Stan has added his thoughts about the Twitter Taste Live event on Saturday night. He is still on the global beer jaunt that saw him drop by here last summer but was somewhere deep in the Florida everglades and so could not join in. He was thinking, however, and asks this:
...all this discussion left me with a question: What constitutes drinking alone? I would say that a trip to a bar in which your only conversation includes ordering beer, followed by taking notes, followed by posting them online counts as drinking alone. No matter what follows on a discussion board. But what about at an event such as that at Twitter Taste Live or in a chat room? Where does virtual reality end and enlightened conviviality begin?
I am not so much intrigued by this inquiry into one's relationship to one's computer media of choice so much as by the question of one's relationship to aloneness, to being with oneself? When did it become such a sin to be alone when you had a drink? Thinker George Thorogood once noted "when I drink alone I prefer to be by myself" and I think I agree. What is the voodoo about drinking alone anyway? It implies there is a problem. Yet, one can be a raging alcoholic surrounded by one's peers. When you want a pint and a paper in a sunny window on a winter Saturday you really don't want company. You want space and quiet.
And just what is "alone"? What if I am in the company of other adults but I am the only one having a drink? And am I alone if I have a beer write a letter to a friend or sip as we speak on the phone? If I sit as I do now in the rec room with family watching TV as I click away, there is no way that I am alone. If I were to open a beer would it change anything? I don't think so.
These taboos are odd things. I don't think there are too many examples above that give me concern - except that of the gang of raging dipsomaniacs. People do such funny things when they get together.