Posts Tagged ‘depression’
Friday, October 16th, 2009
By Micah Hanks
A chief of police in Ohio’s Whitehouse area has resigned, one month after accusations were made of having an open container of alcohol in her patrol vehicle. Chief Kathleen Hartle oversaw a school’s anti-drug program in the area. Her resignation was accepted by Waterville Township trustees on Wednesday.
Having served seven years with Anthony Wayne school, Hartle was a D.A.R.E. officer. An incident that occurred on Aug. 26 spurred the allegations, where Hartle was asked to leave a routine township meeting. According to Trustee Les Disher, Hartle “had trouble speaking.”
Indeed, it is sometimes difficult to live by example. However, the tragic irony of this circumstance is difficult to overlook. Since ancient times, the adage that “we become the things we hate” seems to have governed a strange pre-destination of sorts in the collective mind of humanity. In this case, perhaps the lesson learned is that repression of our hidden desires is never the right angle to solving a problem, nor is living a lie.
Monday, September 21st, 2009
Bartender Angelo Cammarata say’s he’s calling it quits; after more than seventy years serving fine mixed drinks at his bar in West View, PA, he may be the most deserving American to resign from the spirits business.
Known by various nicknames including “Camm” and “Ange,” Angelo has operated Cammarata’s, a two-room bar he shares with his sons John and Frank, for decades. In fact, he and his wife Marietta, 92, apparently lived in the second-floor apartment above it until several years ago.
To Cammarata, his job has been more than just a family business; he considers all his customers to be family. “We call them our family, our friends. We know them all. And they’re all good.”
Cammarata’s story is a fascinating one, if not legendary. For instance, within minutes after the repeal of Prohibition in 1933, Cammarata (then just 19) served a bottle of Fort Pitt beer to a customer in his father’s grocery store. At the time, a bottle of beer cost only ten cents! Save only a year and a half in service during World War II, he has continued serving patrons ever since, with Guinness World Records giving him the title of “longest-serving bartender” a decade ago, as well as induction into Jim Beam’s Bartender Hall of Fame. For a guy his age, it goes without saying: he’s got a lot of “spirit”.
Friday, August 28th, 2009
According to the journal Addiction, people who avoid drinking alcohol may be at higher risk for becoming victims of depression. A new study the journal recently featured titled “Teetotallers more likely to be depressed” describes that “there has been mounting evidence that low levels of alcohol consumption may also be associated with poor mental health possibly due to abstainers having other health problems or being reformed heavy drinkers.“
According to their website, Addiction publishes peer-reviewed research reports on alcohol, illicit drugs, tobacco and behavioral addictions, bringing together research conducted within many different disciplines. This new study drew from resources including the Nord-Trøndelag Health Study (HUNT Study) based in Norway, taking into consideration the drinking habits and mental health of over 38,000 individuals. Using this compilation of data, the authors gave a compelling argument that people who drank no alcohol for two weeks were actually more likely than moderate drinkers to report symptoms of depression during the same period. Of particular interest, people who specifically labeled themselves “abstainers” yielded the highest risk of depression. Age and a variety of physical health problems, as well as social relationships accounted for some, but not all of this increased risk.
Wednesday, July 1st, 2009
The Raleigh News and Observer reported yesterday that top-shelf liquor prices in North Carolina will begin to fall drastically as of August 1, 2009, as the depression crunch continues forcing consumers to opt against buying high-quality liquors. In order to boost sales, brands like Grey Goose are slashing prices competitively as incentives for buyers.
“High-end booze has been taking a sales hit as consumers have increasingly turned to bargain-priced liquor,” wrote journalist Mark Johnson. “Distillers of the good stuff are chopping their prices to hang on to recession-weary customers.”
In reality, “free market in action” may not be the best way to describe this instance of sudden price drops, since the prices of the various available brands themselves aren’t the only factors working against consumers of quality spirits. With economic constraints greatly limiting expendable income, regular consumers and frequent buyers are literally being forced to trade quality for quantity. Therefore, long term effects resulting from prices falling, especially in this case, may not look so good in terms of state revenue.
