September 26, 2007

We're #1... in binge drinking.

"The bottom line is that there is a lot of very heavy drinking in [Wisconsin]. The adult rate has been the highest in the U.S. since 2002."


Seven Machos said...

Binge drinking is the biggest bunch of bullshit ever created in human history. It means having something like three or four drinks in succession over the course of a few hours.

Consequently, if you are watching, say, the Packers game or are at a bar hanging out, and you have four beers over the course of the evening, well, you are a binge drinker.

The phrase is loaded at best and simply wrong at worst. Binge in the popular imagination means something wild and crazy. Something dangerous. But binge drinking, as defined, is a perfectly normal activity. It's drinking alcohol socially.

hdhouse said...

What I enjoy about 7-nachos is that he can (or can't) read an article and post immediately and get one fact right. He says 3-4 drinks and the story says 5.

Although his inability to read and digest might be because of a belly full of beers, the underlying statistic missed by 7 is the percentage reported to indulge thusly in Wisconsin v. rest of the country in that age group.

If you don't think sitting around drinking 5 or more drinks isn't excessive and a problem if done frequently, well...

its not drinking alcohol socially you nitwit, its drinking to drink and by the way there might be others around you but after 5 drinks i doubt they want to talk with you if you can, indeed, talk.

moral of the story 7-nachos...don't have your social libations and then post on a blog.

Seven Machos said...

Wow, HD. There's really no need to call names over what I said. Why the strange vitriol? Are you cranky?

I have been a critic of the term binge drinking for a long time because it's a misleading, scare-tactic term, which is what I explained in my post.

The term has been around for ages.

A drinking binge is commonly defined as having five or more "standard" drinks in a row for men, and four or more in a row for women...Call it a "binge" or call it something else; over one hour or over ten, five drinks on one occasion is not a healthy amount of alcohol for anyone to consume. Hence, the length of time during which the drinking occurred is not factored in.

This ridiculous, loaded term is constantly trotted out by nanny-state puritans and it's combined with the old what's the matter with kids today? meme. The fact is, the vast majority of these people is just kids out having a good time. There's nothing at all wrong with the behavior.

Moreover, they are going to go forth from U-Dub and lead highly successful lives. I applaud them. And I am completely serious.

EnigmatiCore said...

I could care less about binge drinking as long as whoever it is does not get in the car afterwards or commit some other crime.

That goes for whatever definition they use.

What I find interesting is how those who cry for freedom and those who cry for responsibility change from subject to subject.

I'm not saying they are hypocrites, any more than I am as well.

It's just that all of us balance the desire for freedom with the desire to create a society according to our beliefs. And who is wearing the jackboot at any time is merely a function of what we are talking about and the skill of the freedom side to portray the other side as a fascist.

hdhouse said...


MadisonMan said...

I wonder what the University of Wisconsin Public Health Institute would find to warn us all about if it weren't for binge drinking? Too much fried cod? Exposure to cold winds and the attendant dry skin?

I will propose that UW PHI funding is directly proportional to the alarm bells they ring. Rather like Global Warming studies.

If the state wanted to curb this, they simply should tax alcohol a bit more. Supply and demand rules.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Binge drinking is the biggest bunch of bullshit ever created in human history.

Agreed. I rank it up there with alcoholism and obesity is a 'disease' (no, diabetes is a disease). The others are excessive lifestyle choices.

Oh and don't let hdhouse bother you. You said something which he disagress with so being called names is par for the course. Maybe he hasn't had his coffee and bran muffin yet.

EnigmatiCore said...


Just an observation. Everyone wants the freedoms they value, and to control things to create the society they want.

Who comes across as the control-freak or jackboot or fascist and as the reasonable concerned citizen is merely a function of political skill; who can portray themselves as doing it "for the children" and "for the common good" and can portray their opponents as the nanny-state jackbooted thugs.

Adrian said...

college binge-drinking may be one of the saving graces of our society. if kids actually showed up sober to class and really absorbed half of what their completely out-there professors were saying, we'd be in a lot of trouble! if those columbia kids would have done a little more binge-drinking and a little less marxist close-reading, Ahmadinejad might not have gotten so much applause.

Roger said...

How much "binge drinking" goes on in ice shanties during ice fishing season? hmmmmmm

Trooper York said...

Wisconsin seem kind of Brooklyn we don't call the consumption of 5 drinks in a sitting "binge drinking"....we call it lunch.

Trooper York said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Trooper York said...

Sorry for the double post...I just had breakfast.

MadisonMan said...

I just had breakfast.

Uh huh. Gin for breakfast? :)

Trooper York said...

No, beer is not just for breakfast anymore.

Trooper York said...

On the other hand, more than five slices of cheddar is definitely binge cheezing in my book.

Trooper York said...

Are Cheeseheads really potheads in bizzaro you binge on cheese to such an extent that you fire up a splif to come down and mellow out....just askn' cause it's so foreign to my experience and I always like to learn about different cultures....not judgmental, just curious.

MadisonMan said...

do you binge on cheese

It depends on the cheese. If it's bought in a grocery store, generally no I don't binge. If it's bought at a cheese factory or a farmers' market, then maybe. The older the cheese the better the chance that I'll binge. 2-year-old cheddar? No. 8-year-old? Yum.

The problem with cheese bingeing is that cheese is binding.

Trooper York said...

As a guinea, I do enjoy my cheese. The secret to avoid the binding is to include a nice wine as well as something like figs to maintain your balance. There is nothing better than a nice plate of cheese, figs, and bread together with a bottle of dago red in your garden as you listen to the game and let the world go by.

AllenS said...

When the Badgers or Packers are going to play, 5 beers is called Pregame.

gophermomhey said...

