I am domiciled temporarily at the familial homestead, deep in the bowels of the Leviathan, in order to discharge my filial duty in observing the two great patriotic holidays of the Merchant State : Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Life here, while mundane in general, has its diversions. There is the local newspaper, for instance. It is a simple affair of a dozen or so pages, not unlike the scores of thousands that guard the masses' liberty and morals throughout Flyover Country. Characteristically, it publishes its most edifying material at the back of the news section, before the want ads. There, in today's number, I find the following item:
Low, moderate drinking may cost brain tissue
DALLAS ' Low to moderate drinking may cause a loss of brain tissue in middle-age people, a study found.
The researchers also found that such alcohol consumption does not lower the risk of a stroke ' contradicting findings from previous studies.
'I think this is an interesting study because people talk about the beneficial effects of alcohol intake on cardiovascular disease, and they try to extend that to stroke,' said the study's lead researcher, Dr. Jingzhong Ding, a research associate at the Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore . 'Some studies find beneficial effects, but ours didn't.'
Being a middle-age person and a moderate imbiber myself, my interest was naturally piqued by its implications. I am further charmed by its noncommittal tone and the absence of the usual editorial conclusion, commonly prefaced with: 'The Federal Government needs to . . . .' Since the editor has seen fit to allow one to draw one's own conclusions, I offer mine here.
This has the stamp of the journalism that heralded 'new' findings that cigarette smoking caused cancer during the heady nascent days of the anti-smoking jihad. Back then it was already widely assumed that smoking and drinking were deleterious to one's health; in fact, the archetypal Good Man was held to be he who did not smoke, drink, nor neglect to keep the Sabbath. Indeed, it has traditionally been the tippler's dilemma whether to sacrifice a few-thousand brain cells, or to endure the pain of his cognitive dissonance another day. (The brain cells usually wind-up on the losing end.) Maybe Dr. Ding didn't recognize any potential benefits in his data, but the reporter did. The story goes on to say: 'Heavy drinking is known to raise the risk of both brain atrophy and stroke, but findings on the effects of low to moderate drinking have varied.' Dr. Ding failed only to find beneficial stroke effects'the good news is, where it was previously believed heavy drinking alone resulted in brain atrophy, it apparently can now be achieved by only low to moderate levels.
Specific types of brain tissue in minimal quantities, when present in a human, are known to cause in the individual certain hallucinations, reason, for example. The scientific literature is rife with evidence that reasoning leads to other negative thought processes: critical thinking, skepticism, logic, induction, deduction, and disbelief of the palpably untrue. Such anti-social thinking inevitably leads to anti-social behavior: creativity, inventiveness, self-satisfaction, self-sufficiency, independence, dissent, pacifism, non-voting, and tax evasion. How is a benevolent State to provide for the Public Good if it tolerates thought manifesting in such inimical behavior? What use has the average, hard-working, God-fearing, law-abiding, patriotic norteamericano for brain tissue, anyway? In a super-regimented society as that of the United States , it is merely excess baggage; as Dr. Einstein observed, '. . . a spinal cord would suffice.'
If the United States is to achieve its objective of a New American Century, it must build on the holy work of its educational, theological, and media establishments, which have heretofore striven mightily to exorcise the masses of the demon thought, and replace it with unquestioning religious faith. (By religion I mean the modern, universal religion of Statism.) The absurd tautologies and anti-conceptual slogans constituting the State ideals cannot be promulgated by a process of rational argumentation without being exposed for what they are. The true American patriot needs to be utterly certain that collectivism is freedom; U.S. hegemony is 'the end of history;' that a comic-opera Arab state poses a deadly threat to the most powerful state on Earth; that rifles and rocket propelled grenades constitute 'weapons of mass destruction;' and that, (this from another item in my newspaper,) an A-10 contra-insurgency aircraft traveling at least 160 kph, at an altitude of, say, 30 meters, can recognize a wanted Taliban partisan on foot, and having once recognized same, then mistake him for a group of children playing marbles'these as just a few examples. The above-mentioned American institutions of higher lobotomization have done an admirable job preparing in the mass-mind a fertile soil of credulity to receive the vital seeds of obedience. But there is always the risk of recidivism: that some seeds may fall on the hard, dry ground of understanding. Now, in the light of the latest scientific findings, it is discovered that that ground can be efficaciously watered with'alcohol.
