Often, and I have written about this before, I have been admonished for my sober, chaste, lifestyle devoid of alcohol, drugs, tobacco, and pornography. I should according to them “live some”. I am a published author on Amazon with 5 star reviews for fiction, I write poetry, and much more. I am hardly a square in the sense I lack creativity nor did I waste the flower of my youth. To use a metaphor, apple juice tastes very sweet and good but if you choose it over liquor, despite the apple juice being fun, one is still liable to be admonished by the puritanical hedonists who decry it as not fun who insist one has fun in the way they regard as officially fun. Apparently, there is no such thing as innocent fun.
Insofar as my youth was wasted devoid of its flower, it was, largely, because in the Sodom-esque hellscape of Charleston, South Carolina, it was a shit-faced fratty social life or none at all with nothing in between. They weren’t for tasting wine or having hard cider over a bonfire. There was one orthodox way to drink and there was one orthodox way to have a good time, all else was heresy: get shit-faced drunk every spare night you have. It is a major cause of loneliness, generally, because Charleston, while an exceptionally horrific example is not nearly the only place where this is true.
By strong cultural moré, adults must have fun by doing things like going to nightclubs and drinking oneself to vomit. If one is unwilling to do such things, one may even be punished. I was. I got in trouble, as mentioned earlier in this blog, for platonic harassment. Weeks on end of the white torture of loneliness, partially borne of a lack of vice, resulted in my platonic and nonviolent pursuits that got me in trouble. In a roundabout and indirect sense, it was 2 Timothy 3:12. I didn’t get in trouble, per se, for clean living, but I got in trouble for the white torture of clean living in a Sodom-esque hellscape. White torture, by the way, is the term for the effects of isolation and solitary situations.
Had I joined the hedonists, I would have been less likely to get in trouble. I call Charleston a Sodom-esque hellscape because literally vice was expected and virtue punished. I don’t drink but it was not merely the presence of alcohol because in Charleston, they don’t moderately drink when they drink. They walk into a club or a party thinking at their own liver like Liam Neeson in Taken talked to his daughter’s kidnapper, they telepathically say to their liver “I will fucking kill you!” Honestly, the relationships of Charlestonians and their livers should be a true crime show since in almost every case it is either attempted or successful murder. It is so bad, I attempted to, through the horrific politician I worked for, to get a court injunction to limit the ABV of alcohol sold in most of the city to 12.5% through a rape case he had taken on. Charleston’s alcohol problem is infamous to those who know the city and is as old as the city, itself. It’s Russian-level bad in Charleston and is a multi-century medical crisis.
Their ethics are Rawlsian, of course. As said in earlier articles, Rawls’ thin-good is the default moral system for liberal society and within that system alcoholism is not immoral. There is nothing in the primary system of liberal ethics that counters bottomless hedonism. Aristotle had the “Doctrine of the Mean” and most world religions are against extreme gluttony but Rawls helped to end that. This needs, badly, to change. There needs to again be a normative moral against extreme hedonism. If someone goes to a club and goes wild on the dance floor, that should not be cheered on. No, if they stop at two glasses of wine or beer and have intelligent small talk and dance with deft coreography, then they get cheered on. If they are wild because they are approaching puking drunk, that should be seen as a bad thing.
If I lost the best years of my life to lacking a social life, it was not my lack of creativity or fun. It was their inability to have any creativity or sobreity whatsoever in any of their leisure time. It was the bottle and another bottle and another bottle until they couldn’t stand or nothing. We have to have a culture that celebrates good times of art, science, gentle romance, and the like. We need to shift the pop culture from rejoicing in hard partying and being a weekend warrior to something more dignified and sophisticated.