Barca wrote:The difference between the Modern Drunkard and the run-of the mill drunkard or"alcoholic" is our control of the alcohol. In the hands of the weak, alcohol becomes a dangerous and seductive djinn, promising greate things but slowly taking control of your will and your soul. In the hands of the Modern Drunkard, alcohol is a tool, as simple as a wheel or a fulcrum and as powerful as a cyclotron or a library.
The bender is when you can give up control of you tools and give in to the drink, let its mercurial whims be your only commands. You can dive into the vortex of complete intoxication and feel the holy thunder of liquory oblivion at your fingertips, let the winds of boozy abandon carry you to the most dangerous of ecstatic heights.
The true Drunkard can make this kind of committment, revel in this kind of abandon, know a freedom that others can't......and when he's done, weeks later, seize control of his tools and once again set them to his bidding.
Now, I certainly think that this is commedable behavior and an inspiration for anyone who wants to shed the ruffian image that surrounds drunks, although whether or not this is to be abolished is for another debate.
But what I will say is this: With such criteria, how can we lay claims to such people as F. Scott Fitzgerald? After all, I don't see how having to be held upright by Ernest Hemmingway so that you can vomit into a toilet or a sink is handling your liquor. Furthermore, Tender is the Night is basically Fitzgerald's fictional chronicle of a "pyschiatrist" whose brilliance and promise deteriorate in direct proportion with the physical and mental tolls that a highly dramatic lifestyle of being married to a beautiful but schizophrenic wife while also being a self-abusing drunkard has on a man's resolve, transparently coinciding with his own life. Certainly I wouldn't say that the man had the ability to turn on and off his self-control when the time could suit him for some reckless abandon only to return to the world of respectability at the end of a good romp.