice of beverage may also be a statement of affiliation, a declaration of membership in a particular group, generation, class, ‘tribe’, sub-culture or nation and its associated values, attitudes and beliefs.

Certain drinks, for example, have become symbols of national identity: Guinness for the Irish, tequila for Mexicans, whisky for Scots, ouzo for Greeks etc.; and to choose, serve – or indeed refuse – one’s national beverage can be a powerful expression of one’s loyalties and cultural identity. The ‘national drink’ is often the symbolic locus for positive, sometimes idealised or romanticised, images of the national character, culture and way of life. For Scottish Highlanders, for example, whisky represents traditional values of egalitarianism, generosity and virility, and to refuse a ‘dram’ may be seen as a rejection of these values (Macdonald, 1994).

Read More:http://www.sirc.org/publik/drinking6.html



"From the glitz and chrome of an American cocktail lounge, or the scruffy charm of a French provincial bar-tabac, to the mapalu in Zaire - merely a small clearing in the forest, dedicated to the consumption of palm wine - the ‘drinking-place’ appears to be an essential feature of almost all alcohol-using cultures. The nature and role of the public drinking-place may be seen as an extension, or even a physical expression or embodiment, of the role of drinking itself. "

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