July 21, 2010

(Member in good standing of the Too-Much-Fun Club)

With seemingly half the country visiting rehab at one time or another, and the endless parade of personalities trotted out before tabloids with one sort of substance abuse problem or another, you'd more or less imagine America's propensity for overdoing it had taken a sudden and abrupt turn for the extreme.

Well . . .no. It just feels that way. Perhaps our MSM's overpowering need for distracting news and paying no attention to the "man behind the curtain" makes it seem as though we're heading straight into the abyss of wretched excess (or wretched access if you're so inclined). The problem with substance abuse is old; very old.

And back when we had that extinct thing known as The Fairness Doctrine and Public Interest, radio and TV networks spent a lot of time actually talking about problems in our society and looking for solutions. And addictions were one of them.

Second Sunday, the NBC Radio Documentary series devoted numerous episodes to what was going wrong with America through the 1960s and 70s, and on June 13, 1971 they devoted an hour to the problems associated with Alcoholism.

It was a problem in 1971, and earlier documentaries going back to the 1940's suggest The Too-Much Fun Club was alive and well and causing mayhem and damage pretty much throughout history. Some say when it was discovered you could ferment grapes and "spiritual things" would happen and I'm sure there are hieroglyphics on caves illustrating Cro-Magnon sized hangovers.

So if you think the problems of Lindsay and Mel and several million others are new - you may be a little disappointed to learn they just ain't.

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