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30 August 2005 @ 08:17 am
Social mandate?  
My sister was telling me yesterday about this girl her age who was going around school gossipping about how she got "sooooo drunk" last weekend and was basically showing off to all her friends. Lily is pretty sure that it was the first time that this girl got drunk. What this girl is doing, at the age of 15, is furthering what I call a social mandate.

ALCOHOL IS NOT A NECESSARY PART OF A PERSON'S LIFE. It might sound weird to you, but it is not. Take a look at this comic. The person in the passenger's seat isn't Conrad. It's EVERYONE. It's fucking EVERYONE, INCLUDING YOU. What is Conrad, as a representation of EVERYONE, doing in this comic? He is also furthering a social mandate, which states that you must drink to be social. He's saying, you can't drop your boundaries or get rid of responsibility or enjoy life without alcohol. If you can't, then why do I do it all the time?

Fine, I'm condescending and taking a holier-than-thou position. Great. Let's start off by saying that I KNOW ABOUT ALCOHOL and I have GOTTEN DRUNK BEFORE. Yes, it made me feel "loose"-er and did everything that alcohol is supposed to do. Was it a necessary element in socializing with those around me? I would have even said "no" if you came up to me at the time(s) and asked me.

But here come more people that are like "oh hey, party time, let's find someone to get us alcohol." I've been a chauffeur many a time in the past, driving my friends around to make use of someone who is of drinking age. Okay maybe the drinking-age people don't really mind enabling people my age - I don't care about the legality, I think a "drinking age" is a dumb rule in a few respects - but still, I can barely stand the fact that people are being used just to gain access to alcohol so the real fun can begin. "We GOTTA get drunk before we can socialize!"

WHO SAYS? The people around you say. Everyone's saying the same thing. Everyone else is drunk, so you've got to get drunk to have fun. By thinking this, YOU'RE the one who is furthering this social mandate. What's worse, alcohol has to be an integral part of courtship in our society - I mean, it HAS to be - because if you're not drunk and the other person is, it's rape. You definitely don't want that to happen, so you HAVE to get drunk so the feeling is mutual. Why don't more people see something wrong with this?

I hope this gives enough reason why I don't drink for fun and why you don't have to either. Besides, most of that shit tastes awful.

Before you say "wow Jeffrey I really respect you, you can handle so much, etc. etc." please look at this comic again. I've heard it. It doesn't mean anything. If you really respected me and saw my viewpoint then maybe you'd try to change something about yourself.
Sumezsumez on August 30th, 2005 10:28 pm (UTC)
Comment spam time (I think)

This is what I, Conrad and everyone says: "It's fun to drink!" or "Alcohol lets you have more fun!"
This is what you and other people who don't drink refuse to hear nothing but: "you must drink to be social" and "you can't drop your boundaries or get rid of responsibility or enjoy life without alcohol"

There's a fucking difference.

I think the whole problem is in your country's collective view on alcohol as something evil that young people should avoid doing (a drinking age of 21 is absolutely insane!), which gives it a drug like status, and promotes the behaviour that kawakiwikiwa writes about up there. Which is a total misinterpretion of alcohol. It should be something natural. Something which lets you easen up more in the company of others. A culturally good thing, not an evil.
Sumezsumez on August 30th, 2005 10:30 pm (UTC)
I don't have a problem with people who don't drink, I have a problem with people who think they are better people because they don't drink. The whole "Well ---I--- can have fun WITHOUT drinking!" thing.
The Tridecadal Koreanastralblue on August 30th, 2005 10:45 pm (UTC)
A culturally good thing, not an evil.

Sadly cultural things are defined by people who take them, and alcohol IMO isn't one of the things young people in this country take gracefully into their life.  Too many youngsters take on alcohol in such a manner as I eat you, or you eat me, oh shit, it doesn't matter 'cause I'm already wasted!

I'm from Korea, and I miss carefree drinking, even when I'm not wasted, without having to worry about gross social misinterpretations, such as Oh shit, he's drunk!  And he's Asian!  What a lowly FOB who shouldn't belong here in the first place!  Yes, a sad Korean living in a sad country. :p

Jeffrey Carl Fadenjeffreyatw on August 30th, 2005 10:53 pm (UTC)
Actually, you said "Drinking lets you lose your bounds and have a much better time... it's a great way to escape from real life and just have a great time without anything great needed to happen."

I don't care about what others think of it - believe it or not, despite the drinking age (which I said I disagree with) and despite what the media says about it, our society welcomes it and finds it a part of daily life.

Okay, fine, but why? Let's stop comparing cultures and just take a look at it as a whole - why did our society start drinking in the first place? Why did it become such a necessity?
The Tridecadal Koreanastralblue on August 30th, 2005 11:04 pm (UTC)

#1.  The grass is always greener on the other side.  People crave for what is prohibited.  And prohibited things usually yield all kinds of negative side effects.  Remember the all-out Prohibition in 1920s?

#2.  Alcohol dates way back into history, even before this country has formed.  It's pointless asking why the society started drinking.  Chances are, George Washington knew how to drink when he took the first presidency.

Jeffrey Carl Fadenjeffreyatw on August 30th, 2005 11:26 pm (UTC)
Like I said, I disagree with laws preventing drinking (to a certain degree). I agree that a lot of kids start drinking just because it's taboo. I know this. Like I said, DESPITE this, drinking for people "of age" (say, of partying age, 16 or something) doesn't seem to be such a big problem or forbidden thing - it's quite normal.

I'm aware that alcohol has been with man since the beginning. Is that really the reason, though, why it's seen as such an odd (and maybe even wrong) occurence when someone goes through their life without relying on alcohol? I'm not losing an integral part of being a human being by not drinking, is what I'm getting at.
The Tridecadal Koreanastralblue on August 30th, 2005 11:45 pm (UTC)

You aren't indeed losing much.  It's just about where to look at and turn to.  That's why I said it's not something to get angry or mad about...  You simply have to look for people who share your view when it comes to “hanging out.”

It's another thing to learn to gracefully deal with people who do drink (i.e. without subjecting ourselves to unnecessarily heavy stress because we have to “stand” them), but I guess you already got the hang of it.