April 13, 2011

The drinking age, a Samuel Pepys phrase, the etymology of "cunt," a George S. Kaufman joke, and the erosion of Althousian moderation.

"Old Enough to Fight, Old Enough to Drink/Republicans can make up for a Reagan-era error by returning this issue to the states." That's the title of a Glenn Reynolds op-ed in the Wall Street Journal today, but you'll have to pay to read the whole thing. Feel free to discuss the topic without reading the article. It's a topic we hashed out on the blog back in August 2008, when the "Amethyst Initiative" — a statement from 114 college heads — came out. At the time I said:
The initiative wisely invites debate about whether the drinking age should be lowered instead of calling outright for legislative change. Let's be scientific about this. It's one thing to say alcohol abuse and drunk driving are terrible, but it's another thing to figure out the causal connection to the legal drinking age. There's nothing wrong with responsible, moderate drinking. What's the best way to encourage young people who are inclined to drink to do it the right way? I doubt that prohibition is best, and I'm enough of a libertarian to want to resolve doubts in favor of freedom. But sure, let's debate. I'd like to see the evidence analyzed.
Hey, I was a lot more moderate 3 years ago! I wonder what happened. Has Meade infused me with right-wingitude? On that topic, just this morning, by chance, I ran into an old George S. Kaufman joke, which I don't remember ever seeing before: "One man's Mede is another man's Persian." Does that even work as a joke anymore? You need to know the saying "One man's meat is another man's poison." I don' think a joke writer today could assume the background knowledge.

Let me tell you the story of how I arrived at that George S. Kaufman joke. This is another way to pass the time we can't spend reading the WSJ op-ed, since we don't have a subscription. Meade was just quoting the diary of Samuel Pepys: "I was with my main in her cunny." I said it was a shame we don't still use that word "cunny." We do say "cunt" and "cunnilingus," it was observed, and that led to a search for the etymology of "cunt." Is it related to "cunnilingus"? The answer is no, I learned, along with some detail about Latin- and Germanic- derived English words that begin with the letter "c" and how they trace back to Indo-European. (Words that were "c" in Latin will begin with "h" in German if they come from the same Indo-European word. And English words that come from German words that begin with "k" will begin with "g" in Latin if they have the same Indo-European source.)

I ended up reading this Wikipedia article on Latin profanity:
Cunnus was the basic Latin word for the vulva.... Cunnus has a distinguished Indo-European lineage. It is cognate with Persian kun "anus" and kos "vulva"....
Kos?! Has anyone told The Daily Kos? Did Markos Moulitsas deliberately chose the second syllable of his first name as his blog name because of the Persian meaning? He got that nickname in the Army, where perhaps jokes that require knowledge of Persian are understood. I Googled "'daily kos' vulva persian," and the first thing that came up, a link to Daily Kos, didn't answer my question, but had that line "One man's Mede is another man's Persian." I Googled the line and got to a 1961 Time Magazine article about George S. Kaufman titled "One Man's Mede":
Kaufman's quirks—he despised airplanes, wore stiff collars well into the 20th century, fueled himself with sickening fudge that he made himself—never interrupted his enormous output of hit plays... 
Fueled himself with sickening fudge... Why does that amuse me so much? Is it the humor magic of 3? 1. Despised airplanes, 2. Wore stiff collars, and 3. Fueled himself with sickening fudge. 3 related-unrelated things. All 3 are precise details about George S. Kaufman, but 1 is something he hated, 2 is something he wore, and 3 is something he ate. Comment/blog meme of the day: Write 3 things about yourself (or someone else) that follow that pattern of 3 related-unrelated things and seem equally amusing. Make very specific details, and have one thing hated, one thing worn, and one thing eaten.

Oh, good lord, where am I going with this? Well, the next thing that happened was, I decided to write this post. I couldn't get into the Wall Street Journal, so I Googled "althouse drinking age federalism" to find my old post on the subject to get things started. The search also turned up a law review article I published in 2001, which had this:
There are some policies that do not work unless they are adopted by all... [W]ithout a national drinking age of twenty-one, a state that chose a lower drinking age than its neighbors would tempt younger drinkers to drive across state borders, creating hazards beyond its borders....
Hey, I was a lot more moderate 10 years ago!

ADDED: My son John, who apparently subscribes to the Wall Street Journal, has a post this morning with a fair amount of text from the aforementioned op-ed. AND: John emails to say he doesn't subscribe, he just has a method to get to the full text. (Commenters to my post explain the method.)

146 comments:

Jeff Gee said...

There's a free back door to the WSJ article at

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704641604576255161172364474.html

John said...

I managed to read Glenn's post this morning without paying or signing in... hmm... but, in a nutshell, I completely agree. It makes no sense to say that an 18-year-old can get married, borrow money, sign a binding contract, be tried as an adult and executed, and fight and die for his country, but yet can't go down the street and buy a beer.

(Word verification: sonsup. Just in time for Easter!)

that-xmas said...

Isn't the drinking age difference between borders a big issue between Texas and Louisiana? Texas kids would drive to LA, get drunk, and crash their cars on the way back home.

It was also a right of passage for kids along the Canadian border to drive over the border on their 18th birthday to get pretty ripped. I'm sure it's still done, but it's probably a bit more difficult now.

Scott M said...

As a veteran, a drinker, a driver, and a citizen, I've never understood the 21-year-old mandate. Screw it. Old enough to fight, old enough to drink.

Chuck66 said...

My older brother was in high school when Wisconsin's drinking age was 18. He said there were juniors in high school who would go to the bar during lunch time to legally enjoy cocktails at noon.

Worked with a gal who said when she was in high school in Minnesota (senior year), they would roadtrip to Wisconsin to booze it up, then drive the 30 miles back home.

My high school also allowed the students to smoke on school property. They set aside an area for the kids to smoke.

If we lower the drinking age, I say we also bring back smoking on school grounds.

J said...

Slang: the grunt of the human hog. (Bierce).

Or sow, as it were. get down wit' yr bad self, Porkhouse

Rick Caird said...

You don't have to pay for the Reynolds op ed. WSJ has some kind of deal with Google, so if you use Google to look up "Old Enough to Fight, Old Enough to Drink" and then click on the WSJ link, you will get the whole article.

MarkG said...

Has Meade infused me with right-wingitude?

It's quite noticeable. (I've been reading since 2005).

When my sister divorced and started dating again, her politics moved around to match that of whoever was her current boyfriend. I would've thought Althouse too brainy for that kind of influence.

