October 14, 2011

Oktoberfest

Anthropologist Kate Fox writes for the BBC:
There is enormous cross-cultural variation in the way people behave when they drink alcohol. There are some societies (such as the UK, the US, Australia and parts of Scandinavia) that anthropologists call "ambivalent" drinking-cultures, where drinking is associated with disinhibition, aggression, promiscuity, violence and anti-social behaviour. 
There are other societies (such as Latin and Mediterranean cultures in particular, but in fact the vast majority of cultures), where drinking is not associated with these undesirable behaviours - cultures where alcohol is just a morally neutral, normal, integral part of ordinary, everyday life - about on a par with, say, coffee or tea. These are known as "integrated" drinking cultures. 

I like to have a good map of stereotypes in my head, so here's the missing piece of the puzzle for me when it comes to drinking cultures: if the Italians sip wine with every meal and the Scandinavians occasionally binge drink on hard liquor, where do the Germans fit in?

My theory is that alcohol helps people have two different personalities, sober and convivial, which can be convenient.
This variation cannot be attributed to different levels of consumption - most integrated drinking cultures have significantly higher per-capita alcohol consumption than the ambivalent drinking cultures. 
Instead the variation is clearly related to different cultural beliefs about alcohol, different expectations about the effects of alcohol, and different social rules about drunken comportment. 
This basic fact has been proved time and again, not just in qualitative cross-cultural research, but also in carefully controlled scientific experiments - double-blind, placebos and all. To put it very simply, the experiments show that when people think they are drinking alcohol, they behave according to their cultural beliefs about the behavioural effects of alcohol. 
The British and other ambivalent drinking cultures believe that alcohol is a disinhibitor, and specifically that it makes people amorous or aggressive, so when in these experiments we are given what we think are alcoholic drinks - but are in fact non-alcoholic "placebos" - we shed our inhibitions. 
We become more outspoken, more physically demonstrative, more flirtatious, and, given enough provocation, some (young males in particular) become aggressive. Quite specifically, those who most strongly believe that alcohol causes aggression are the most likely to become aggressive when they think that they have consumed alcohol.

My impression of Italy from the week I spent there in 1980 was that Italian men didn't need disinhibiting to get over their shyness so they could start hitting on women. That's just what they did, at least in the touristy cities. It was like a country full of Silvio Berlusconis. Above is Ruth Orkin's 1951 photo American Girl in Italy, and that's what Florence was like in 1980, too.

By the way, the American Girl in the photo is 83 today and said in August:
“Some people want to use it as a symbol of harassment of women, but that’s what we’ve been fighting all these years,” Craig said in a telephone interview from her home in Toronto. “It’s not a symbol of harassment. It’s a symbol of a woman having an absolutely wonderful time!”

The girl in the picture and the photographer were out trolling for reactions. The photographer liked the reactions the American Girl got the first time she walked down this particular street in Florence, so she had her go around the block and do it again, which sent the hubba-hubba meter to eleven. (But, that's still pretty much what it was like in 1980, so this picture is merely exaggerating reality to convey reality, which is pretty much what photography is all about.)

P.S. The American Girl went back to America, then went back to Italy and married an Italian man.

P.S. Sorry about posting this twice. If you commented on the version I just deleted, I've moved your comments to the end of this comment thread.

101 comments:

Anonymous said...

My impression of Italy from the week I spent there in 1980 was that Italian men didn't need disinhibiting to get over their shyness so they could start hitting on women.

There's been some debate over how ethical 'cold approaches' are in the dating game on ONESTDVs blog:

http://onestdv.blogspot.com/2011/10/eminem-and-tim-tebow-white-idols-in.html

The conclusion reached was that it's best not to be crude as blacks who are constantly hitting on women. So I'd say the Germans are on the 'human' side of that equation and the Italians closer to the 'animal' side.

Anonymous said...

now write a column about running amok

Average Joe said...

The difference between the two types of culture probably has a lot to do with genetics since there are significant differences between Northern Europeans and Southeastern Europeans at the genomic level.

All Nations Welcome But Carrie said...

I see Steve's Theory is the same as the old explanation commonly given by everyone all the time: the drinkers do it to subdue the acute sense of an unfun or anxious or ADD self, etc. My theory--that "social unease" is the euphemism for scant curiosity about someone else not kin, spouse, peer, or authority figure (often w/ semi-conscious contempt)--is a nice mood-killer at parties. The alkie tolerance from race to race is good to study (we know E-Asians are total lightweights, right) but does it control for all that variation within families, among siblings...

poultry inspector said...

A lot of the difference derives from the frequency of consumption. In Mediterranean countries, people will drink a little once or twice a day (often at meals), whereas in places like England people are more likely to drink a lot just once or twice a week.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like we know how to drink and the Italians don't.

But that doesn't fit with the neo-prohibitionist narrative, so whatever.

You'd think people wouldn't be really quick to go to bat for Italy so soon after Amanda Knox.

Simon in London said...

Agree with Average Joe about genes - the Mediterraneans have been drinking longer than the north French & Germans, who have been drinking longer than the Scandinavians & Celts.

In the British Isles, the English don't seem to notice this but IME drunken behaviour is far worse in the Celtic fringe, eg Northern Ireland where I grew up, than it is in the heavily Saxon, Anglo, and Viking areas. Those with a lot of Teuton genes seem to hold their drink far better; they may get aggressive but they are far less likely to get themselves killed. I suspect you'd see a similar difference between English-descent New England Yankees and Southern Anglo-Celts.

truth seer said...

you wrote this already sailer...you right wing bigoted moron

europeasant said...

Alcohol is God's gift to ugly men and ugly women.Without alcohol the Caucasian birthrate would plummet even further.
Have you ever noticed how much better the women look late into the evening.

Usually Lurking said...

My understanding is that where hard liquor was prevalent, alcoholism (and bad drunken behavior) was much more common. Where Wine and Beer countries are much less likely to have high rates of alcoholism.

For instance, Scotland tends to have a worse reputation than England with Alcoholism and hard liquor (i.e. Whiskey) plays a bigger role in their culture.

Anonymous said...

Ambivalent= UK, US, Australia, Scandinavia

Integrated= Italy, Latin cultures, the mediterranean

Is there a category for the Irish called "Wooooohooooooo!!!!" ???

Painlord2k said...

The binge drinking was unknown in Italy until a few years ago. It started to show up when they started to make laws limiting the selling and drinking of alcohol to minors.

