Alcohol (& tobacco/nicotine, drugs, etc.)

[speaking here from context of a fairly typical USA societal perspective]

Alcohol. I’ve not consumed alcohol since before I was 21. What I find most annoying is its prevalence in society, media and advertising, and its relatively general, not only “acceptance” in society, but the way it quite permeates and is interwoven into society all too generally. Being one that chooses not to drink, I find it rather to highly annoying. Knowing and/or having known some folks, where alcohol is or was a significant to major problem in their lives, I find it even more annoying and disconcerting. It really is everywhere – or certainly damn nearly so. Can’t practically “escape” the sights and reminders. In a lot of ways, I wish it simply wasn’t there – at all. And I don’t mean prohibition – we all well know how that did not work, and likewise not the “war on drugs” – we all well know (or should know) what a colossal waste that has been and continues to be. No, I mean gone – as in just not there, doesn’t exist period – perhaps as if it had never even existed. And likewise all the social pressures on/towards drinking – gone, and as if they’d never existed. Social pressures to drink. Ugh. Yuck. Okay, so, fortunately not nearly as bad as, e.g. late teens and (very) early 20s or so. But nevertheless it’s still very much there and present. Probably very much more noticeable and present in some environments/circumstances/situations, but for better or worse, many of those I’m just not in/around – or hardly at all. E.g. I’m not a “party animal” – so for the dancing or clubbing or larger scale socialization – well, just not my “scene”. I’m not into “dinner parties” or “cocktail parties” or the like – just not interested, or maybe I (almost) never get invited … or both. Just not into it. “Drinks after work”, “let’s go grab a beer”, etc. – really mostly just rather to highly not into it, and certainly not into the alcohol bit of it. Even media such as movies and TV programs and the like. How many good/popular ones, with main/major characters that do not drink at all? Damn near zero – I can’t think of any, haven’t noticed any, and maybe there are none – or very close to none. Same even for minor characters of any significance. The drinking is, rather, practically glorified – or nearly so. Whole lot of shows, it’s a quite significant part – be it the regular, if not excessive, drinking of wine by most or all, or the very regular wind down / wrap up drinking at the pub or bar, or the far too many episodes/scenes where someone drinks rather to quite too much – and usually not portrayed in a particularly negative manner – or nearly as negative as it ought to be. Just far too damn prevalent. And the alcohol – far too problematic and damaging to far too many lives. In terms of percentages, just the number of people for whom alcohol is or has been a problem for them (or simply chose not to drink), and the amount and degree of damage it does – including to those around them and innocents impacted too. Just seems like we as a species, culture, and society, could do a helluva lot better, and mostly or entirely just do away with alcohol. I just really see no practical use or benefit of or from alcohol … at all. Never have, probably never will. Guess I was mostly quite fortunate I stopped drinking when I did – before it was or became a problem for me or I a problem for anyone else “because” of it. Many aren’t nearly so lucky. Just among those I do or have known, I’ve seen it be quite the struggle for them, be highly problematic for them, destroy or significantly destroy their lives, even quite kill them. Alcohol quite sucks, especially what it quite can, and does do, to so very many.

Tobacco – and nicotine. Smoking quite annoys me, pretty much always has. I’ve never smoked – never even tried. And yes, we all very well know – it kills. It’s one I’d also very much like to see totally gone – not only for what it does to folks, but also for how dang annoying it is to be around – and sure, second hand smoke and all that, also not good – not to mention the annoyance factor of breathing it, getting the smell on one’s clothes, etc. Fortunately tobacco and smoking seem to be increasingly unpopular – it’s far from gone, but it’s increasingly marginalized. I think that’s quite the good thing. But gone would be better.

And “all those other drugs”. Certainly not for me – no thanks. Yeah, rather/quite wish they were all gone too. Again, “war on drugs” or the like, is not a solution or “the answer” – or even anything particularly close. Part of it is human – and more generally animal – nature. Many folks want to try – or chase that … high, low, or … just do or try feeling different. Wish that weren’t the case, and that drugs didn’t exist, but alas, that’s not the reality we live in.

And, bit more on me, regarding drugs and alcohol and such. Other than alcohol, never tried anything. Can’t say I wasn’t rather to quite tempted. But I didn’t. Alcohol? Well, was a dumb one to try – not that any would’ve been “smart” – but it was just so damn prevalently available. Heck, with at most possibly one exception, I never spent so much as a penny on any of the alcohol I’d consumed – it was damn near “free flowing” all around me – certainly at least was quite regularly, anyway. So, … dumb me, I tried it. And more than once. The novelty of it and the experience wore off quite quickly. It never did anything at all really useful for me at all. And “of course” more, just made me sick. And too, after a while – there was nothing fun or interesting about it any more at all. And besides, it wasn’t good for me – and I knew that too. So, I simply stopped. Period. No more. Didn’t like it or care for it, never really did, not good for me – so never again. And that was all before I was the legal drinking age of 21. Didn’t drink all that many times, or all that frequently – got somewhere from moderately intoxicated/”buzzed” to rather drunk, a grand total of probably about a half dozen times. That was more than enough, and about a half dozen too many, and that was the end of it for me. Fortunately for me it hadn’t become the problem or addiction it becomes for many, but regardless, it was a dumb thing for me to have been drinking like that or even “fooling around with” or “experimenting with” alcohol. Glad I stopped – and completely – and “forever”. Zero regrets on that. Do quite wish the alcohol didn’t so much as exist in society, but that’s a (mostly) separate matter.

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