Chuck66 said...

Scott M, I understand your point, but I don't see how volunteering to defend ones country is the same as boozing it up and driving drunk at age 18. If we had a draft, or had an incredibly huge army so a larger percentage of recent high school graduates were serving, that would be different.

traditionalguy said...

In vinos veritas. But we cannot let those under 21 have vino...they will use it to get more cunitas.

Meade said...

All things in Meadeation.

shiloh said...

Oh, good lord, where am I going with this?

As w/most of your meaningless fluff/minutia ~ nowhere ...

Hey, I was a lot more moderate 10 years ago!

Indeed! So that's when you flipped a switch and became conservative, eh.

>

AA, a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma. :-P

again, apologies to Winston Churchill

Richard Dolan said...

"[W]here am I going with this?"

Beats me. From the drinking age, to Meade as the anti-moderator, to jokes gone stale, to etymology, to "Daily Kos vulva Persian," back to stale jokes and ending with 3 related-unrelated things.

Is this an effort to model in a blog post the writer's equivalent of conduct associated with "younger drinkers [enticed] to drive across state borders [by a desire to get tipsy], creating hazards beyond its borders ..."?

Insufficiently Sensitive said...

Perhaps Mr. Zuniga's Greek father had some connection with the small Greek island named Kos, off the Turkish coast, whence came the marvelous singer Marika Papaghika, who had her own nightclub on Long Island, etc etc...

In other words, the Persians and their explicit language might be innocent in his case.

Scott M said...

Scott M, I understand your point, but I don't see how volunteering to defend ones country is the same as boozing it up and driving drunk at age 18

I've known shitloads of people over 21 who have never served their country who have driven drunk. What's your point?

There are a number of other things you can do at 18, but we restrict drinking at that arbitrary age because of latent puritanism, as far as I can tell.

To you point, though, if you are old enough to be force, yes forced, to sign up for selective services, an act which may require you to end your personal life for public service at the drop of a hat (a big hat, to be sure, but theoretically possible) you should be able to buy a damned drink. This isn't to say only men should be able...I likewise don't understand why in this "enlightened" age, women aren't forced to sign up for selective service as well.

Carol said...

I moved from a very strictly enforced 21 YO drinking age state (Cali) to Montana when drinking age was still 18. I was playing the bars and woohoo was it ever a party every night. Of course there were a lot more working men around then spending money too.

But what happened was even younger people managed to hang around the joints, 15-17 YO, many coming in with their parents then later alone. (Some of these are my fiftysomething friends now). Carding was lax, and people had fake IDs. It seemed to me that a younger drinking age means an even younger drinking culture, whereas as a kid in Cali I had started much later than many of the folks I know here in MT.

That's more of a social argument against lowering the age, not strictly legalistic or libertarian, and I admit I can live with some implicit social control in our laws.

Joe said...

(The Crypto Jew)

Scott M, I understand your point, but I don't see how volunteering to defend ones country is the same as boozing it up and driving drunk at age 18.



Anecdote Alert!

A friend of mine came back from Desert Storm. No alcohol in the Great Sandbox. Served in a Mechanized Infantry unit. Could have been killed. Is in the airport having a beer. The Airport/Mall Rent-a-Cops ask for ID. They aren’t 21. The Rent-a-Cop makes them pour out their beers. Explain to me why, my friend who could have been killed for his nation, could be married, could have children, could sign legal documents obligating him/her for car/house/child support payments, in short, is considered ADULT-ENOUGH in all other respects, but we cannot trust him/her with a beer?

My friend could command men/womyn in combat. Could be trusted with commanding multi-million dollar equipment and maintaining it, but s/he’s NOT trustworthy enough to handle a beer? Really, I’m sorry I can’t grasp this…..

John said...

How about a compromise: If you are in the military, you are allowed to drink at age 18, even if the state age is 21. Just show military ID and you are good to go.

What is the drinking age on military bases? When I was stationed in Maryland in 68, I could drink in the Enlisted Men's Club on base, though I was not old enough to drink off-base. Ditto when I was stationed in Bayonne NJ.

Does it still work this way?

Drinking age is a state, rather than a federal decision. Should be, anyway, and used to be. When in HS Virginia was 21 but we could drive into DC and buy booze legally at 18. NY was also 18 when other states surrounding it were 21.

Of course, the Feds have federalized the age by refusing to return tax money in the form of highway funds to states that do not have the 21 age.

John Henry

WV Comiligg No idea what it means but it sounds sexy and fun. "I performed comiligg on my wife last night"

Scott M said...

Well, I suppose the answer to raise the minimum age for joining the military to 21.

John said...

Not something that I had ever researched but I had always thought (wrongly apparently) that cunt came from coynt and that coynt was a latin word for "sheath"

Penis and pencil (I was told) came from similar roots. So all fucking was was a form of pencil sheathing.

John Henry

Milwaukee said...

If you're going to take Vienna, take Vienna. If drunk driving is a problem, address drunk driving by all ages. Prohibitions usually don't work.

We should worry about drunken sex: those consequences can also be severe.

Heck, let's legalize recreational drugs. That prohibition only fuels drug gangs, and law enforcement types over the top to stop the gangs. Both can be evil.

Milwaukee said...

You're going to have to buy me another beer, you're still ugly.

TMink said...

In Tennessee, the drunk driving figures are a sham. Here is how they are calculated.

After a traffic fatality, everyone in any of the vehicles is tested, and if ANYONE turns up positive, it is listed as a drunk driving fatality. So if a bus full of sober nuns drive off a cliff and hit a cop who is taking in a drunk who is handcuffed in the back and someone dies, they are all listed as drunk driving fatalities.

Lies, damnable lies, and statistics.

Even with all the lying, less than 500 people die in Tennessee from alcohol or drug related fatalities.

Trey

shiloh said...

Barry Goldwater was against changing the voting age to (18) and then someone mentioned you can "get drafted" or volunteer and die for your country at 18 and he changed his mind.

>

Speaking of incoherent minutia ~ why is mama grizzly still popular w/some of the teabaggers? hmm, other than she's a relatively good looking MILF ...

>

As an aside, when I was in the USN many states changed the drinking age to (21) but on base the enlisted clubs still let you drink alcohol if you were 18, otherwise they would have no purpose lol as 18, 19, 20 y.o. were their main patrons. Go figure!

Quayle said...

It should be the legal on the July 1 after your 18th birthday.