In the north, mainly Friuli-Venezia Giulia and Veneto, the drinking is a social problem and always was. But this never prevented the people form being hard working and working hard all day around. They drunk after the job or, mainly females, at home as a way to sedate, not as a way to lose control.

People losing control would lose their social standing very fast.

Do really the binge drinking is normal for northern society or it is simply the "new normal".

Fifty years ago or a century ago, do people in England, Scotland, Eire, the various part of the US and Canada binged with their drink or not?
I don't know but I don't think so.

I think the binge drinking is a mark of a societal problem, not a cultural feature.

Anonymous said...

Could it be the difference between the do-nothing Southern Euros enjoying a bottle of wine every day and the have-to-take-care-of-business Northern Euros/Yanks/Ozzies getting crocked once in a while?

I would group the Germans with the latter, as well as the Japanese, who are renowned for puking on the shoes drinking.

bgc said...

Well, variation is not associated with volume of annual alchohol consumption but is associated with whether cultures are binge drinking cultures or not.

When the volume of annual consumption goes up enormously in a binge drinking culture (as on the UK and Ireland over the past two decades) then the result is a not a more 'Southern European' style of consumption, but just *lot* more binge drinking (especially among women).

The reason for binge drinking is almost certainly genetic, and the product of natural selection - some societies that have had access to alcohol for many generations have bred-out the binge drinkers (they drank themselves to death, reproductive death at any rate).

Societies which are completely alcohol naive, such as recent hunter gatherers, are differentially very very prone to wildly excessive binge drinking - as can be seen from Eskimos in the North to Aborigines in the South.

Within Britain, even within England, there is a North South differential in binge drinking - plausibly due to the different genetic composition of the natives in relation to their generational depth of exposure to alcohol.

So this is yet another case where sterotypical differential cultural beliefs about the effect of alcohol are simply a reflection of realities - alcohol has different stereotypical effects on different populations.

(Because the cause is genetic, you can even see the differences in binge drinking between the US descendants of Southern English who emigrated to New England, and the Northern English/ Lowland Scots who emigrated to the Appalachians.)

Anonymous said...

Being a low carb eater myself, it makes me wonder if the materials used to manufacture the alcohol could play a difference on behavior. Northern Europeans tend to make alcohol from grains. While the warm south is able to grow grapes, and use that for making alcoholic drinks.

The Anti-Gnostic said...

Steve - this is too important to keep. The Mises Institute has figured out what causes crime.

Anonymous said...

I am of British Isles descent and have had some struggles with alcohol. So I have read quite a bit about the subject..

it's probably genetic to some degree. but also cultural.

The English for example, the pub is a part of village life (traditionally) and to some degree that regulated alcohol consumption - an anonymous city pub or bar is quite different.. - the village pub was more like a social center or coffee house (indeed sometimes serving as the post office and court as well)

There is one addiction guy whose name i forget, who theorizes how alcohol is introduced into culture makes a difference - for example (and he uses this example) askanazi had low alcoholism levels - and drinking was highly regulated by the community - in fact in passover meals you drink on queue - now that they are less religious and less of a community their alcoholism levels are rising.

same with italians they learn to drink wine at the table with meals with family. How many brit and american children do that.

The reaction to the gin craze was methodism and the temperance movement which tried to encourage men to drink beer (hogarth's gin and beer street) the temperance movement decided at some point complete abstance was the only solution.. for a lot of drinkers- most - that's the case.

Fun reminder: the average puritian drank three quarts of beer a day (though lower in alcohol level, still not small beer).

Anonymous said...

It's a very strange article, the perception of alcohol intake is different in both countries because alcohol is not associated with "getting drunk" in Mediterranean countries, not because getting drunk has different associations and this has some kind of strong psychosomatic effect (a weak effect I can believe).

You certainly could not get roaring drunk off water.

Sigh. Social scientists.

Re: inhibition

http://akinokure.blogspot.com/2006/12/spanish-national-character.html - The Spanish self rate as more introverted than the British or Norwegians but still have a Mediterranean drinking culture.

Which would interact with the inhibition gap idea in the following fashions:

- either these self report measures are no good
- or there is a specific block in certain kinds of situations, even though Northern Europeans are generally about as extraverted (which would make sense to me - Northern Europeans in line with your idea Steve being more sober when sober, but not really introverted as such, just soberly extraverted)
-or that inhibition isn't a good theory and Northern European social permissiveness (tolerance) is more important than inhibition.

http://photos1.blogger.com/x/blogger/1340/1913/1600/270576/worldpers1.jpg

G Joubert said...

What Average Joe said.

Plus, there are differences in the way the two cohorts drink. Not talking amount, way. Northern Europeans and Americans often drink with with the intent of getting buzzed, goofy, then hammered, in that direct progression. They drink faster, aiming to get there. The others drink slower, pacing themselves, and by the end of the day they've consumed more quantity-wise, they've never at any point allowed the level of alcohol in their blood push them over the edge.

And Steve, you do know that you've posted this same post ("Octoberfest") twice, one after the other, each collecting it's own comments, don't you?

Anonymous said...

Northern Europeans in line with your idea Steve being more sober when sober, but not really introverted as such, just soberly extraverted

Or put another another way, in the phrasing of the Big 5 - it's all about Conscientiousness, not Extraversion or Neuroticism.

Anonymous said...

where do the Germans fit in?
you're talking about a wide swath here, prussia to Bavaria...

Luke Lea said...

I second Average Joe. It has long been noted that distance from the Mediterranean correlates with tendency to alcholism, binge drinking, etc., presumably because all the alcaholics died out long ago in areas where drinking was thousands of years older. Cf. American Indians for an even more extreme example. So biology more than culture here, or as much at least.

Anonymous said...

The 82 year old woman probably felt differently when she was younger. Most of us women who no longer can garner the attention of men with our looks remember fondly when men turned in our direction. However, we appreciated "polite" appreciation for our form, furtive glances, smiles, not the meat-on-the-hoof stares with wolfian tongue licking and sometimes verbal aggression. That was actually scary, esp. when one was alone.

Italy? Italian men are usually disgusting. They really do try to cop a feel at every chance, at least from women they recognize as tourists. I'm ethnically part Italian and I hated it.

Anonymous said...

Ask your friend Cochran if there are biological differences in the way Italians, Greeks, Germans, the English, northern and Eastern Euro groups and Americans are able to handle the effects of alcohol. I suspect the behaviors are cultural, but the the relationship between the culture and alcohol consumption and behavior are very much biologically rooted.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, everyone just imagines that alcohol is disinhibiting. That's why the Romans said "In Vino Veritas" - they were just a hung-up, inhibited northern culture, at least between orgies.

