You know I don't buy the "proto-quasi-prohibitionists are out to steal your fun" stuff but I sure do like the nutty headlines. I think this is the best one so far, from the Sunday Express this weekend. I thought there was a typo in that headline but now I am not sure. At another point in the article it states that a group named Alcohol Public Health Research Alliance which said "people were drinking on average some 600 times the safe levels for preventing cancers" and that the maximum amount to prevent other alcohol related diseases, such as cirrhosis of the liver, was about two drinks a month. Just to be clear, cancers and cirrhosis can strike folk who never drink, too, but that's not the point, right?
I used the George Carlin joke about saliva causing cancer back in late 2008 so I better not repeat it. But arguing that people are drinking 600 times the safe limit? Why not a million? You might think that an over-consumption of something that toxic might express itself in, you know, dramatically higher cancer rates. Not to make like of something that killed my father the third go, but being Scottish apparently is its own risk of higher incident. From these charts we learn that, over the last 40 years folk have been drinking less in the UK, living in smaller households and colour TV ownership is up 250% and now stands at 100%. Really? Surely someone is just watching the iPhone over there.
Like most things in this portion of modernity, there is little way to correlate, contextualize and digest the data ourselves. In a way, we rely on belief in the statements of others as much or more than our medieval ancestors. Maybe we even have a creeping cultural hope of immortality, a whisper in the back of the mind that enough miles jogged and enough drinks avoided will make us as the gods. Me, I grow my own salads more because they are just so tasty but they might be helping me fight the bigger battle. I can do that. But two beers a year? "Don't do it Jim!" we hear shouted at the Christmas party punchbowl - "you had that beer in August. Dooooonnnnn't!!!"
Probably too late anyway.