Tuesday, November 30, 2010

"Puritanism: the haunting fear that someone, somewhere is having a good time."

H. L. Mencken is gone and more's the pity; an even greater pity is that puritanism, by his definition, is not.

The latest target in the fun-hater's crosshairs is alcohol-infused whipped cream. Sold only to those old enough to buy Demon Rum, it is nevertheless -- according to the nanny-minded -- a Dire Scourge, presumably because it might be fun. I guess it's okay with them if you wanna slump at the bar and grimly choke down gin with Winston and Julia, or gulp cheap whiskey in your dingy office while waiting on clients, lulled by the clatter of Raymond Chandler hammering out another chapter on the other side of the too-thin walls, but if you enjoy an occasional drink, why, That Is Just Too Much and by the time we get to high-test foamy topping for an Irish Coffee on a cold day, it makes their heads explode.

Having driven the alcohol-and-caffeine energy drink just about off the (legal) market -- "for the children" -- their arrogance grows. What's next? Boxed wine? Premixed drinks?

This needs to be nipped in the bud. We already have laws, tons of 'em, aimed at keeping intoxicating beverages away from citizens under 21 (we'll let 'em go trade gunfire with baddies, but a beer? Oh, heavens no! That takes three more years of growing up) . Those laws aren't perfect but making this stuff illegaler only penalizes the people who are old enough to buy it.

You can't legislate foolhardiness out of existence but if you try hard enough, you can outlaw fun.

Don't let 'em.


Tango Juliet said...


Anonymous said...

I agree! We had a 19 yr old college girl fall from a stairwell here in town recently and all anyone could think about was prosecuting the people who served her alcohol rather than concentrating on the fact that she was a complete moron for getting so drunk. Her BAC was 0.32. Who is ultimately responsible...I would say she is. Unfortunately she learned her lesson by paralyzing herself from the neck down. I don't need the govt telling me what I can eat and drink or what I can feed my children, I am intelligent enough to decide on my own.

Stretch said...

A local veterans club (unnamed for obvious reasons) serves "underage" soldiers home on leave both beer and hard liqueur. No members, including officers of the local constabulary, have said a word.
The more stupid laws you pass the less compliance you get. Eventually all laws will be treated with the same contempt. Then things get really interesting.

Joe in PNG said...

Ironic that the Flower Power and Me generations, along with their ideological descendants would become the new grim faced Moral guardians.

Could that be the reason behind the recent failure of California’s vote to decriminalize pot? Not so much the fear of the Demon Weed, but that use of wacky tobaccy may lead to the consumption of trans fat laden foods.

Anonymous said...

Forgive me for seeming Irish (I am), but something that tastes yummy and also has booze in it? Cool!

I think the quote was actually Ambrose Bierce, from The Devil's Dictionary, but it's a sentiment Menken would have supported eagerly, while probably wishing it health over the top of a toddy.

Anonymous said...

Huh? Whipped cream with liquor in it? Why do I only find out about this now?

rickn8or said...

Tam has no doubt told you about Tennesseean's strange beliefs about firearms in close proximity to alcohol causing an uncontrolled chain reactions.

I'm here to tell you it's all true. Best summed up as "Tennessee is what happens when you let Baptists run things."

They're okay with making and selling whiskey, just think that you shouldn't drink it. But you should see the gyrations they go through at Kroger when an underage checkout clerk encounters a customer with a six-pack of the Devils' Brew.

Roberta X said...

It's a Mencken quote. I can't find it in Bierce.

Larry said...

It's hard enough to get a tipple when you're well over 21, or even near twice the legal age.

General Order # 1: it's for the {del}children{/del}Muslims!

WV: "Hologi", an empy suit. See Obama, et. al.

Roberta X said...

An excellent point. The civilizing effects of distillation should be obvious, even to the shrillest Temperance drone.