I therefore propose that alcoholism be recognized and trumpeted as an act of patriotism.
The Federal Government needs to immediately pass legislation designed to impose and enforce the new civic duty of tippling. However, the hoochification of America must not go unsupervised. The State vassals, the corporations, have long recognized the danger of productivity loss and the consequent economic damage that might ensue if the State chattels that work the fields, man the factories, and shuffle paper in the offices of America were allowed to inebriate themselves freely. The State already licenses tavern and saloon operators; let it mandate for them a prescribed course of education, examination, and certification through accredited colleges and universities as well. A new degree could be created, e.g., Doctor of Anencephalogy.
On the very same page of my newspaper as the above-quoted story is an advertisement placed by a local saloonkeeper, one Pat Casey, inviting the public to his establishment to celebrate his birthday and retirement:
- ' Complimentary Pig Roast at 3 pm with all the trimmings
- ' Free 3 kegs of Green Beer
- ' Happy Hour all day and Bar Specials
Happy Hour all day! 'A truly civic-minded man! 'Far and away ahead of the scientists and politicians. I hereby propose that Mr. Casey at once be conferred an honorary Doctorate of Anencephalogy. Let him henceforth be known as Pat Casey, DA. I further nominate him for the office of official poster-boy of the forthcoming Presidential State of the Union Address. Let the radio and television talk-show hosts of Irish moniker showcase Dr. Casey as a compatriot and great American.
Think of the benefits that might already have accrued, if only such a policy had long ago been adopted and implemented. Had the chiropractors of the mind at Columbine High School eschewed the Ritalin and administered regular doses of Old Granddad instead, Harris and Klebold might today be valuable citizens, contributing to The Weekly Standard or The Nation. The voters of all 50 states, not just Florida , having mispunched their ballots in 2000, George W. Bush would have been elected by a landslide instead of a mere plurality of Supreme Court justices. The Branch Davidians would have meekly fulfilled their allotted roles as human sacrifices to the Public Good, and their bodies burned with a clean blue flame. Ulysses S. Grant, America 's most famous drunkard, already enshrined on the $50 bill, would today be revered above Lincoln and FDR as a president who made his paramount civic duty a cynosure, and exchanged places with Washington on the $1 bill. Why, it might even have been possible for a has-been bodybuilder and third-rate movie actor to be elected governor of Cali 'well, you get the idea, anyway.
The Mexican State observes the quaint but foolish tradition of proscribing the sale of alcoholic beverages on Election Day. No wonder it has a Zapatista problem. Let Uncle Sam take heed of his southern nephew's mistakes and decree that every cantina from the Redwood forests to the New York island remain open on Election Day from at least two hours before the polls open until they close, upon pain of loss of license and privileges. Let the State subsidize Happy Hour All Day. A Federal 'matching funds' program could pay for the second shot of qualifying patriotically named brands, Old Bushmills, for instance. After all, shouldn't we all be happy on this most important day of the democratic calendar?
The Mass Man is by nature timid, a follower, and cheers the bandwagon of whichever gang of thugs and scoundrels makes the most noise and inspires in him the greatest fear and, therefore, respect. But while he is loudly mouthing their slogans, 'God bless America ;' 'Greatest country on Earth;' ' Liberty and justice for all;' he is secretly wondering what is the matter with him? 'Why is he so unhappy in the midst of all this tremendous good fortune? 'He mustn't let others find out. What he doesn't know is, the others around him who are shouting even louder and who look so smug and prosperous, are wondering precisely the same thing. 'The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation,' as Thoreau put it.
Next to death, alcohol is perhaps the greatest balm to mankind. It is democratic. At the cost of only a few State privilege coupons one can use it to achieve, for a brief period at least, the blissful happiness of the truly stupid'the happiness of the 100% American.
Pass the bottle.