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    Going Through the Lokomotion

    Going Through the Lokomotion

    As a college student, my Facebook feed has been saturated with complaints about the recent discontinuation of “Four Loko,” an alcoholic drink which is sold in 23.5-ounce cans containing 12% alcohol by volume. The combination is now illegal following several reports of underage drinkers being hospitalized after consuming the product, which is said to be equivalent to five beers and a cup of coffee. To me, it seems this motion to ban Four Loko is rooted more in an objective to be seen as doing “anything” to quell this problem: to stop something as improper as people getting ill from a silly-looking drink. The same chemical compounds are what get others buzzed at cocktail parties, but somehow an Irish coffee is less reprehensible than a can of some sugary malt liquor combination.

    The complaint is that the specific combination of alcohol and caffeine truly inhibits anyone from conceiving their limit. Though, if anything, the newfound illegality of Four Loko has spurned a new popularity for the beverage. My friends have referred me to “Make Your Own Four Loko” videos, some are trying it just to know what they hype is all about, and several are stocking up in order to have pre-Thanksgiving “going away” parties for the beverage. For such a repulsive-sounding drink that probably would have fallen out of trend in a few months, it is really making the most of it’s fifteen minutes thanks to Big Brother.

    In college, it is very easy to access any combination of alcohol and different people have different objectives when they drink. If someone wants to get drunk, they will. If someone wants to preserve their dignity, they’ll stick to a few beers. If someone wants a Four Loko … they’ll now resort to taking shots and drinking soda (probably equivalent to more than five beers, too). An understanding of alcohol, it’s ramifications, and one’s own personal image is what separates idiocy from responsibility – not caffeine.


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    Unforeseen consequences, the mother's milk of "progressive" do-goodism. Great post — I read portions out loud to my hubby, who was most amused at your wit and wisdom. 🙂

    @DinoMarieRight, if I'm correct, you seem to argue that a ban on Four Loko would be wrong and that engaging in an illegal activity is intrinsically wrong. Is it wrong to break unjust laws?

    If, a year from now, a middle-aged man was buying Four Loko ILLEGALY would you feel it is wrong even though you believe the ban itself is wrong? It is a curious position.

    Take a more extreme example. If an elderly woman was facing a death panel and was denied any care, and in order to survive had to buy medicine from ILLEGAL online pharmacies. Would you object to it because it's ILLEGAL?

    Don't get me wrong, I am not of course comparing underage drinking to medical distress and survival, the two situations are completely different. Yet, if you concede that the mere ILLEGALITY of an act is no indication of its morality, then merely branding something as ILLEGAL carry little weight.

    You may have good reasons to believe underage drinking is morally reprehensible, but they should stand on their own. From a moral standpoint, whether the government deems something legal or illegal is moot.

    @Arthur B.
    Other option, which I seem to remember is standard in moral philosophy (based largely off of that "render unto Caesar" thing, IRRC), is that violating laws does matter, it's just not solely enough to make something immoral.

    Doesn't really matter, since it seems pretty clear that the lady was pointing out that the idiots were in the hospital because they were doing something stupid and illegal with a legal product, not because of the legal product.

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