An inauspicious mixture of alcohol and memes

October 7, 2006

Anyone who has spent much time on a college campus – spent time of a Monday, especially – can perhaps corroborate when I suggest that an essential part of being drunk is the creation of stories from that experience. From the overhearing I’ve done, I think I can safely posit a three part structure to these stories. The storyteller begins by emphasizing the degree to which s/he was drunk, thus delimiting a space of unusual logic and possibility; the stereotype for this is, of course, “Oh my God, I was so drunk.” The second phase involves the storyteller finding him or herself in situation with no understanding of either the currently transpiring events or the events that lead to the present. This situation is resolved, in its way, through either a return to more conventional narrative (this might be something like, “So we left the bar then”) or through a failure of memory.

Drinking provides a framework for the presentation of a self through storytelling – a framework perhaps best paralleled in the phenomenon of internet personality tests. In both, one treads as forthrightly as possible through unknown territory – the questions of dubious relevance to anything, the alcohol-obscured situation – and emerges, surprised by a newly gleaned facet of one’s own subjectivity. Just as drunkenness gives the individual an excuse to answer the question of “What would I do if I suddenly came to my senses while dancing on a table in leopard-print underwear of unknown provenance,” the internet personality test gives one the chance to answer just which Care Bear he or she would be.

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One Response to “An inauspicious mixture of alcohol and memes”


  1. WOW, the image is now engraved in my neural pathways with indelible neurons… I know, I know, you were creating a hypothetical situation about a theoretical third-person, and yet, your being the writer, I could not help but to imagine you in that situation!!!


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