Friday, February 13, 2009

Happy Hour

The grown ups are back.

Seriously. Didn't you feel a little of that when people talk public, national policy in press conferences, speeches and inaugural addresses? Or maybe it's me. Maybe I've grown up, and stopped looking to the previous generation as the older, wiser pool of people who have all the answers. Time has proven that they don't. They're still trying figure it out. Then there's all this talk of responsibility, accountability, owning up to mistakes. What's that? For a better part of a decade, we've had folks obfuscate facts that sent young men and women to war. That's the least of the grievances, but to continue the list is going a little off topic.

Grown ups. There's a maturity in the air. Old has become new again. And keeping with the time, if you're on the east coast, you'll notice a trend. The return of the cocktail hour. A refinement of alcoholic consumption.

It sort of explains why Mad Men hit such a cultural nerve with me. Set in recent, distant past, it also feels relevant. The cocktail culture is central to movement of the story. It's gesture and setting. It makes me crave an Old Fashioned. I don't even know what that is, but Don Draper drinks it. It looks intriguing.

Drinking had become a dirty word. Paved the way to excess and irresponsibility. So much so that the 43rd President, a reformed alcoholic, kept the White House dry during his term. But the new guy, he begs to differ. The cocktail hour has returned to the White House.

Grown ups. They talk, they drink, they share ideas. It's a pretty American tradition. The ideals of this still very young nation were discussed and debated ad nauseam in company of spirits. Alcoholic spirits. The pubs and apothecaries distributed Paine's Common Sense. That led to the insurrection of thought which ultimately led to the insurrection of deed.

Across the pond, it was in a bar in Paris that some random mathematician talked to Einstein and Picasso independent of each other that sent them both on directions that affected our physical world and perception of it. The big idea was fortuitous. We could use some of that now.

So cheers to the return of the cocktail hour and the grown ups who drink them, may it shift boundaries and manifest the big idea that can advance society and culture to its greatest good.

1 comment:

Guy LeCharles Gonzalez said...

Nice. I hadn't thought of it this way, but you're right on! Kind of gives my move to Bourbon some context, too. Going to have to rename SDN to something more appropriate for the times...