On a whim recently, I found myself trolling through old interviews of one of my heroes, Ian Sefchik from the band Creeper Lagoon. In one interview he equates alcohol with the internet because they both provide a means of connecting with other people. One drink is like 56k, four or five is like DSL.
It’s true. To spend a night in a crowded bar sipping lemon water is to feel utterly disconnected. But when does a connection become real? Is a face-to-face, drunken shouting match more authentic than a profound confessional exchange in an internet chatroom?
In both cases one is interacting with a somewhat augmented individual, while being augmented ones self. Most of us have friends that are a blast to go out drinking with, but make us clench our teeth in most other circumstances.
Assuming you believe that some sort of true connection is possible at all, do the mediums that make communication possible simultaneously clamp the pipeline of a true emotional connection?
From a sober distance, a bar at closing is sad and predictable: A case study in alcohol’s depressive effects on the brain. Many of the behaviors exhibited by human drinkers are paralleled by rats who’ve consumed alcohol as well. But with rats, that’s all we can monitor: Behavior. Most of us know that being one of the bar flies is a complex haze of euphoria and increased emotional stakes. The long mirror is a window into past loves and travels, the music is really telling you something, a woman’s glance down at her hands twitching the napkin under her drink makes you giddy with it’s weight. You are connected with these things and these people.
The real documentation
on how alcohol affects the brain lies in the works of most culture makers in history.
Many of the writers and musicians I admire have an admiration for the creative and/or social properties of alcohol. Many develop pathologies around this admiration. I’ve recently come to believe that
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