Friday, February 13, 2009

Everyone get unhappy

Minneapolis has a lot of problems. High taxes, high crime, failed schools. If only there were a group of elected officials, a council if you will, who would convene to systematically address the city's biggest issues in hopes of divining a remedy.

Instead, we have a bunch of overpaid dolts who, when not grifting or arranging sweetheart deals for Kowalski's markets, tackle frivolous issues with zeal. So, instead of fighting crime, the city council is fighting happy hour.

It seems there is some concern that students on the University of Minnesota campus are "binge drinking". This begs a number of questions, for example:

1) So what?
2) Why is this my problem?
3) Duh!

Wait, that last one wasn't a question. Councilman Cam Gordon offers his answer:

Right now it seems like almost everyone goes through a period where they have to figure it out and experiment, and find out where their limits are. And during that period sometimes they have some very detrimental consequences.

That sounds about right. And so naturally the City Council is slated to insinuate itself into this process of discovery... By banning happy hour in Minneapolis.

It's as though the council got together and said "you know what? We're tired of being parodied and lampooned for our inepititude. Today, let's be BEYOND parody."

And so, with Minneapolis bars and restaurants already reeling from the misguided smoking ban, it appears as though the city is ready to land another punch. Of course, before they move forward with this ridiculous idea, they have to piss away some taxpayer dollars first. And so they are assigning a task force.

Yep, that's right. A happy hour task force. In unrelated news, I'm available for freelance work. And I promise thorough research. Alas, I possess common sense, and people with common sense are NEVER asked to join task forces. So allow me to offer some conclusive statistics from my own college experience.

Number of happy hours I attended during college: 2
Number of times I got thoroughly blitzed during college: 135 (that I can remember)

Of course, banning happy hour isn't the option on the table. Other possibilities include only serving one drink at a time, and banning beer pong. Because nothing slows down drinking like inconvenience and boredom.

The article notes that Portland, Oregon has instituted a one drink policy. They also elected a mayor named Sam Adams who had a gay sex affair with a teenager named Beau Breedlove. Suffice to say, they do things differently on the left coast.

Let's revisit the stats here, shall we?

Number of times I played beer pong during college: 2
Number of times a bartender served me more than one drink during college: 1
Number of times I got thoroughly blitzed during college: 146 (forgot about senior week)

While I would certainly love to laugh all of this off, Minneapolis city leadership has demonstrated such a profound mastery of the absurd that this cannot be dismissed as harmless chatter. So it might be worth examining the consequences of this decision:

1) Non college students who happen to enjoy half priced appetizers will have to take their business to the suburbs (I'm just assuming that Rybak's little toady Chris Coleman will follow suit with similar policies in St. Paul).

2) Bars in Fridley will start hosting college nights. University Avenue will become innavigable to the north.

3) Students will drink more at home, and might even play beer pong if they are so inclined. They will not, however, drink less.

But, by all means, assign your task force. At least it will distract you from doing illegal things to screw up our city.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does no one on the council have children? Were they not teenagers once themselves?

My goodness, how did the human race ever make it to the 21st Century?

# of times I drank in college: 1
# of times I got blitzed: 0

Call me a late bloomer then.

Of course binge drinking will persist. Sadly the more restricted it becomes, the more lucrative it will be.
2 reasons I think binge drinking is so common:
1. it's taboo
2. peer pressure

Friends want to get friends drunk for entertainment value, and why not? This is supposed to be a society of fun and no one loses. If you lose you can sue and win.

Hooray rebellion!

I've always considred myself a law abiding citizen. I abide the laws (mostly) and pay my taxes (then the government makes some erronious claim I owe the judiciary money and takes it out of my tax return- umm WHAT???)

But hey if someday there is a rebellion against the Galactic Empire of the USA I might be leading the front lines.....

Is there any way to disband a city council?

9:41 AM  
Anonymous Robin said...

Actually, WCCO either misinterpreted the story or deliberately sensationalized it. If you're at all interested in what Minneapolis is actually doing on binge drinking, you could go here:

2:09 PM  
Blogger Kevin Sawyer said...


Thank you for visiting. Sorry for the comment moderation. My blog has been besieged by a lunatic.

I am, it turns out, interested in what Minneapolis is actually doing about binge drinking. As such, I visited the blog. A couple of points.

1) The DHFS recommendations lead with an admonishment not to reduce the drinking age. Unless I am mistaken, this is not on the table, so the largely moot. The recommendations, then, immediately pivot to discussing limitations on happy hour and beer pong.

As such, I would submit that WCCO largely got the story right. Had the reporter wished to sensationalize the story, she would not have omitted the reference to having city attorney's examine zoning and licensing practices. Given this city's history w/r/t eminent domain et al... That's more than a bit ominous.

2) The to which I have been directed only reinforces my above contention that the city council has it's eye off the ball. Putting on the city's legislative agenda a support item for the marriage and families protection act?

Why don't we address our crime problem before we address the question of whether the law books should use "husband and wife" or "spouse". You can't be gay if you're dead.

2:36 PM  

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