I lived in New Jersey when the age was 18, and the entire school class was awash in booze from the 18 year olds that had turned of age in October or November of that school year.

Fernandinande said...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gropecunt_Lane

G Joubert said...

What is the drinking age on military bases? When I was stationed in Maryland in 68, I could drink in the Enlisted Men's Club on base, though I was not old enough to drink off-base. Ditto when I was stationed in Bayonne NJ.

I don't know about nowadays, but back in the 60s that was an Army thing only (maybe AF too). I was in the Navy, stationed at Treasure Island in San Francisco, and we under 21 could not drink at the TI EM club, so we traveled across town to The Presidio (Army base), and drank at the EM club there, where they served under-21 service members.

TosaGuy said...

This army guy can definately see Soldiers calling PFC Kos a pussy.

Sixty Grit said...

I think the drinking age should be raised. I grew up in Maryland, many teenagers would drive to DC where they could drink at 18. Many of them crashed on the way home. Some of them drank themselves to death in their 20s.

But that's just my opinion. Clearly I am in a minority, but I really don't like drunk driving. Or drunks.

TosaGuy said...

"What is the drinking age on military bases?"

21

AllenS said...

Are we talking anatomy? If you have a twat and then a shitter, shouldn't the area in between the two be called the twitter?

MamaM said...

1. Something I hate: Whitewash

2. Something I ate: Orange Scone

3. Something I wore: Yellow shoes

What else do I hate: A loaded post with multiple entry points.

Milwaukee said...

Colorado used to wean young uns on 3.2 beer. All the state college campuses had bars on campus. Colorado State had one dorm which consisted of 2 twelve story building, and a third building which had the cafeteria for the two towers. The basement of the cafeteria was a bar where beer was served, along with hamburgers, fries and pizza. (The basketball team had a fellow who also played football, and later on went to play in the NFL. He used to go into the 12-story cement stairway and fire his hand gun, with blanks. I'll bet that made a noise.)

When the discussion for building new dorms came up for the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. One suggestion was to build them close to the bars on North Avenue, so the residential neighborhoods don't have to listen the the drunks going home at closing time.

AST said...

I don't drink alcohol. Never did.

So this is a little like the Pope giving sex advice, but I've represented hundreds of people in trouble with the law because of things they did when drunk or high on drugs. I just think that getting drunk or drinking until you judgment and control over your actions is impaired is irresponsible. I think old enough to fight, old enough to drink is a sophistry. I don't see what one has to do with the other.

Serving in the military involves intensive training and the obeying orders. Does the military allow soldiers to drink or be drunk while on duty? Maybe there should be a requirement for a license to drink, obtained through intensive training.

As for what to call the female genitals, William Randolph Hearst is said to have called his mistress' "Rosebud."

Joe said...

(The Crypto Jew)
I just think that getting drunk or drinking until you judgment and control over your actions is impaired is irresponsible. I think old enough to fight, old enough to drink is a sophistry. I don't see what one has to do with the other.


OK, so let’s outlaw drinking and drugs….FOR EVERYONE, THEN. But as long as “adults” can drink Scotch, and by adults we mean those 21 or older, but other adults may not, meaning those 18-21, I’m calling “Shenanigans”. IF, impairing your judgment is bad is so bad, THEN no one should be allowed to do so.

To me, that’s what they have to do with one another…my friend was adult enough to die for America, trustworthy enough to be entrusted with multi-million dollar gear, but now you tell him he can’t be trusted with a $2 beer?

But I’m OK with your formulation…we’ll trust NO ONE with a $2 beer…

MadisonMan said...

I was always kinda happy that Wisconsin was one of the last states to kowtow to federal Money pressure and up its driving age.

A drinking age is a silly notion, IMO, as some 16-yos are far more likley to handle alcohol than some 60-yos. The better tactic is punishing the behavior that is the problem, not issuing blanket edicts like a drinking age. You're driving under the influence? You can't have a driver's license. No second chance. Come back in five years and re-apply.

liza b said...

I prefer 19 or a high school diploma, whichever comes first. It would be a great motivator to stay in school and an entire class would be entitled at the same time, eliminating pressure on the older ones.

J said...

A-house: sort of like 24/7 Shecky Green imitators.

nada mas que........ basura

rhhardin said...

Robert Frost The Need of Being Versed in Country Things had the Shakespearean pun in mind.

And pic

MadisonMan said...

Has Meade infused me with right-wingitude?

Yes.

He's apparently also made you a lot wordier. Why use 10 sentences when 1 will do?

There was a althouse-ish blog where every entry was one word. Whatever happened to that crisp site? What happened to This resolution?

rhhardin said...

Almost everybody substitutes vagina for vulva, because vulva seems gross.

Vagina keeps something hidden.

Otherwise it would just be an inexplicable figure of speech.

MayBee said...

If you're going to take Vienna, take Vienna. If drunk driving is a problem, address drunk driving by all ages.

Exactly this.

The idea that someone can be a legal adult in all ways except for drinking legally seems impossible to me.
Even more absurd? In California, you can get your marijuana club card at 18 and smoke pot legally. But not have a glass of wine when you are out to dinner.

rhhardin said...

Then there's the finest essay around cunt ever penned in English by Barthelme.

Roger Sweeny said...

The drinking age here is 21, as it is in all American states, but lots of my high school students are able to get alcohol. There seems to be less drinking among the younger students, but a fairly large percentage smoke marijuana.

Passing a law doesn't mean it will be obeyed.

Christopher in MA said...

"Cunny" was a popular word in Victorian erotica, though it was generally used between women in prelude to or during sapphic encounters. The horrid, lustful man having his way with the innocent maid would plunge into her "cunt." I prefer "cunny" myself.

And as a professional alcoholic myself - lower the drinking age to 18. Get rid of the ridiculous near 0.00 "legally drunk" laws. And tell the prohibitionists at MADD to fuck off.

MadisonMan said...

Those different forms in whichto view to blog are very interesting.

I guess I like the classic view most -- but sidebar is nice too.

t-man said...

Let's get rid of the drinking age, but give the schools a monopoly on providing alcohol to kids. Think of the revenue that would bring in!

LawGirl said...

I don't think the age matters nearly as much as who decides it. This is an issue that should be left to individual states sans coercion from the federal govn't.

As to age, I'm sympathetic to the "old enough to die for your country = old enough to drink" notion, but equally concerned about keeping it out of high schools (at least legally - they'll always get it, but will at least have to work harder for it if it's not legal and there van be consequences for drinking before they get behind the wheel). I do like the "fiscal year" idea someone proposed above (July 1 after your 18th) as a compromise.

