Sitting in Muğla and drinking a beer I am pondering about alcohol. Turkey is getting more and more Islamic and even in a liberal-minded city like Muğla it is getting harder to find it. How did I discover this place here? It has the name “Cheers” and looks like a late punk-pub, but it is situated in a small dead end street in typical Turkish walls and without my hard scout-training I would never have found it. One sits on hand-painted chairs in a tiny courtyard; the walls are covered with small objects in all colors. Among the paintings Nazım Hikmet, Al Pacino, Sigmund Freud, Marilyn Monroe, Roberto Begnini and The Good, The Bad and The Ugly. From the loudspeaker one hears: “tell me something good…”. A completely unturkish place. But are the shops with Nike-sportshoes, Gucci handbags, First + One fashion or Faber Castell pencils more Turkish? The times, they’re a’changing. Hopefully to the future.
On main street is a shop where I buy my beer for the evening. The place is peculiar too, a room without windows and the till completely in the dark. In time one will feel like buying pornos…..
Alcohol is a drug, there’s no doubt. Many of us are dependent of it, especially artists – and politicians? What would our black-and-white-movie be without Dean Martin or Humphrey Bogart holding a glass of scotch in their hand? And yet: A drink is less offensive than a smoke. If a smoker’s in the room I’ll have to inhale what he’s breathing out. I never redrink the beer of my neighbor.
Why do we drink alcohol? Because there’s no way out of life. We want to break free, we feel prisoners in our body and conscience. We want to act irresponsibly. We want to extend borders instead of building new ones. We would like to write “Under Milkwood”. What else?
Why don’t we drink alcohol? Because we’re aware of our health, because we fear to become addicts. Nevertheless we drink all kind of energy-drinks, lemonades, coffee, tea, even water with its heavy metals, its hormones and micro-plastics, and it doesn’t make us fear. Maybe we don’t like alcohol. So we do sports, drink alcohol-free beer and do doping until pegging out.
Governments are acting hypocritical towards alcohol. On one side they try to forbid it, on the other side they get much money from taxes on it.