We are developing the social individualist meta-context for the future. From the very serious to the extremely frivolous... lets see what is on the mind of the Samizdata people.

Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

Samizdata quote of the day

I often wonder how different individual lives in Britain would be if alcohol had never been invented. Just imagine all the couples who would never have got together without a little encouragement. All those unsent text messages and undeclared intentions. Can you imagine dancing, let alone pulling, in a sober club?

Iain Hollingshead, Twenty Something: the quarter-life crisis of Jack Lancaster

11 comments to Samizdata quote of the day

  • If alcohol had never been invented, then grain would have rotted in graineries in 6000BC Mesopotamia and civilization would have died on the vine.

    So, if your idea of fun is running from large predators and eating berries and fungus to survive, wish alcohol away.

  • Daveon

    Alcohol was probably the driving force behind the establishment of many early civilisations, so we should respect it.

    There is an excellent theory that the development of cities and the associated trappings and growth in the Fertile Crescent probably had a lot to do with the need to grow things to turn into beer. Beer has been with us a very very long time and long may it do so.

    In fact, the sun is past the yard arm somewhere so I might even drink to it.

  • Ian B

    Beer is wonderful because it gave me the courage to speak to a wonderful woman who was everything I’d been looking for in a partner and became my lover and soulmate, friend and confidante, the yin to my yang, and left me, and broke my heart, the bitch, I hate her, beer is evil and should be banned.

  • Kevin B

    The scene at the beginning 2001 where the apes find the monolith and start beating things with clubs is completely wrong.

    What actually happened was a couple of adolescent apes got rat-arsed on fermented plums one night and were lying flat on their backs looking at the sky.

    As you do when you’re pissed, they started seeng patterns in the stars. One pointed to a particular area of the sky and made the ‘ook’ for lion. The other pointed to a different area of the sky and made the ook for goat.

    Then they noticed Orion. “Oook, ook ook!”. (“Ape with enormous tonker!”).

    When they finally dragged themselves to their feet to stagger off home, one of them found a big stick and a piece of liana. In a fit of drunken inspiration he tied the liana round his waist and stuck the stick down it.

    The upshot of the story is that the Alpha male of their tribe was pretty pissed off with the lads and gave them a hard time. Being pretty tired and hung over, our hero dragged his stick out of his belt and beat old alpha to death, thereby becoming the new Alpha male and fathering lots of kids by all the females of the tribe.

    The rest, as they say, is history.

  • Kevin B

    Or, to put it another way:

    “The fermented fruit of the tree of knowledge.”

  • Timothy

    If alcohol had never been invented, my bank account would look a heck of a lot healthier, and I would have said far, far fewer stupid things on internet discussion boards.

  • nuke

    since when did the idea of drinking yeast excrement count as an ‘invention’?

  • You don’t have to bother trying to imagine what it would be like to trying to pull in a sober club. Just wait a few years.

    Once tobacco is finally eliminated, the vast army of then unemployed do-gooders, nanny staters, and health and safety fascists will have no option but to target the evils of drink. In fact, you can see the more enterprising of these control freaks already making the switch today.

  • Ernie G

    We tried that idea in the States, John. It didn’t work out very well, except to make guys like Al Capone and Joe Kennedy rich.

  • We tried that idea in the States, John. It didn’t work out very well, except to make guys like Al Capone and Joe Kennedy rich.

    And yet we decided to try it again with anything that makes you feel good that isn’t alcohol, tobacco or caffeine.

  • Laird

    Right you are, Phelps. Isn’t it interesting that where we once thought enough of the Constitution that we realized an amendment was necessary to prohibit alcohol, no such nicities were felt necessary in order to ban other substances?