Quilly_Mammoth said...

MADD will never allow the drinking age to be lowered to 21.

shiloh said...

Passing a law doesn't mean it will be obeyed.

or an amendment to the U.S. Constitution ie Prohibition.

"Trying" to regulate human nature is usually a fool's errand by conservatives er evangelicals er the religious right er dubya's base er AA's flock ...

>

hmm, aren't conservatives/libertarians against regulation.

'nuf said!

Chuck66 said...

Remember what happened when the Democrats tried to lower the drinking age back in the 90s? Tommy T was governor and the Dems thought that all the 18 and 19 year olds would vote Democratic to get the drinking age lowered. Therefore getting rid of Tommy.

Just as the ball started to roll on this, a large number of UW-Oshkosh kids got bombed and rioted. Fires in the streets of Oshkosh. That put an end to that.

So if you were a younster 15 years ago, you can thank drunk Oshkoshians for ruining your chance to drink at age 18.

Phil 3:14 said...

Re: drinking age

Fine as long as we understand that motor vehicle deaths for those under 21 will increase (not to mention insurance rates for under 21 drivers)

Re: rights/privileges/opportunities for those under 21

I'm wondering where the military would be without the adolescent sense of immortality and the coincident tendency toward risk taking.

Re: anatomic terms

vulva and vagina are different.

Re: epithets

I have never understood why a slang term for a gender's genital's (i.e.schmuck or cunt)was a meaningful insult. I mean being called a "dick" tends not to go with someone who "thinks with his dick". Someone who's a "dick" is more often than not someone who doesn't have "balls".

JAL said...

a state that chose a lower drinking age than its neighbors would tempt younger drinkers to drive across state borders, creating hazards beyond its borders....


Precisely what was going on when I was in high school in New York State.

NY had a drinking age of 18. Kids from CT (and I assume Jersey and MA, and VT) would sometimes be tempted to cruise across the state line ....

Now I don't know if requiring them to have NY issued ID to prove residentcy to drink at 18 was in practice -- or even legal -- but this has already happened, guys.

Milwaukee said...

AST, you are probably right. Combining drinking age argument with military service age might be a stretch. The requirement for being a soldier is: Be able to follow orders, carry a heavy pack, stop a bullet, put a bullet into bad guys. We should probably raise the drinking age to 24. Or, get serious about cracking down on drunken driving. In that regard, there was conversation about how the 0.08 law actually hampers law enforcement. There are some whose driving is impaired well below that, who are a problem. But the law says 0.08 BAL. On the other hand, seasoned drinkers can drive reasonable well with a higher BAL. The law addresses the wrong thing. Some are impaired with one drink, and lack of sleep.

MayBee said...

What if we took the statistics about drunk driving, determine the age (21+) at which people are most likely to get in drunk driving accidents, and make it illegal for people to drink at that age?

Would it be ok, for example, to make a law saying 57 year olds can't drink?
Why is it ok to say 19 year olds can't drink?

Chuck66 said...

As bad as drunk driving is, I do have a problem with some of the laws and enforcement. Between the drinking age, the DWI laws and the damn casinos, small rural taverns are having a hard time.

Trooper York said...

You know what's funny?

When you look up cunt in the dictionary and they a picture of Bob Wright.

What's up with that?

Joe said...

(The Crypto Jew)
The requirement for being a soldier is: Be able to follow orders, carry a heavy pack, stop a bullet, put a bullet into bad guys.


You jest, right?

Trooper York said...

"MadisonMan said...
Has Meade infused me with right-wingitude?

Yes."

That would make her conservative by injection.

Quaestor said...

Insufficiently Sensitive wrote: In other words, the Persians and their explicit language might be innocent in his case.

However, the theory that the name derives from the island simply begs the question. Many Greek islands of the Turkish coast in classical times were strongly influenced by the Persian Empire. Perhaps the island was a place of internment for ineffectual weaklings and poltroons, much like today's White House west wing, hence Kos island. Hmmm... Daily Kos, Daily Pussy... yep, it fits.

BTW, I notice our resident adolescent has changed his avatar once more, this time the famous "gaming with Death" scene from The Seventh Seal. In this case I suspect the game is Mystery Date.

Milwaukee said...

Years ago I remember discussing this with a sheriff's deputy. The incidence of under-age drinking and driving has gone down with education. They were then stopping cars with one sober driver and several underage drunks.

As for under-aged drinkers crossing the border, that takes in a small minority, since most people don't live by the border. Then it is incumbent on law enforcement on both sides to monitor such behavior. If Illinois teenagers are driving into Wisconsin to drink, the police should be able to notice cars with Illinois plates, at late hours, headed for the border, and weaving. Unless that is racial profiling, you know in Wisconsin FIBs are another race.

At another school, a teacher told me of a drunken driving accident which cost 5 lives. The driver was sober, but the passengers were all drunk, and it was a small car. The guys in the back started rocking the car, because, well, they were observed, and they were drunk, who knows why. But they caused the driver to lose control on a corner, rolled the car, and all were killed. The medical examiner can determine BAL after the fact.

TMink said...

A large part of the problem is that youngsters are taught how to drink by people who are clueless about the process.

So we are teaching my 16 year old how to drink. She asks for and gets a sip of anything my wife or I have. I do confess to making sure she has something she doesn't like after she tries something she does though.

We are not far from offering her some wine with dinner. Just a spot. We will talk about how it makes her feel, and begin to instruct her as to know when to stop, when to have just one, when it is ok to have three.

But without instruction by an adult who actually knows these things, she is left blind being led by the blinded.

Trey

Roman said...

When I joined the Air Force, I was 18 years and 3 months old. After training, overseas, I never had a problem getting a drink.

If someone wants to change the law, I suggest that anyone with a valid active duty military ID can get served. The rest of the civilians can wait til 21.

Old enought to fight, old enough to drink...willing to fight, able to drink.

Trooper York said...

We were at this family wedding once and they were calling out the people to dance by their ethnic background. First they called out all the Italians and my mother-in-law ran out to dance. Then they called for the Irish and my father-in-law who is a Kelly was pulled on to the dance floor by his wife. My wife and her sister yell "Hey Ma you ain't Irish you can't dance now." And she goes "Of course I can I am Irish by injection."

So there you go.

MadisonMan said...

Would it be ok, for example, to make a law saying 57 year olds can't drink?
Why is it ok to say 19 year olds can't drink?

