“Our bossy society is completely losing sight of the value of risky behavior”

Gee, ya think? Yet again: not an accident, not a coincidence. Part. Of. The. Plan.

Most of today’s regulatory framework for alcohol traces back to the immediate post-Prohibition years. The basic assumption was that alcohol consumption is bad but unavoidable. The goal, then, was to regulate in ways that led people to drink less, via high taxes and inconveniences, without returning to the bootleggers and speakeasies of the disastrous Prohibition era.

Though things have lightened up a bit since then, that’s still the basic philosophy today. Alcohol discussions tend to turn on things like liver damage, impaired driving, violence and so on.

These negative consequences are real. But as Slingerland makes clear, they aren’t the whole story. There are a lot of less-heralded positives.

All simply part of the yin-yang tug-of-war that suffuses every last aspect of life on this planet. A properly Constitution-calibrated government would never dream in interfering in such niggling personal choices, without reference to either negative or positive consequences as justification. That’s because a properly Constitution-calibrated government would know that such choices are simply none of the government’s business, and would therefore stay in its own lane.

Of course, drinking isn’t all upside, but that isn’t the point. The point is that it’s not all downside, either — yet we regulate it, essentially, as if it were. We need a more balanced approach.

And it isn’t just alcohol. As our culture has veered in an increasingly bossy and punitive direction, the tolerance for any sort of downside is vanishing. The “playground movement” at the beginning of the last century argued “better a broken arm than a broken spirit.” Today’s society takes a different approach.

Just letting children play unsupervised outdoors can draw a visit from Child Protective Services nowadays, and bureaucrats aren’t the least bit concerned with protecting the children from having their spirit broken by too little play.

During the pandemic, we saw a degree of safety-ism that discounted the value of humans getting together in the face of tiny or even notional risks, leading to absurdities like ocean paddle-boarders being arrested for paddling maskless. There’s much more value in the activity than risk in being unmasked at sea.

The list of cases where killjoys focus excessively on the negative is huge, and anyone reading this can think of many examples. But what do we do about it?

Oh, that’s the easiest question of all to answer, although in perfect accord with that tug-of-war between yin and yang thing I mentioned earlier, it simultaneously presents us with the toughest choice: kill the killjoys, until the ones we haven’t gotten around to yet are too terrified to open their fat yaps ever again.

3
0 0 votes
Article Rating
2 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Ironbear

Power To The People

“You got that right. See, according to Cocteau’s plan, I’m the enemy. Cause I like to think, I like to read. I’m into freedom of speech and freedom of choice. I’m the kind if guy who wants to sit in a greasy spoon and think, “Gee, should I have the T-bone steak or the jumbo rack of barbecued ribs with the side order of gravy fries?” I want high cholesterol. I want to eat bacon, butter and buckets of cheese, okay? I want to smoke a Cuban cigar the size of Cincinnati in a non-smoking section. I wanna run through the streets naked with green Jello all over my body reading Playboy magazine. Why? Because I suddenly might feel the need to. Okay, pal? I’ve seen the future, you know what it is? It’s a 47-year-old virgin sittin’ around in his beige pajamas, drinking a banana-broccoli shake singing “I’m an Oscar-Meyer Wiener”. You wanna live on top, you gotta live Cocteau’s way. What he wants, when he wants, how he wants. Your other choice: come down here, maybe starve to death.” – Edgar Friendly

I’m with Edgar. All I want to do is bury these people up to their necks in shit and let them think happy-happy thoughts forever.

1
1
Barry

I’d like the burying to be a bit above the neck level…

1

Comments policy

Comments appear entirely at the whim of the guy who pays the bills for this site and may be deleted, ridiculed, maliciously edited for purposes of mockery, or otherwise pissed over as he in his capricious fancy sees fit. The CF comments section is pretty free-form and rough and tumble; tolerance level for rowdiness and misbehavior is fairly high here, but is NOT without limit. Management is under no obligation whatever to allow the comments section to be taken over and ruined by trolls, Leftists, and/or other oxygen thieves, and will take any measures deemed necessary to prevent such. Conduct yourself with the merest modicum of decorum, courtesy, and respect and you'll be fine. Pick pointless squabbles with other commenters, fling provocative personal insults, issue threats, or annoy the host (me) and...you won't. Should you find yourself sanctioned after running afoul of the CF comments policy as stated and feel you have been wronged, please download and complete the Butthurt Report form below in quadruplicate; retain one copy for your personal records and send the others to the email address posted in the right sidebar. Please refrain from whining, sniveling, and/or bursting into tears and waving your chubby fists around in frustrated rage, lest you suffer an aneurysm or stroke unnecessarily. Your completed form will be reviewed and your complaint addressed whenever management feels like getting around to it. Thank you.

Categories

Archives

Subscribe to CF!

Support options

Shameless begging

If you enjoy the site, please consider donating:

Notable Quotes

"America is at that awkward stage. It's too late to work within the system, but too early to shoot the bastards." – Claire Wolfe, 101 Things to Do 'Til the Revolution

"There are men in all ages who mean to govern well, but they mean to govern. They promise to be good masters, but they mean to be masters." — Daniel Webster

“The illusion of freedom will continue as long as it’s profitable to continue the illusion. At the point where the illusion becomes too expensive to maintain, they will just take down the scenery, they will pull back the curtains, they will move the tables and chairs out of the way and you will see the brick wall at the back of the theater.” – Frank Zappa

“The right of a nation to kill a tyrant in case of necessity can no more be doubted than to hang a robber, or kill a flea.” - John Adams

"It is terrible to contemplate how few politicians are hanged." - GK Chesterton

"I predict that the Bush administration will be seen by freedom-wishing Americans a generation or two hence as the hinge on the cell door locking up our freedom. When my children are my age, they will not be free in any recognizably traditional American meaning of the word. I’d tell them to emigrate, but there’s nowhere left to go. I am left with nauseating near-conviction that I am a member of the last generation in the history of the world that is minimally truly free." - Donald Surber

"The only way to live free is to live unobserved." - Etienne de la Boiete

"History does not long entrust the care of freedom to the weak or the timid." — Dwight D. Eisenhower

"To put it simply, the Left is the stupid and the insane, led by the evil. You can’t persuade the stupid or the insane and you had damn well better fight the evil." - Skeptic

"There is no better way to stamp your power on people than through the dead hand of bureaucracy. You cannot reason with paperwork." - David Black, from Turn Left For Gibraltar

"The limits of tyranny are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress." - Frederick Douglass

"Give me the media and I will make of any nation a herd of swine." - Joseph Goebbels

“I hope we once again have reminded people that man is not free unless government is limited. There’s a clear cause and effect here that is as neat and predictable as a law of physics: As government expands, liberty contracts.” - Ronald Reagan

"Ain't no misunderstanding this war. They want to rule us and aim to do it. We aim not to allow it. All there is to it." - NC Reed, from Parno's Peril

"I just want a government that fits in the box it originally came in." - Bill Whittle

Best of the best

Neutral territory

Alternatives to shitlib social media:

Fuck you

Kill one for mommy today! Click to embiggen

Image swiped from The Last Refuge

2016 Fabulous 50 Blog Awards

RSS feed

RSS - entries - Entries
RSS - entries - Comments

Contact


mike at this URL dot com

All e-mails assumed to be legitimate fodder for publication, scorn, ridicule, or other public mockery unless otherwise specified

Boycott the New York Times -- Read the Real News at Larwyn's Linx

Copyright © 2021