How can people even write this crap with a straight face?

Luke Lea said...

And don't forget African American penchant for getting smashed. Here's a classic version by Nina Simon. (Gin House Blues, 6th version down.) Is it just me or does she sound like a man?

Anonymous said...

I spent time in Italy and Vienna. The German speakers in Vienna were shockingly orderly, the train station was as clean as Disneyland. No one crossed against a traffic light when there was no traffic. On the weekends, in a night club! Whoah! Dancing on tables, literally swinging from a chandelier...a lot of steam is blown off.
The Italian women are aggressive too!If they like you, you will know it! That is true of European women in general. American women are much more reticent and combative. It is about who has the power.

Anonymous said...

Not to distract from a good stereotype discussion, but what about the issue of change over time?

In the EasyJet era, Brits have developed a well-deserved reputation for destroying formerly charming inner cities of old Europe with their animalistic behavior on bachelor party weekends (Prague, Tallinn). To be clear, we're talking about WHITE Brits here. See also Anthony Daniels/Theodore Dalrymple.

What happened there? Was this really something that Churchill-era Brits would do?

As for the Germans, perhaps the country is diverse enough -- speaking only of ethnic Germans here, which still after all encompasses Catholic and Protestant, Northern and Southern, Swabian and Prussian, etc. -- to accommodate a variety of styles.

In the SWPL precincts of Berlin, for example -- home to the "G8 Immigrant" class or what Steve would also call the "winner class" -- you can observe exquisitely sophisticated yuppies savoring carefully selected bottles of wine with their organic pizzas
(Also known as the "Bionade Biedermeier").
http://www.signandsight.com/features/1644.html

At the very same time, a few U-Bahn stops away, you can be terrorized by truculent right-wing soccer-hooligan skinheads drunk on huge amounts of cheap beer, who harass and threaten the terrified brown people on the train.

Kylie said...

"'Some people want to use it[the iconic photo, American Girl in Italy] as a symbol of harassment of women, but that’s what we’ve been fighting all these years,' Craig said in a telephone interview from her home in Toronto. 'It’s not a symbol of harassment. It’s a symbol of a woman having an absolutely wonderful time!'"

Sure it is, if a woman's idea of a wonderful time is having a bunch of seedy strangers who look like extras from the set of I vitelloni leer at her while grabbing their crotches.

I wonder if she ever got into prison work? Now there's a profession, one of several, that's tailor-made for her mentality.

Henry Canaday said...

I did not notice any obvious girl-watching in Italy during 2006 and 2010 visits. The most noticeable distinction of Rome’s urban life is the almost complete absence of traffic lights and stop signs. Everyone, both pedestrian and motorist, must improvise their way around and between each other on streets full of fast-moving traffic. Perhaps this requires a level of alertness inconsistent with vigorous girl-watching.

Anonymous said...

Steve is right about this one. I disagree with him a lot and have layed the smack down on him and his reeders many times, but I have to give him credit here. Mediterranean and especially tropical men have completely different mindsets and priorities than men from cold climates and I think this is genetic because the descendants of mediterraneans in the U.S, like Italians in New Jersey and Cubans in Miami, are a lot more outgoing than Anglos. The case of Cubans in Miami(mostly of Spaniard descent) is a special case because they displaced Anglo culture rather than integrate to it, but the Italians in New York and New Jersey, who have been living under the iron fist of Anglo acculturation for a century, continue to be more outgoing than Anglos even thouh they have Anglo names and speak English.

I observed this when I made a business trip to Brazil many years ago. Men shout expletives at attractive women all the time, honk the horns of their cars, make moves on women in front of everyone, etc. This behavior would be regarded as sexual harassment or even sexual assault in the U.S, but in Brazil it is part of the culture. They tend to be far more gregarious, outgoing and self-centered than Anglos. Brazilian men tend to be friendlier than Anglos, but the flip side is that they are also far more aggressive. Is the greater friendliness of Brazilians reflected in the society
? Of course not. Brazil is one of the most brutal places on Earth, with a homicide rate of almost 50,000 murders a year. The films "City of God" and "elite Squad" clearly shows a society of extremely self-confident, flamboyantly self-centered, vain and brutal men who kill each other like flees, and for whom Human life has no value at all.

The other thing about these tropical and sub-tropical populations is not only the higher rate not only of sexual activity, but also of variety. For instance, bisexuality is rampant as weaker males are seen as females to be used for one's self-gratification. In these cultures being a man is about having power and control over others and using them for your self-gratification. The concept that being a heterosexual man is about only having sex with women is seen as alien in these cultures as they define being the "man" as being active and dominant in intercourse irrespective of whom you're having sex with. The rape and abuse of adolescent boys has always been a very serious problem among sub-tropical and tropical peoples, from the ancient Hellenes to the Pashtun to the Arabs.

Laura said...

Posting from Germany here - Germany definitely has an integrated drinking culture. The traditional Bavarian breakfast, for example, is pretzels, white sausages, and wheat beer. They think nothing of having this on a weekday at work. When I expressed surprise, it was explained to me that wheat bear is made of wheat, water, and yeast, so it's basically just liquid bread.

The place of alcohol in German culture has more to do with digestion than inhibitions. It's a "lump of meat and potato salad" culture where your stomach needs all the help it can get. It's also a very blunt culture where people criticize each other freely and there are topless ladies on the front page of family newspapers. They don't need alcohol to give them permission to act in an uninhibited way.

mybuttsmells said...

was this article so good you had to post it twice, sweetheart?

triffid said...

I tend to agree with Steve on the comparative drinking cultures. Furthermore, these "integrated" drinkers do appear to be running their countries while drunk.

BTW, the woman in the photo is lying or is just being gracious. Italian men will pinch women's behinds and leave bruises. Ugly old men from other latinate cultures will come on to you as if they actually have a chance. In fact, it's the duds not the studs who behave like animals. Guess it substitutes for a real relationship while paradoxically preventing the development of one.

Zhora Misha said...

Hey AvgJoe, don't exaggerate intra-European differences. Why not quantify them and put them in perspective instead? Below is a link to the Φst genetic distances among five European population clusters, the Far East and Africa in general. Interestingly, Southwestern Europe differs from Northwestern Europe more than Southeast Europe does.

Dodecad's Euro7 F-st

beowulf said...