Alcoholism as a manifestation of allergy
W. D. Silkworth - 1937

“Alcoholism is considered by many physicians a chronic condition that gradually unfolds itself to a dismal end. They feel that it is a state of mind and advise these patients that it is up to them to discontinue their accustomed drug, which it is assumed they can do by merely making up their minds to do so. Proper attention is not given to the psychological problem as well as the physical condition of these people.”

“…We may set it down as a fundamental proposition that alcoholism is not a habit. Second, drunkenness and alcoholism are not synonymous. Intoxication with alcohol, as commonly observed, is a purely superficial manifestation of no diagnostic importance whatever in itself; nor is the desire to take a drink, which is common to many. The majority of people who drink alcohol apparently do so with impunity.”

Binge drinking is serious business, whether its college-aged or middle-aged. Most college-aged binger's leave it behind when the leave campus. And as some like to say, "they escape."

And btw, alcholism is is a disease. You don't get to choose not to get it, just as you don't choose diabetes. Who the hell would do that?

Trooper York said...

I drink alone, yeah
With nobody else
I drink alone, yeah
With nobody else
You know when I drink alone
I prefer to be by myself

Every morning just before breakfast
I don't want no coffee or tea
Just me and good Buddy Wiser
That's all I ever need

Beause I drink alone, yeah
With nobody else
Yeah, you know when I drink alone
I prefer to be by myself

The other night I laid sleeping
And I woke from a terrible dream
So I caught up my pal Jack Daniel's
And his partner Jimmy Beam

And we drank alone, yeah
With nobody else
Yeah, you know when I drink alone
I prefer to be by myself

The other day I got invited to a party
But I stayed home instead
Just me and my pal Johnny Walker
And his brothers Black and Red

And we drank alone, yeah
With nobody else
Yeah, you know when I drink alone
I prefer to be by myself

My whole family done give up on me
And it makes me feel oh so bad
The only one who will hang out with me
Is my dear old granddad

And we drink alone, yeah
With nobody else
Yeah, you know when I drink alone
I prefer to be by myself
(George Thorogood)

Blake said...


What if it's five very thin slices of cheese?

Blake said...

Keep your hemp and your mushrooms,
Your smack and Nembutal,
Me, I'm into fruits and grains,
Give me alcohol!

"Drinks Before Dinner", Loudon Wainwright III

P.S. HD seems like he's hung over, doesn't he?

Trooper York said...

Blake, don’t do it. That’s how they get you hooked. A couple of free slices of Kraft American Singles and the next thing you know your mainlining imported assiago from the Golden Triangle. Stop before you start I beg you.

former law student said...

There is just so much wrong with that article. The all-American style of drinking is to drink hard liquor till you puke and/or pass out. That's binge drinking. German-style is to drink till you get your glow on -- that's not binge drinking.

Americans were perplexed by German immigrants in the late 1800s -- somehow they could sit in the beer gardens on a Sunday afternoon and drink without getting blind drunk like Yankees. They did not beat their wives nor did they skip work or drink up the contents of their pay packet. Pondering this, Americans decided the key difference was that Germans drank sitting down. And thus the bar stool was born. No longer would Americans belly up to the bar, hook a foot under the rail, and toss shot after shot of rotgut down their throats. Instead, they could sit down and toss shot after shot of rotgut.

Hoosier Daddy said...

And btw, alcholism is is a disease. You don't get to choose not to get it, just as you don't choose diabetes.

If you don't drink can you become an alcoholic?

Drinking alcohol is a 'choice' therefore you can choose to stop drinking. With diabetes you can't choose to make your body produce or utilize insulin.

Mr. Forward said...

We're No. 1.
The other 49 states have a problem.

Blake said...


But...but...but...cheeses save!

Blake said...

Drinking alcohol is a 'choice' therefore you can choose to stop drinking.

Stopping drinking doesn't make you less of an alcoholic.

With diabetes you can't choose to make your body produce or utilize insulin.

Not all diseases are the same: If you're allergic to strawberries, you can avoid strawberries, but you're no less allergic.

Which isn't to say that some people just don't need a little "disciprine".

Blake said...

Randy: You're right, Stan. If God didn't make me stop drinking then... I did. Maybe... Maybe I can force myself to never drink again. [throws off all his drinks, and they shatter on the pavement.]
Stan: No!
Randy: No??
Stan: Dad, you like to drink. So have a drink once in a while. Have two. If you devote your whole life to completely avoiding something you like, then that thing still controls your life and, 'n you've never learned any discipline at all.
Randy: But, maybe... I'm just the kind of person who needs to have it all or nothing.
Stan: Naw. All or nothing is easy. But learning to drink a little bit, responsibly, that'sa disciprine. Disciprine... come from within. [Randy looks at Stan for a moment, then walks up to his side and kneels next to him.]
Randy: How did I manage to raise such a smart kid?
Stan: I've had a great teacher.
Randy: Thanks son.
Stan: No not you, my karate teacher. He's really smart.
Randy: Oh. Well, tell you what: let's leave the car here, walk home, and watch the game. Like to have another beer or two.
Stan: All right!
Randy: [lifts up his son and places him on his shoulders] Come on! [they begin to walk] Or maybe I'll have three beers. [they walk off towards the sunset in the street. Their shadows are long on the pavement as the sun blazes on the horizon]
Stan: That's probably okay if you spread it out.
Randy: Well how about four?
Stan: I think you're pushing it.
Randy: How about twenty?
Stan: That's not disciprine.
Randy: Right right. Does vodka count?
Stan: Dad!

M. Simon said...

I would have thought UW was #1 in binge bonging.

I remember visiting Madison and seeing some guys in a convertible driving by campus hawking their wares.