Seltzer Is Really Wine And Dirty Looks Will Kill You

I’ve figured out a way to increase wine sales: Let’s redefine seltzer as wine.

This ingenious solution to the apparent decline in wine sales in the United States occurred to me as I read through a new study out of Australia on the phenomenon known as “Second Hand Drinking”. This phrase should sound familiar to you. It’s derived from the more well-known term, “Second Hand Smoking”. Moreover, the “Second Hand Drinking” phrasing is meant to further demonize the act of drinking alcohol, as opposed to better explain reality.

The Sax Institute, reporting on this new Australian study, explains it this way:

“More than 70% of teenage girls who are risky drinkers report unwanted sexual attention from other drinkers – just one of a multitude of harms young people experience from ‘second-hand drinking’, according to new Australian research. The study in the latest issue of Public Health Research & Practice, published by the Sax Institute, sheds light on the compounding effects of risky drinking in young Australians, identifying for the first time a range of specific harms teenage consumers of alcohol experience at the hands of other drinkers,

Read this last sentence very carefully: “Identifying for the first time…”

The study itself outlines 13 separate harms due to someone else’s drinking that are experienced to one degree or another by young people who engage in “risky drinking”. Among the 13 harms experienced from “Second Hand Drinking” that are identified in the report are:

Ruined A Party Or Social Gathering

Ruined Your Clothes or Other Belongings

Given You Unwanted Sexual Attention

Done Something Socially Aggressive

Harrassed Or Bothered You At A Party

Yelled At, Criticized or Verbally Abused You

When the harms from second-hand smoking were first being discussed and explained years ago, we learned about the health impact on our lungs, for example, from being around a smoker in an enclosed room. Then, later on, we learned about the less physically impacting, but still bothersome, effect of being near a smoker in the open air. Eventually, we came to be told without equivocation that Second Hand Smoking kills you.

This study on the impacts of “Second Hand Drinking” is certainly part of the early efforts to further demonize drinking alcohol by asserting that there are numerous harmful impacts upon those who are nearby people who are drinking. But in order to make this assertion and to further demonize the drinking of alcohol, it is necessary to “identifying for the first time a range of specific harms”.

Consider this harm identified in the study: “Done Something Socially Aggressive”.

Of the 13 “harms” identified in the study that impact young people from being exposed to “second hand drinking”, “done something socially aggressive” is the only one that is defined in the study. This is what is meant by “done something socially aggressive:

“Turned their back on you, rolled their eyes at you, gave dirty looks, ignoring you or did something else to you that was socially aggressive and designed to hurt you.”

Is it possible we are in danger of too broadly defining “harm”? I think so. When the “harm” that comes as a result of alcohol consumption is measured on a scale that includes eye-rolling and dirty looks, then we are dealing with a scale of measurement that has no beginning or end. When we realize that having a back turned toward you as a result of someone else’s alcohol consumption is one way in which alcohol consumption is dangerous or harmful, isn’t it time to ban alcohol?

The ways by which the anti-alcohol contingent will go about attempting to convince society that strict controls on alcohol must be imposed are insidious—and apparently without rational limit.

When there is no rational limit on how one thing can be associated with another thing, then the guardrails that define commonsense go by the wayside. By removing the requirement that commonsense be employed in our assessments of reality, we invite stupidity to replace judgment. 

All this leads me to believe that, in fact, wine sales are really increasing. Afterall, seltzer is wine.

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  1. Liz Holtzclaw - February 26, 2020

    Totally agree with everything except the last three words. Seltzer can be wine, but most commonly is not. White Claw is a brewery product and, unfortunately for our winery constituents, the identical formula and identical label can be classed as wine or beer, but the tax rate is Thirty times higher for the same product classified as wine.
    Beer tax rate is $3.50 per barrel (31 gallons) or $0.11 per gallon.
    Carbonated wine with fruit flavors is $3.30 per gallon, exactly 30 times higher.


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