Global War Against Alcohol And Fun Intensifying

2009-10-19-vb-drinking
© Chicago Historical Society

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The entire region of Spanish Catalonia has banned happy hours. Tourists were having too much fun drinking at two-for-one prices. Last week Serbia’s President was charged by the police of his own capital city for uncorking a bottle of champagne. He was toasting to Serbia’s World Cup qualification, which violated anti-hooligan laws.

And in the epicenter of Blue State America, an Upper West Side 27 year old injured at a New Jersey Hyatt is suing the hotel for serving too copious an amount alcohol at wedding party:

Christine Mancision said she was grooving after dinner [at a wedding] at the Hyatt Morristown in New Jersey when, “this really tall individual… grabbed my arm and spun me around to dance with me and then just flung me off to the side of the dance floor… I was in a lot of pain. I looked at my arm, and it was bent the completely opposite way.”… In addition to [the drunk klutz], Mancision’s suit, filed in Manhattan federal court, targets the hotel and the Hyatt Hotels Corp. for another $1 million in damages for allegedly violating New Jersey’s “dram shop” law by serving Graeber booze even though he was “visibly intoxicated.”

This fragile bit of a thing, this delicate wisp of a flower, wants hotels to reduce drinking at weddings. She’s not content to just sue the drunk moron. She’s going after Hyatt, with the obvious effect being that if she wins they’ll change their policies.

We tried to come up with an analogy for how depraved this is, where we lined up one thing that was critical to something else. Caffeine in coffee? Nope. They make caffeine free everything nowadays. Anesthesia at a surgery? Also no. They did surgeries for millennia without anesthesia. But people have been drinking at weddings since the Stone Age. Alcohol at a wedding is the apotheosis of two things that go together. They’re even more closely bound up then love and marriage, and for exactly that reason.

Are there irresponsible people all over the planet? Yes. And when they screw up they should be punished. Should reasonable precautions be taken to prevent them from injuring others? Obviously.

But when did we start letting the people who are obviously the worst at having fun decide what the rest of us get to do? When did that decision get made? No alcohol. Certainly no smoking. And also no salt, no transfats, and no fast food. And if you try, city officials will fine you and people will sue you.

  1. Ugh, I hate superfluous lawsuits. Everyone I talk to here in Buenos Aires is shocked by the amount of suing that goes on in the United States, and it’s really unfortunate when one person’s greed (or short-sightedness) impacts everyone else negatively.

  2. The fun police have been cracking down in the UK for years, and laws were passed to stop people dancing outside. But……linking socialising, alcohol and trans-fats is a bit of a stretch! If trans-fats (major cause of heart disease and dementia) are your thing you’re a pretty poor hedonist surely?

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