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Opening Arguments

Beer goggles

Wow. Humans are both social animals and socially constrained. Our constraints were important to our primeval ancestors to make them work cooperatively as a unit. But those constraints didn't lend themselves to such things as exploration and inventiveness that make for a vibrant civilization. So something was needed that could free us from the biological herd instinct. For our civiliazation to really floursih, we needed . . .

. . . beer:

Once the effects of these early brews were discovered, the value of beer (as well as wine and other fermented potions) must have become immediately apparent. With the help of the new psychopharmacological brew, humans could quell the angst of defying those herd instincts. Conversations around the campfire, no doubt, took on a new dimension: the painfully shy, their angst suddenly quelled, could now speak their minds.

But the alcohol would have had more far-ranging effects, too, reducing the strong herd instincts to maintain a rigid social structure. In time, humans became more expansive in their thinking, as well as more collaborative and creative. A night of modest tippling may have ushered in these feelings of freedom — though, the morning after, instincts to conform and submit would have kicked back in to restore the social order.

And of course that which liberates us also has the power to enslave us if we aren't careful with it. That pretty much describes everything we encounter, huh? Same thing with in vino veritas. Alcohol loosens our tongues, which is a good thing for our relationships right up to the point where we say something really monumentally stupid we can never, ever take back.

Oh, and there are no ugly girls at closing time, but beware that morning-after regret.