I’ll drink to that

Tuesday, August 19th, 2008

A movement of university heads is afoot.

“Ohio State President Gordon Gee is among 100 college presidents calling on lawmakers to consider lowering the drinking age from 21 to 18. The presidents contend current laws actually encourage dangerous binge drinking on campus.”

Fine with me, but can we keep the 18 year olds out of my local bar, at least? I’ll go to hell for saying that, but the culture of drinking is so backwards in this country that it takes people until the age of about 22 or so until they can do it with an ounce of grace and sit there and enjoy it instead of sucking Bud Light through a funnel and puking it back up. I did plenty of both those things, so I’m not judging, I’m just saying that until our nation can have an adult relationship with drinking I’d rather the kids stay out of my bar. I guess I could just choose a bar not popular with the kids, though — say, one that doesn’t offer $3 pitchers and dollar cans. Not that there’s anything wrong with $3 pitchers.

— Ryan

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24 Responses to “I’ll drink to that”

  1. #1 |  Hunter | 

    Just set a good example to the kids in the bar. They’ll catch on after a while. Maybe.

  2. #2 |  HtownGuy | 

    …drinking is so backwards in this country that it takes people until the age of about 22 or so until they can do it with an ounce of grace and sit there and enjoy it instead of sucking Bud Light through a funnel and puking it back up.

    Lowering the drinking age would begin to fix that immaturity created by our higher drinking age…. but it will take time to reverse

  3. #3 |  Jeff | 

    Should the kids get off of your lawn too? ;)

    I think you’d need to not only lower the drinking age but abolish it completely in the presence of parents/legal guardians. That way, parents could teach their kids about the responsible use of alcohol before they head off to college and dive head-first into the keg…

  4. #4 |  Ryan Grim | 

    Yes, they should most definitely get off my lawn, too. Unless they bring beer.

  5. #5 |  Tybalt | 

    …and a funnel.

  6. #6 |  livingpre911still | 

    Maybe, just maybe, you yourself are getting too old to hang out in bars with the young ones. Been there, done that, move along.
    If you’re old enough to die for your country, old enough to pay taxes and vote. You damn sure ought to be old enough to have a drink PERIOD!

    The statisticians at MADD will have a field day with this one. As Mark Twain once said, “There are liars, there are damn liars and then there are the statisticians”.

  7. #7 |  z | 

    How is a law banning under 21 from bars different than one banning smoking in bars? Shame.

  8. #8 |  Chris in PA | 

    I have a 35-year old friend who wants to raise the drinking age to 28.

    “Let’s the kids drink in their apartments, they’re crowding my favorite pubs.”

  9. #9 |  Ryan Grim | 

    I’m not advocating a universal ban of kids from bars. Just one bar. The kids will always have Adams Morgan — or your town’s version of Adams Morgan.

  10. #10 |  Thomas Paine's Goiter | 

    Eh – it won’t matter as long as the “Greatest Generation” and the “Baby Boomers” continue to treat their progeny like porcelain retards.

  11. #11 |  Eric | 

    If you learn to enjoy good (read expensive) beer, then the college punks won’t bother you. Bud Light is for pansies.

  12. #12 |  Anonymous | 

    Pricing should segment and differentiate the market fine. If I don’t want the Chuck E. Cheese crowd on a date – but I solve that by not taking dates to Chuck E. Cheese.

    the “Greatest Generation” and the “Baby Boomers” continue to treat their progeny like porcelain retards

    I recently told the lawyer who is representing me with DSS (that’s why I’m anonymous!) that as far as I was concerned, if you don’t get hurt, you’re not playing hard enough, and I showed her some recent injuries (on me, not my offspring) that told me I hadn’t left any fun unexperienced. (2nd-degree burns heal; the memory of grilling hot dogs in a canoe remains.) She advised me not to put that into my statement, and just stick with notions about not wanting to be a helicopter parent. (It’s still a crapshoot – it’s not clear that DSS doesn’t consider failure to be a helicopter parent evidence of neglect.)

  13. #13 |  Nando | 

    Obviously most people would oppose this change saying that drunk driving incidents, deaths on the road due to alcohol, and other alcohol-related illnesses will increase. Well, no shit sherlock! It doesn’t mean people shouldn’t be afforded their rights.