There are more 57-year olds than 19-year olds writing laws.

PaulV said...

Has KOS made millions from the labor of unpaid workers like the Puffington Host? Workers of worle unite against oppressers of left.

MayBee said...

Ha, MadMan! I believe you're right!

Anna said...

21 or 18,
that is the question,
whether to be smashed,
at 18 or at 21,
alas poor Yorick,
to be hammered,
so young of age,
and not even,
in the cunny.

Never claimed to be a poet, but have slept in a Holiday Inn Express.

wv - memene sea going meme?

Coketown said...

Ann, the itinerary for your blogpost adventures reminds me of my academic years. I'd set out to write a paper and in the library one thing led to another to another, and soon I'd traveled half the world and the focus of my paper changed entirely. Those were fun years.

shiloh said...

In Italy, kids drink wine at a very early age.

hmm, wonder what the drunk driving statistics are in Roma.

In Rome, the risk for pedestrians is one of the world's highest. More than eight per 1,000 are killed or hurt each year, a risk 10 times greater than in London and 20 times worse than in Paris.

The Vatican, criticising what it calls the "collective madness" on Italian roads, issued a document cataloguing "Ten Commandments" for motorists, which boil down to showing respect and compassion for others on the roads, and never failing to stop in case of an accident.

One of the basic causes of the horrifying slaughter on Italian roads is that there are more cars per inhabitant in Italy than in any other country in Europe - 680 per 1,000 population. In Rome, for example, the figure is even higher - 2.4 million cars for 2.5 million inhabitants.


but, but, but they say drinking wine in moderation helps prevent heart disease ...

I digress ~ ciao

John said...

There are two ways to address this: Either lower the drinking age to 18, or raise the age of legal adulthood (voting, military service, contracts, marriage, loans, criminal prosecution and sentencing, etc.) to 21 and be done with it.

John said...

I favor the former, by the way.

J said...

holy brainfart, ratman

zzzzzzzzzzzz

DADvocate said...

18 year olds and younger are drinking as much as they want anyway. Legalize it and enforce the DUI, etc laws.

I have a nephew in town on leave from Afghanistan. He's my oldest son's best buddy and has shown him pictures of the aftermath of battles. He can do that stuff over there but can't legally have a beer. Ridiculous.

ironrailsironweights said...

It's just as well that we no longer use the word "cunny." It is derived from the word for rabbit. Rabbits have hair. You all know where I'm going with this.

Peter

PaulV said...

Va. Code Ann. §§ 4.1-305, 4.1-200
allows children to drink in private residence in presence of parents or sprouse over 21.
Who wants to drink with parents?

WV: stopho
Say stop ho to KOS.

Oligonicella said...

Phil 3:14 -

"I'm wondering where the military would be without the adolescent sense of immortality and the coincident tendency toward risk taking."

Dude, an eighteen year old is not an adolescent, but an adult.

ricpic said...

Just because George S. Kaufman is famed for his comic writing doesn't mean that his play on words - One man's Mede is another man's Persian - is funny. And I'm not saying that because I didn't get the connection to one man's meat is another man's poison before Althouse pointed it out. It's not funny because it's strained. Why? Though Mede is close to meat, soundwise, Persian is not close enough to poison for the connection to be made effortlessly, and when effort has to be made, when a joke has to be deciphered, funny is lost. But the Mensas out there probably thought it was a scream so whattaIknow.

HT said...

Hey, I was a lot more moderate 3 years ago!

Yep. Just as I've been saying. I think it was the ambivalence about voting for Obama. You had your reasons and they emphatically were not the reasons of liberal Madison, Wisconsin, and that was the beginning of the rankling. So you've been doing backpedaling ever since. I also think the tension of living in the liberal enclave is reaching a head. These are just my hunches.

Then there is the old Churchill cliche of being a liberal in youth and conservative in middle age. That applies here, I think.

And Meade is just the final touch.

LordSomber said...

Another c-word etymology I've heard refers to "coney," the English word for rabbit or rabbit pelt, linked to Spanish 'Conejo'.

I'll never think about Coney Island in the same way again.

virgil xenophon said...

The hypocrisy and cant surrounding the drinking-age subject is beyond belief. When I was an undergrad ('62-'66), the legal limit in both Louisiana and Wisc. (and other selected states as well) was 18. At the end of my freshman year drinking on campus at fraternity functions was banned in a fit of unusual (for Louisiana) neo--prohibitionism. This just drove drinking on weekends off-campus to places that required driving back to the dorms rather than walking and, predictably, the very first fall football weekend the following year (we have night games at LSU) on a foggy river-road next to the banks of the Mississippi a car-load of student post-game revelers were rear-ended with loss of life and HORRIBLE burn disfigurement to the (un)lucky survivors. Why politicians and school administrators think it better to push the inevitable drinking off-campus to even more "un-controlled" settings that demand the need for transport on the public roads if one is to return to campus is beyond me.

And of course, predictably, over time even more draconian police-state measures to restrict drinking have followed. First by making false IDs a felony in some states and beefing up under-cover sting operations at bars and liquor stores. The response of students has been two-fold: First by increasingly turning from alcohol to weed purchased from their friendly drug-dealer student fellow dorm-mates--a much "safer" "known-commodity" source than potential undercover cops outside as liquor stores, and second, to move parties to pvt residences off campus for gigantic weekend-long bashes involving entire beer trucks, etc. In Illinois, the police answer to THIS has been to try to infiltrate the parties on pvt property with undercover cops, eroding even further individual rights and further expanding the authoritarian reach of the police-state.

And the logical inconsistency involved is breath-taking. At the height of the Vietnam Wars unpopularity it was SUCCESSFULLY argued that 18 years-old draftees should not be sent to their deaths without being able to vote on those who would send them in harm's way. Hence the voting age was lowered to 18. The same logic carried the day with 18 yr-old drinking, so THAT carried the day also--to such an extent that LSU, which despite Louisiana having a long-standing 18 yr-old age limit had not allowed alcohol to be served in the Student Union (unlike U of Wisc) did a 180 and started serving beer in the Student Union circa '71.

Now, of course, that logical consistency is broken with the raising of the drinking age back to 21. The affront to logic is even greater as opponents of the 21 age limit are quick to point out, that, insofar as the fast majority of HS graduates do not go on to college but into the workforce as full-fledged adults and age 18 is the age of majority. At that age individuals have ALL the rights of citizenship save that of legally consuming alcohol--they can marry, enter into contracts--whatever. So one sees the ridiculous situation of 18-yr olds being legally able to own a bar or liquor store, but unable to legally consume the very product he/she legally owns.

