Thursday, February 10, 2011

Don't do as they do...

I love old propaganda posters and often look on the net for different and interesting ones. Recently I came across one which refers to the contentious debate over the prohibition of alcohol -  a hot political cookie
in New Zealand in the 1920s.

Poster: Alexander Turnbull Library

 The poster, probably from 1925 or 1928, shows a New Zealand soldier kicking an old man representing Uncle Sam back across the Pacific from New Zealand to North America. It urges New Zealanders not to follow the United States in banning alcohol and claims prohibition there (in force since 1919) has caused more harm than good. A political party, the ‘Continuance Party’, was formed and waswell funded by the liquor trade. It spent heavily on advertising material in the lead-up to national referenda, especially in the 1920s.

Prohibition does no good, of course. Educational 'experts' constantly instruct us teachers that telling a kid NOT to do something immediately makes them want to do it... the same goes for adults, that's for sure. And when there's a whole barrel of money to be made.....

I love a glass of wine in the evening; in fact, I plan to go and pour myself one when I've finished this post. A cool, crisp, New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc... mmmm, my mouth's watering. After a very busy week and a long hot day, there's nothing better. 

But no-one would deny that this can be a very dangerous drug, one which can cause terrible damage to individuals, and heartache and suffering to families. The problem of youngsters "binge-drinking" worries us in this country, as it does in many others I guess. Too often the result of a night out is dangerous, destructive and inappropriate behaviour. We've all done stupid things - well, I know I have. But truly it seems to be getting worse and worse - and younger and younger. Accidents, deaths, alcohol poisoning, assaults and pregnancies make for a depressing lists of consequences.

I'm afraid I have no helpful suggestions, or solutions.
All of this diatribe was started by thinking about the old poster and the ideas it was trying to foster in the viewer. 
I wish you all a pleasant evening:

Your good health!


  1. Oh bravo what an excellent and entertaining post, with such great photos, funny poster but the girls are over the top! Of course now I'll have to exchange my glass of milk for wine...mmmm good!Shakespeare said, Come, come,good wine is a good familiar creature if it be well used; exclaim no more against it."...but maybe Twain said it better, "My books are water; those of the great geniuses are wine. (fortunately) everybody drinks water!"

  2. I used to live in Scotland, the binge-drinking capital of the world. Walking anywhere on a weekend morning meant watching out for pools of vomit or urine left by someone the night before.
    I'm most definitely a non-drinker, and I don't so much as tell my students not to drink as I remind them of drink's effects (such as you mentioned, plus all the brain cells they're killing). I occasionally also mention my cousin, who shot himself in the head playing Russian roulette while drunk at age 17. That usually gets their attention. (Yeah, it's a true story.)

  3. When I saw the title it reminded me of what my parents would say or for that matter any person who knew what they did was not quite kosher and yet wanted to do what THEY wanted.

  4. What a great post--entertaining, informing, thought-provoking. Yes, prohibition wasn't much of a success here in the US. I suspect that some of my ancestors were making a little moonshine in the hills of Missouri. (I suspect that some of my cousins are still doing this right now!)

  5. Karen: yes often it brings more public reaction when the drunkards are females. I must say I hate seeing girls making booze-driven idiots of themselves.

    PBW: Oh that story should be enough to put anyone off drinking!

    KBF: the usual version I've heard is "Do as I say, not as I do". As a teenager i always used to think how incredibly hypocritical that was!

    Galen: it's pointless banning it - and many people now brew their own neer because of the expense of buying it. Home brew can be very strong, though, I'm told.

    Thanks everybody

  6. great post Alexia!

    i remember days like that...when i was too young to buy liquor...but people were always willing to get it for you. drinking til we passed out...or in my sick! low tolerance. luckily...i OUTgrew all that!
    BUT i do like to have a drink at the end of the day! cheers! :]


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