"There's been some debate over how ethical 'cold approaches' are in the dating game"

If the girl is underage, wearing a ring or working (its crude to hit on anyone who has to worry about her job if she tell you to f*** off), its unethical. Any other circumstance and you don't, its like you're cheating on yourself.

These guys have it figured out.
"Simple Pickup: Are these the greatest pickup artists of all time?"
http://www.salon.com/2011/09/20/greatest_pickup_artists_of_their_generation/

Anonymous said...

Off-topic, but some interesting data on how the recession has affected birthrates, with the data sorted by state and racial group: http://www.pewsocialtrends.org/2011/10/12/in-a-down-economy-fewer-births/?src=prc-headline

Jacob Roberson said...

I can't remember what town we were in, but eventually the girls got an answer out of the Italian guys following them: "American girls are easy"

Us American guys were not amused.

Then again the Romanian guys in our hotel had the same idea they just didn't say it that way.

Anonymous said...

Ruth Orkin's photo was the stereotype my wife and I had when we sent our daughter off to study in Rome. Now my daughter is engaged to marry an Italian and I have to report that the stereotype seems way overblown. He comes from a wonderful educated family who gave up on communism once they had a first hand look at the results. Her fiancé works in finance and is the sort of considerate young man you'd hope your daughter to find. But I still like the Ruth Orkin photo.

Anonymous said...

Deja vu.

LemmusLemmus said...

"those who most strongly believe that alcohol causes aggression are the most likely to become aggressive when they think that they have consumed alcohol."

Reverse causality alert!

Caleo said...

To expand on Steve's observation, Italians don't need alcohol to exhibit any of the behaviors associated with alcohol consumption in Anglo/Nordic societies.
Every behavior, from amorousness to belligerent aggression, are openly expressed by your average Italian without a single drop of alcohol.
I say this as an Italian American.
Traditionally, Italians also consume wine with most large meals, and children are introduced to wine consumption at a very early age, in tiny amounts.
With Italians, alcohol is used while eating, not just consumed straight with the intention of getting wasted.

bleach said...

Well it's totally different drinks being consumed for one thing. Meds drink wine with their meals and it has a proven health benefit. Most Germanics and Celts binge drink on beer (and whiskey) and it has a detrimental health benefit, but it's fun. Slavs and Scandinavians binge drink on vodka and it has a massively detrimental health effect, but I guess it's even more fun (well, they sure do love getting wasted).

http://bigthink.com/ideas/21495

Anonymous said...

The creepy men of Napoli:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QOj_N45SA_E

Anonymous said...

onestdv got trolled hard there. Women want the attention, civilization however needs men to do something other than just chase skirts all day.

oh and this got double posted.

Anonymous said...

addendum to the above, women want the attention, even if they have no intention of reciprocating it and shitting on the man in question.

josh said...

"...symbol of a woman having an absolutely wonderful time." God,how I hate,hate,hate feminists.

Anonymous said...

Obligatory: http://www.theonion.com/articles/european-men-are-so-much-more-romantic-than-americ,11552/

Anonymous said...

Why did Sailer post this twice? I wonder what he's been drinking.

Steve Sailer said...

Sorry about the double post, so here are all the comments from the redundant posting:


Anonymous said...
My impression of Italy from the week I spent there in 1980 was that Italian men didn't need disinhibiting to get over their shyness so they could start hitting on women.

There's been some debate over how ethical 'cold approaches' are in the dating game on ONESTDVs blog:

http://onestdv.blogspot.com/2011/10/eminem-and-tim-tebow-white-idols-in.html

The conclusion reached was that it's best not to be crude as blacks who are constantly hitting on women. So I'd say the Germans are on the 'human' side of that equation and the Italians closer to the 'animal' side.

10/14/11 1:04 AM


Anonymous said...
v. good quotations from Ninalee Craig; of course women want a certain amount of unwanted attention though those (embellished?) people querying her on leering Italian virtual rapists are depressingly real-sounding. And unfortunately the way-past-nostalgic old lady's take is much less notable than that supposed everygirl's would be. "Make much of time" right?

10/14/11 1:20 AM


intramurals said...
Difference in attitudes between the Helen Gurley Brown generation (b. 1922) and the Jane Fonda generation (1937) is striking. Recognizing that there's nothing new under the sun--what the hell happened to cause that huge shift in the balance?

10/14/11 1:28 AM


conversation starter said...
(ack, comments will move to the new post, think of something quick--)

So what do you all think of the floated black James Bond? Since I hate Daniel Craig, I like it a lot. But a BBC newsreader guy will probably flop w/ U.S. audience (having had our fill of that type of black guy over the last 2 years). He needs quirks, eccentricity, and not just a cosmetically black version of this. Colin Salmon would be a strong possibility if he wasn't already in 3 of the films

10/14/11 2:46 AM


Simon in London said...
I have a book by Kate Fox, "watching the English". She very much comes across as one of those simpering-smug upper middle class English women. She has some good observations on English men, but is worthless on English women as she lacks the vital external aspect necessary for observation. And English women are so strange they make English men seem normal.

After years of observation, my wife & I made one observation - English women seem to relate to men through what the American Pick Up Artists call 'negging' - criticism as flirtation. We are still not sure how they relate to each other, though it appears to involve criticism of others, especially of one's own family. Fox makes a generic comment: "If an English person praises your child, always respond with criticism" - and this is certainly true of English women. When one says something nice about my son - "He's so X" and I say "I know" or "Yes - here's an example" it's clear I've made a terrible faux pas.

10/14/11 3:42 AM

Steve Sailer said...

And here's the rest:

Anonymous said...
Italian men hit on women cuz they're a bunch of mama's boys. Emotionally dependent on their mamas and stuck at home, they need to prove that they are soooo macho. But the very guy who hits on women this way would flip if their friends treated his sister the same way.
So, women must be madonnas in the home and sluts outside the home.

10/14/11 5:33 AM


Anonymous said...
Culture's preference for drink does, so it's not just a matter of drink vs culture but culture's choice of drink.

If Italians hit hard liquor as often as Brits or Russians, they'd be acting nuttier too.

And it's not like Russians are all getting plastered on wine or beer. It's vodka.

10/14/11 5:43 AM


airtommy said...
Women like it when they are able use their looks to manipulate men? That's can't possibly be true!

