Does Drinking Help?

And is that really the most important question?

Photo: michael

Is alcohol good for you? It’s a perennial question that defies easy answer because nobody fucking knows anything. It’s a whole lot of maybes and guesswork and “well, it did fine on dogs, it should probably be okay for people.” It could be bad. It could be good. It could be neither. Nobody knows. Even the conjectures are shot through with caveats. Listen up: I am not by credential a scientist, but I’ve got Nobel Prize-level expertise at telling other people how to live their lives, so I will say to you here, on the subject of alcohol, if you are medically and spiritually able to drink it, do so. Whether or not alcohol provides any benefits to your health, what it is fucking amazing at is warming you up on the inside, making the people around you more interesting, filling your eyes with a bright glow that is too often dimmed by experience and softening all the harsh, painful edges you spend your days trying to dodge with limited success. Alcohol is a big puffer coat for your brain that insulates it from the cold gusts of reality. Do you know how terrible reality is? Of course you do. It’s why people do almost anything they can to avoid it. It’s why there’s alcohol in the first place. Who gives a shit if it helps you live longer? Knowing how fucking nightmarish life is to start with in what world does “aids longevity” count as a recommendation? Good Lord, in alcohol you already have the perfect product for dulling your awareness of your painful, pathetic existence. Every glass offers the promise of possibility and the sweet mystery of what might happen next. Don’t get greedy.

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