The Old Black Rum's Got a Hold on Thee...How come?

I was reminded of this in a conversation with a good friend, but the topic was never fully developed because we were discussing more cosmic affairs.

The question I posed was “Alcohol: What’s the point?”

I want to know why people drink. What do you get out of it? From what I can tell, lack of self-control and loss of capacity for reason. Imagine what could go wrong… what might I do if I was out of it? I may not even know that I’m not all there, so I couln’t even halt my actions once drunk. What might I say? What might I reveal? And of couse, biologically it’s poison. Think of what I might do to my brain and liver. Lots of risk, lots of disadvantages.

So, in the face of all this, there must be something pretty good about being drunk to make people do it. From what I’m told, it can’t be the taste. So, why does anyone put themselves in a state like this?
Understand, I’m not some religious purist bend on evicting the immoral beverages from the earth and saving the souls of those tempted to drink. It just seems wildly risky, unproductive, and without a good reason for partaking. I’ve been walking escort, interprovincial designated driver and supervisor of sleeping drunk friend, but never imbiber.

What good is it, can you tell me?
[When I decided to post this, I had ‘Great Debates’ in mind, but I wasn’t sure if it qualified. If it’s good enough, could somebody move it there? Thanks either way, wolfStu.]

When I was much younger and used to drink a lot, I recall that I thought we were having a lot of fun. Everything everybody said was incredibly hilarious. Right up until we started throwing up, and even that was hilarious. Or we thought it was.

I don’t do that any more.

But I still drink, on the weekends, in moderation. I find that it relaxes me. In fact, these days, if I have more than a couple of beers, I get so relaxed I fall asleep. And I really do like the taste of a good whiskey, a fine wine, or a well made beer.
It’s also a social lubricant. I like going out for a beer with my friends, or better yet, sitting around the barby sipping a brew. But my lot doesn’t get drunk these days.

So, to sum up: Drinking good, getting drunk bad.

Did that answer any part of your question?

Social lubricant? I’m sorry, but I’m not sure what you mean by that. Thanks for the input, though.

It relaxes you? How? Does it just shut off your inhibition, or is it the friendly atmosphere that sets you at ease?

Sorry if I sound defeatist… I’m surely in the minority in misunderstanding this issue, so don’t think I’m trying to change the world.

Hmmm… not a whole lot of response; not even many views. Is this because I can’t pick thread titles? And to think I thought I was being clever. Maybe I should stop using song titles as thread headers.

Hoping to understand this facet of the culture of my peers, wolfStu.

There was a thread on this a little while ago - sorry, can’t remember what the title was.

Actually I liked your thread title, but you can’t go by me, I’m considered to be a little warped. :wink:

Social Lubricant - Alcohol does lower inhibitions. Many people who are reticent, even around their friends, will become much more animated and outgoing (and affectionate)with a bit of alcohol in them. Also, and I’m not sure how to phrase this, people’s standards as to whether or not something is funny get lower. That was an awkward sentence, but I hope I got my idea across. Things just seem funnier, somehow.
And alcohol can be an excuse to gather, as in “let’s get a drink after work.” Although I suspect we could have just about as much fun going out for a ginger ale after work.

How does it relaxe me? Well, alcohol is a mild depressant, IIRC. But I suspect it’s as much the atmosphere as anything.
That beer is a symbol that the work day is over, and I can remove my nose from that grindstone.

Hope that helps.

“From what I’m told, it can’t be the taste.”

Actually, the taste of alcoholic beverages can be very pleasing to an adult palate. It’s the alcohol itself I don’t like; it makes me stupid, and has a lot of unnecessary calories. That’s why I like .5% beer; which still makes me pretty stupid after a few bottles. A little whiskey- hell, a lot of whiskey (or rum, or brandy) is good flavoring for pecan pie. In fact, cut me a big ol’ slice of that pie, and just pass me the bottle…

[sup]I drink, therefore I am![/sup]

I like drinking (usually beer, but soju on occasion, because Astrofiancee likes it, and sometimes tequila or whiskey…). Why? Um… good question!

Astroboy ponders while walking to the frige and extracting a can of beer…

I like it because it relaxes me, relaxes my inhibitions, and gives me cotton-mouth the next morning. It burns off the extra seretonin that my brain is wont to excrete. It takes care of whatever extra cash I have that I have no use for… (I was at a bar earlier tonight that wanted $20 for a glass of Guiness!!).

But seriously: I like it because it helps me forget about little problems that are bothering me, I have fun, others with me (who have also been drinking) are having fun, and slapping MY brain around with chemicals is a GOOD thing (it keeps me from actually doing anything about my nepharious plans for world domination)!!

As far as the argument “I don’t wanna lose control!” I have this to say: BAH! You never had any control in the first place! If you want to fool yourself, and think that you DO have some control over your life, so be it. More the fool you, I say!

