Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Nunc Est Bibendum

Sitting down with a glass (or three) of red wine at the end of the day has become one of my great guilty pleasures. Guilty, or at least semi-guilty, because I can’t forsake the belief, inculcated in me since birth, that, probably, the best way to live is free from all chemical distortion. I don’t live this way, mostly, but I still kind of think I should. So in typical WASP-like fashion (or maybe just Me-like fashion) I dilute my enjoyment with my sense that the enjoyment, because it is not bettering or enriching, is somehow transgressive. (Though one could make an interesting argument that purely sensual experience is, in fact, a variety of knowledge and that since all knowledge is somehow useful, purely sensual experience has value.  Right?  Sure you could.  Sure you could.)

This is all relevant (sort of) because a few studies seem to suggest that drinking red wine can increase human longevity. Of course, there are caveats. The relevant studies were done on mice, first of all, and the mice in question were given amounts of wine equivalent in human terms to a hundred bottles a day. Whether only a glass or two a night would have similar effects is very much an open question.

But come on.   Let’s not strain at gnats. What I take from this article is this: science is saying—demanding, in fact—that I drink red wine.  And not just a little red wine: a LOT of red wine.   It’s science, people. What am I going to do--argue?  It's SCIENCE.  Our lone arbiters of truth. Clearly we have to do what they say.  Whether we like it or not.


Seb said...

To quote Valeria, Queen of Thieves, from Conan the Barbarian: do you want to live forever?

To put it another way, I'll fall back on the Scissor Scissors:

When you're waiting for your wings but you just got legs, when you're feeding all your chickens but they won't lay eggs, when you open up your drawer and see your janky clothes, just remember life's in love with you, but let's suppose that God ain't gonna drop you no hundred-dollar bill. You got to question your intentions 'cause the bad ones kill.

...What is it that you want? What is it that you give? Where do you plan on findin' it? How do you want to live?

Oh, and in case your fun isn't completely ruined, the beneficial chemicals from red wine are almost certainly obtainable in pill form (no buzz). I'll have to check my sources on that, though.

TC said...

I suspect you'd enjoy Sallengre's panegyric to drunkeness, Ebrietatis Encomium, as much as I.

JMW said...

Do you really believe you should live free of chemical distortion? I ask not because you're some chemical dump, but because I wonder if someone like yourself, who isn't religious but clearly seeks some kind of higher meaning from life, doesn't feel like chemicals are a perfectly reasonable way to widen the plane of existence. Just a thought.

Now, could you make an argument that playing Scrabble online is a variety of knowledge and therefore valuable? Or watching the NBA Finals? Or arbitrarily ranking one's favorite 100 albums? If you can't, I'm in trouble. (But on the plus side, I drink like a fish.)

Cartooniste said...

So, how should I justify the amount of bourbon that gets consumed in our house....?

Seb said...

Bourbon is its own justification.