Monday, April 04, 2016

a to å challenge : d is for drinking


i've had this post open for hours. i've had a hard time deciding what "d" is for. is it death? divided? downpour? depressed? diamonds? downward facing dog? i know it's not a regular dog, since i'm a cat person. and then it hit me...drinking. (i had to use this photo because it includes both a cocktail and a cat, which, i realize, both start with c, not d.) 

back when i got my first job in denmark, i remember being very surprised that there was beer at lunch in the canteen for those who wanted it. it was next to cokes and fizzy water and milk and people did occasionally take one. of course, i was surprised there was a canteen at all, since in the states, we'd go out and grab some lunch somewhere, but in denmark, it's very normal that there is a work canteen and that you pop down with your colleagues, eat lunch, talk and then go back to work, taking about 30 minutes together to eat. alas beers in the canteen are no longer the norm (not that i ever recall taking one). but, even still, in general, danes have a very relaxed attitude towards alcohol.

the same cannot be said of norwegians. i've been doing photoshoots of late and have had to work around a norwegian law that mandates that norwegians cannot even see alcohol in an advertisement. apparently it's too dangerous for them. so even photos of a wine or whisky tasting have to feature empty glasses, leaving the alcohol to the imagination.

and i would maintain that that just makes things worse. like with teenagers, the thing you forbid is the most attractive. so when norwegians get access to alcohol at reasonable prices, they go a little crazy. much like south dakota teenagers on a saturday night when someone of age has bought them some beer and they sit in their cars(!) drinking it.

here in denmark, we also have a relaxed attitude to young people and alcohol. the drinking age is 18 (to buy alcohol), but most young people drink at parties long before that and to be honest, it's their parents buying it for them. as i see it, this is a good thing, because then you know how much the kid has and where it's come from. there are these shots that are very popular "the small sour" they're called - they come in a variety of flavors and although they are ostensibly vodka-based, they are only 16% alcohol (rather than the usual 40% vodka boasts) and they, along with soda-sweet ciders, are what the young people want to drink at their parties. frankly, they are foul and i think they serve to put the young people off alcohol more than encouraging them to drink more.

interestingly, the relaxed attitude towards alcohol seems to make the young people more sensible about it. it's not forbidden and therefore much less attractive. we are always more compelled by the things we cannot have. 

* * *

i do not buy this argument that the way the rest of the friends treated ross signaled the beginning of the end of western civilization. ross was an annoying, mopey, whiny git from the first episode. he was the least appealing friend and quite frankly, he wasn't that intelligent. i never bought him as a paleontology professor.

* * *

and on that note, has the art world also gone to hell in a handbasket?

* * *

j.k. rowling's twitter is putting people off her work.

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on motherhood and the hard truths of messy, wonderful, full lives.
"When we lay our struggles and our worst selves bare, we help others feel less alone.
It takes a village to help us retain our sense of self."

i think i needed to read that sentence today in light of my revision to this post.

3 comments:

Carol Epstein said...

I like your writing. This is a keen observation on human nature and the object of desire.

will said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
will said...

1. friends isn't responsible for the decline of western civilization... recent events have definitely proven, that decline began about a week after it was determined there was a western civilization.

2. has the art world gone to hell in a handbasket? No, just part of the art world has gone there... not the artists, just those that have made careers of blathering, pontificating, lecturing, describing, interpreting the art that artists make. Similar (if not the same) as Disneyland or Delft factory tour guides and Great Lake lampreys, these hell-bound people accumulate advanced degrees in order to one-up others of their kind … and they gleefully write books so complicated only they and their clones can decipher their masturbations.

3. jk rowling - I know she writes fantasy stuff ... which, like religion, is a death sport for some readers and for others, it's just really serious and really important.