Over the last few weeks, the Anglo-Atlantic world has engaged in a slight moral panic regarding drinking. True, our concern is yet to extend to Swine Flu or Killer Africanized Honey Bee levels. You may, in fact, not even know we’re in the midst of a moral panic. It does seem, however, that alcohol is, both literally and figuratively, on everyone’s lips.
In the United States, the Center for Disease Control recently estimated that one in six Americans regularly binge drinks. In Canada, researchers at Dalhousie University concluded that, far from serving as beacons of moral support, our loved ones may be driving us to the bottle. Meanwhile, the British Conservative Party, an entity once led by the prodigious tippler Winston Churchill, are now asking the British public to dry up just twice a week.
One can only speculate as to why people on both sides of the Atlantic are re-acquainting themselves with John Daniels. Perhaps this upsurge in alcohol consumption is the manifestation of recession-related ennui. Maybe the issue is cultural, as the stigma of consuming “bargain-priced” alcohol is diminishing, giving buyers license to drink in greater quantities. Maybe it’s something else completely. Whatever the explanation, don’t be surprised by a drinking song and dirty limerick renaissance in the near future.