Blog by Sumana Harihareswara, Changeset founder

03 May 2003, 10:04 a.m.

On Booze

Hi, reader. I wrote this in 2003 and it's now more than five years old. So it may be very out of date; the world, and I, have changed a lot since I wrote it! I'm keeping this up for historical archive purposes, but the me of today may 100% disagree with what I said then. I rarely edit posts after publishing them, but if I do, I usually leave a note in italics to mark the edit and the reason. If this post is particularly offensive or breaches someone's privacy, please contact me.

Brendan makes what I would call a passionate, convincing defense of his teetotaling, except he's on the offensive, or at least not being defensive.

...People think alcohol makes them more interesting because it is essentially a self-centering device. All drugs are. And all drugs make you less interesting to everyone but yourself....

The things I actually hate in life are deliberate blindness and stupidity. They never accomplish anything worthwhile. They never make anyone happy in the long run. And living in Kentucky (or college, or America, or the world), I've seen so much of it that sometimes it makes me want to throw up.

I never want any part of that to be a part of me. My definition of maturity is not complete open- and empty-mindedness, but the unflinching refusal to be blind or stupid. It's considering the needs of others before your own, and choosing to act in a way that takes into account the consequences of your actions.

I'm not there yet: thus the struggle. It's me finding the parts of myself that won't listen and trying to dig them out with whatever tools I have, and it's my choice to never turn to chemicals to let me out of the job....

He reminds me of all the reasons I don't like to drink alcohol, and makes me ashamed of the reasons that I do.