About Drinking

An article from today's Times pseudo-confirms my intuitions on a subject that I'm sure has graced the minds of most people that have recently been in college. Where do our drunken words/actions come from? Is it a manifestation of some sort of schizophrenic personality disorder that alcohol unleashes? Or is it actually a less inhibited version of the people that we already know?

The article, citing the opinion of two experts, claims that it is the latter. This makes sense to me. Throughout college, I ran into all sorts of people that did or said "crazy" things when they were drunk, then dismissed it the next day. The crazy behavior normally ran in a couple of directions, influenced slightly by being male/female. First, there were the people that would just sleep with anything. Second, there were the people that would start getting violent. Third, there were the people that would just be a**holes and say really unpleasant things. Oddly enough, I always found the last group to be the most objectionable.

Anyway, I always felt like being drunk or otherwise intoxicated wasn't really enough to change the type of person that you really are. You might just be a different version of yourself, but it seemed to me that the core should stay the same. This view came largely from my own limited perspective. But it seems like there's a pretty strong incentive to make a claim one way or the other, depending on who you are. If you're the type of person that does things that you regret the next day, then you obviously want to say, "I only slept with that person because I was messed up." If you're not that type of person, then you might want to go the opposite route and say that inebriation displays a more unfiltered view of the self, so that you can claim some sort of moral superiority over your more bashful peers.

While I subconsciously lean towards the latter in my own views, I think that the real answer is this: while alcohol may give a glimpse into what a person wants to keep covered up, the real measure of a person should be based on what they do. If someone thinks that what they're doing while being intoxicated is really, egregiously, criminally bad, they'll probably stop drinking. For example, if every time I took a hit of drug Alpha, I murdered one of my friends, I would probably stop (or go to jail). This is obviously an extreme case, but the idea is the same. It might be harder to make this decision if the outcome was less black and white. That being said, maybe it is the real me that comes out and starts murdering people. But if I can look at that side of myself and say, "That's not who I want to be," and stop, then that decision should be equally reflective of what's going on inside my head.


  1. thomas said...

    the only reason i slept with your mom was because i was drunk.



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