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Shutdown drinking

Zane Womeldorph
Zane Womeldorph

It was noon on a Saturday, I had just woke up and my nose is so clogged with mucus and debris that not even a single molecule of oxygen can pass through. My voice is that of an 80-year-old with emphysema. Although I have just slept for ten solid, Nyquil-aided hours, I am tired and my head hurts and I hate everything.

And yet I had 800 words due at midnight, work in five hours and an endless list of schoolwork looming in my nightmares. Thank the almighty Zeus for my steel trap of a stomach, for the gallon of coffee I was in the process of swallowing would send a lesser man to an excretory dungeon.


I was going to write about politics — again — and this nonsense over the budget. Or about the insane annoyance of political know-nothings mouthing their worthless opinions on issues that they only know about through a headline they read on Yahoo.

Or about the Values Voter Summit, where 1950s-era politicians like Rick “the Sweater” Santorum have somehow found a time machine and beamed into the present without recognizing that times have changed. Still angrily clutching to “values” of gay-hate and intolerance of anything not approved by Pat Robertson, this small yet noisy coalition of voters live in an insulated cocoon of delusion and fear and the politicians who speak to them know how to play on these fears like master conductors.

But enough of that, for now at least. I have become temporarily jaded by the absurd state of politics in this nation, which is quite a feat considering all the political weirdness I have witnessed in the ten years since I started paying attention.

So instead I flip over my Illmatic record, finish my lukewarm beer from last night, eat candy for breakfast and discuss something more relevant to the lives of us college kids: Drinking. If the political climate that looms above us all and threatens to rain down a storm of consequence on our pathetic lives drives us to any sort of action, it should be to lift a bottle to our lips and chug until we no longer care. After all, one business that thrives in a recession or depression is the alcohol industry.

We should all respond to this ludicrous level of Congressional irresponsibility by reflecting a similar level of irresponsibility in our own lives. Drink, friends, drink. It’s the only reasonable response.

If Congress doesn’t have to work then neither do I. My sincerest apologies to the hungry citizens of Windsor, but when your pizza arrives late or half-eaten or not at all, don’t blame me. Call Ted Cruz. Call John Boehner. Call Harry Reid. Call the President.

At this point it seems we should all just give up on the idea of having a working system of government and resign ourselves to lost lives of alcoholism and self-destruction, of dirty, feral Lord of the Flies children roaming the streets and devouring civilization. Lead by example or not at all, politicians, and if your intention is to destroy then get on with it already.

Life, apparently, is an ideological struggle between 600 people in tailored suits while the rest of us plebeians watch and stew in insignificant anger. Life is working your way to a pile of empties while forces beyond your control swirl and rage and optimism slowly, steadily turns to disgust and contempt and the realization that the system is broken.

The government continues its shutdown and a disastrous default dogs the horizon. Four fifths of a million people are out of work, with more sure to come unless a miracle compromise materializes out of this depressing political malaise. Which in itself is a joke. At this point a compromise seems less likely than the Jacksonville Jaguars winning the Super Bowl.


So take shots, drink Irish Car Bombs, shotgun beers, dance on the bar, vomit in the street, ruin livers, get in fights, break things. This is what we do best. Screw consequences, they don’t matter.

After all, our leaders don’t care about our future. Why should we?

This is all little bit overstated, obviously. I’m not actually advocating alcoholism as a viable response to civic action. But sometimes, when things look lost, a drink can’t hurt.

Zane Womeldorph is annoyed by Washington. He can be reached at

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