Thursday, 11 June 2015

A Subversive View of Alcohol.

There’s a video up on YouTube which apparently examines the assertion: ‘The truth comes out when you’re drunk.’

Well, I don’t think it’s quite that simple since truth is a difficult commodity to define. It is a fact, of course, that alcohol acts as a disinhibiting agent, and as such can reveal things about a person that he or she normally keeps under wraps. It shows a different side to their persona than the one you’re usually allowed to see, and I suppose that’s the ‘truth’ to which the video is referring. But it goes deeper than that.

Alcohol changes a person’s view of the world; it moves them into a different version of reality – sometimes only subtly, but sometimes more extremely – and an individual’s understanding of truth is ever reflective of their perceived reality.

Put all this together and I’m tempted to offer a suggestion to anyone thinking of engaging in a long term relationship. Don’t go there until:

a) You’ve seen them drunk while you’ve been sober.

b) You’ve seen them sober while you’ve been drunk.

(That’s if you want to really know them, of course. Maybe you don’t.)

I think the latter is probably the more instructive, but then alcohol has been a bosom buddy of mine since I was fifteen (even though, remarkably, I hardly ever drink before midnight.) I’ve found that it can be an excellent teacher as long as you keep a third persona standing aside to observe the process, but it doesn’t work if you follow the tram line view of propriety and only drink socially. Deep learning is essentially a solitary pursuit, since there’s nobody holding you back by trying to drown out the hum of Mother Culture.

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