Going Through the Lokomotion
Thursday, November 18, 2010 at 02:30pm 19 Comments
As a college student, my Facebook feed has been saturated with complaints about the recent discontinuation of “Four Loko,” an alcoholic drink which is sold in 23.5-ounce cans containing 12% alcohol by volume. The combination is now illegal following several reports of underage drinkers being hospitalized after consuming the product, which is said to be equivalent to five beers and a cup of coffee. To me, it seems this motion to ban Four Loko is rooted more in an objective to be seen as doing “anything” to quell this problem: to stop something as improper as people getting ill from a silly-looking drink. The same chemical compounds are what get others buzzed at cocktail parties, but somehow an Irish coffee is less reprehensible than a can of some sugary malt liquor combination.
The complaint is that the specific combination of alcohol and caffeine truly inhibits anyone from conceiving their limit. Though, if anything, the newfound illegality of Four Loko has spurned a new popularity for the beverage. My friends have referred me to “Make Your Own Four Loko” videos, some are trying it just to know what they hype is all about, and several are stocking up in order to have pre-Thanksgiving “going away” parties for the beverage. For such a repulsive-sounding drink that probably would have fallen out of trend in a few months, it is really making the most of it’s fifteen minutes thanks to Big Brother.
In college, it is very easy to access any combination of alcohol and different people have different objectives when they drink. If someone wants to get drunk, they will. If someone wants to preserve their dignity, they’ll stick to a few beers. If someone wants a Four Loko … they’ll now resort to taking shots and drinking soda (probably equivalent to more than five beers, too). An understanding of alcohol, it’s ramifications, and one’s own personal image is what separates idiocy from responsibility – not caffeine.
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btw, i find a seriously constitutional issue here:
Sheesh, what next: claiming that guns don't kill people? 😉
Kidding aside, I agree with you and I'm glad you came back.
My friends have referred me to "Make Your Own Four Loko" videos, some are trying it just to know what they hype is all about, and several are stocking up in order to have pre-Thanksgiving "going away" parties for the beverage.
When colleges abdicated their role as in loco parentis, I refused to send my kids away. They went to a local 2 year college and lived at home. When their brains were sufficiently developed, they went on live alone.
One mom's way to save her children…and it worked.
So am I still allowed to mix Zima and Diet Pepsi in a 1-liter beer stein at home?
Just another example of the Government trying to 'Over Govern'. Wasn't this tried in the 20's? How'd that work out. PS Also glad to see you posting.
Hello! – are these hospitalized people NOT underage ("…underage drinkers being hospitalized…")?! Do beer pong and other drinking games NOT put underage drinkers into the hospital? This is a problem of the students/underage people drinking ILLEGALLY. Period. The product is not at fault (I agree with you @gs). It's the kids, the morals, the abdication of responsibility of the schools, parents, etc.
This would be successfully litigated, IMHO, because it is ILLEGAL behavior, not the PRODUCT, that is the problem.
@JoAnne "When colleges abdicated their role as in loco parentis, I refused to send my kids away. They went to a local 2 year college and lived at home. When their brains were sufficiently developed, they went on live alone. "
An 18 year old is hardly a child. Perhaps our problem is more about sheilding youth from the consequences of their decisions more and more, effectively delaying their maturity. Of course I'm not talking about life-threatening consequences.
While I'll concede that there are many 18-year olds who do in fact need parents, that call can only be made by these parents, and I still can't condemn schools for treating students as adults. The nanny-state encroachment on our freedoms continue.
When is the ban on bars mixing rum-and-Coke? I'd never heard of "Four Loko" until the ban, but I'm going to guess a can of it at a college bar is cheaper than four mixed cocktails in a nice, "grown-up" bar. Very like when people get "concerned" about fast food menu items, but never about the more expensive entrees with equally horrific calorie/fat/sodium counts at upscale suburban sit-down restaurants.
Some thing the upper classes are allowed to enjoy has to be kept away from the lower class. Very Victorian.
@quiznilo: "An 18 year old is hardly a child."
