Monday, August 27, 2007

Saga Lout Redux

I know it's August and things are slow, but really, was there any conceivable excuse for a paper to revive this nonsense and present it as a news story - and for other news outlets to report it as such? If ever there was a non-existent threat to society - indeed a non-existent phenomenon - it is surely the Saga Lout. Why Lout? There is no suggestion at all of loutish behaviour. And, if you can bear to read the piece to the end, the talk is of levels of alcohol consumption that, for the true binge drinker, would barely register as a pre-binge sharpener. I guess it's all part of the ongoing project to erect bogus threats, problems, menaces etc to divert attention from a widespread failure to deal with the real ones. Cheers!


  1. Anyone over a certain age - say, 70 or 75 - should be given a free booze pass enabling them to buy alcohol free of tax and duty, etc. It would be a small reward for old age and I doubt many would suddenly turn into 20-pints-a-day fiends. In any case, if some oldies did die a little sooner they'd be saving us money on healthcare and pensions. A better way to go than stumbling on miserably for another ten or twenty years of bodily decay.

  2. Scotland on Sunday obviously believes it has a responsibility to remind the nation of the dangers of excess booze, in fact it is so aware of this responsibility that it probably caused something of an internal crisis before they decided to 'plonk' an advert to the right of the piece exhorting readers to 'win a Distillery Manager's tour and Master Class for 4 at Auchentoshan Distillery'. Hurry Nige, competition ends 31st August.

  3. The complement to this insane cruelty comes comes when the bubbly young caring professions start telling the elderly what they should be doing instead of tippling or otherwise enjoying themselves. In the name of health and eternal temporal life, they must be active, frantically so, and engage in demanding hobbies or activities from dawn to dusk 24/7. Whether they have any social utility or whether the victim is interested in them or not is quite beside the point. Commenting on this pheneomenon, the late Roberstson Davies quipped: "Those now struggling to navigate the rocky shoals of middle age and looking forward to a few quiet years with a good book may tremble at the thought of a seniority in which they will be compelled to grow orchids or learn to play the trombone."

    They actually did a government study here a while back on what we should be offering the elderly to keep their lives peppy and meaningful. Of course, they ran up against the reality that they actually have no utility anyone can think of in modern times, at least none anyone wants to offer them. The best they could recommend was that the elderly be encouraged to devote themselves to oral history and round-the-world sequential walks in shopping malls. This led the late Mordechi Richler, then well into his dotage, to paint a hilarious picture of an entire generation of resentful youth condemned to spend endless hours recording the selective memories of semi-sentient droolers and denied all access to completely clogged malls.

  4. I like the way they insinuate this is a new phenomenon. I was brought up around the pubs of a small Yorkshire town. I was wheened on Tetley's bitter, with a drop of whisky in my bottle if I didn't sleep.
    My father could get through a gallon of beer a night and had a bottle of whisky a week in his tea. And compared to some of the people I knew, he was a light drinker.
    And some of these characters continued such habits well into their 90s, never appeared drunk, never caused trouble.
    Such louts.