So, we're taking on alcohol and drugs. I think, along with President Obama, that the issue involves mental health, not just throwing people in jail, or saying that alcohol and/or drugs are bad for everyone. Because here's how we've been doing it, and how we're gonna do it...
You drive your car home from Thanksgiving dinner, and drive perfectly safely. You're stopped at a police checkpoint, thrown in jail, fined a bunch of money, and if you say you were driving fine, they tell you that you won't admit you have a problem.
Everyone has problems, but driving isn't one of them for you. There are some people who react differently than others, due to mental health. I'm expanding that. "Mental health" isn't "all on you." It's social. Did you swerve a little in your car after that girl turned you down? What made her turn you down? I mean, fuck "love," now, right? Wait, they throw you in jail for stuff you can legally buy? WTF! You' swerved, bitch!
Both legal and illegal drugs work the same way in certain situations, and the effects vary widely among different people. Does eating spicy food work with crack/cocaine? It's the chef's fault! It's a mental health issue, too. And they left out your partner, Thumper. Your enteric nervous system (your mouth, throat, stomach, and intestines, along with some other parts down there, can "process information" independently of the brain.
Or is it God's fault? Was it God's "master plan" that caused you to swerve? Because in many treatment programs, God is the cure. Maybe the "Big Bang" caused it, and there is no "you." Prolly cause you a mental health problem if you don't have some of that resolved before hitting meth.
Add to that the interesting bit of information that Jesus said alcohol was his blood, and that we evolved to use alcohol because it's how we "moved out of caves" and built cities. Because we needed to figure out how to grow crops to plant more grapes. The rotten grapes get you drunk. The flower of a marijuana plant gets you stoned. Boom! Cities and farms everywhere...
I gotta drink for you. Let's get started with beer...
Before we get started on beer, I think we should talk about the role of alcohol in the formation of civilization. It's been demonized to the point where you can buy it legally, then get arrested for enjoying a beer (or other alcohol) with dinner. But every study I can find says that either beer, wine, or liquor (there's not enough information available about which came first, but I'm sure the grape juice crowd will have you spilling Jesus blood over dinner) says that it's why we have homes, villages, towns, and cities instead of running from cave-to-cave, drooling for food.
It goes like this: One day some guys ate some rotten grain and got a little drunk. They wanted more rotten grain, and figured out how to grow it and rot it better, and get drunker. Houses and churches went up, the caves went away, and the wolves guarded the whole thing in exchange for table scraps. No shit...
So, while you're feeling all high and mighty in your modern apartment, let's talk about the types of beers. We're gonna do it "Top 10" style...
- Ales: Brewed with top fermenting yeast at cellar temperature, ales are fuller-bodied, with nuances of fruit or spice and a pleasantly hoppy finish. Generally robust and complex with a variety of fruit and malt aromas, ales come in many varieties. They could include Bitters, Milds, Abbey Ales, Pale Ales, Nut Browns, etc.
- Lagers: Lager originates from the German word lager which means 'to store' – it refers to the method of storing it for several months in near-freezing temperatures. Crisp and refreshing with a smooth finish from longer aging, lagers are the world's most popular beer (this includes pilsners).
- Malts: Generally dark and sweeter in flavor, malts contain hints of caramel, toffee, and nuts. They can be light to full bodied.
- Stouts & Porters: There’s very little distinction between a Porter and a Stout, but they do have their differences. Porter is a dark, almost black, fruity-dry, top fermenting style. An ale, porter is brewed with a combination of roasted malt to impart flavor, color, and aroma. Stout is also a black, roast brew made by top fermentation.
Hopefully you read the part under the "Beer" section about civilization. Wine, too... So, again, let's hope you read the "Beer" intro so we can get to the types of wine and not re-explain everything...
Wine is usually divided into two types. Red and white. And then it's subdivided from there. It's usually made from grapes. And you can get white wine out of a red grape, so it doesn't work exactly like how you think when you look at grapes. Like, the raisins in Raisin Bran are made from white grapes (the white grapes are actually very pale green). You'll notice the descriptions talk about flowers, fabrics, creams, and fruits that aren't really in the wines. That's a marketing tradition. You're not really drinking rose petals and velvet. And note that "dry" means "not sweet." The opposite of "dry" is "sweet." Some wines are dry, and some wines are sweet.
Cabernet Sauvignon: Widely accepted as one of the world’s best varieties, Cabernet Sauvignon is often blended with Cabernet Franc and Merlot. It usually undergoes oak treatment. Full-bodied, but firm and gripping when young, with age, rich currant qualities change to that of a pencil box. It sometimes has a bell pepper flavor.
