Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Wine: The Horror

The following, from the thankfully faraway climes of Tennessee, is a small but convenient illustration of why sane adults consider "social conservatives" to be 100% full-of-shit knuckle-dragging cretins:

Opponents of wine-in-grocery stores testify:
In one state, she said, “Street drinkers came and they littered the neighborhood. I had an employee who lived in that area, and he had to literally move bodies of alcoholics who had passed out in his driveway in order to drive his children to work, and these people would be shouting obscenities to him and his children. … You’re just bound to have more problems with street drinking if you radically increase the outlets for this particular product.”
For my one and a half non-USA-based readers, I ask you to believe me when I affirm that, yes, the controversy here is whether wine, if sold in neighborhood grocery stores, will create a scenario in which the streets of the neighborhoods in question will become thickly peopled with drunken, screaming, family-life-obstructing belligerents.

There are people in this country who take the emphatic hell yes side of that controversy -- who do so out loud and in public. They maintain that selling wine in grocery stores will fill our happy streets, our peaceful neighborhoods, and our very homes with besotted louts shouting obscenities, breaking bottles, throwing things, picking fights, sleeping under bushes, and peeing all over the place.

The above is not a repeated typographical error. Yes, wine, the alcoholic beverage made from grapes -- known to "social conservatives" as the gateway drug to countless unspeakable form of mayhem.

... which of course raises of the question of how "social conservatives" have come to know this with such conviction, when the evidence suggests that the production of wine dates at least as far back as 6000 BCE, which in turn suggests an ~8,000-year-long cross-cultural social experiment on whether the availability of wine unravels communities, dissolves families, and soils everything with unwanted pee.

I believe the results are in on the level of reality. In Tennessee and in places like it, however, the controversy endures and the "social conservatives" wail and worry.


Ian McCullough said...

As a Tennessee resident, I can say that all of our liquor laws are designed to stifle free markets and protect local businesses. Tennessee produces a lot of whiskey and forcing wine into the liquor stores makes it equally difficult to purchase as our home grown Jack Daniels. Also, retailers are forced to purchase alcohol only from distributors and cannot get their goods directly from the brewery, winery or distillery. This is why Trader Joe's doesn't carry wine in Nashville (not because they would have to get a separate entrance).
It is a lovely example of conservative hypocrisy: meddling in markets, trade protectionism, unnecessary middle men - all in the name of temperance which lost most of it's luster 75 years ago.

Dale said...

Good points, Ian. I had allowed myself to forget that there were still places in the USA where wine is not sold in grocery stores.

I grew up in such a place, and I'm sure it's still that way.


Samuel John Klein said...

What they aren't courageous enough to tell you, the real fear behind wine sales is …

… it'll lead to dancing.


(I bet you saw that coming too)

FWIW, the Oregon Liquor Control Commission is teh suck. OLCC: Bold Liquor Regulation For the 20th Century!