Saturday, December 10, 2011

What would you fight for? Or: In defense of Obeying the Drinking Age

We live in a world that almost prides itself in the amount of cracks in society. We may say "let's reach across the aisle" or "bipartisanship" (as if all issues boiled down to two sides. lol.) People often say "It's not so black and white as all that" which generally translated to "My grey is black and yours is white." Everybody wants to be right, which means that everyone else is wrong, right?

Perhaps.

The question I would like to ask is how worth it is it to fight al these fights? I, for one, am the most intelligent member of my class and so if you want to know what real architecture is, ask me. Also, you might as well ask me about politics because everyone else is idiots. Especially all those "Neo-Caths" that are just watered down liberals who want to seem conservative. Gosh, they're all such idiots.

We can only fight so many fights. I want to fight against Musical Abominations--I want to create Good Music. I want to fight against Architectural Crap--I want to design buildings worth their salt. I want to fight against Watered Down Secularized Crappy Education--I want to form a school. I have all these opinions, and who doesn't, you know? I think so much about all these things and then want to do something about them. That doesn't even close to approach the number of Bad Things in the world.

There's Abortion, The Death Penalty, Euthanasia, Poverty, Violence, Oppression, Greedy Bankers, Rapists, Puritans, alcoh--

What? Alcohol? Really?


Yes, there are some who make it their business to limit alcohol to minors. It sucks. As a sixteen-year old (and more especially at eighteen) I desired alcohol so much that I HAD to break the law because I couldn't control my desires. Alcohol is one of the highest goods. It brings merriment to parties and violence to domestic situations. Ok, so maybe that's not so good. Like all good things, alcohol can be and often is abused.

What about those other things that can be abused? Sex? Sure, there are a lot of perverts and rapists out there. What do we do about the abuse? How is society protected from these practices? Well, as we know, premarital sex is no longer off the table of acceptable practices. We expect our high schoolers to engage in it. I ask you, does this lowering of the acceptable age of sex cause more responsible love-making? Don't make me laugh. Or maybe it's just because they still have to do it in secret?

Another thing that can be abused: Gun Use. People Kills People, you know. How is society protected from this? People have to get licenses? Oh come on! You can buy a rifle at 18, but a pistol at 21? If we're adults at 18, why don't we get to use a pistol? It's just nonsensical.  Maybe if we let 12 year olds buy pistols all urban centers would see less violence.

So you see, the drinking age is unconstitutional. Or is it? I am in agreement with Mr. Barnes that responsible drinking in a good environment growing up is a good thing. He may not know this, but in Wisconsin, this is possible. Kids can drink if their parents give it to them. I also am for the lowering of the drinking age to 18 when most adult things are "allowed". I grew up in a household where the kids didn't drink. Ever. I had plenty of opportunity because there was alcohol in the house and I was alone some of the time. I could have sneaked some. I didn't however. I would attribute this less to my lack of desire for alcohol (I hardly cared about alcohol until coming to Italy, and I still don't. I care about good drinks, which is why I never buy the 1 euro wine boxes. Gross.) Instead I would attribute it to my good upbringing. My parents didn't make a big deal about alcohol either way. They were just clear about possible bad effects and good effects and told me what was acceptable in the house.

Not everyone is that lucky. Not everyone is lucky enough to have a household that drinks responsibly. If society just allowed kids to drink whenever they were allowed by their parents, that wouldn't solve all the problems. Lowering the drinking age to 18 might make sense. I think it does. But I don't think 21 is an unreasonable age, and I especially don't think it's worth getting all het up about it. We have a lot of battles to fight, and I think the more important one is getting the family back in shape. Before we let kids drink, we'd better have a good environment or them to do it in. This is a fight I'd rather fight. Civil Disobedience is like salt. Delicious and to be used sparingly. I will just contentedly not drink when I return to the US until I am 21. I don't think I care enough to care.

11 comments:

Ink said...

Just a comment--I don't know how many people think about this (I know many point it out but I don't know if they think it through): at 18, theoretically, you can get married. But you can't toast your marriage. You can join the army, but can't go bar-hopping with some of your fellow soldiers. And you can vote, but nobody running wants to even consider the idea of putting booze in your hand because you're "too young and irresponsible." Disconnect here?

N.W. Thomas said...

If you read Marc's article, he brings these up. I'm not denying it. I agree it doesn't make much sense. I'm just saying choose your battles wisely.

Plus for those of us not in those situations, it's a good opportunity to practice discipline and self control. Not saying it's the ideal situation, but make the most of it. It's not a suppression of any basic human rights. That's my main point.

thisjourneyofmylife said...

Drinking is allowed at 16 here. Maybe a bit young, but realistic in our society. I think it's a bit unrealistic that you have to be 21 in America. As if college students don't drink ...

N.W. Thomas said...

Yeah, as if...Even where it's LEGAL, like here in Italy they're idiots though. Gosh we live in a messed up society.

thisjourneyofmylife said...

I don't have a problem with 16-year olds drinking a glass of wine or a beer. Well, as long as they're at home and their parents are there too and agreed with it. I mean, we were certainly allowed as teenagers to drink a glass of wine or the like at christmas, a sunday meal ...

N.W. Thomas said...

And many places (in decent homes) we have that too in the US. Some states don't allow it. Mine certainly did. It is the curious mix of hedonism and puritanism that cause the state to not allow drinking and encouraging us to do whatever we feel like...meaning in essence our culture tells kids not to do it and do it at the same time.

thisjourneyofmylife said...

At least we're consistent here.

N.W. Thomas said...

That's because you're not a huge country that was founded by puritans during the great age of Nietzsche and the industrial revolution.

thisjourneyofmylife said...

We're a small country, founded by liberals, during the industrial revolution. And if I recall right, the US wasn't founded in Nietzsche's age either, as he was just starting to spread his ideas in 1870. But of course, correct me if I'm wrong, because my knowledge of US history and 'modern' (you know, after 1500 AD) philosophy isn't my strongest point.

Ink said...

US was primarily formed on Puritanism, which is why so many of its principles still exist in the culture today--they just call themselves "liberals" these days. (Oh, the irony.)

N.W. Thomas said...

And the other half of the Puritans call themselves "conservatives".