10/14/11 7:40 AM


Thorfinnsson said...
Kate Fox is a mouthpiece for the booze industry in England: http://www.bmj.com/content/319/7211/716.1.full

This story is typical pablum put out by booze advocates in Northern European cultures. It is similar to how many Americans think that if we had European-style drinking age laws that binge drinking would cease to be a problem, despite evidence to the contrary.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_alcohol_consumption

You can also see that the UK drinks much more than Italy. France apparently boozes it up quite a bit, but in general I can't see any indication that "integrated" drinking cultures consume more booze than "unintegrated". Quite the opposite.

Her conclusion that "integrated" drinking cultures behave well on booze is absurd. They simply binge drink less, and I suspect the cause is genetic. Northern Europeans have only been drinking for 3,000 years or so, compared to 10,000 for Mediterraneans.

10/14/11 7:42 AM


Luke Lea said...
Speaking of Nina Simone, here is truly great song that no doubt illustrates Steve's after Katrina point about the need for closer supervision, or however he phrased it, can't quite remember. Top version, off the album Forbidden Fruit. Here she is definitely being mannish, but I love her just the same.

10/14/11 8:18 AM


Luke Lea said...
OT maybe, but for those who know how far gone I am on all things Adam-and-Eve (the central myth in Western Civ. in my opinion) here is Simone's witty take on the topic. (7th version down) Not sure who wrote the lyrics but boy do I love the song!

Ok, I'll shut up for now.

10/14/11 8:40 AM


Anonymous said...
did we need two of this post?

10/14/11 8:58 AM


Anonymous said...
"did we need two of this post?"

One's for wine sippers and the other is for hard liquor gulpers.

10/14/11 12:41 PM

smarter than mitch (even when drunk) said...

I'll hit on biocultural though I don't really agree with any of you. European with part Am. Indian, I do get drunk very quickly yet I'm also a very calm, physically passive, friendly drunk. If we're not getting along, buy me a beer and you'll like me better after I've had just a few sips.

I mostly avoid the hard liquor for fear of blackouts and severe loss of brain cells but generally have a sweet disposition and semi-paralysis if and when I do drink something stronger than beer or wine.

I'm really impressed with those drunken table dancers. Inebriated, I'd most likely fall and get a nasty bump on the head if I tried it.

Anonymous said...

Hey, bring back the wine sipper's version of this post!

Whiskey said...

I have to wonder if Obama was drunk when he sent 100 spec ops troops to Uganda to hunt for the Lord's Resistance Army. No, I only wish I was making this up. Sigh.

Anonymous said...

When one equates wine to "alcohol" the way many Americans equate - say - a magnificent linguine alla pescatora to "carbs," then of course you will asso see the normalissima play of the sexes as merely "hitting" and "harassment".

This is cold protestant rationality. This is why you have Starbucks and we have cafès.

Having taken the body of Christ off the Cross and left the wood, only the "symbol," everything tends to be seen at its lowest common denominator and utilitarian aspect.

Compared to the Brits or the Germans, we, the Italians already have 3 glasses of wine in us even when we're stone cold sober. It's the humanity - the bello - the play - the theater - that counts just about as much as the "purpose".

I could go to my café and start singing "Me and Mrs. Jones, we have a thing going on" and create a ton of fun... Up north I'd be escorted to the door by someone wearing a name tag.

The Germans are closer to the "human" side of the equation someone says here. Ha! He means the rational and utilitarian side.

Now THAT definitely can be lacking in Italy, especially in the Southern regions.

The problem is oftentimes too much humanity and not enough rational machine-like simplicity.

But in truth Italy doesn't exist. Nothing could be more different than an Acme incorporated Piemontese from an Acme Incorporated Calabrese.

bruce banner said...

To answer your question, Steve, Germans are definitely integrative drinkers. They drink to get merry, not to knock themselves out.
This social/cultural trait could be associated with the genetic make-up of germans. The closer to the Mediterranean, the better people digest alcohol. Certainly, in a racial and cultural sense, Germans are central Europeans. Agriculture developed earlier in "Mittel Europa" than in NW Europe, so Germans can handle their drinks better than the populations on the Northern fringes of Europe: the British Isles, Scandinavia and the Baltic countries. You can possibly explain Northern Slavs´tendency for binge drinking on the same grounds.
Having said that, the uncanny ability to drink large amounts of stronger stuff like whiskey, gin and vodka that you see in Northern Europe needs a close study.
And maybe it would be better to classify cultures on the basis of whether they drink beer/wine (the two are from the Med region- Egyptians drank beer rather than wine) or spirits (derived from barley, wheat, juniper in North. Eur. or corn -like Amerindians, or even rice like East Asians).

Truth said...

"The 82 year old woman probably felt differently when she was younger. Most of us women who no longer can garner the attention of men with our looks remember fondly when men turned in our direction. However, we appreciated "polite" appreciation for our form, furtive glances, smiles, not the meat-on-the-hoof stares with wolfian tongue licking and sometimes verbal aggression. That was actually scary, esp. when one was alone."

Steve-O, just what your site needs; another De Facto Clairvoyant!

Truth said...

"I wonder if she ever got into prison work? Now there's a profession, one of several, that's tailor-made for her mentality..."

Speaking of that, I have a friend here in Albuquerque who has worked at the detention center here for 14 years, and he told me that practically EVERY female prison employee (and many of the males) has had an affair, at least once, with a prisoner. This goes, according to him, across racial, age, and marital status lines. He said most shocking thing he ever so was catching an attractive, married WHITE female psychologist (emphasis his) in the middle of a gang-bang with 8 of the most muscular guys in the cell in the cafeteria after hours.

Truth said...

"BTW, the woman in the photo is lying or is just being gracious..."

Wait, hold the phone, Miss Cleo, you have company!

Truth said...

"Ruth Orkin's photo was the stereotype my wife and I had when we sent our daughter off to study in Rome. Now my daughter is engaged to marry an Italian and I have to report that the stereotype seems way overblown. He comes from a wonderful educated family ...Her fiancé works in finance and is the sort of considerate young man you'd hope your daughter to find."

And what about your daughter's fiancee's girlfriend? What's her story?

Bawwww-Haw_Hawwwwwwwwww!

Ya'll will run out of money...
BEFORE TRUTH RUNS OUT OF FUNNY!!!!

Truth said...

"Anonymous said...
Italian men hit on women cuz they're a bunch of mama's boys. Emotionally dependent on their mamas and stuck at home, they need to prove that they are soooo macho."

Oh is that why? I though they were trying to have sex.

Assistant Village Idiot said...

What about the actual violent crime rate in these cultures? Instead of measuring how they feel about drinking and violence and what they do in artificial conditions, what are the crime numbers for types of drinking and attitudes about same?