Tis a puzzlement..

madawaskan said...

In high school we use to drive to Quebec from our province because the legal drinking age was 18 until-

Six of us died.

That was a fun junior year let me tell ya.

Some open casket; some not...

Do you ever get the feeling college profs just want to be cool with the kids?

Believe me a lot of the time we were making fun of you.

Ramble On

Ten years to the day...

Anna said...

Shiloh; as someone who has driven the roads of Italy, ridden their mass-transit, and surivived Roman taxi traffic. Its not the drinking of wine that is at fault.

The budding Italian motorist starts off at their local pista-kart driving a go-kart. Then they graduate to Vespas and then motorbikes. These Vespas and motorbikes then weave in and out of traffic with little regard if they cut a bus or a car off. And finally they get a Fiat which is of the same size as the original go-kart. And taxi-drivers don't think rules of the road apply to them.

Then there are the roads. In the mountains there are twisty narrow switchbacks to get you over mountains or even through a town. Warning signs galore; the no horn one means dont honk the horn, even if you are on a switchback where oncoming traffic can't see you. Major fun that.

MayBee said...

Six of us died.

That was a fun junior year let me tell ya.


It is tragic, but nobody here is advocating drinking and driving.

rhhardin said...

Obama's great-nation-because-we're-connected speech needs a reference to Barthelme's Dear Mr Quistgaard letter.

Chip Ahoy said...

The joke is self-decyphering. One man's this is another man's that. The structure of the axiom is there no matter if the inserted words begin with M and P or rhyme.

rhhardin said...

Drinking and driving is very very common, because drinking is very very common. It's not very dangerous.

It took until the 70s to become a public problem, which was a political move by MADD. They took ownership of it.

Before that it was a personal moral failing, a matter between person and pastor.

See Gusfield, The Culture of Public Problems.

madawaskan said...

Read Ann's post from 2001-

She say she has moderated from that position.

Hell let me highlight it-because I doubt most people got to the end-and I make a habit out of reading things from the conclusion-up.

[W]ithout a national drinking age of twenty-one, a state that chose a lower drinking age than its neighbors would tempt younger drinkers to drive across state borders, creating hazards beyond its borders....Hey, I was a lot more moderate 10 years ago!

Then she adds three years ago she was more open to discussion and now she's evolved further in this trajectory.

So I am understanding that she's looser than this now.

madawaskan said...

So I am only addressing that phenomena-the fact that kids will drive to the lower drinking age states.

Road trip!

I know how dare I bring up the "realities" .

So unpleasant.

Trooper York said...

Wait a minute….I thought the quote was….one man's Meade is another Man's Persuasive Tea Partier who turned the blogger lady into a fascist.

At least that's what hd says all the time. Just sayn'

Trooper York said...

"So I am understanding that she's looser than this now"

Well that is also because of Meade but should be filed under "Too much information." So to speak.

(I mean what is this post about?)

madawaskan said...

And I get that most commenters particularly on this post comment before wading through the whole thing.

It's quite the "trip".

I think you can have "flashbacks".

I know I'm soooo uncooool.

Waaaaaa.

madawaskan said...

Trooper

I'm taking it as a longer Don't Do Drugs-they'll bite you in the arse when you get "older" message.

Hey! What's the etymology of Massengil?

See how I did that!

madawaskan said...

Don't worry Maybee those kids were French Canadian Catholic so there were lots of spares.

Shorter Glenn Reynolds:

I gotta do something with my Constitutional law crap-so watch me draw with it.

chickelit said...

...durch Scheide furzen!

PaulV said...

Republicans are happier. AA is happy with Meade. Q.E.D.

PaulV said...

The democrat party has moved more tha AA?

WV: playe
playe the Ds FWIW & WTF

Quaestor said...

Lord Somber wrote: I'll never think about Coney Island in the same way again.

The coney = rabbit thing is the exact origin of that former island. Before it was connected to Brooklyn by a landfill Coney island was a typical Atlantic barrier island -- sandy, low-lying and covered by sea oats above the tide line -- with a prodigious population of rabbits. The local Dutch colonists (the Dutch are famous rabbit-eaters) would wade out at low tide to catch all the conies they could want for a nice stew.

madawaskan said...

chickenlittle

LOL!

edutcher said...

The sensible drinking age, not to mention driving, would be 25. That's according to the insurance actuaries.

At 25, the number of young males trying to wrap themselves around telephone poles at 90 mph drops markedly, so that would make sense.

Which, of course, is why it will never be done.

Trooper York said...

You know what's funny?

When you look up cunt in the dictionary and they a picture of Bob Wright.


now it will be kos.

Or shiloh.

Or J.

Scott M said...

You know what's funny?

When you look up cunt in the dictionary and they a picture of Bob Wright.


What's really funny is the whole, "What is it, you cuntface?" thing from Sound Of Music.

As much as I dislike that movie and as much as my wife, sisters, and mother love it, I got nearly a whole summer's mileage out of that little discovery. It's still funny and I'm chuckling about it as I type this.

Hysterical.

Henry said...

How about one-or-the-other? Up until age 21 or so, you can get a drinking license or a driving license, but not both. And either will confirm your eligibility to vote.

Or, we could create drinking credits, fashioned after carbon credits. Anyone over 18 can drink so long as you buy off someone who is dry. Drinking parents will buy off their drinking-age kids with tuition money. Al Gore* will buy off Utah.

- - - -

*I don't know if Al Gore is a big drinker. I reference him by way of analogy.

shiloh said...

Shiloh; as someone who has driven the roads of Italy

Anna, didn't say drinking was the problem, nor did the snippets of the article I posted.

Congestion and madness were the reasons cited. And I would posit narrow roads as another, older/ancient cities not being conducive for road construction.

Having been all over Europe and ridden in cabs and tour buses, Italy as well as Greece are (2) countries where driving can be an adventure. :)

solo estoy diciendo

The road going up to the statue of Christ the Redeemer on Corcovado Mountain in Rio is also a tad treacherous ...

WineSlob said...

The Cunnis is Right Where the Fun is
But the Derivative Word Sounds So Scum-ish
We Beat 'Round the Bush
O'er That Thing Under Her Tush
We Shan't Revile a Red Rose So Wondrous

Mary said...

