Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Nothing new under the sun

The frequent references in the mainstream media to "binge drinking" never cease to bring a smile to my face. News editors who think that women throwing up in the street is somehow representative of our having crossed the fine line between civilisation and anarchy have clearly never seen any Hogarth prints. In a similar vein, this article provides proof, if ever it were needed, that British men have always been, and always will be, overgrown schoolboys at heart.

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1 comment:

David Gladwin said...

I think the important difference between the Hellfire Club in the 18th Century and what the media loves to term "binge drinking" is that the rakes and bounders of the former belonged to a far higher social class than the young people we see on our television sets, getting arrested for terrible crimes like swearing at policemen.

The term "binge drinking" is an interesting one, because it implies that there's another, socially and morally responsible, type of drinking. Presumably this happens in middle-class homes, where the wine that replaces the alcopops is an intellectual and aesthetic experience, as well as a means to an end.

Snobbery and hypocrisy are still the second and third favourite pastimes of the British.