BTW, There are European variations, but none as powerful as East-West when it comes to drinking. Eastern European countries take 11 of the top 15 places for heavy drinking.

Anonymous said...

Truth,

You have finally lost it-- totally.

Matra said...

In the British Isles, the English don't seem to notice this but IME drunken behaviour is far worse in the Celtic fringe, eg Northern Ireland where I grew up, than it is in the heavily Saxon, Anglo, and Viking areas. Those with a lot of Teuton genes seem to hold their drink far better

In the 1970s when my dad and his colleagues were sent from N Ireland to a German factory to do some work they were stunned to find beer vending machines right beside the shop floor. (Totally and utterly unthinkable in Ireland). That German workers could concentrate on their jobs with beer available at all times and were capable of drinking just one beer during lunch tells me Germans are closer to the integrated drinking culture.

Average Joe said...

He said most shocking thing he ever so was catching an attractive, married WHITE female psychologist (emphasis his) in the middle of a gang-bang with 8 of the most muscular guys in the cell in the cafeteria after hours.

I think your friend might have been watching porn.

David said...

>When I expressed surprise, it was explained to me that wheat bear is made of wheat, water, and yeast, so it's basically just liquid bread.<

LOL.

Anonymous said...

When the volume of annual consumption goes up enormously in a binge drinking culture (as on the UK and Ireland over the past two decades) then the result is a not a more 'Southern European' style of consumption, but just *lot* more binge drinking (especially among women).


The reason for binge drinking is almost certainly genetic



Hold on there .... the binge drinking only began in the last two decades, and it has a genetic basis?

Some people say everything has a genetic basis, that the rise and fall of Chia Pets had a genetic origin.

Realistically, the rise of binge drinking in the UK and America is cultural or behavioral. Women are not getting plastered today in a way their mom's never did because of a genetic mutation, they're doing it because that's the thing to do and they want to fit in.

David said...

Orson Welles in his "F for Fake" includes an episode in which he did this very thing -- train hidden cameras (multiple movie cameras, in this case) on an attractive woman and send her walking down a street in Italy. The wolves are revolting and hilarious. Welles even dubs a man saying "MA-MA MI-A!" over one of the wolves' doing a double take.

Dahlia said...

On the leering thing and the woman liking it...

Women vary greatly on this. She said she was wearing a bright orange shawl, the kind of accessory one would expect from a woman who appreciated such attention.

When I was 22, my husband and I tried to help out a 34-year-old man who had never had a girlfriend or even been on a date: extremely nerdy and unattractive. He had four large notebooks devoted to Star Trek conventions and he managed to wear his pants in such a way that he looked like he was always wearing a diaper.

I even helped him with his wardrobe; we (mostly me, of course) really tried for a period of over a year to make him more attractive. Finally, a newly arrived co-worker who was an extreme sweetheart was willing to give him a chance.
We gave him one rule never to be broken: do not bring up sex talk. This upset him greatly and he became stubborn. I explained that each woman has her own personality and experiences that will color how she receives it. He just didn't want to hear it. Some guys can pull this off with some women, but never him with any woman.

Long story short, he brought it up right in the beginning, scared her off, and began harassing her to get her back. The military transferred him to another state as a result.

My work with this guy is the main reason why the FeministX creation bothered me so much. Guys with severe Asperger's like this are easily corrupted and have trouble discerning sincerity from falsity. My guy had run into a FemX type years earlier at some event and it messed him up very badly. I suspect she was lying to him, but her "existence" sustained his belief that women exist who are very sexual, libertarian, pretty, and love nerds like him. Of course, a date somehow didn't happen, but he explained it away and believed she was sincere.

This real-life, but surely fake, FemX was why he refused our counsel in the end.

Truth said...

"I think your friend might have been watching porn."

I don't think so, he went on the with prison sex, and groupie stories for quite a while, and he was the sort of fat, amiable, dopey, not-too-bright sort of guy that one tends to believe.

Anonymous said...

How do the Turks in Germany handle alcohol?

CorkyAgain said...

I was raised in western Illinois in a German-Swedish family that had beer at the table the same way you say Italians and French have wine.

It was no big deal, and I don't recall anyone in my family drinking excessively. It was simply the best beverage for washing down a cuisine that tended to be somewhat fatty or greasy. An excellent palate cleanser, if you will.

Brats and beer, that's my culture.

europeasant said...

Back in 1976 when I was in Germany I was surprised when I saw that the German soldiers drank beer for lunch.We had to do with beer,hard alcohol and other things only after hours.
By the way the German soldiers wanted American cigarettes.They would wait outside our lunch room and offer us big dough for some Marlboro or Kools.
Why are we still in Germany?WTF

Anonymous said...

There's a discussion going on at OneSTDV here about aggressive pick-up techniques, especially the "cold call". Female input would be appreciated.

Anonymous said...

"My work with this guy is the main reason why the FeministX creation bothered me so much."

I don't think FemX is fake. She seemed quite real to me as a spoiled attractive female Indian attention whore. She once linked to recordings of herself singing jazz standards rather amateurishly - just the sort of thing a young, bored, pretentious urbanite would do.

guest007 said...

Instead of discussing stereotypes, does anyone have any statistics to back up their stereotypes. Maybe data on per capita consumption of alcohol (wine, beer, hard liquor). What are the per capita statistics on drunk driving, domestic abuse, murder, car fatalities that could be used to support the stereotypes.

Are there statistics on per capita treatment for alcoholism, liver disease, or other diseases that could be associated with alcohol abuse.

My guess is that the statistics will not support all of stereotypes discussed here.

Anonymous said...

"Orson Welles in his "F for Fake" includes an episode in which he did this very thing -- train hidden cameras (multiple movie cameras, in this case) on an attractive woman and send her walking down a street in Italy."

Italians just don't get it. It's like they love to talk about gals and call out to gals but it suddenly becomes a matter of HONOR if the girl happens to be one of the family.
Remember in GODFATHER, Michael and his two bodyguards come upon a man and they are talking about this girl, and the old man is listening is enjoying it... and then he realizes the woman in question is his daughter, and it becomes a very serious matter of honor and respect.

It's like how blacks act. They talk about hos but if someone be talking about their mama, dang, dat shit aint funny.

Anonymous said...

I am surprised this paper from 2004 has not been mentioned.

"Genetic Variability, Economic Behavior and the
Formation of Social Norms: The Case of European Alcohol Consumption"

Their case is that us Northern Europeans self-medicate with alcohol in order to overcome our inherent shyness and that these genetic predispositions are then socially reinforced to create the Northern European culture of excessive drinking in social situations.

