Thursday, May 17, 2007

All The News That's...huh?

Standing in the checkout line at the grocery store last Saturday, I glanced down at the Knoxville News Sentinel in the rack by the register and was struck dumb. There at the top of the front page, above the fold, in the place usually reserved for things like War Was Declared!, Man Lands On Moon!, or Dewey Defeats Truman!, was something very much along the lines of Drunken Teen Prom Party In Suburbia. As news, this has to rate up there with Sun Rises In East. Yet somehow this shindig, and the criminal charges surrounding it, have been all over the local paper for the better part of the week.

I'm trying to figure out why this deserves so much ink. Maybe the accused suburbanite, Mr. Butturini, beat up the newspaper editor in the third grade or something.


Ambulance Driver said...

Call me a libertine, but I'd much rather have the kids drinking at one place where the car keys are secured than running the roads. As long as their parents gave their kids approval, and were ostensibly aware that alcohol would likely be consumed, what's the problem?

I had three running rules when I was a teenager:

1. Don't drink and drive, or ride with anyone who has been drinking.

2. Be home by midnight on school nights, 1 am on weekends, or there would be hell to pay.

3. Don't get anyone pregnant.

With guidelines that loose, I was FAR more well-behaved than my friends.

T.Stahl said...

This is even more ridiculous for someone in Germany. Legal age for beer and wine is 16, for liquor it's 18.

Unknown said...

Don't forget that you can have beer and wine at 14 if you're accompanied by an adult guardian.

BobG said...

News must be slow there to even bother with something like that.

Anonymous said...

Their 2nd mistake was to let the cops conduct a search without getting a warrant first.

Their 1st error was to host that party.

As for ambulance driver's rules, mine were similar.

I could do anything I wanted as long as it was:

1. Legal
2. Moral
#. Didn't get on my Mother's nerves...

Anonymous said...

When my son was 16, he came home from what we knew was an unsupervised teen party sober and frustrated. Getting drunk wasn't important enough to him to settle for Boone's Farm and Old Milwaukee.

phlegmfatale said...

"The vomiting girl was accompanied by her prom date, the deputy said."

Tip to the puking girl: if he holds your hair up for you, it's true love!

They (heart) cool grownups who get them likkered up. That's right - it's not news, is it?

Anonymous said...

Drinking is part of our culture, and you have to get acculturated somehow. Prom parties would not be my first choice, but if the young never get a taste of (and look at) enjoyment, moderation, and excess, what do we expect to happen when they 'cut loose' at 21, or 35?

Reminds me of the old rifle coach's line: "Ma'am, do you want your kid to learn about guns from me, or in the backseat of a car?"

Yeah, I know. That line doesn't work for sex. But in principle...

theirritablearchitect said...

Yup. It's getting way too authoritarian in this country, legalities be damned.

It was alcohol, fer chrissakes, not a virgin sacrifice, though the puritanism that this country was founded upon should serve as a reminder of this country's roots. We did ban alcohol for what, 13 years, afterall.

Anonymous said...

b&n, the Puritans drank like fish. It would never have occurred to them to ban one of God's gifts. It took Modern Man to do that.

theirritablearchitect said...


I beg to differ.

I am not suggesting that what you are saying is incorrect, merely that the Temperence Movement was indeed founded by a bunch of Bible-thumping idiots who swore that liqour consumption was evil.

There have been these types since, and even before, the founding of this country, and there will continue to be these types. Fortunately, they aren't very vocal, now, and hold very little sway in making law, though it is becoming hard to make a distinction like that considering the post topic.

Anonymous said...

b&n, appreciating your civility, Temperance was indeed kooky by our standards, but got nowhere (at the national level, anyway) until it morphed into the first organized, businesslike PR/lobbying effort. Someday it will become safe to reveal just how much like it the anti-smoking campaign has been; my point is that we are unfair to the puritans, who were not nearly as "puritan" as we imagine them. Incredibly, this was once true of baptists, as well! I think we're going to have to get together and blame...Transcendentalists. "The Feminization of American Culture" by Ann Douglas (1978) takes a hard look at the birth of "liberal causes" in clergy rendered redundant by disestablishment. Bible-thumpers, well yeah, but definitely not puritans. Modern.

theirritablearchitect said...

Sorry, Comatus, but I can't see any of what we are talking about as "modern". I've read too much about the history of civilization throughout the world to believe that what we are witnessing is something all that new.

There have been T-totalers since the first beer was brewed by the Egyptians, and there have been convicted persons spouting about this very issue since, etymology of the term "puritan" put aside, if only for the sake of argument.

What I'm more worried about is an increasing incivilty toward situations, like the posted story indicates, by the cops and powers-that-be. This is one more instance that is adding another piece of straw to the desert walking, water-bearing quadruped, if you take my meaning.

This sled is going nowhere except straight to Hell.

comatus said...

b&n, Heh. We certainly must be the on-line polite arguers of the week, obviously because we don't disagree on much. Here's one, though: you (like I usually do) see "modern" as good, since it brings the *march* of technology, and mo'better guns. I'm getting leery. Prohibitionists, drug-banners, eugenicists (not all of them bad, mind you), racists, gun-banners, antitobacconists and global-warmers all see their causes as part of the *march of progress*, too. And they bring on "modern" social terrors undreamed of in the relatively uptight dogmas of the dusty past.

theirritablearchitect said...


You got that right.