A Three Part Lamentation on Modern Drinking Culture
Part 1: Progress?
The idea of progress and drinking has been on my mind lately. New drink creations, new styles of decor, and re-imaginations of old classics seem to be all the rage. New technology follows these new trends, be it bars that pitch their Wi-Fi hotspots or boast of countless high-definition televisions. These technologies have become ubiquitous in bars and pubs, which has made finding a place to quietly enjoy a drink or two away from the noise and bustle of daily life increasingly difficult.
Drinking culture has regressed much since the 1940s and 50s. Since then the omnipresence of jukeboxes, televisions, and cell phones have all but destroyed bar culture, where once only the din of conversation filled the air. Noisy, crowded, television-filled mega-bars are fine if you are looking for such a place; if you aren’t, your are likely to find that your options are disappointingly limited. The modern pace and ambiance – the culture of drink itself – is dramatically different.
Yet have these changes bettered drinking? What happened to traditional drinking culture, when a man could hang his hat and loosen his tie, order a whisky, and recess into dimly lit booths to conspire and commiserate beneath the background murmur of intimate conversations?