Kylie said...

"There's a discussion going on at OneSTDV here about aggressive pick-up techniques, especially the 'cold call'. Female input would be appreciated."

The Anonymous who posted at 10/13/2011 4:23 p.m. in that thread expressed my own views.

I'm a middle-aged woman so don't get nor expect to get the type or degree of attention from men I got when younger. But I never have felt the least bit flattered by the so-called "cold call" approach referred to in that thread. All it tells me is that some male jerk wants to use me as an anatomically correct receptacle. What's to like about that?

Even worse, when blacks use this approach, they always manage to suggest that they are doing you a favor. The combined ignorance and arrogance is extremely off-putting to me but I think many women see only the latter and misinterpret it as confidence.

I have to laugh when I think about the unattractive white women who have openly acknowledged that they "date" black men b/c white men won't date them. Sure, you'll see a cute white girl with a black man but more often, it's the homely white women who have to go with black men or go without. I only wish more black men realized their sexual success depends largely on the superior discrimination of white men.

Anonymous said...

When I worked in a German office in the 1980s it was normal to nurse a beer at your desk during a hot afternoon. Not only that, a minor office celebration (a birthday or whatever) might involve cracking open a bottle of liquor.

One Friday afternoon my boss plied me with brandy-and-cokes till I was so hammered I couldn't do anything except stamp paperwork. Fortunately, there was a lot of stamping to be done.

Cennbeorc

Piper said...

I don't believe Kate Fox's assertions that controlled scientific experiments show that the effects of alcohol depend only on cultural influences.

It's an obvious non-sequitur that "this variation [in disinhibition] cannot be attributed to different levels of consumption - most integrated drinking cultures have significantly higher per-capita alcohol consumption than the ambivalent drinking cultures." Higher per-capita consumption means more tolerance on average. It is foolish to suppose that people with more acquired tolerance for alcohol will show more, rather than less, disinhibition when they consume alcohol!

Also, the sort studies Fox wants us to rely on do not adequately control for "ethnicity" (race).

Her "integrated drinking cultures" are inhabited by different people than her "ambivalent drinking cultures."

I'm not saying there's no "cultural" aspect to things-- and other people have developed different labels for the different cultural spheres, such as "wine-bibbing" cultures versus "beer-swilling" cultures.

However, I'm aware of scientific reasons to think that people from different groups react to alcohol differently because of physiological differences (and perhaps, I suggests, different degrees of acquired tolerance). Look at the Amerinds who can't acquire much tolerance--and who get disinhibited regardless of their cultural affinities.

Anonymous said...

It could be Italian men may act and seem more lewd to outside women. It might be called the 'substitute teacher syndrome'. Ever notice that kids mostly listen to their regular teacher and behave, but when a substitute takes over, hell breaks out.

I remember it was especially crazy in city public school, but things could get crazy even in white suburban school. One day our algebra teacher in freshmen yr took a day off, and we gave the sub a very hard time. But we weren't usually like that.

It could be Italian men are generally not like that with most women in the community. This woman could be someone's mother, that woman could be someone's wife, this here woman could be someone's sister, that there woman could be someone's daughter. Wrong word said about or to a woman in the community can lead to problem. Smack one's lips at a certain woman, and her father or brother or hubby might feel obligated by honor to come and kick your arse.

But outside women, especially tourists or from another town, are fair game. So, the men, who'd been rather staid and proper with women of the commuity, might get all out of control with outside women. Greek men are like this too, I heard. But as we've seen in Zorba the Greek, you can get in serious trouble by violating sexual rules within the community.

smarter than mitch said...

"I only wish more black men realized their sexual success depends largely on the superior discrimination of white men."

What appeals to men of other races seems somewhat culturally determined. Black men like lots of something so overweight white females that many white guys won't date really are sexy to black males. They also like T&/A on any size female, exaggeration is key here as black females' physical features definitely tend to be extreme.

The woman featured in this post, though most certainly a beauty, probably wouldn't attract many black males. I think I could go down a list of white female celebrities and sort pretty accurately which ones would have crossover appeal just as it's easy enough to pick out which black female entertainers will be attractive to white males

As for the voluptuous white females, it's sad when you think that of course they've been attracting their own men for generations otherwise they wouldn't exist but, due to popular culture, they are now perceived as less desirable.

You obviously haven't dated in awhile, Kylie, and I bet you hardly ever got hit on by black males. Popular culture seems to have affected white males more than anyone else which makes it disingenuous to claim you know what white guys want in a woman. Even when I was young the split between status seeking and true desire were starting to be apparent, white guys from the country wouldn't hesitate to date a plump yet pretty girl while guys in the city might give into a natural proclivity for a fleshier type of woman yet treat her badly b/c of what his friends might think.

What generally happened was that such white guys would find a curvy girl who was managing to keep her weight down. Alas, this body type inevitably ends up plump in middle age anyway. Black guys never turned their nose up at it; white guys trying to look cool might have missed out on what really piqued their interest. Oddly enough, the white race has probably ended up losing some of their most maternal/feminine women as a result.

Not to mention, I've noticed that married people are less not more attractive than singles. I've never quite figured this out yet a sample of any of the couples living in my area will confirm that even relatively young married people start looking plain and dressing middle aged soon after tying the knot. Most of them are, in fact, 15lbs or more overweight while their clothes range from blah to embarrassing. Only one of the wives has kept her looks but her clothes are still kinda blah. Everyone else though conforming to stereotype without putting up a fight.

Anonymous said...

@Kylie

I think you and Truth have a bit of a connection. He was the only one who got your Frank Zappa joke in this thread:

http://isteve.blogspot.com/2011/01/blue-valentine.html

Don't let a great love affair pass you by.

Kylie said...

"You obviously haven't dated in awhile, Kylie,..."

You're right, I'm married.

"...and I bet you hardly ever got hit on by black males."

You couldn't be more wrong.

"Popular culture seems to have affected white males more than anyone else which makes it disingenuous to claim you know what white guys want in a woman."

I made no such claim. I mentioned "unattractive white women who have openly acknowledged that they 'date' black men b/c white men won't date them".

Dutch Boy said...

You suppose that the Italians just like to ogle pretty girls? It could be that simple.

Anonymous said...

From what I see out on the streets, nobody is being discerning. The only men who can date attractive women now are the rich, the famous and the alphas.

Everyone else, of all races, is taking what they can get.

