Stop the Fuckin’ Presses! New Yorkers Have Given Up Drinking!

Pity the New York Times columnist: Each week, they’re tasked with defining the social trends and mores of our entire doomed civilization and each week they reach hilariously inaccurate conclusions that read like dispatches from the land of Upper East Narnia. Take Susan Cheever’s post yesterday on the New York Times’ alcohol blog, Proof. Once upon a time she was a raging boozehound and New York was full of boozy out-of-control drunks, but now that she’s sober, New York City has miraculously given up its drinking ways and become a more civilized place. Funny how that works, eh?

Cheever marvels that:

The New York apartments and lofts which were once the scenes of old-fashioned drunken carnage Рslurred speech, broken crockery, broken legs and arms, broken marriages and broken dreams Рare now the scene of parties where both friendships and glassware survive intact. Everyone comes on time, behaves well, drinks a little wine, eats a few tiny canap̩s, and leaves on time. They all still drink, but no one gets drunk anymore. Neither do they smoke. What on earth has happened?

I’ll take “You replaced your alcoholism with an irritating need to project your problems onto the world” for $1,000, Alex.

Cheever uses gay journo Benoit Denizet-Lewis’s new book America Anonymous as evidence that she’s not just a bitter dried up drunk making fun of people who still drink. Did we forget to mention the title of her piece is ‘Drunkenfreude’? The book talks about:

“An experiment done by Vancouver professor Bruce Alexander in which rats in small cages were compared to rats in a specially designed Rat Heaven, a room where lab rats had everything that lab rats like. The rats in cages drank 16 times as much of the sugary morphine solution offered than the rats in Rat Heaven. Can addictions be controlled just by circumstances? Are parties and vacations an overlooked way to treat alcoholism?

In the old days, drunkenness was as much part of New York City society as evening clothes. This is the city where Zelda Fitzgerald jumped wildly in the fountain in front of the Plaza, the city of “Breakfast at Tiffany’s,” written by another fabulous alcoholic, Truman Capote. It’s the city of late nights with sloshed celebrities at the Stork Club. It’s the city that gave its name to Manhattans and Bronx Cocktails, the city of John O’Hara and Frank O’Hara, of drunken brilliance and brilliant drunks.

I don’t drink. I know the savage, destructive power of alcoholism. It’s a soul stealer. Yet, there’s a mischievous part of me that misses all that extreme behavior, all those nasty but somehow amusing surprises, all that glamor even when so much of it ended in pain, institutions and early death. For us sober people there is a kind of drunkenfreude to watching others embarrass themselves, mangle their words and do things they will regret in the morning – if they even remember them in the morning.”

Here’s some fun fact about alcoholics that Cheever seems to be unaware of:

1.) Alcoholics think everything is about them.

2.) Alcoholics love to talk about alcohol.

So, is it any surprise that when Cheever was a drunken besotted mess (presumably throwing crockery around perfectly respectable society parties) she saw the Big Apple bobbing in a vat of Long Island Iced Tea and now that she stopped drinking she sees it as a decorous place where everyone behaves and nobody winds up blacking out at the end of the night? But of course, it can’t just be her. Instead, the entire city of New York has changed into a teetotaling town.

Now in all fairness, practically every Frank Rich column ever written is based on the “Because this personal experience or feeling is true for me, it must be true for everybody” format, but Frank Rich isn’t fucking with our cocktails. Maybe the reason you never get invited to any of the good parties anymore is that you’re such a buzzkill, Susan Cheever. Stop smirking at us while we sing “Total Eclipse of the Heart” loudly and off-key! We’re havim’ furn durmitt….