Actually, drinking and culture do go together. Noah sung and cultivated grapes. Ecclesiasticus wrote,Australian culture "defined":
"Almost 50 per cent of people believe getting drunk occasionally is part of being Australian, a survey suggests.
The study of more than 1500 Australians, by the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre, found one in 10 reported having a problem with alcohol at some point in their lives. Three in five said they knew a friend or family member who had experienced an alcohol problem.
Germany, on the other hand - with its own myriad of problems, to be sure - recently hosted the annual Frankfurt book fair, the largest in the world:
"The other pleasant discovery was the real seriousness with which the German media treat the fair. Almost every radio network in the country (they are state-based there) had a huge outside-broadcast van parked near one of the five huge exhibition halls; television interviews with authors, critics and publishers seemed to run non-stop; the newspapers treat it thoroughly."
Hard to imagine in Australia. After all, why celebrate an "elite" artform, when you can grab a beer or ten?Australia's cultural immaturity lives on.
Go thy way, eat thy bread with joy, and drink thy wine with a merry heart; for God now accepteth thy works.
Christ turned water into wine for a wedding. The Greeks had a God devoted to the drinking of wine. So did the Romans, the Norse, and just about every other polytheistic people. Omar Khayyam wrote;
A jug of wine, a loaf of bread, and thou
Beside me singing in the wilderness,
And wilderness were paradise enow.
Keats loved 'the blushing Hippocrene'; Byron wrote,
... the future is a serious matter,
And so - for G-ds sake! - hock and soda water!
Lear 'drinks a great deal of Marsala/but never gets tipsy at all'; Australia's own A. D. Hope was overjoyed when he found that the formula for love was an alcohol:
At Munich on the Isar
Those molecules were found
Which everyone agrees are
What makes the world go round;
What draws the male creation
To love, my darling doll,
Turns out, on trituration,
To be an alcohol!
and Dorothy Porter had this to say on the subject:
I like to have a drink if I'm able,
Two at the very most;
Three and I'm under the table,
Four and I'm under my host.
So there you go, Antony. By the way, did you know that snobs are stupid, make boring company, and have less culture than a tub of yoghurt? 'Cos you're sounding like one at the moment.
UPDATE! Anyone got any favourite poems about drinking they'd like to share?
UPDATE! I'm working on a poem about Loewenstein's blog at the moment. Here's how it goes so far:
Roses are red,
Violets are blue,
Loewenstein's blog is silly,
And Antony is a p
I just can't think what to write next. It's a toss up between,
a) Peacenik conspiracy theorist, and a very silly person too
b) Person who I have great disagreements with, in case you never knew
Hmmm, a) or b)? What do you think?