Selling Death

This summer I went to the Island of Mallorca for the first time. I’ll admit after years of living in Europe the thought of vacationing in Mallorca wasn’t of great interest. If you live or have lived in Great Britain or Germany then you would know that the island is heavily frequented by the citizens of these two areas. And frankly, I didn’t want to see Germans on my holiday since I have to live and work with them. My wife convinced me to stop being so snobby and give it try. Before we left, I did some research and I was surprised to see that Mallorca was very beautiful. When we arrived there we took a local bus from the airport to the capital of Palma.

We waited there for a while for the next bus to our destination of Colonia de Sant Jordi. On our way there we passed through some towns. What I saw gave me a little cause for worry, my wife reassured me that our spot didn’t look like (she’s been there before) those towns. You know, full of young kids drinking all day fucking up the place. Finally, we reached our small vacation town which was pretty quiet and family oriented and since I’m a father I didn’t want to be around no bullshit! Towards the end of our two-week stay, there was a brawl in another town between German football hooligans in front of other families with children.

The fight was captured on video for all to see and the Spanish news used that incident to highlight the problem with drunken tourist. The debate on every channel in Spain was what should be the best course of action on how to handle the drunken tourist-that ultimately ruins the image of these areas. But this prompted me to start a debate within myself, why do we drink alcohol? We drink wine for special occasions, drink beer, drink cocktails and shots for whatever reason. But why? Clearly, tests have shown that alcohol affects the body in a negative way. And we know this, but we continue to drink anyway increasing the risk of an early death.

Maybe the advertisers are to blame, who are paid millions of dollars/euros a year by big alcohol companies to showcase this poison in a cool, hip positive light. You see ads of super models, rappers, and actors drinking. You look at fashion magazines and you see vodka and martini as this cool drink that only the in-crowd drinks. Presenting the image that if you want to be cool then you should buy these drinks. What the alcohol companies, advertisers, and retailers won’t tell you is this. Alcohol affects behavior and physically changes your brain, it stretches your heart muscles. Drinking too much causes blood clots in the heart resulting in strokes and heart attacks. Alcohol affects your pancreas. Causes mouth, throat, liver, and breast cancer.

Alcohol weakens your immune system. Emotions, personality, and memory are all affected by this drug. Alcoholics always have the feeling of euphoria from an increase of endorphins, just like any other drug would do to somebody. If you have ever seen an alcoholic, they become angry or even violent of that bottle isn’t in their hand. A continued high rate of alcohol abuse will ultimately lead to insomnia, anxiety, coma, and death. Look, nobody saying people can’t drink but the advertisements should equate to the same ads that are telling people to drink.

The government knows how bad alcohol is and the toll it takes on your body. The alcohol companies have a strong lobbying presence in Washington and Brussels. They are the reason why you don’t see more scrutiny on this subject. The producers, distributors, retailers, and marketers are all guilty of selling death.

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