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posted by [personal profile] towith at 07:29am on 16/08/2011
Everytime a person dies, knowledge is lost. The only way to preserve that knowledge is to communicate it to the following generation. We can aide this process by writing books etcetera, but then there is still the burden of teaching the next generation to appreciate those books. To have any continuity then between one generation and the next, there must be communication. If one generation does not communicate with the next, the lessons of the former are lost to the latter.

Assuming that the above is true, we can conclude that some problems may be caused by this lack of communication. One such problem is recreational drugs. I work in a pub and notice that children and teens will stare through the doors and windows for hours on end. The few small children allowed inside will ask their parents for a pint of beer and the parents will laugh, thinking it adorable. The adults see the children as naive and inexperienced. The children on the other hand see alcohol as a totem of adulthood and ultimately power. A tension then exists in which both generations acknowledge an experience gap, yet are prohibited from transferring that experience due to its potential dangers.

The years pass by and these same children drink alcohol illicitly with their friends and later in clubs geared toward a young adult clientele. With no experience to guide them, they learn the hard way that alcohol consumption can lead to embarrassment, compromising situations and in some cases addiction, disease and death.

Now let us imagine that at the age of 15, rather than drinking with their friends in secret, these teens drank at a bar. Surrounded by adults with some experience of drinking and drunkenness. Receiving alcohol from an experienced bartender who knows when to cut a customer off. A relatively safe environment to pass knowledge from one generation to another. Would it aide in reducing negative incidents and problems?

The main objection I foresee is that this is delivering a message that the consumption of alcohol by adolescents is to be condoned. As I have stated however, adolescents are already encouraged to drink if only by their thirst for experience and for what they perceive as an adult pastime. You could then argue that perhaps we should change the culture and ban alcohol, however prohibition does not have a sound historical record and would likely make the problem worse. Then there is the emotional appeal to the likelihood of calamity. It is my opinion that such calamity is the very reason for bringing youth alcohol consumption into the light of a legitimate public house atmosphere.

Another objection would be that if such a program works for alcohol, why not heroin? Why not indeed. This fact probably does not aide my argument, however bringing heroin use out into the light would likely cure many of the ills associated with its usage. Indeed if we look at the situation in Portugal, when drug use was decriminalised, many of the associated problems decreased. Where as the EU's continued prohibition during the same period was associated with an increase in the usual problems i.e. AIDs, criminality, addiction and prevalence.

Is it time then to take a perhaps uncomfortable look at ourselves, our society, our policies and what we are teaching the next generation? I think so.
There are 9 comments on this entry. (Reply.)


posted by [identity profile] at 11:20am on 16/08/2011
Pretty much. :)


posted by [identity profile] at 06:56am on 17/08/2011
I must keep strange company if underage drinking and the decriminalisation of heroin meets wide approval.


posted by [identity profile] at 01:22pm on 16/08/2011
Thank you for writing this. Perhaps instead of standing in the way, taking away the mystique that goes along with consuming intoxicants can be a constructive step forward.


posted by [identity profile] at 04:39am on 18/08/2011
Indeed. It takes a lot of courage however to allow children to develop, for the want of a better word, naturally. There is still a lot of hostility to these ideas.
posted by [identity profile] at 02:08pm on 16/08/2011

I read this years ago and he also brings into it prostitution, which should be totally legal for consenting adults.

I have heard quite a few people point out the obvious about drinking, which is that in many cultures it's fine to give children small amounts of alcohol.
posted by [identity profile] at 04:43am on 18/08/2011
Thanks for the recommendation!


posted by [identity profile] at 11:37pm on 16/08/2011
Our kids are going to love us...

that is unless they turn into some vodka chugging math geeks then I'm disowning the little shits.

Jokes aside, this post is very sound but implementation won't occur, there's too many vested interests in painting alcohol as an evil to admit that its UNCHECKED use of alcohol to blame.


posted by [identity profile] at 04:48am on 18/08/2011
I've recently been reading about the abolition of slavery in Britain. It can be literally boiled down to a small group of people arranging bake sales in support of freedom. All of the colossal financial interests couldn't stand against tea and crumpets. I think that maybe a few people can change things for the better, all they have to do is try.


posted by [identity profile] at 02:47pm on 18/08/2011
Indeed... one person alone cannot change the world but a small group and push the momentum forward



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