Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Kookoo for loco.

One of the great things about great things is not letting anybody in on the greatness. Usually, some professional buzz killer gets wind of it and snuffs it out in a wave of government legislation or a massive lawsuit that renders the greatness ... well, not so great.
The latest, greatest product that is destined to meet its governmental doom is Four Loko, a blend of 12% alcohol and the caffeiene equivalent of about 5 cups of coffee. Like Buzz Beer in the old The Drew Carey Show, it's designed to let you get drunk and stay up so you can get drunk again. Quite a concept.
Lately, some stupid college kids have OD'ed on the stuff and have been injured and/or carted off to local hospitals with dazed expressions and the confusion of a person who doesn't know whether to pass out or go bowling. It's a strange sensation, and the youth of America apparently do not know how to deal with the miracles of modern alcoholic science.
There are plenty of high-alcohol beers around. Weyerbacher makes one called Quad that is 12% ABV, and there are several others that are in the 9% to 11% range. They are best consumed at home or in a room without sharp objects or hard furniture.
Four Loko has been sold in the United States since 2005. Between then and about a month ago, if you said the words four and loko together, three people in a thousand would know what you're talking about. As they say, it's all fun and games until somebody gets hurt.
In October 2010, following the hospitalization of seventeen students and six visitors, Ramapo College of New Jersey banned the possession and consumption of Four Loko on its campus. As a result, Worcester State University stopped the sale of all energy drinks and it as well as Boston College have informed their students of the risks involved in consuming Four beverages.
In November, other colleges joined in the effort to inform their students about Four energy drinks. University of Rhode Island, Mount St. Mary's University, Temple University, Niagara University,St. Thomas Aquinas College and Wentworth Institute of Technology have placed outright bans on the consumption of the drink on their campuses.
Other efforts to control the statewide use of Four have been under way.
The Daily Collegian, Penn State's student newspaper reported that on November 1 the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board sent letters to all liquor stores urging distributors to discontinue the sale of the drink. The PLCB also sent letters to all Colleges and Universities warning them of the dangers of the drink. While the board has stopped short of a ban, it has asked retailers to stop selling the drink until FDA findings prove they are safe. Pennsylvania State Representative Vanessa Lowery Brown, however, seeks to introduce legislation to ban alcoholic energy drinks in the state.
Several stores, including
Tops Markets, Price Chopper and Wegmans have voluntarily pulled the product from their shelves. Shortly after these stores did so, Governor of New York David Paterson announced that Phusion was withdrawing the beverage from the state of New York as of November 19, 2010.

Now, there are stories that NY Senator Chuck Schumer is pushing the Obama administration to issue an outright ban on the product. If he doesn't do it, the FDA is poised to ban it. All because of some stupid kids who can't control themselves. Like they say, allit takes is one bad apple to spoil the bunch.
We only like beer that is Lite, and we tell people to "remember to drink responsibly," even though responsibility is the first thing that goes when we start drinking. Drinking and responsibility do not peacefully co-exist, regardless of the good wishes of the alcohol ads. Great products like Four Loko do not need advertising. Greatness is the best marketing principle.
Throughout our history, humans have sought creative ways to escape their reality. Usually, they're legal (like LSD) until some government do-gooder gets wind of it and deems it inappropriate for consumption by the rest of us. They're looking out for our best interests, so they say. What they are really doing is making it necessary for us to find another way to do it - or, as we see in this video, find a way to make our own fun.
Because there is nothing as determined as the human mind when it sets out to rid itself of itself.

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