Friday, December 31, 2004

NEW YEAR'S EVE - SOBER BUT NOT SOMBER. I've never spent a New Year's Eve inebriated. I just don't do alcohol. Along with gambling, the use and abuse of alcohol has been mainstreamed and normalized in Amercian society in my lifetime. At the same time, the physical, social, relational, familial, and emotional--and not the least spiritual--impacts of alcohol are more clearly devastating than ever before.

ALCOHOL NOT REQUIRED FOR A PARTY. But neither have I spent a New Year's Eve somber. I have been priviledged to be with people who love me and with whom I have made life-long and community commitments on New Year's Eve. Our parties do not include alcohol but they do include good fun, light-heartedness, and often great conversations. Alcohol does not equal fun. And fun does not have to leave regrets, shame, addictions, and pain.

THINK WHEN YOU DRINK? I haven't figured this one out. The ad says: "Think when you drink." No way. What happens when you drink is that your thinking becomes blurred. You cannot think when you drink. Judgment is compromised. Wisdom is out the window. This is just one of many deceitful advertizing ploys of the alcohol industry.

TIME TO TAKE ALCOHOL ADS OFF TV. Interesting that at the same time American public will has been effectively turned against cigarette smoking and the entire tobacco industry has been brought to heel, the alcohol industry has been allowed to run rampant. It's time to remove alcohol advertizing from college sporting events. Then, to remove it from TV entirely. It is time to delegitimize the abuse of alcohol.

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