Illogical Binge Drinking Rant

Apparently more than four beers constitutes for binge drinking, according to new guidelines that will be released next month by the federal government. Are you serious? I can drink three times that on a big night, although at that stage I’m probably giving everyone the drunk eyes, hugging them and telling them how much I love life. What are people like me classified as, then? Not to mention the guys I drink with who will easily go through a couple of slabs. We’re past binge drinkers, we’re hyper elite super drinkers!

Brendan Nelson is calling for Rudd to rule out an increase on tax for beer and wine. I’m still shaking from the last 70% increase on the lolly drinks, what will I drink once everything has gone up? I deadset have switched to beer and champers since the tax, being a poor uni kid it hit me hard. Honestly, is alcohol really that much of a problem compared to other things? Can’t they put a tax on eccy and blow instead? I know they’re getting a slice of that pie, even naive kids like me are aware of the importing strategies the Pablos of the world are using. I believe the current fav is ‘all your eggs in one basket hidden in a container on a ship’, so upping the checks on containers would easily put a spanner in the works and have a huge effect.

Anyway, I’ve said this before, but binge drinking is not going to be stopped by taxes. No one ever stopped drinking over money, we either got more creative or copped it on the chin and paid the extra. They’re pretty much just targeting the lower class on this one, pushing the bottle further from the reach of those who don’t have lots of money to spend on wants instead of needs. Good, you say? You’re sick of seeing the drunken yobbos in the pubs and prefer a more aristocratic crowd? I must extend a warm f-u, on behalf of the distasteful proles.

How would I solve binge drinking then? Well, for starters we need to look at the definition with a bit more leniency. Four drinks is kinda wack. I wish I could get smashed off four drinks, then I probably wouldn’t be complaining about the price rise. By the way, are they putting the profits of these taxes back into D&A services? Because taxing for surplus is just bullshit to me, governments should put money back into the people and sit on even at the end of the year, not make a profit.

People are always going to want to binge drink, we always want to get drunk. Thats what alcohol is for, isn’t it? The teens are the worst for it, because they’ve been prohibited all their lives and suddenly feel a need to catch up to everyone, they’re chasing the cool. Perhaps a different attitude towards drinking needs to be portrayed. We glorify our stories of drunken escapades and declare alcohol to be fun and adventurous through movies, tv, advertising, and music. Of course they want to do it, how could they not? A price rise won’t change the attitudes. Damn you Rudd, you shit me. Here’s to you.

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13 Responses to “Illogical Binge Drinking Rant”

  1. Andy Says:

    “No one ever stopped drinking over money”

    You hit the nail on the head right there. They know full well that it won’t do a thing to solve any alcohol-induced problems, but they also realise that if they came out and said “we just want to gouge you a bit more” they’d be hammer in the media even worse than they are now.

    They know people will complain, but they also know that people will suck it up and pay the extra. They’ve done the same thing previously with tobacco and fuel, and it won’t be the last time.

  2. This Devil's Workday Says:

    Maybe they should put more effort into enforcing the laws that are already in place. Such as not serving alcohol to drunk people or the underaged.

    Part of me thinks the drinking thing should be dealt with, another part of me (the more liberal side) reckons the Government should mind its own business like its supposed to. Just give us ads like the smoking ones – they’ve worked. Don’t increase costs (or at least do that per alcohol quantity thing which makes the cost of wine go up, if people are willing to pay $6.50 for corkage, they can pay more for wine).

  3. LuLi Says:

    Andy – All they ever seem to do is raise taxes, when will they lower them? If I wanted to be taxed for everything I’d go to Switzerland or somewhere they actually put the money back into education, free healthcare and all that kind of stuff.

    This Devils Workday – I’m all for the government butting out. The more they concentrate on micromanagement of our lives, the worse off we seem to be. The best way for them to help is like you said, through education and public service announcements, also more alcohol related help programs would do a world of good.

  4. Andy Says:

    On alcohol? Never.

    I’m certainly not endorsing it- I think it sucks just as much as you do. But realistically governments don’t give back, they only take, however incrementally it might be.

    The problem is that our government doesn’t fear its people. As an electorate, we have proven ourselves to be gullible and easily manipulated, so they’ll take these hugely unpopular steps safe in the knowledge that we’ll bend over and take it. You just have to look at the sheer nonsense we are bombarded with during every election campaign to see how poorly the party machines think of us.

    Some democratic governments (France springs to mind) are deathly afraid of their people. They wouldn’t dare put so many people offside, because there would be general strikes and riots in the streets. Could you imagine the reaction in France if they tried such an arbitrary tax hike?

    But the old saying is true. As a people, Australians accept this from our representatives. We are only getting the government we deserve.

  5. rayedish Says:

    I don’t like the idea of ‘sin taxes’ they should just tax us via our income and GST on everything and leave everything else the hell alone. This is just another way to raise revenue that will fall heavily on those with less money.

  6. LuLi Says:

    Andy – Agree with you wholeheartedly. I wish we were more volatile like the French or that our public opinion/protests had more effect on politics. It would be good to see the Australian public stand up and reject both parties, and the Greens got in or something. Swing voters make up a small percent though, most people are set in their ways.

    Rayedish – I think a good place to start taxing would be right at the top of the hierarchy, the Australians who earn ridiculous amounts of money.. because they won’t really miss a few thousand here or there, right? I know as capitalists we protect these people but it would be good to see them affected as much as we are from all these taxes.

  7. Bron Says:

    Teehee, I love that first cartoon!

    And yeah, sometimes I drink *gasp!* five glasses of wine on Friday nights, if not more *shock horror!*

    I don’t consider that binge drinking. Usually I consider it not enough wine.

  8. LuLi Says:

    Yeah I love that comic, its from Cyanide & Happiness on explosm.net
    Five glasses.. you are wild. Better keep that on the low, you never know who might be listening!

  9. gullybogan Says:

    It’s a little disingenuous, surely, to define binge drinking by the number of drinks?

    It’s a little like saying, “X is a slut because she slept with four guys at the party, but M is just a fun-lovin’ good time girl, cos she only slept with three guys”.

    As has been pointed out, some ppl (like me) would be sick as a dog after four drinks, and others would just be starting the evening’s jolliments.

    We need to look at why ppl in our society don’t just drink, but drink themselves unconscious. And that’s a hard question to answer. Coming up with a ‘safe’ number of drinks – presumedly to enable us to label and stigmatise ppl who transgress the limit – isn’t going to help solve the riddle of why ppl exhibit this self-destructive behaviour, let alone do anything about it.

  10. LuLi Says:

    Exactly Gully, a safe number’s not going to do anything really, except for maybe make those who are bigger drinkers feel uncomfortable. A lot more research needs to go into this, and a more helpful solution to be found.

  11. Bron Says:

    You think five glasses is a lot? It’s a small wine glass. It’d be different if it was a large wine glass. That’s the other thing to consider too, I guess – the size of the glass and how much it contains.

  12. LuLi Says:

    Naw, I was just joking Bron, I drink at least five on a drinking night, and probably big glasses too. Five is about normal I reckon.

  13. Bron Says:

    Yeah, it’s all good, LuLi. I was musing. How much is a lot, how much is not a lot. And then I thought of the size of glasses. Even schooner sizes seem to vary from pub to pub.

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