Sunday, February 22nd, 2009
Look out, ya’ll: it appears that Kid Rock is hoping to stimulate the poor economy with a Michigan-based beer brand of his own design. Conrad Doucette of Maxim Magazine tells us “The beer will be ‘an American lager’ and will be suitable for parties, Pistons games, and BBQs all summer long. Snobby sots need not apply!” What this translates to is “Kid Rock plans to bottle a Budweiser-clone in the center of the failing auto industry capital of the world.”
There are both good and bad elements here. The good has to do with the help this may provide in the way of jobs in the Michigan area. The down side: it’s questionable whether any amount of rejoicing that dozens of Michiganders will be getting these jobs will outweigh the tears many of us will cry in our craft brews at the notion of a “Kid Rock brand beer.”
Wednesday, February 18th, 2009
Yesterday the New York Times featured a recipe for a cleverly-named cocktail, which they call “The Market Crash”. As much as alcohol and its particular relation to the present economic situation the world-over is discussed on this Web site, I felt that this one must be added to the cavalcade of crash-cocktails we’ll no doubt continue to enjoy for the next several months (at least). That being said, do you have a recession-themed beverage that you would like to recommend to Culture of Spirits? If so, email it to us by clicking here.
And now, on to that recipe…
Monday, February 16th, 2009
Today the Associated Press reports that liquor laws, especially those which prohibit sale of spirits on Sundays, may be repealed in an effort to boost individual state economies.
AP writer Brock Vergakis writes, “In Utah, and across the country, governors and lawmakers faced with budget deficits are advocating loosening laws that restrict alcohol consumption in the hopes of boosting tax revenues.” Alabama, Connecticut, Georgia, Indiana, Minnesota and Texas all plan to end present bans on Sunday liquor sales with hopes of boosting revenue with the day’s worth of sales added to weekly figures.
State governments choosing to capitalize on alcohol sales may never have picked a better time, in spite of the recession, as liquor sales are on the rise just about everywhere. Across the US during the year of 2008, the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States (DISCUS) reports that sales rose 2.8 percent from 2007 to $18.7 billion in 2008, according to revenues reported by liquor suppliers. For instance, in Perham, Minnesota, the local municipal liquor store saw an increase in sales by nearly a half million dollars during this period; nearly a 33% gain.
Sunday, February 15th, 2009
Yet again, we see that another portion of the United States is reporting liquor sales on the rise, in spite of the looming recession:
Liquor Sales up in Idaho
According to Idaho resident and restaurant owner Dan Willie, “In a recession or in a so-called recession people tend to drink more, and that’s been historically true in the great depression… I don’t know if they are drinking to drown their sorrows or just spending more time in bars and restaurants.” Willie says the bar in his restaurant picked up sales in December, and has maintained steadily ever since.
Yet again, it appears that the business of wine, beer, and spirits may be the ultimate “recession-proof” industry.
Friday, January 30th, 2009
With the economic turmoil looming over the American people at present, I’ve supposed for a good while now that alcohol could in fact be a “recession proof” magic-bullet of sorts. Think about it, if times are bad people drink… they may not spend as much money on doing so, but people will drink regardless of the circumstances in order to rid themselves of worry, stress, and other things nagging at their minds and weighting their conscience (sadly, this of course can lead to alcohol abuse with folks who begin to feel more than a mere desire to drink socially).
Conversely, if times are good, money abounds, and jobs flourish, people still drink because now they can certainly afford to do so! Besides, good times and a booming economy call for celebration, right?
In addition to the notion that drinking may be recession-proof activity, another well-maintained theme here at Culture of Spirits is the notion that prohibition is NOT a good thing. However, in observing new trends in bars opening recently around the country, could it actually be that there are elements of prohibition-era America emerging today that are helping create a different kind of atmosphere… and a new kind of clientele… in bars and pubs around the country?