I've raised 5 kids since then, and i would vote for age 19, so they're out of high school. Bars are a fun place to gather with friends, to socialize, shoot pool, watch sports, etc. Where are kids supposed to gather to do that - the mall?? I think my kids went to drinking parties as much to break up the monotony of sittin in one anothers basements watching movies as to get drunk ......

Pogo said...

As to demon rum, the historian Paul Johnson was right.

The Puritan phoenix arises every 2 or 3 generations.

Right now it's about being "green", and not drinking too much, no bottled water, etc. etc., and not being fat.

The Puritans always fail, but they muck things up pretty good for a few decades whenever they return.

Mary said...

Geez i need to take a minute to edit myself .... must have been too interested in my wv

Henry said...

And I would posit narrow roads as another
I did a lot of driving in Italy on one trip. The urban driving was easy, despite the vespas going both ways down the center line. The mountain driving was tense, but only at the hairpins. The scariest driving by far was in the rural areas just outside Lucca where high stone walls along gently winding narrow lanes constrained all view of oncoming traffic.

Quaestor said...

Scott M wrote: "what is it you cuntface?"

I think the line is "what is it you can't face?" But it's still funny in a clumsy sort of way. What's funnier, the actor who annunciates so poorly that some people hear "cuntface," or the people who hear "cuntface?"

MayBee said...

Don't worry Maybee those kids were French Canadian Catholic so there were lots of spares.

You know, Mad, that's a despicable way to argue. I have a higher opinion of you than this.

I don't want Juniors in high school to get killed in a car accident any more than I want Juniors in college or Junior partners in a law firm to get killed in drunk driving accidents.

Joe said...

(The Crypto Jew)
Junior partners in a law firm to get killed in drunk driving accidents.


Well speak for yourself, there…..

Scott M said...

@Quaestor

Grant me an eyeroll on that one. I must have been a party to viewing, or at least hearing from the other room, that movie a couple hundred times over the years. I probably first realized the humor in the linguistic gaff around 10 years old. Probably the day after I heard "cunt" for the first time in context.

If you really want to LOL about it, check out Caroline Rhea's stand-up bit about the whole scene.

Jeremy said...

The Queen - "Has Meade infused me with right-wingitude?"

No, right wing dumbatude.

Quaestor said...

The MST3K guys loved to make fun of badly spoken dialog. Unfortunately the owners of The Sound of Music would never agree to an experiment with their property. Pity, it would have a riot. Imagine Crow shouting "I'll take care of you!"

wv: Hysterses - the Greek god of lagging values.

KLDAVIS said...

Jeff Gee's 'back door' no longer works. Here's one that currently does.

MayBee said...

At what age is it ok for people to die while drunk driving?

Pogo said...

Depends on if Ted Kennedy is driving or not.

Joe said...

(The Crypto Jew)
At what age is it ok for people to die while drunk driving?



Ok at what age is it Ok for people to die while diving into pools/roofing houses/riding horses/having sex with super-models/flying airplanes/(insert activity here)?

Nice argument, thank you for playing…come back when you have a REAL argument.

Scott M said...

The MST3K guys loved to make fun of badly spoken dialog.

My three favorite oft-repeated MST3K lines:

1) "HOOKER'S A GOOD COP" (usually when someone grabs someone by the collar)
2) "I was getting a Heath bar" (usually when someone asks where someone has been)
3) "Saaaaay" (usually when anything even remotely dirty is said onscreen). We viciously overused this one during Desert Storm.

hombre said...

Many of us were more moderate ten years ago. It was smarter to be moderate then.

Quaestor said...

My parents loved The Sound of Music and it was on the TV a lot, especially after the VHS came out (Which they played so often the deck eventually ate it. I got the job of opening the deck and picking the bits of ferrite tape out of the innards)

I loathe that movie.

madawaskan said...

Maybee


I apologize I was trying to use humor for something that is very painful to me-which I felt you were trivializing.

I think you missed the specific point either by not reading the whole post (which is understandable) or by ignoring the aspect to admonish me for missing the point no one was arguing.

but nobody here is advocating drinking and driving.

Where did I say that?

So first I got the feeling you were trivializing my personal experience and then you accused me of misrepresenting what other people were arguing.

Or don't you get that?

In fact you are still not addressing the specific point.

So basically I think you were cheap to me first.

MayBee said...

Ok at what age is it Ok for people to die while diving into pools/roofing houses/riding horses/having sex with super-models/flying airplanes/(insert activity here)?

Nice argument, thank you for playing…come back when you have a REAL argument.


But isn't that *the* argument? That if we lower the drinking age, 18 year olds will die in drunk driving accidents.
That's what I keep hearing. If you want to lower the drinking age, you are all for kids dying.
So I'm asking....at what age are we ok with people dying? Set the drinking age to that, right?

Joe said...

(The Crypto Jew)
But isn't that *the* argument? That if we lower the drinking age, 18 year olds will die in drunk driving accidents.
That's what I keep hearing. If you want to lower the drinking age, you are all for kids dying.
So I'm asking....at what age are we ok with people dying? Set the drinking age to that, right?



Ah, I apologize we’re on the SAME side.

BUT you’re “argument” and theirs PRESUPPOSES drinking and driving and driving DRUNK are all homonyms….

Michael said...

I have always enjoyed being a passenger in a car on Central American mountain roads where a favorite trick is to turn off one's lights when approaching a curve so as to discern the lights of the oncoming traffic. Wondrous and magical thinking. And then another cross by the curve.

madawaskan said...

OK you are still missing it.

The problem is when you have one state with a different set of rules than the other.

When you lower the age in one state there is an added attraction for kids to drive to that state.

You are completely ignoring Althouse's 2001 argument in the post which I am referencing.

I don't want Juniors in high school to get killed in a car accident any more than I want Juniors in college or Junior partners in a law firm to get killed in drunk driving accidents.

Actually there is a difference between juniors in high school and junior partners in law firms.

And what happens when you lower the age beside the attraction of driving to that state is that you get even younger kids trying to make the new 'lower" age limit.

It's just the reality.

MayBee said...

So first I got the feeling you were trivializing my personal experience and then you accused me of misrepresenting what other people were arguing.

Or don't you get that?

In fact you are still not addressing the specific point.

I said it was horrible. It is horrible.

Your point was that kids will go to where they are legal to drink and drive home drunk. Is that a reason to make it so legal adults can't drink? It seems to me a reason to advocate very strongly against drunk driving.
As for kids driving across state borders, that's only going to happen when they are near borders or when the states have different laws. Kids/people can just as easily drive home drunk from the baseball stadium.

