Another day, another bunch of odd academic studies from labcoated laboratorians or policy documents from lobbyist trying to tell us all what beer does with you or what you do when you are with your beer:
- From France we learn that "when the music gets loud, we tend to drain our mug of brew faster":
Researchers staked out two bars in the west of France and observed drinking habits of 40 patrons. With permission from bartenders, the scientists pumped up the volume of a Top 40 station from 72 to 88 pounding decibels. In this earsplitting din of pop-music, patrons drank more in less time.
Is it possible that people who like to drink slowly and have quieter habits do not patronize places where Top 40 stations are played at 72 to 88 pounding decibels? Or maybe are they drinking to numb the pain?
- This article from here in Canada seems to suggest that university age female drinking is new:
"You're just an amateur if you can't drink as much [as the guys] ... you're kind of like a sissy," says Smith. "It's not even always how much you're drinking but what you're drinking. Like, if a girl is drinking a stereotypical man-drink like whisky or dark rum or beer, it's like guys are attracted to her or that it's more impressive.
If they are suggesting this is new, well, that would be news to everyone I know in the mid-50s to early-40s bracket who were at college in Maritime Canada 25 to 30 years ago, who roamed in packs earning nicknames like "The Girls Who Said Woo". Sure there were dumb, sad or bad incidents to all sorts of kids but risks and dangers were mitigated by group dynamics and common sense - designated drivers, not inviting jerks along and people just watched out for each other, like the time one evening's overeager drinking buddy was stitched up by last night's one from the med frat. Heck, on any given evening large lads like me were pointed at by a few gals as they said I was their boyfriend while I scowled a bit. If that does not still occur, that would have nothing to do with the drink so much as a sad loss of good manners.
- US College basketball executives are considering an end to beer advertising during the "March Madness" national championship basketball tournament. Currently:
The NCAA’s advertising policy on its face...specifically prohibits ads for cigarettes, sports wagering, gambling, nightclubs, firearms and weapons, athletic recruitment services, and depictions of any student-athlete group in a degrading, demeaning or disrespectful manner. "Impermissible" ads also include NC-17-rated motion pictures, television programming or interactive games, and alcoholic beverages. But, ads for malt beverages, beer, and wine products that do not exceed six percent alcohol by volume are excepted, with limitations.
This is no small business as we are told that two beer marketers — Anheuser-Busch and Miller Brewing — spent nearly $30 million to advertise during the 2007 NCAA national basketball championships. But are these breweries advertising to the young or the old glory-days guys who pretend to themselves that they were as good back in the day?
I don't pretend that there is not some degree of common sense or academic value in clever people noting these sorts of things but I am not going to join the new dries anytime soon, either. Sometimes in these matters we only hear of the sort of common sense that sees only one side of the matter and not the kids who like to sweaty slam dance to loud music, the gang of kids looking for safe dumb fun or the sofa surfers who just like to watch those ads for Bud with speaking frogs or with the guys who say "Wazzup?" How much money has A-B or Miller given to higher education through these ads or even otherwise? How many noisy slam-dancers just had a good time - again - and got home safe? How many of my pals met their spouses over pitchers of beer and now have nice, slightly Oldie Olson lives with quite faithful marriages?
Too bad there is no well-funded "Institute for the Realistic Contextualization of Studies and Statistics" which could help with those questions.