Montana has the highest rate for DUIs. There are a lot of Republicans or rednecks in this whole state—the kind who have motorcycles and thirty packs of Icehouse out for a day of ripping up the seams of the earth; the kind who are repeat offenders. It is too perfect of a fit for the mindset around here; both rationales go hand-in-hand. There are more bars, storage units and churches than there are day care facilities, schools, hospitals and nonprofit organizations to help the poor, like the Poverello Center.
Everywhere I go, there is drinking in heavy doses and it's accepted. I think that psychedelics are illegal because no one would be unaware of how apathetic they've become. Alcohol is legal strictly for profits off of self-inflicted addictions and they're for the dumbing-down effect. It even keeps the court systems going. Almost every crime I read about is alcohol-related.
When I stepped back, I clued in to what I should be disappointed about. One of them is the fact that the courts aren't clear on how they "protect" the citizens. They dole out ticket after ticket with jail-time after jail-time without anything in turn to give back—send them back wherever they came from. No counseling. No posters behind the steel bars that say, "Hey! We are here because you keep coming back so stop wasting your money. You are getting our wallets fatter."
It's Russian Roulette, a dangerous keno gamble for the people who haven't clued in yet, who've lost too much into these systems with no real jackpot wins. Why do the casinos keep the blinds closed, entrapping colorful blinking lights in the dark and not one clock on the wall? Those owners own them because the customers can't own up to their addictions. They don't want these customers to realize the true meaning of "gamble" because they'll spend more time in there without even realizing how pathetic their choice is rather than being at home with their kids. That's where dreams go to die at the bottom of every bottle.
I couldn't believe it when I opened my eyes enough to see how often alcohol is glamorized. Rarely will I see anything about Alcoholics Anonymous or any suicide hotline advice for those sitting at home alone with a barrel of a gun sitting in their mouth. Once you connect the dots, from the reports of people dying from cancer, liver failure, hit and runs, unresolved abuse such as domestic violence, and suicide, you'll begin to realize the source of this blame.
The source is that sad excuse of a social lubricant—too much drink on a daily basis. It is denial and cognitive dissonance. It's bad enough that they sell the crap right next to the baby-care aisle in Safeway. It's bad enough it's streamed on the streets, coming out of car radios like the party hasn't died. But the cover of the Indy? (See "Big Spirits Country," Aug. 1.) You are not the solution. You are part of the problem.