Guide to Earth Part XI.
Alcohol is a great boon for humanity, especially if you are a producer. Also if you are a wholeseller or a retail seller, not mentioning the government who gets substantial tax revenue. The benefits are apparent for everyone: when you are drunk you see double, which is a considerable enhancement of your vision.
If you had a hundred dollars you will now have two hundred, plus you can return the bottles for the deposit, thereby improving your financial situation. Alcohol consumption is substantial in all developed countries while developing ones are working hard to catch up. Demand for alcohol surged during the pandemia, so it is obviously a potent medicine.
Another positive effect of alcohol is an improvement in creativity. Li Tai Po was alcoholic, just like Rubén Darío or Verlaine, and a long roll of American writers such as Jack London, Hemingway, or William Faulkner. Of the East European literary figures it is much easier to list those who were not addicted to the juice. Other artistic professions are comparable. You could argue that this makes for a shorter creative time, but Shelley and Keats died even younger and they may not even have been alcoholics.
Alcohol is an Arabic word so one wonders why the Quran prohibits its use. The reason is probably the well-known asceticism of Moslems. For Christians wine is the blood of Christ that gets spilled for the forgiveness of alcohol-related sins. For Jews only kosher wine is kosher while the ancient Greeks were no geeks drinking with Dionysus. Hindus and Buddhists, on the other hand, are teetotallers which is a total mistake.
Make no mistake, spirits are the soul itself. Russians call it vodka, literally “little water” and they do gulp it down like water. In Mexico tequila is the trend, also used by the army. They hand it out free of charge for Indians, guess why. The Irish, even when in tatters, can distill from taters. For the English life is never risky if there’s enough whiskey. Pirates are not always drunk, only in case they have whiskey, yo, ho, ho, and a bottle of rum. A bottle of gin makes all your wishes come true. Russian prisons have no dry gin but they have hygiene — they are prone to drinking cologne. Pálinka, a word of Slovakian origin, is an arch-Hungarian drink while Tokay wine is an ancient Slovakian juice.
Wine is the drink of fiery peoples. Hungarians used to drink kumis which you won’t ever miss after having tasted wine. Everyone can find their type of wine. Fools like fruity wine, shy people prefer blush, nomads drink dessert wine, fat people drink full-bodied while old folks prefer ageworthy. Law professors sip their ultra-dry while ophthalmologists see to a bottle of retsina. Used car salesmen have ultra-smooth. “In vino veritas”, said the ancient Latins. They continued with “in aqua sanitas”, but fortunately no one remembers this last part.
Then there is beer which even had a goddess in ancient Mesopotamia called Ninkasi. Ancient Egyptian workers drank many litres of beer every day, a tradition still held firmly in the construction industry, although pyramids do not rise to the sky at the same rate. A German with no Bier is a man with no cheer. A Czech with no beer is a man in despair. In India pale ale is always there for sale. Beer makes for a nice belly in front of the telly.
People just love their spirits, wine, beer, booze, hootch. This affection is shown by drinking at an ever younger age. Good things cannot be started too early. Beer is bitter like destiny, wine is tart like happiness in Eastern Europe, spirits are strong like autistic children throwing a temper tantrum. Distilleries will make anything out of pure alcohol, aromas and colors with especially talented handicrafters creating wine out of fertilizer. Barflies are not insects but people who have found their Holy Grail.
Alcoholics will do anything for booze so alcohol fosters the progress of society. Not all drinkers are alcoholics, though, that’s what most alcoholics say to themselves. An old slogan in communism was: Alcohol kills, causes stupidity and misery. This is false as drink manufacturers live from alcohol, make smart business and are rich. People die anyways, are pretty low on IQ and frankly, how could they be more miserable?
Alcohol is especially potent if you drink it with sedatives. You can easily get to rest forever. Alcohol destroys brain cells, thus preventing the overheating of the mind. Zen masters have long observed that too much thinking is a dead-end street. Nowadays there’s AI, which can supposedly think but not drink. So now while AI thinks for you you can drink for him. Some people say that alcohol destroys the liver but this is just venting their spleen. Livers regenerate wonderfully, and anyways, there’s always organ donors. Alcohol makes you fat, so you don’t have to eat unhealthy, greasy food if you want to resemble Patrick Deuel.
Alcohol decreases the dependence on material goods. You can drink away your fortune, your clothes, your brain and your salary, in which case you have to find a new source to be able to continue drinking. Alcohol is a solace if you’re sad, otherwise it can make you really glad. Any celebration is impossible without alcohol. At your wedding alcohol makes you forget the divorce proceedings looming on the horizon. If you didn’t get drunk on your birthday, you’d have to face your age. If you didn’t get tipsy at Christmas, how could you stand listening to the chatter of your relatives? Human relations are confusing while alcohol is pure, especially pure alcohol. Hard liquor is better than a hard on because you don’t have to raise kids afterwards.
Alcohol dissolves many things, including your inhibitions, even linguistic ones. It frees up your tongue in any tongue. True, you won’t remember what you had said but at least you connected to foreigners. Yes, alcohol promotes brotherly feelings. Alcoholics demonstrate similar behavior traits, and, after a while, similar facial features. If everyone is alcoholic in a family, you have a common language and a common interest. Singing is more resonant and guns get drawn more easily when alcohol flows freely.
There are a number of alcoholic peoples such as the Hungarians, the Slovakians, the Italians, the French, the Russians, the Czechs, the Germans, the Swedes, the Finns, the Danes, the Americans, the Poles, the Chileans, the Latvians, the Lithuanians, the Moldavians, the Irish, the Ugandans, the Bulgarians, the Spaniards, the Filipinos, the Australians, the Romanians, the Canadians, the Portuguese, the Laotians, the Tanzanians, the Estonians, the New Zealanders, the Japanese and so on. The Bhutanese are not yet alcoholic and their GDP does look grim. In Somalia per capita alcohol consumption is 0 ounces — just look at what is happening in that country.
We have to conclude that alcohol is one of the most basic, most natural phenomena in the world. If there was no alcohol, police homicide squads would be drastically reduced, organ traffickers would go out of business, even a lot of doctors would become unemployed. Who could pay the pensions to all those centenarians? If there was no wine cultivation what would we do with all the pesticides, herbicides, and fungicides? There simply is no life without drinking, unless you are a kangaroo rat. Even chimpanzees can become addicted to the juice, and pigs are drunken pigs.
There are many degrees of drunkenness. You can be tipsy or buzzed, fuddled or muddled, laced or glazed, plastered or wasted, or, in case of intellectuals, inebriated. You can also get to the state of feeling no pain, or even be dead drunk. Lo! Alcohol is a joy even in the afterlife.
According to the old saying there are two paths for East European intellectuals. One is alcoholism.
JFrom the 1994 film: Sátántangó by Tarr Béla
What, the other one? That one is impassable.