Is there a cure for stupidity? If you had a million dollars to reduce stupidity where you live, how would you spend it?
I live in an Alaskan tourist town, and it’s winter. All the visitors and summer people are gone, and those who remain, are not necessarily stupid. Crazy, sure – but to live here year round, you have to be kind of clever.
The big problem here is that there isn’t much money to go around, and the sun rises just a bit before noon, and sets a few hours after. It’s pretty much dark already, at 4PM (but they say the Northern Lights might be out tonight!). So the real trouble in this community is seasonal depression, which leads to (heavier than normal, which is still an impressive yield of) drinking.
So I thought do a big educational class about booze or something… but that would be stupid – I wouldn’t attend something like that myself. I am pretty sure I am a borderline-chronic alcoholic, it runs in my family – & I don’t mean to be a braggart, but I really think I have a much better handle on my drink than many folks. I drink every day, for the most part, but that often means one or two glasses of white wine.
The local, professional drinkers are hitting the sauce before I have made my morning cup of tea (which is sometimes more of an afternoon affair, with the sun not having arrived till noon or so). They then spend their day staggering and slurring, and picking fights that are utterly pointless and unfounded.
It really bums me out, because I know many of these folks to be good people, but they can’t get sober for more than a few hours a week, it seems. So here’s where I take a different view. I grew up in California, so wine has been a prominent part of my life since childhood. I have learned to love and respect this nectar of the gods, only after blacking out at a wine tasting or two…
But my dad always sez, if yer gonna drink, drink the good stuff. So when I see a half-gallon of McNasty’s being passed around from a backpack, it makes me sad. So then, I would use a million dollars to open a wine shop and do free tastings, with lots of bread, cheese, and above all else, water available. Rather than try to teach folks not to drink, I would teach them to properly appreciate a drink, paired with cheeses and fruit, but if you want to be able to attend a free tasting you have to get your shit together, take a fucking shower, and stop talking shit on yer ex.
Those are the rules – this approach may or may not work, but that’s my idea.