Bumbazine: Ah, I’m beginning to see… So, if I take in ethanol, I can expect it to erode the walls and pillars of my personal architecture? Scary stuff. But thanks for the clarification. This helps in understanding some of the issues around which I must develop policy.


[Not saying your statement has no merit, but] What are you saying by that? I know your position but not your speed or direction. Elaborate please.

Thanks for the response… but something still seems amiss. I’m (in addition to the above) curious about the effect alcohol has on the conciousness. Do you know how short your circuits are getting? Can you still sense, if not reason?

Thnk you to those that have provided effective partial answers, and thank you to those who decided not to post pointless or unhelpful responses. Impressively, this thread has gotten (an albeit small amount of) quality response. Perhaps it was more suited to ‘General Questions’.

Do you know how short your circuits are getting?

How much of that has been scientificly proven - and that hasn’t been funded by MADD? Sure you may kill cells and circuits but you really have to be drinking a shitload of alcohol, and if you do that, organ failure will kill you before brain damage.

Do you know how short your circuits are getting?

How much of that has been scientificly proven - and that hasn’t been funded by MADD? Sure you may kill cells and circuits but you really have to be drinking a shitload of alcohol, and if you do that, organ failure will kill you before brain damage.

Actually, wolfstu, I meant that kinda tongue-in-cheek! I have a friend who does not drink (which is fine by me… I choose not to eat seafood because it disgusts me! Each to his own…), and every time someone offers him a drink, he says “I don’t wanna lose control!” This grates on my nerves, as it implies that if I drink a beer, I am automatically “out of control”! This grates on my nerves, as it is not the case (at least for me, and most people I have known… YMMV)… in a long life of drinking, and getting WAY drunk on many, many ocassions, I have been “out of control” exactly ONCE. I was a freshman in college, and the lesson was well-learned!

*Please note: I am NOT advocating alcohol use; simply defending it, as I enjoy it… I do realize that many people have problems with alcohol abuse, just as many have problems with gambling, or eating, or heroin, or… but, the fact that someone is, say, addicted to gambling does not mean that others shouldn’t be allowed to place the ocassional bet on a football game, or play the ocassional game of penny-ante poker.

Some alcoholic beverages really do taste good. They can be hard to find, but they do exist.

Most people drink because it relaxes them, lowers their inhibitions, and makes it easier for them to enjoy themselves. Social drinkers.

And then there are those who drink for the same reason that I, instead of taking one Unisom, take, say, the whole bottle. Loss of coherent thought, loss of consciousness, and the too-slim-to-hope-for-but-maybe-just-maybe chance that consciousness will never be regained. Serious drinkers. The ones who drink like there’s no tomorrow, and rather hope that will be the case.

Most do it for fun. Some are just fucked up.

It seems Farmer has misinterpreted me.
“Do you know how short your circuits aare getting?” means
“Are you aware of your own inability to reason, or do you think you’re still making sense?” ,NOT
“Do you know how much harm you’re causing yourself when you drink?”

These are metaphors, my good man, not propaganda. Sorry if I mislead you. I tend to communicate in riddles like that.

Nice link, though.


Oh. Never mind. But I wonder if there is someone out there who might be willing to more deeply argue your point. It speaks to me of good material for a Great Debates thread. Thanks for the ideas, the insight, and the subsequent clarification.
Well, It seems we’re just about coming to the end of what useful information I can glean from the board on this topic. Too bad… I had hoped for something else (though now I’m not sure what). If anyone’s really interested, my alcohol policy will remain unchanged. It was originally based on the pervasive “Better safe than sorry” principle that has so limited my behaviour up to this point. So, I will continue to sacrifice quality of experience for security, given lack of data.

Thank you to all, wolfStu.

Oh. And Minty Rae: Oh, my.

…gets something more from being drunk. A certain percentage of people predisposed biologically towards alcoholism get a rush similar to a heroin high from alcohol. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

Sheesh. It’s not that bad, is it?

well, not if you come back…still functional…I guess!

Whether one knows that one is losing control, or inhibitions, depends on a whole shitload of considerations, most importantly perhaps one’s general sanity and level of awareness, as well as one’s reason for drinking in the first place. I don’t recommend it, but I was able once, when certainly legally drunk, to drive some drunker people home, because I had to. Safe drunk driving requires not only an effort of concentration, but at least one prior collision with a lamppost: don’t try this at home, kids.
After that I pretty much gave up drinking, and parties, both; I wasn’t very good at either one.

Rum is my favourite drink!

It helps me get a grip on reality more so that I can handle it.

And I do NOT drink 2 much!

Yes, you drink too much, Little Tassie! Now come over here and sit on my lap and kiss me! (Dang, this is gettin a little off topic, ain’t it?)
I have learned to lose my inhibitions without alcohol. I recommend it.