Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Comment Elsewhere: Caffeine is the New Martini

In a discussion of the negative effects of anti-alcohol campaigns on academic life, I responded:
Isn't caffeine the new alcohol? Instead of a brain-numbing CNS depressant, we go for STIMULANTS: it has the same effect, making you feel smarter and more talkative. It's psychoactive and addictive, cool (in that herdish sort of way), comes in enough varieties now that people have specific preferences, you can be snobby or populist, there are BARS, etc, etc..

I don't disagree about the drinking age: I was a college student when the age was raised, and my student EMT friends got to pick up the pieces on a regular basis. But as an historian the Tenured Radical should know: we are a Prohibitionist society, given to moral panics and Puritan fear of almost-harmless pleasures. The alcohol laws will relax the same time that drug laws do: Bet on it.


Anonymous said...

cool (in that herdish sort of way)
You're damn right. I got on The Juice when I started grad school; everyone else was drinking coffee, and it was the thing to do when you wanted a break or needed to talk to someone. And then there's the keep-me-up-so-I-can-do-my-work factor. Plus the addiction. Whee!

Ahistoricality said...

Yeah. Smarter people than me have pointed out that coffee has a virtuous Puritan side: "I'm drinking this so I can be more productive." Even if it's not true, but you at least look busy when you suck the bean.....