Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

More Evidence of Creeping Individualism (in the Tocquevillian sense, of course)

Susan McWilliams observes that narcissistic bottled water has replaced the convivial beer as our beverage of choice. Beer helps us enjoy ourselves with others--it’s BOHEMIAN. Bottled water (which is the biggest scam going) keeps us from dying--it’s BOURGEOIS. Susan also speculates that the coming depression will lead to drinking (no one will be able to afford bowling) alone, an abuse of the proper purpose of alcohol.

Discussions - 12 Comments

Rather than just navel-gazing about it, liberals are actually leading the charge against bottled water and its various absurdities - on substantive grounds.

Damn that liberally-biased reality again!

Time to stock up your Hummers (and other SUVs) with bottled water, NLT krewe!

And while I like beer at least as much as - probably more than - anyone here (snooty high-priced wines and pretentious Scotch seem to be the trend here), one usually can't, and shouldn't, drink at work or while driving. That's when root beer is useful (not bottled water).

I'm proud to stand with Craig and the liberals on behalf of tap water. But coffee--not root beer--is my driving beverage.

Isn't wine conusmption still up? And doesn't wine lead beer in the US? All is not lost, Peter! In vino virtus.

A local bowling alley is advertising 99 cent games. We haven't checked it out yet, but we will. So far as I know, you can't purchase bottled water there, but beer is available.

In some ways wine is the mean between beer and bottled water. It lowers social inhibitions and reduces neurotic self-ceonteredness, like beer. But it's good for your health, allegedly, like bottled water. It's also usually pricey and has snob appeal, like bottled water. It's somehow unmanly in our time and place, like bottled water. Both are rarely served at bowling alleys, as is said above. Wine is probably even more conversation friendly than beer, and it, as is said above, can sometimes function like a truth serum. People who are alone in bars and don't want to be picked up don't usually drink it. So wine is bourgeois bohemian

Brett, the growth of wine consumption is outpacing the growth of beer and has been now for a few years, but the overall sale of beer is well beyond the overall sale of wine (in the US). And Peter: one thing I've noticed in the last few years is that the wine industry is becoming less snooty while beer has become moreso. I first picked up on this in wine shops and at tastings--they have become much more accessible and informal. And I've started to notice this in wine writing/commentary which for a long time was so pretentious that it was impervious to parody--the new trend among wine writers is to write down to earth prose and, often self effacingly, poke fun at the highfalutin aspects of the wine world. Beer, on the other hand, has gone the route of the hand crafted,small batch microbrew that self consciously styles itself as something only finer palates can appreciate. And any wine drinker will tell you that this is the greatest time in human history to buy wine--it has never been easier to buy a very good wine that is pretty inexpensive. In fact, if you can't find a very solid wine for under $10 in your local wine shop, you need find a new place to patronize. What is unambigously BoBo about both wine and beer is the obsession with dizzying choice, which can be fun but is also generally gratuitous and the need for each bottle to be a trendy expression of individual uniqueness (almost always unsuccessfully). And finally, an appreciation for something fine can certainly degenerate into a smug and effiminate indulgence,and maybe even does so often, but it doesn't have to.

I see what Ivan K. is talking about above with beer heading the other direction in how a couple I know approaches beer; they approach it the same way they approach wine. They look for all of these exotic, fine-tasting beers, and enjoying sampling them as one would sample different types of wine. They keep different beers on hand and offer a choice when one would like one between a handful of different, not-so-common brews.

What does the statistic prove? Are we drinking more water generally? Is our tap to bottled water ratio changing? In other words, just because we are drinking more bottled water than beer, that does not, necessarily, mean we're spending less time drinking beer socially.

A study of the history of beer consumption 1996-2005 in the United States show that as Unemployment goes up beer consumption goes down by .013 of the natural log of beer consumption (P value.03)

Beer consumption is pretty steady, and is not tremendously moved overall by advertising. It is fairly habitual. Cigarette taxes when they go up quickly tend to decrease beer consumption in those states, but gradual tax increases have little effect.

I think that increased unemployment particularily in states where cigarette use has diminished or been banned in public, might lead to less beer consumption overal...since the two(smoking and drinking beer) are weakly complementary and not substitutes. So actually a ban on cigarette smoking in bars might also cause drinking at home.

I don't know if water and beer are complementary or substitutes...I would guess substitutes.

Regardless US beer consumption is pretty steady...it is market share that moves the most...

I don't have any recent statistics...info above from duke economics study/memory...also those aged 21-27 drink the most beer...probably also not quite in the enlightened moderate sense Dr. Lawler champions.

Duke Study cigarette taxes beer consumption

Once upon a time, the "stammtisch" was where everyone could voice their opinions, no matter how stupid, and then blame it all on alcohol later. Now we have blogs . . . Not nearly as fun or as excusable (even if you're drinking while typing) . . .



In other words - it's more than just the beverage choice which is killing our alcohol-soaked social lives. If people are more comfortable writing in anonymity and (often) more clarity (because who's clear and articulate when they're buzzed in a bar?), why would they frequent the beloved table 'o regulars? Or maybe they'll come and just refer me to their blog for their opinions (and that's happened!). So sad . . .

More pathetic still, matt, are those who drink while they blog and facebook...

So now the liberals want to get rid of bottled water so Americans will have no choice but to drink the stuff from the faucet that the liberals put flouride in. Don't get Craig started on the salty snacks but he sure don't mind pushing the flouride.

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