Culture Making is now archived. Enjoy five years of reflections on culture worth celebrating.
For more about the book and Andy Crouch, please visit

Posts tagged alcohol

from "Edible Geography," by Nicola Twilley, Edible Geography, 2 February 2011

Several other researchers have shown that there is a disproportionate amount of alcohol advertising in predominantly black neighbourhoods compared to predominantly white neighbourhoods. Kwate’s study not only revealed that an astonishing twenty-five percent of the outdoor advertising space in Central Harlem was dedicated to selling alcohol, but also that exposure to these ads increased black women’s chances of being a problem drinker—by up to thirteen percent. That, as she puts it, is “a really big deal.”


When people sit down together in a public place — a place where none of them is sovereign but each of them at home — and when those people pass the evening together, sipping drinks in which the spirit of place is stored and amplified, maybe smoking or taking snuff and in any case willingly exchanging the dubious benefits of longevity for the certain joys of friendship, they rehearse in their souls the original act of settlement, the act that set our species on the path of civilisation, and which endowed us with the order of neighbourhood and the rule of law.

When, however, people swig drinks without interest in their neighbours, except as equal members of the wild host of hunter-gatherers, when their sole concern is the intoxicating effect and when the drink itself is neither savoured nor understood, then are they rehearsing that time before civilisation, in which life was solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short. Understandably, the first and natural effect of this way of drinking is an implacable belligerence towards the surrounding signs of settlement — an urge to smash and destroy, to replace the ordered world of house and street and public buildings, with a ruined wasteland where only the drunk is at home. Binge drinking may look like a communal act. In fact, it is an act of collective solitude, in which the god of modern puritans, the Self, reigns supreme.

from "The Church vs the Mall: What Happens When Religion Faces Increased Secular Competition?," by Jonathan Gruber and Daniel Hungerman, Quarterly Journal of Economics, May 2008 :: via The .Plan

In this paper we identify a policy-driven change in the opportunity cost of religious participation based on state laws that prohibit retail activity on Sunday, known as “blue laws.” Many states have repealed these laws in recent years, raising the opportunity cost of religious participation… We then use a variety of datasets to show that when a state repeals its blue laws religious attendance falls, and that church donations and spending fall as well… We find that repealing blue laws leads to an increase in drinking and drug use, and that this increase is found only among the initially religious individuals who were affected by the blue laws. The effect is economically significant; for example, the gap in heavy drinking between religious and non religious individuals falls by about half after the laws are repealed.