Cynewulf said...

you'll see a cute white girl with a black man but more often, it's the homely white women who have to go with black men or go without

But that's how it works with men of all races. A few men, top dogs, date the good looking girls. The rest, betas and omegas, are left with the scraps of average and plain looking girls.

The alarming thing is that black men are replicating this traditional scheme with the women of another race.

And from what I see during my daily routines, White men aren't demonstrating this refined taste that you're crediting us with. I often think 'you would have been better off with a lovedoll than that. I hate to see people settle for less than what they're worth.

Udolpho.com said...

Speaking of that, I have a friend

I'm laughing already, troof, nicely done

rob said...

But that's how it works with men of all races. A few men, top dogs, date the good looking girls. The rest, betas and omegas, are left with the scraps of average and plain looking girls.

You gotta feel sorry for the average and plain chicks, what with being stuck with the beta and omega dregs.

Anonymous said...

"But that's how it works with men of all races. A few men, top dogs, date the good looking girls."

This isn't really true. Some women go for creative guys. Stick around art school,and girls go for ugliest guys who are supposed to be 'creative'.

And then there are good looking guys who date ugly girls.
I think in that case, the guy falls in love with the girl's love for him. She may not be much, but her worshipful love for him turns him on.

Kylie said...

"And from what I see during my daily routines, White men aren't demonstrating this refined taste that you're crediting us with."

From what I see during my weekly shopping trips (in a small town that nevertheless is the biggest one around so we get people from the surrounding rural areas), white men do indeed appear in public with more attractive women than do black men. Even factoring in the willingness of blacks to date heavier women, I notice these women are overall less attractive. They often are sloppily dressed (not in the way that some celebs affect but truly sloppy) with that pasty skin I see among poorer whites. They tend to be the kind of women that you wonder what they'd look like if they were all cleaned up. The white women I see with white guys tend to be definitely neater and cleaner, with some effort made to look stylish in a not-whorish way.

I think those who've replied to me in this thread are thinking in absolute not comparative terms. For "refined taste", try substituting "not great but noticeably better than".

Also, I think there's less of a difference in female attractiveness in a more urban aresa. There you'll find lots of reasonably nice-looking white women who date blacks partly as a political gesture. But here in the sticks, unattractive white women are to be seen mostly in the company of poor white men (banjos) or blacks.

Mark Caplan said...

There is no mention of the famous line across Europe that defines the extent of the Roman Empire. On one side of the line is an historical wine-drinking culture; on the other side, an historical beer-drinking culture. It sounds like the influence and use of alcohol in each culture remains distinct to this day.

Truth said...

"Don't let a great love affair pass you by."

Kylie is already in a virtual love triangle with Kud-Bobby; a love rectangle doesn't work so well.

Anonymous said...

I think Italian women do a lot of ogling too, albeit not so blatantly.

Anonymous said...

Do you suppose there's a relation between cultural personality(or personality of culture)and corruption? More staid a people are, less corrupt they are. More colorful they are, more corrupt?

People with blank or colorless personality are likely to think in terms of correct or incorrect, proper or improper. And having 'dull' personalities, they'll go by the rules and accept something as right or wrong. If they do wrong, they don't feel like making flowery excuses cuz their personalities aren't expressive.

But Italians and blacks are very expressive and colorful. They 'think' with their emotions and naturally seem to think finding 'creative' excuses for bending the rules is what it's all about. LIke the guy in COOLEY HIGH says at the end: "I can lie and cheat too good not to survive." Because expressiveness and making an impression come before understanding and responsibility, the mouth runs before the mind. Rap is very much like this. It's like the mouth is attached to the ego while entirley bypassing the mind. It's someone who knows nothing and has no sense of responsibility acting like he's the authority on everything and indeed deserves to have the authority.

Among blacks and Italians with power, we often have the demagogue who is style than substance. All swagger, show, expression.
Among blacks and Italians without power, it's all 'creative' excuse-making and sweet-talk. A black guy will come late to work but then smile and sweet-talk his boss and come up with all sorts of jivey excuses. Same with Italians. Watch I VITELLONI and they are masters of the creative excuse.

Northern Europeans, being personality-wise more staid and restrained, would be ashamed to make such spectacle of themselves. It would be improper. Now, being of colorless personality doesn't necessarily mean a person is more thoughtful. He could simply be more dogmatic, robotic, or programmed. Lacking a 'creative' ego, he may just choose to go with the system--like Japanese or Germans under Nazis.

I think Jews have the advantage of both individual 'creative' expressiveness and rule-centrism. Jews are deeply interested in the law and procedures(like Northern Europeans), but they also prefer to be creative(controlling the law than being controlled by the law, creating rules than obeying rules).

Obama seems to be playing a double game too. On the one hand, he plays the more restrained Negro, closer to Northern European model than Negro culture in America rooted in the colorful Soooooouth.
But he also mastered the art of 'creatively' sweet-talking himself into the halls of power by playing to Jews and liberal Wasps.

Anonymous said...

> Italy? Italian men are usually disgusting. They really do try to cop a feel at every chance, at least from women they recognize as tourists. I'm ethnically part Italian and I hated it.

I'm Italian and somewhat offended by it. But you are right.

Anonymous said...

You gotta feel sorry for the average and plain chicks, what with being stuck with the beta and omega dregs.

Why would you feel sorry for a couple that are similar in social status, appearance and ability. That's how it should be.

David said...

>People with blank or colorless personality are likely to think in terms of correct or incorrect, proper or improper. And having 'dull' personalities, they'll go by the rules and accept something as right or wrong.<

Every office drone convicted of embezzling some amount <$1 mil turns out to be a blank, colorless white frump. The photo is always the same: 1970s haircut, big glasses, pasty plump face, blank expression.

liquor up front said...

Well, that army nerd story from Ms. Lithwick above was real interesting, but nobody's answered *my* question yet: what's the evolutionary dope on why E-Asians get blitzed so quickly? I've never been to a bar with Koreans that didn't turn redder than a Matt Drudge headline after the second or third round. The Wikipedia ALDH2 article says something about taking Zantac to avoid it but makes an unsubstantiated conclusion that flushers are less prone to alcoholism.

Dutch Boy said...

Re: East Asians and alcohol:
"Alcohol dehydrogenase activity varies between men and women, between young and old, and among populations from different areas of the world. For example, young women are unable to process alcohol at the same rate as young men because they do not express the alcohol dehydrogenase as highly. Though, the inverse is true amongst the middle-aged.[18] The level of activity may not only be dependent on level of expression but due to allelic diversity among the population."