Thursday, August 21, 2008

Duh, We Were So Impressed w/ Ourselves We Forgot a Title (Added 22 August '08 @ 1031 PDT)

Mme. McArdle checks in on the drinking age, or, as she refers to it: "The age of responsibility."

I'd lower the drinking age to 16, as in Europe, but require licenses to show that you haven't had a DUI.
Yup, lower it to 16 so that any 13-yr.-old will have ready, easy access to as much booze as they can afford. Oddly enough, drunk driving isn't the only concern w/ alcohol use & consumption. We can also note that the Euros had a culture w/ a sensible, relaxed approach to drinking long before any laws to control the drinking age were enacted. America's idiotic (or super-egoist) Puritan origins didn't & still don't allow for that, of course. Imagine a middle school course in "responsible drinking." It'd be almost as bad as "sex ed," where they teach the little ones to be gay or whatever.

In my day (said the wretched old weasel) 1969 & 1970 in Paris, the driving age was 18, for one thing. The booze laws were along the lines of anyone over 12 in a bar w/ their parents could drink wine, & there were varying stages of age, Mom &/or Dad being w/ you, & what exactly you could drink, but if my aging memory serves once you were 16 or 17 nothing was stopping you from drinking what you will w/o chaperons. These were regulations posted in bars, & entitled something along the lines of "Public Drunkenness, Minors & Something or Another."

Just plain buying liquor in the super market was open to all, as, I think, was whatever went on in the home. Here in the United Snakes I believe in many jurisdictions giving junior a half glass of wine is just plain illegal & bustable, though of course seldom enforced. I eventually stopped being surprised at the sight of an eight-yr.-old buying a litre or two of vodka (I hope for a parent) in the supermarket.

I've no idea what up w/ today's Europe (or much of anything else) but Megan is wrong here, believe it or not. I wouldn't be opposed to raising the drinking age to 25, to keep it out of the hands of those under 21. Frankly, as people live longer, & adolescence seems to stretch out forever, maybe the age of majority should be returned to 21, & no one under 30 (Or 35 even. After all, no one who can't serve as president should be forced to kill babies for oil cos.) should be allowed to enlist in the military.

Yes, she did drag this one out:
It's appalling that someone can go get killed in Iraq, but not buy a beer.
The missing word is "legally." Or we could dump the last clause entirely. Then we'd get:
It's appalling that someone can go get killed in Iraq.
Well, isn't it?

Elements of Style©: As opposed, of course, "to stay get killed in Iraq." I'm glad that was cleared up.

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