[P]lenty of Wisconsin people say they need to make no apologies for their fondness for drinking.Don't forget the Rathskeller!
“I work 70, 80 hours a week, and sometimes I just want to relax,” said Luke Gersich, 31, an engineering technician, who drank a Miller as he watched the Monday Night Football game at Wile-e’s tavern. On a weeknight, he said he might drink seven or eight beers. On a weekend, it might be closer to 12.
In Wisconsin, people often say, there is always a bar around the next corner. But drinking is scarcely limited to taverns. A Friday fish fry at a Wisconsin church will almost surely include beer. The state counts some 5,000 holders of liquor licenses, the most per capita of any state, said Peter Madland, the executive director of the Tavern League of Wisconsin.
“We’re not ashamed of it,” Mr. Madland said. He said anti-alcohol campaigns were efforts to “demonize” people who simply liked to kick back and relax with some drinks.You can always collect hilarious quotes about drinking. People who drink lose track of how much and of how much looks like way too much to people who don't drink.
“It’s gotten to the point where people are afraid to have a couple of beers after work and drive home, for fear they’ll be labeled a criminal,” he said. “At lunch, people are afraid if they order a beer someone will think they have a drinking problem.”...
As for allowing minors to drink in bars with their parents, Mr. Schneider said the law simply allowed for parents to educate and supervise the youthful drinking. “If they’re going to drink anyhow,” said [State Representative Marlin] Schneider, Democrat of Wisconsin Rapids, “it’s better to do it with the parents than to sneak around.”...
In [bar-owner Mike] Whaley’s view, the bar can be a suitable place for families to gather, especially when the beloved Green Bay Packers are on the television. “On game days, a buddy of mine will come to the bar with his 2-year-old, his 8-year-old and his 10-year-old,” Mr. Whaley said. “He might get a little drunk. But his wife just has a few cocktails. It’s no big deal. Everybody has a good time.”
IN THE COMMENTS: Ron said:
Without naming posts, mind....has Althouse ever blogged drunk?No, name the posts! That's the interesting question. While I deny ever blogging -- or vlogging -- drunk (though I almost always have a glass of wine in the evening), I'd like to know, which posts seem most explicable on theory that I was drunk.
AND: The comments discussion leads to "Let's mix up that cocktail we call a Sarah Palin."
ALSO: Instapundit links to this post with the line "STANDING UP AGAINST THE BLUENOSES in Wisconsin," and that makes me want to add something serious. In the comments, there's some talk about why the New York Times is targeting Wisconsin. Palladian says:
Lol. Yeah, nobody in New York drinks.Thomas says:
Hell, maybe nobody at the Times drinks. Maybe if they did, they'd be better writers.
All the Times had to do was send someone into any of the bars near its HQ to write the same story -- I work nearby -- but someone managed to convince their boss that they had to get on a plane to write this story. It is no wonder the Times is on the verge of bankruptcy: they have refused to adapt to the times, no pun intended.But I think this part of the article is the real hint about why the NYT has focused on Wisconsin:
A coalition called All-Wisconsin Alcohol Risk Education started a campaign last week to push for tougher drunken driving laws, an increase in screening for alcohol abuse at health clinics and a greater awareness of drinking problems generally.The Times is responding to a movement to change our laws here in Wisconsin. And isn't it interesting that a huge federal grant -- aimed at "screening, intervention and referral services" and alcohol abuse -- is connected to a political movement to change the laws that apply to all of us?
The group, led by the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, criticized the state as having lenient alcohol laws and assailed a mindset that accepts, even celebrates, getting drunk.
“Our goal is to dramatically change the laws, culture and behaviors in Wisconsin,” said Dr. Robert N. Golden, the dean of the medical school, calling the state “an island of excessive consumption.” He said state agencies would use a $12.6 million federal grant to step up screening, intervention and referral services at 20 locations around Wisconsin.
The NYT forefronts the law that lets parents supervise their own children. (When my sons were 19 or 18 or even 17 or 16, I could dine with them in a restaurant and we could all share a bottle of wine. Outrageous or civilized?)
Less conspicuous is this revelation: "Wisconsin law prohibits sobriety checks by the police, a common practice in other states." (The Times deserves some credit for noting that opposition to random checkpoints is considered by some people to be "an intrusion on Constitutional rights of due process.")
MORE COMMENTS: An emailer writes:
Family bars are a mid-western tradition. I noticed this when I lived in Rantoul, Illinois many years ago. On a Friday night, the entire town would gather at one or two bars. The men would drink beer and watch TV. The women would dance with each other to the jukebox, and the kids ran around being kids. People there did not realize that this is not common in other parts of the country. Being raised as a Southerner, I was shocked to see this custom, but frankly now I don’t see the harm in it.Miles from Kansas said:
Living in rural (Catholic) St. Charles County, MO in the 60s and 70s, the country tavern was the social hub of the community, and kids were always a part of that. There were games to play, as well has cheeseburgers and french fries, but kids were never allowed to drink beer. Nearly all those taverns, which had been around since the 1800s are closed now, and the area is no longer rural, or Catholic. It's a piece of history that should be recorded.MadisonMan said:
One of my favorite places to take my kids for Cheeseburgers is the bar closest to my house, the Village Bar. Their fries are great too! If they see someone drinking in the bar, so what?
Puritans, be gone!