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Thursday, July 9, 2009

What to Do About Binge Drinking?

On July 1st, the New York Times ran a shitload of letters to the editor about what to do about binge drinking on college campuses. I don't know if they appeared in the print edition of the NYT, because I'm not one of those snobbish Philadelphians who feels the need to pay a ridiculous sum to get some other city's newspaper, but I read these letters online.

You can too!

I was actually pretty surprised that these letters ate up a whole editorial section of the paper. I was surprised that people had so much to say about this particular topic, but I guess it shouldn't really be all that surprising: it's a hot-button issue. Well, I have something to say about it, too. And I guess that's not terribly surprising.

It's a hot-button issue because stupid people love defending their stupid behavior. Once they're sober enough so to do, of course. Once a 20-year-old dies at a frat party with enough alcohol in her system to kill twelve elephants, her mother will pick up flag and carry on the march-- blaming the college, the campus police department, the beer distributor, perhaps even the beer manufacturer. The frat house will be shut down, which probably isn't such a terrible idea, but it's misguided blame. Fraternities are a fucking joke, and the people who continue to justify their existence because they "help charities" are living in a seventy-year-old dream world where college lads slicked their hair back with brylcreme and took their hats off indoors. But that's another blog post.

Here's the cold, hard fact: binge drinking is fucking stupid. Funneling copious amounts of alcohol into the fragile system that is a young human body is fucking stupid. If you do it, then you're fucking stupid. Fucking stupid people need to take responsibility for fucking stupid behavior, even if it kills them.

What to do about binge drinking? Um, how about "nothing?" I don't think we should do anything. I think we should stand back, with our hands clasped behind our backs and do absofuckinglutely nothing. Why? Because there's nothing to do. Why try to protect people who don't want to be protected, who chafe under authority and paternalistic rules? Why bother with them?

I say, if they want to put on tube-tops and black ass-pants and drink themselves until they go into cardiac arrest on some sticky floor in a basement somewhere, and the last thing they see is some thick-necked frat asshole in a sleeveless t-shirt and mesh shorts vomiting on a tye-dyed Bob Marley wall-hanging, then that's just fine with me. And it should be fine with you, too. You know why? Because it's natural selection, folks. You can go cry all you want about peer pressure and social loafing and easy accessibility of alcohol and all that other horseshit, but you can't argue with the fact that stupid people do stupid things and that there are dire consequences, and society at large cannot and should not be responsible for standing in the way of stupid people who want to off themselves by doing stupid things.

Go ahead-- go binge drink. You're only killing yourself. What the fuck do I care? I have to pay my car payment like a real adult. Don't bother me with this horseshit.

The problem, of course, is drunk driving. If you want to go drink yourself into oblivion, awesome. Rock on, step right up. But, if you want to get into a car afterward and mow some poor old grannie-grans who's standing on the corner waiting for the bus with nothing between her and your Daddy's out-of-control Nissan Maxima, well, then we have a problem. Fortunately, most binge-drinkers are too fucking blitzed to even remember they have a car, let alone get out the keys, find their car in a parking lot, get in and drive it anywhere. It's the shitheels who hit the bar and have one-too-many and then try to drive home that need to be body-slammed by The Law.

But, college binge-drinkers? Who gives a shit about them? Let them choke on their own vom. They're only hurting themselves. I would love it if our society spent more time and effort trying to protect people who actually want protection, and can benefit from it.

Like people who are in favor of jumping out of planes buck-ass naked without parachutes over the White Cliffs of Dover. I wonder what kind of laws we can pass to help them.


  1. I agree as a society, this should not be a problem, but the social worker in me says that the family and friends of these binge drinkers need to step up and help these young people. Binge drinking is typically syptomatic of some other problem, but this should be something the family deals with, not something that I, especially as a non-drinker, should have to find a solution to.

  2. So... if I don't use a funnel... then I'm not a binge drinker?

    What a relief.

    I'd like to hear more about the naked parachuting if I may.

  3. Yeah, I think beyond educating kids, letting them know what the dangers are, and teaching them to watch out for one another at parties, anything else is pretty futile, especially if the binge-drinkers in question are technically adults.

  4. Speaking as a parent and ex wife of an alcoholic I keep the dialogue going all the time. I was about to type my kids tell me the truth but I am not that naive to think they do. I am sure I am on a need to know basis with regards to ALL the facts.
    I think I will count myself as fortunate that my kids dont want to shove things in orifices to get a "buzz"


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