Saturday, December 16, 2017

Spirituous spiritual spirits


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Last week’s column offended quite a few people.

For those who didn’t read it, I wrote about Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar’s statement that she feared no one except God, using satirical devices such as quotes from religious texts and the names of alcoholic drinks in order to reveal the basis of Kamla’s handling of the Reshmi Ramnarine affair, the State of Emergency, Section 34, the Kublalsingh hunger strike, etc. Unsurprisingly, this aroused the ire of many drinkers.

For example, blogger “Bar Rat” writing on The Vomitorium website said, “Kevin is conditioned by the stringent laws of nature to act and speak like he does. So is each of us. I have a small big toe, a wife whose moustache needs shaving more often than mine and, lately, I am being stalked by a fart. Is it any wonder that I turn to drink? Yet Kevin would deny me my only comfort in life.”

As is often the case with drunkards, Bar Rat misrepresents my views on alcohol. I have no objection to people drinking in their private lives; it is not my business if they like having bad sex and bad hair. It is when their drinking affects other people that I draw the line.

Not only would many deaths be prevented if people didn’t drink, but nobody would have an excuse for beating their wives, assaulting soca fans, or building $1 billion highways for $7.2 billion. It is true, though, that I do not believe in drinking, but that is only because it causes hallucinations like pink elephants, demons, and a mansion worth $4 million in cucumbers and pumpkins. But alcoholics defend themselves by arguing that drinking relieves stress, encourages conviviality, and gets even ugly women called “Shexshy gyul”.

Because I am against alcoholism, however, drinkers like to claim that I don’t know anything about alcohol. They even suggest that my distaste for alcohol was caused by some childhood trauma, even though it’s drinkers who drink in order to kill worms, brain cells, and erections.

Thus, in a post on the Drunk & Disorderly blog, “Ickball Highball” wrote: “The truth is that Kevin Baldeosingh does not drink. Since he cannot turn to rum to drown his sorrows, he look for credibility by criticising cocktails, even though most real drinkers prefer their whiskey straight, not gay. Why do you think they’re called cocktails? Mr Baldeosingh tries to appear inebriated by employing satire, but nonetheless pretends to be providing sober analysis of drinking, which is an obvious contradiction. He probably uses chaser.”

In fact, I badtalk alcoholism, not alcohol. But I admit that I’m not in favour of moderate drinking, either. Studies show that societies which have high rates of social drinking tend to have higher numbers of alcoholics. You see them in UWI’s Engineering Faculty, hear them on radio talkshows, and elect them to Parliament.

It is also a fact that societies where most people like to drink have more violence, more corruption, and more flatulence. Yet, like Highball himself, people are more tolerant of alcoholism than of homosexuality, which is why it’s better to be a homosexual alcoholic than an alcoholic homosexual.

In similar vein, another bartender, who signed herself with the pseudonym Channa With Babash, sent a letter to the editor saying, “I write this response to your columnist Kevin Baldeosingh who sought to make a mockery of my drinks and my profession as a mixologist, though I do not support douglarisation.

But all sorts of people depend on bartenders to tell them what mark to play. The twisting of the names of traditional liqueurs by him to make mockery of the Honourable Prime Minister while at the same time mocking the drinking community is something to be abhorred. Ministers Jack Warner, Anil Roberts, and AG Anand Ramlogan have all stated that Prime Minister Persad-Bissessar does not have a drinking problem, and Kamla herself said she has no problem drinking, either way she is the highest in the land and should be treated as such.”

Ms Babash, like all bartenders, fails to mention the real reason she became a bartender: which is to make money from people’s stupidity, cupidity, and liquidity. So it’s no wonder that she defends politicians.

If politicians didn’t depend on rum and roti to get into office, bartenders would stop being viewed as prophets and lose profits. Ms Babash clearly doesn’t understand how I can have such extensive knowledge about alcohol – its history, psychology, philosophy, and its chemistry – and yet consider drinking to be bad. This is why bartenders often accuse me of misquoting cocktail recipes, but never point out what ingredients I’ve gotten wrong. Instead, they argue that God intended people to get drunk or else He would not have invented fermentation.

But that’s the kind of logic you get when you depend on spirits to think.