Merlot: Black cherry and herbal flavors are typical. The texture is round but a middle palate gap is common. Its softness has made it an "introducing" wine for new red-wine drinkers.
Pinot Noir: The aromatics are very fruity (cherry, strawberry, plum), often with notes of tea-leaf, damp earth, or worn leather.
Syrahs: The shiraz variety gives hearty, spicy reds. While shiraz is used to produce many wines. It can produce some of the world's finest, deepest, and darkest reds with intense flavors and excellent longevity.
Chardonnays: Chardonnays are often wider-bodied (and more velvety) than other types of dry whites, with rich citrus (lemon, grapefruit) flavors. Fermenting in new oak barrels adds a buttery tone (vanilla, toast, coconut, toffee). Tasting a USD 15 Californian Chardonnay should give citrus fruit flavors, hints of melon, vanilla, some toasty character, and some creaminess.
Gewürztraminer: A Gewürztraminer often appears not as refreshing as other kinds of dry whites. It has fruity flavors with aromas of rose petal, peach, lychee, and allspice.
Riesling: Riesling wines are much lighter than Chardonnay wines. The aromas generally include fresh apples. The riesling variety expresses itself very differently depending on the district and the winemaking. Rieslings should taste fresh. If they do, then they might also prove tastier and tastier as they age.
Sauvignon Blanc: Sauvignon Blanc is generally lighter than Chardonnay. It normally shows a herbal character suggesting bell pepper or freshly mowed grass. The dominating flavors range from sour green fruits of apple, pear and gooseberry through to tropical fruits of melon, mango and blackcurrant. Quality unoaked Sauvignon Blancs will display smokey qualities; they require bright aromas and a strong acid finish.
Have a shot. Think about if corn liquor is whiskey (whisky) while you read along with me. This is just me trying to figure out liquor... Enjoy!
A friend of mine bought me some V.S.O.P. brandy. I looked up what V.S.O.P. means: It means "Very Superior Old Pale." It has to do with how the product is aged, and what's in it. But I kept going, and came up with a bit of info about liquor...
- Whiskey: Spelled "whisky" in Europe, Canada, and probably some other places, it's been likened to "distilled beer" because it's made from grains. In Germany, in addition to whiskey, they also have straight up distilled beer, called "bierschnaps."
- Bourbon: Whiskey made in America
- Scotch: Whiskey made in Scotland
- Rum: Liquor made from sugarcane and/or molasses
- Vodka: Very pure liquor that can be made from grains, potatoes, or fruit, though usually grains or potatoes are used. It is distilled in a way that gets rid of most impurities, so it doesn't matter if you make it from grains, potatoes, or fruit. It's the closest liquor to pure ethanol, but it is sold at a lower strength (it's ethanol + water, and really is that pure; you can even use industrial ethanol to make it).
- Gin: Vodka with juniper berries added during the process, although the process is different from vodka.
- Brandy: Liquor made from fruit. Usually grapes are used. If you can think of whiskey as "distilled beer," you can think of brandy as "distilled wine."
- Cognac: Brandy made from specific grapes in a certain region of France
- Armagnac: Brandy made from specific grapes in a certain region of France
- Tequilla: Liquor made from the blue agave plant.
- Liqueur: Any of the above mixed with flavorings. It gets weird here because you have products like Jägermeister, which is an herb liqueur. It isn't clear what that means. Can alcohol be distilled from herbs, or are herbs just used for flavor? In any case, there does not appear to be such a thing as "herb liquor." You'll be directed to "herb liqueur," suggesting alcohol cannot be made from herbs.
- Schnapps: A word that describes many liqueurs.
So let's test out the guide! What about "corn liquor?" I'd say corn is a grain, and corn liquor doesn't taste like vodka, so corn liquor must be a whiskey. Corn liquor is sold in jars and packaged to look "homemade." It is supposed to suggest a time when people made liquor at home, especially during prohibition in the U.S. When prohibition was lifted, these products still circulated "in the country (countryside)." In reality, corn liquor is manufactured in a licensed industrial facility. You're buying the look of the packaging. The ATF will come to your house and kill you if you try to make your own corn liquor... from all that corn on your farm?
Ahh, drugs. What drug do you mean? Which ones do what? Which one do you need? Legal or illegal? What happened?
