Sometimes I think about our modern society, and I wonder what makes our society great. What is it that society is so dependent upon, that without this ideal it would just fall apart?
At first I brainstormed the typical conclusions: democracy, religion, family values, communities, or friends. One random night out, I stopped, looked around me, and thought about what was going on. I thought about how much of what was happening was due to alcohol. Alcohol had given people a reason to get together. A common interest that knows no boundaries.
I've never underestimated the importance of sports. Sports allows people to transcend boundaries that would normally keep them from hanging out or meeting. You don't have to be of the same race, religion, age group, educational background, or economic class. All you have to have is the common interest in a sport. In fact, I make it a point to know at least something about every sport, no matter how boring it is. That way I'll have something in common with 99% of the guys I meet (I check out tabloids too so that I cover 99% of the women). And when I walk onto a soccer field for my intramural league at work, I know that there is more going on than a soccer game. I've literally met over 100 co-workers because of soccer at work. Alcohol has the same ability. People only have to have the fondness for getting drunk in common; and who doesn't like to get fucked up here and there? I already wrote about how old people's retirement plans are often getting drunk all the time.
In order to realize how important alcohol is to our society, one only has to think about Prohibition - an event so meaningful that the complete description isn't necessary for it's title. It's like calling JFK's death: Assasination. There have been numberous prohibitions in the past, but none so significant that the word takes on the meaning of the act. Prohibition lasted for only 13 years (1920-1933), during which time alcohol intake per capita increased instead of the intended decrease. Alcohol is THAT important to our society. During prohibition, people either got their hands on booze, or moved on to drugs, since both were illegal anyways.
I guess that what I'm getting at is that alcohol plays this often unseen and underappreciated role in our society. People go out drinking with their friends without even appreciating that they have something to do on