These 18 year olds (who are at the "legal age of maturity" in most states) are not allowed LEGALLY to drink alcohol (that age is 21 in most, if not all, states). That is the problem – they are breaking the law. The way it is being brought to light currently is that they are putting themselves into the hospital, drawing attention to the product being banned. What is the real issue/problem?
Either the drinking age law is to be lifted, and the 18+ are "adults," or there needs to be a responsible party (i.e. parents or school admin.) who are held accountable.
(Selling to minors – that is yet another issue. But, as we all know, "of age" people get alcohol for minors all the time, they drink for multiple social reasons, etc…..)
Read my original post – the hospitalized people's BEHAVIOR is ILLEGAL. They need to be held accountable for it – as "adults" breaking the law. Change the drinking age law – or hold the minors accountable – DO NOT ban a legal drink because some lawbreakers are obtaining and consuming it illegally.
Welcome to the growing influence of the police state.
They tell you what insurance you're required to buy regardless of your personal needs/wants; what you can drink; whether you can be served salt; they legally prohibit ingestion of certain substances the politicians don't like; they restrict where you can smoke (I've never smoked in my life but I resent the government telling me what I can and can not do with my own body), and if you don't consent to a virtual strip search before boarding a plane, then an agent of the state gropes your genitals.
We have allowed our legislators and bureaucrats to snatch away more and more of our freedoms for a false sense of security/safey.
"Regardless of their sincerity, their humanitarian motives, those who would trade our freedom for security have embarked on this downward course [towards totalitarianism]."
— Ronald Reagan, A Time for Choosing speech, 10/27/64
An 18 year old is hardly a child. Perhaps our problem is more about sheilding youth from the consequences of their decisions more and more, effectively delaying their maturity. Of course I'm not talking about life-threatening consequences…The nanny-state encroachment on our freedoms continue
There is a difference between high expectations and rules and a "nanny state." A young person who is still financially dependent is still a child. The last part of a child's brain to develop is the very part that he needs to understand the consequences of his behavior. I did not baby my kids – they had to suffer the consequences of misbehavior. But turning kids loose in the liberal environment of a liberal college before they were ready – no, I won't and didn't take the chance. To each his own.
I saw a picture of Senator Schumer holding up one of these drinks for the cameras. The same guy who a few years ago determined that breakfast cereals were priced too high. To these people nothing is too small to be micromanaged.
They must stop and wonder at times, "How do 99.999% of Americans make it through each day safely with no problem without our telling them exactly what to do?"
The thing is…up here in Washington, there were only a couple of Four Loco cans, and two jugs of vodka.
Somehow, I think that "stupid" was a bigger deal than "this drink."
Yeah, ban that Four Loco!
Cuz prohibition and regulation are such effective ways to deal with social problems, right? I mean look at marijuana, cocaine, cigarette advertising… Oh wait.
Well-stated. Thank you.
The Daily Caller:
Unforeseen consequences, the mother's milk of "progressive" do-goodism. Great post — I read portions out loud to my hubby, who was most amused at your wit and wisdom. 🙂
@DinoMarieRight, if I'm correct, you seem to argue that a ban on Four Loko would be wrong and that engaging in an illegal activity is intrinsically wrong. Is it wrong to break unjust laws?
If, a year from now, a middle-aged man was buying Four Loko ILLEGALY would you feel it is wrong even though you believe the ban itself is wrong? It is a curious position.
Take a more extreme example. If an elderly woman was facing a death panel and was denied any care, and in order to survive had to buy medicine from ILLEGAL online pharmacies. Would you object to it because it's ILLEGAL?
Don't get me wrong, I am not of course comparing underage drinking to medical distress and survival, the two situations are completely different. Yet, if you concede that the mere ILLEGALITY of an act is no indication of its morality, then merely branding something as ILLEGAL carry little weight.
You may have good reasons to believe underage drinking is morally reprehensible, but they should stand on their own. From a moral standpoint, whether the government deems something legal or illegal is moot.
Other option, which I seem to remember is standard in moral philosophy (based largely off of that "render unto Caesar" thing, IRRC), is that violating laws does matter, it's just not solely enough to make something immoral.
Doesn't really matter, since it seems pretty clear that the lady was pointing out that the idiots were in the hospital because they were doing something stupid and illegal with a legal product, not because of the legal product.