Let's just start with weed. If you're sane, you should realize the guy getting high in a luxury environment with no threats is gonna behave differently than the guy who always gets beat up at school and hears gunshots at night. That's not the drug, that's the environment. Our solution, at least in America, is to put people who freak out in jail, take away the drugs, and throw a Bible at them. Man, that ain't right. That's not what's really happening. And guess what? There are drugs that do other things that marijuana doesn't do. The war on drugs is just a way at bullying people who have been beat up and have a gun to their heads. I've tried most drugs. Will I survive?
There are studies that show different drugs benefit different people in different environments. And that's all we wanna focus on. Improving the way people feel, and improving their environments. We're not trying to bully or fuck with anything else. Plus, like alcohol, drugs helped us start up civilization...
Picture a large dog. Now picture that large dog as a giant gerbil (called a capybara). They eat "cocaine leaves" off of the ground in the jungle. They can be kept as pets, but they'll be off their cocaine...
What about drugs like Ecstasy? There are studies that show the drug helps people who have suffered something horrible, usually associated with PTSD. And you wanna fight a "war on drugs" on that person? What the fuck is wrong with you? Stop bullying him. He's been through enough of your shit.
If bad things happen to some people and you decide to lock them up because of what you did, consider not making them want to kill themselves. Monitored Internet access for non-violent drug offenders (we'll monitor to see if they're dealing drugs, and are too busy to worry about their pickles) to prevent further psychological damage. Access to books other than the Bible. Release into open areas that aren't chapels, such as exercise areas where the sky can be seen. A 24/7 menu. Lighting options in the cells. Private and pod TV's. Masturbation in cells rather than in private showers. Private showers. Free clothing, with some sense of fashion, but jail/prison themed. New facilities. Clean floors, cells, toilets, and showers. Guided drug and alcohol use.
Maybe treat people struggling with your bullshit better than this once they get out of prison. I think we know hydration, diet, exercise/movement, and environmental conditions are factors at this point. Like, Prozac gets you just to the point where you can work, but then the weather turns cold, and no one is there to serve you a hot meal without taking the bus to a random church each day. And the bus ride isn't covered. And you're tested for alcohol before you get a bed, and are forced to pray to a Christian god every morning in exchange for the bed. Plus it's downtown with a 3X murder rate. The best the city has to offer, though...
The SAG (Screen Actors Guild) section was supposed to be about the healthcare plan provided to actors. You get doctors more sensitive to what it's like to be famous, free of charge, but you can't take a lot of time off work, or they start charging you. It's unfair. We created beta software called MedNet to work around issues.
MedNet is about more than actors. Anyone with health problems can use it. I addresses a lot of issues for everyone. It's still in beta, so you can only do certain things, then you get an error message. We had an idea about "digital heaven" in creating MedNet, so it stores your data on NewsKing servers. But it can't call the doctor or bring you a vegan pizza yet... Smile! Check out MedNet!
This is one of the weirdest parts of using drugs and alcohol. Our ancestors grew up in villages where they could walk to a pub and use any drug they wanted. Like, just straight up eat a marijuana bud. It got horribly twisted when Freud started prescribing cocaine while Hitler was lifting passages from Nietzsche books while Einstein was talking about relativity (that something may not appear to be there depending on how fast you and the thing are moving, but the that you and the thing are still there). Take a drink! Or do a bong hit! Or whatever! All this shit got dumped on a bunch of drunk, high people all at once, then we added little old ladies who complained that their husbands hit them when their husbands drank. And now women could vote. Now add the car, delete the village, and replace it with the suburbs. It went nuts...
We've come up with the self-driving car. Basically, a computer drives for you. It's super-cautious and never speeds. And governments are talking about doing away with DUI laws if you own one of these cars. Australia is very progressive on the issue, but the U.S. is talking about it being unfair to people who don't own such a car (the U.S. makes a fuckton of money on DUI's, too).
So, when we talk about history, let's talk about the future. You can be the turtle or the rabbit. Either way, you won't be driving, monkey. I can't even believe we let monkey's drive except at amusement parks. Like, bumper cars. Look how many fucking lanes we need now...
There are studies that say the drug war causes police brutality, and this isn't about the police. There are studies that incarceration depends on your skin color. All of this can impact your enjoyment of the fun we talked about above.
Stay with me. Out there, they're making laws that make it wrong to not sit in the driver's seat of a self-driving car. Don't go there with them. We want you to enjoy your alcohol and drug experience. Stay in here and have some fuckin' fun! Damn! What the fuck do you think alcohol and drugs are for? Party, or throw yourself one. And enjoy responsibly...
by T.J. Newton.
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