|Party People - Got to Boogie Down|
Mod: Every twelve months or so there are surprising new laws that hit the books in California, and this year apparently is going to be no exception. At the stroke of midnight on January 1st you will be able to ask your favorite bar to pick up the cost of your taxi cab ride home, and now they will finally be legally permitted to oblige.
New California law allows beer sellers to pay for drunken people’s taxi home (The Independent link): California is introducing a new law that allows beer manufacturers and licensed sellers to pay for drunken people’s taxis home.
The bill, which was supported by ride-sharing apps Uber and Lyft, passed unanimously in the state senate earlier this month and will come into effect on 1 January.
The rule change will mean manufacturers and sellers will be able to offer free or discounted lifts through taxi companies and services like Uber.
Under current California law, wine and liquor manufacturers can only provide free transportation for consumers at invitation-only events, such as concerts and parties.
The new state law relaxes these rules and is intended to keep drink-drivers off the road and improve public safety.
If you enjoy drinking, you should be against the development of hangover-free alcohol (The Independent link): Anyone who has shuffled into work on the run-up to Christmas carrying a Pret almond croissant, a cold can of restorative Coca-Cola and a dozen Nurofen Extra might be happy to hear that Professor David Nutt has predicted the end of hangovers.
Within one generation, Nutt, a former government drugs advisor who teaches at Imperial College, envisages the age of the “alcosynth.” This delicious-sounding synthetic concoction will mimic all the popular, boozy, slurry, flirty, “Aren’t I hilarious?” effects of alcohol – but without the sickness and throbbing headaches the following day. Or the eventual liver, heart or brain damage, one supposes.
Don’t sneer at the futuristic flim-flam. We laughed at driverless cars, Amazon drones and a fembot in every home turning our boiler on and off. Now look where we are. And here’s Nutt predicting that as cigarette smokers have taken to vaping, then wine and whisky lovers, seduced previously by clever marketing, pretty labels and notions of a vineyard or distillery’s prestige, will immediately start buying “Alcosynth 234: All-Night Party Flavour.” Or whatever the marketeers come up with.
Personally, I hope we can match the alcosynth to the specific event. “Alcosynth 76: Shouty / Belligerent” for example, for Friday night post-work drinks where things really aren’t better left unsaid. Or an under-the-counter bottle of “Alcosynth 89: Smutty Strumpet” for evenings out with girlfriends where no poor trainee policeman will go off duty feeling anything less than harassed.
If this doesn’t sound disconcerting enough, it’s Nutt’s cheery optimism over Planet Alcosynth that gives me the fear: “Alcohol kills more than malaria, meningitis, tuberculosis and dengue fever put together,” he says. “Wouldn’t it be fantastic if we could replace alcohol with something that led to almost no deaths?”
No, Nutt, just no. A Britain without hangovers feels like terrifying fear-free, anarchic dystopia.
We are a culture built on drinking to excess, yes, but this is rapidly chased up the following day with regret, pain, self-admonishment and a period of noisy abstinence.
“I am never drinking again, ever,” you will groan, following a long period of trying to locate your car which, it transpires, has been parked for three days outside The Nag’s Head. The hangover period following any night out is vital. We need the fear.
Mod: The rest of this troubling article is available at the link.