Let’s just get ‘em a beer

As many of us travel to class today with blurry green memories, we are doubly bummed. Not only are we nursing painful hangovers, we are doing so on a Wednesday.

We should take this time to think about exactly what it is St. Patrick’s Day is about and why it is so dubious.

Christmas is always hailed as an important religious holiday that has been stripped of its meaning by popular culture. But St. Patrick’s Day makes Christmas look as tame and sober as a Good Friday service at Ben Stein’s house.

Believe it or not, yesterday was technically a religious holiday. Luckily, almost no one knows about it or cares.

It’s a day for alcohol. And, now that it’s over, let’s reflect on that subject.

Contrary to popular belief, Americans aren’t unique in our greed, our undying embrace of capitalism, or our love of 50-inch plasma televisions.

Where we are unique, is in our paranoia over drinking.

We have the highest drinking age in the developed world (as well as the highest teen pregnancy rate), and it’s normal here to see 60-year-old men get carded at a restaurant and refused service if they can’t provide proper identification.

Have you ever really wondered what’s up with that? If there really is some 20-year-old guy walking around with deep wrinkles, gray hair and a huge bald spot, he’s got way bigger problems to solve. Get that man a beer!

Here at Fresno State we’ve seen American alcohol paranoia a lot this past year, most prominently in the ASI scandals that have rocked the campus.

The first involved Mackee Mason and Sandra Flores, who were of age themselves, but didn’t prevent others who were underage from drinking in their presence at a retreat in July. Thus, they violated ASI’s “substance free” policy and lost their positions.

Don’t kid yourself. The violation wasn’t the issue, it was the alcohol. Would they have gotten scolded for not stopping other drivers from breaking the speed limit en route to the conference? Of course not.
Mason was really screwed after they found out he had bought alcohol twice with an ASI credit card. Students were outraged at how their student fees were being spent.

But it wasn’t the money either, it was the alcohol. He was fully expected to pay for his dinner on the card, just not the drinks his party had with it. Had the same amount of money been spent on a few extra slices of cheesecake we’d never have heard about it.

This semester, new ASI president Graham Wahlberg’s refrigerator incriminated him when it was randomly searched and found to contain (gasp!) beer cans. Wahlberg is of age, but some of his roommates aren’t.

Did they expect him to hide beer under his bed? In a closet? Even more terrifying, did they expect him to drink it warm!?

All the while, alcohol-related posters on campus don’t even attempt to discourage underage drinking, because people know better.

Why are we so paranoid about this subject? What are we afraid of? Obviously Wahlberg, Flores and Mason’s alcohol consumption didn’t stop them from reaching the top of student government, and it didn’t stop the underage senators on the trip from reaching their positions.

Yes, drunk driving ruins lives and so does teenage pregnancy, but these are not the issues at hand. Education is the key here, not unrealistic legal consumption ages and overblown media reactions to the very mention of the “A” word.

America, it’s time to go to class, nurse our hangovers and relax. Get this country a beer!

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