Wednesday, 13 December 2006

The Politics of Alcohol

This is an old but interesting post by Bryan Appleyard on the politics of alcohol. He is responding to an odd sounding claim by Zoe Williams that people get more right wing when drunk. There is definitely something in this for me: but it has to depend on the kind of mood I was in before - if I've been relatively cheerful, I become convinced of the innate goodness of humanity and if not, I start to mumble to myself that it's a shame world war III never did break out. It's actually far more common for a pissed-up Drummer to start weeping sentimentally about the post-war consensus and what a nice place Welfare Britain used to be, and wishing my taxes were higher. Don't read too much into that though: in the same state I can hardly speak, walk or read and tend to think fondly of my adolescence, though it was in fact crap, as I always recall on the following morning. Following that post there are some amusing comments about which drinks produce which changes in political outlook. I have no idea about this, but it'd be fun working it out.


Matt M said...

I find myself become more libertarian when I'm drunk, which isn't quite the same thing as right-wing. Eventually, if the conversation stays on politics, I tip into armchair anarchism.

Generally people have moved onto another topic by that point though.

james higham said...

They certainly start to pontificate when drunk - is that the same thing? What would a Marxist do when drunk? Do we know any Marxist bloggers to ask?

not said...

Suppose it depends on who've they've been drinking with. In my observation, at least in the days I used to go boozing with Marxists, they tended to fight with each other and be quite amicable with the non-Marxists in the company. Or maybe that was just because I tended to put off the ones who weren't reasonably amiable to start with, since I get less and less tolerant of fools after I've had a few drinks; bad enough having to put up with my own foolishness without having to put with it from others.

I do vaguely recall back in my university days that the more self-deprecating Marxists had a fine drinking song, to be sung rousingly, late in the evening; as I remember it went,

When this boozer closes; oh, when this boozer closes; yes, when this boozer closes..... THE REVOLUUUTION STARTS!

The Tin Drummer said...

I love these comments. When I was at uni (yuk) I used to go drinking with lefties all the time and it went something like this:

0-2 pints: belligerent political discussion.

3-5 pints: aggressive assertion of assumptions.

5-6 pints: left ideals are beautiful (sob sob)

7+ pints: the tories will be first against the wall when the revolution comes.

I always regretted this the morning after.

nowadays, as I said, it varies. Last night 2 1/2 pints of Stella produced moderate headshaking concerning the causes of WWI. but not much else.

james higham said...

Causes of WW1 - ah, now that's an interesting one.