    If you’re an adult at 18 for everything else, then you’re an adult when it comes to alcohol, regardless of what bad things will happen.

  14. #14 |  John | 

    If we have to have a drinking age, then set it at 19. Just as with cigarettes, the 18 year-olds would be supplying alcohol to the underclassmen in high school. You may be mature enough at 18 to drink, but you are proabbly dumb enough to buy a handle for a 14 year-old.

  15. #15 |  Julian Sanchez | 

    My experience is that in countries where kids start drinking in their early teens, the drinking culture is a lot more sane. I remember, with some chagrin, a visit to Madrid when I was about 16 — lots of us went out for drinks the first week or so; I was the only one getting wrecked. Fortunately, I adapted.

  16. #16 |  Light | 

    The bar can also ban people under 21 if it wanted to. I believe bars have the right to refuse service to anyone for any reason. Or they could just say anyone under 21 already appears “too drunk to be served” to avoid any civil suits.

  17. #17 |  Lee | 

    Sometime in the past Radley has mentioned a study that questions the idea that raising the drinking age lowered the drunk driving accidents significantly

    It has something to do with the rates were already lowering thru education.

    Here is one I like to thru back to MADD parrots. Well if lowering the drinking age would save one life wouldn’t it be worth it?

    It is really entertaining watching them to try to weasel out of that.

  18. #18 |  Lucy | 

    I first got tipsy at 15. I didn’t throw up from drinking until I was 20, and I went out with a bunch of 22-30 year old Grad students. I’m now legal, and have managed to throw up from drinking twice in my life. Having libertarian parents who let me have an underage beer with dinner did me no harm, and might just have done me good. You don’t magaically know how to drink correctly at the age of 22. Seriously, have any of you ever seen a MFA student drink?

  19. #19 |  Elroy | 

    Get rid of the drinking age altogether. Then the nanny-statists can say no smoking because it harms the children now allowed to drink bars.

  20. #20 |  mgordon | 

    My chances of nailing an 18 year old are about to get better.


  21. #21 |  Ben | 

    #4 | Ryan Grim | August 19th, 2008 at 9:59 am

    Yes, they should most definitely get off my lawn, too. Unless they bring beer.

    But not beer that 18 year olds drink. They need to bring some Sammy or Harpoon or Otter Creek.

  22. #22 |  First Little Pig | 

    When I was 18, that was the legal drinking age and we drank in bars and acted like adults…. It was only after they raised the age that 18 year olds started drinking the same way we used to at 16 — Like animals.

  23. #23 |  Ed Brand | 

    I’m going to have to agree with Ryan on this one.

    In my early 20s, I frequented an Irish Pub in Annapolis. Even on Friday and Saturday nights, with live music, it was still an older crowd, mostly 35+ and I loved it. A bit crowded at times, but almost always very low key.

    When the bar was sold, the new owners (shudder) added a TV above where the bands would play and added a few NFL pennant streamers. The crowd started to get younger, and the atmostphere worse. It has been sold yet again and it is now a sports bar…complete with 21-22yo punks that don’t know how to act in public.

    I like low-key, hole in the wall type places. One of my favourite places to go when I was stationed in Korea was the local VFW post simply because it was not the place to be. Mostly an older, retired military crowd, with some of us youngins that like to actually hold a conversation over a beer from time to time.

    So yeah…hopefully some of my favourite places here in Maryland will decide to keep the under-21 crowd out if the drinking age were to be lowered. Nothing quite beats some peace and quiet while enjoying a pint of Sam’s du jour.

  24. #24 |  Jim Collins | 

    I’m getting sick and tired of legislation being passed banning something because some moron was stupid enough to do it and kill either themself or somebody else. The 21 drinking age is just a feel good piece of crap. We are trying 13 and 14 year-old children as adults. Aparently they are responsible enough to be held accountable for their actions. Yet we state that someone under the age of 21 isn’t responsible enough to handle alcohol. You can be damned sure that someone under 21 is responsible enough to go to jail for consuming alcohol.

    As far as MADD is concerned sombody needs to take a look at their non-profit status. Anybody here who works for the IRS?