So my point was, we having to separate the drinking age from the drunk driving argument. There is never a good time to drink and drive, and there is never an age at which we can guarantee people won't drink and drive.

And then you went on to talk about Glenn Reynolds just wanting to sound cool.

Anna said...

Shiloh, no prob. My bad,

Bad driving is akin to bad drinking, cultural norms need to be changed.

madawaskan said...

We can have these esoteric hypothetical arguments in the vacuum of the Constitutional law prof cocoon and pretend that certain things don't happen.

And basically I get the feeling from a lot of professors that they don't want to grow up.

Part of that is making sure they are never really challenged it's what keeps them on the college campus in my opinion.

Look basically if I had the chance to write an Op Ed in the Wall Street Journal I wouldn't waste it on this grave "importance".

It's really trivial given the greater things out there.

I'm in no rush to change the drinking age.

So sue me.

I do get the vibe from a lot of Libertarians and it might be unfair to the serious Libertarians that it's all about; I don't want to pay taxes,I want to do pot, have the kids think I'm cool, and lower the drinking age.

That's the Libertarian in the street argument or what it has been distilled down to for a lot of folks.

Now it might be "unfair" but then again-life isn't fair.

Ralph L said...

That if we lower the drinking age, 18 year olds will die in drunk driving accidents.
Or kill worthy, grown-up people who aren't drunk.

Althouse never said how her position changed in three years, just blames it on Meade. I assume suppressing drinking is the missionary position.

John said...

Or kill worthy, grown-up people who aren't drunk.

This can happen with any drunk driver, not just an 18-year-old. 18-year-olds are legal adults, which means they should be able to 1)drink whatever they damn well please, and 2)take responsibility for their own actions.

wv: oxygin... what to administer to an alcoholic

MayBee said...

Mad- I am not a college professor nor am I much of a libertarian. However, I do think laws for adults are better if they aren't arbitrary.

If we don't think 18 year olds are capable of engaging in adult activities, let's change the legal age of adulthood. If we think they are capable of being adults, let's let them do the one thing- drink- they aren't currently allowed to do.

And if we're being realistic, let's also admit that many college students drink. I don't want them drunk driving, but I also don't want them in legal trouble for doing something other adults are allowed to do.

Sixty Grit said...

Based on the pictures I have seen of Glenn Reynolds over the years and his constant harping on alcohol, I am going to hazard a guess that he is an alcoholic. But, once again, that's just my opinion.

Triangle Man said...

If we don't think 18 year olds are capable of engaging in adult activities, let's change the legal age of adulthood. If we think they are capable of being adults, let's let them do the one thing- drink- they aren't currently allowed to do

Wouldn't it be just as arbitrary to define a single age of adulthood that covers all aspects of responsibility?

Pogo said...

"Wouldn't it be just as arbitrary to define a single age of adulthood that covers all aspects of responsibility?"

Sure.I think most people would bet you should be able to drink a beer before you can be shot at in a war.


Alcohol's just not that mysterious, really.

MayBee said...

What Pogo said.

ampersand said...

Nancy Pelosi and the democrats raised the dependent childhood age to 27. Maybe the drinking,voting and SSS registration age be adjusted as well.

chickelit said...

Sure.I think most people would bet you should be able to drink a beer before you can be shot at in a war.

While I don't fully understand the military's drinking laws, I think that's still true in part.

The hitch is you have to actually be signed up to potentially be shot at.

Nate Whilk said...

I'm sure Kaufman could've come up with the quip by himself. But I doubt he was the one who said it first. It is a rather obvious pun and I imagine it was a standard joke used by many a college history profs. Law profs must have a few of these.

Big Mike said...

Judging from the way things are on college campuses, prohibition of drinking under the age of 21 works about as well as universal prohibition back in the Roaring Twenties.

That is to say, it doesn't work at all.

Nate Whilk said...

Then there's the continuation of the quip: "Are you Shah?" "Sultanly!" (via Isaac Asimov)

wv: obalog

Phil 3:14 said...

Oligo;
Dude, an eighteen year old is not an adolescent, but an adult.

I know I'll get crap for this response but anyway...

Developmentally and sociologically adolescent extends into the 20's. On a personal level, I've definitely seen that to be true in my kids.

Phil 3:14 said...

OK I'll go for lowering the drinking age but only if:

-the can do it with a non-permitted concealed weapon
-they can't wear a burqa while drinking

Otherwise I'm fine with it!

(PS and if for some reason an officer pulls them over they need to prove citizenship)

Gladys said...

So Horatius is no ore part of curricula?
neu latro neu quis adulter.
nam fuit ante Helenam cunnus taeterrima belli
causa, sed ignotis perierunt mortibus illi,
Mirator cunni Cupiennius albi
Or Catullus?
diffissus in aestu
meientis mulae cunnus habere solet
Martial?
Illa siligneis pinguescit adultera cunnis
Cicero deemed it vulgar only used by satirist and priapeans
And was realted in latin to culus (ass)
Coño( spanish) in the dictionary since 1992( Proposed by a Nobel prize winner) con( French)and also cleft? they have the same meaning
Liquor for army men before 21? The reason for the ban is to have sober soldiers(Julius Caesar said in Gauls Wars that germans did not allow menbefore 21( the end of military age )to drink wine to avoid effeminating them. Wine made you smother and you dont want smoth soldiers. Perhaps he was refering to become gays, wine was deemed effeminating ( supposedly only in afigurative sense)

kishnevi said...

1) Kaufman's joke would fail these days because most people wouldn't understand the reference to Medes and Persians.
Although I don't think much of it as a joke, to tell the truth, even though I know about Medes and Persians.

2)It is impossible to make any useful inferences from the driving statistics of a country in which pedestrians have to move from the sidewalk to the street in order to avoid oncoming cars, or a country in which, when a car hits a pedestrian, the car suffers more damage than the pedestrian. (Both of these things have happened to me in Rome, on different trips. The car, btw, was a Fiat.)

meep said...

Btw, it's true that there's heighted male mortality over the ages of about 15 - 25. I call these "the stupid years" (I'm a life actuary, which means I count dead people.)

Most of this mortality is from either accidental death (the vast majority) or violent deaths (suicide/homicide - not as much).

Then around age 25, the mortality rate for men drops, and doesn't appreciably climb again til the mid-30s (where it's health stuff driving it). In general, women have increasing mortality over adulthood -- if women are doing stupid stuff in their youth, it's not having a huge effect on their mortality rates then.