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Using Alcoholic Drinks to Celebrate

Media PBS Bob the Builder

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#1 Anastashia

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Posted 22 January 2006 - 10:10 AM

I just turned my TV to my PBS channel to watch the show Religion and Ethics and happened to catch the end of a children's show, I think called Bob the Builder. The characters were talking about having a celebration on the completion of a project and the line that caught my attention was something like "Why don't we celebrate with some ...and elderflower cordial." The reply was something like I'll go get it where the charactger goes to his trailer and comes out with a bottle. He then goes back and is greeted by a surprise party where there were many similar bottles (they were stopped with corks) on the party table.

I don't know, I just think such a scene on a children's show is inappropriate. I believe I saw in the closing credits this show is produced in the UK.
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#2 Schmokie_Dragon

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Posted 22 January 2006 - 10:19 AM

I dont see why. Drinking is a thoroughly accepted aspect of western culture. Yes, youth drinking is at unacceptable levels and the new licensing laws are mad, but I hardly think that adults on a childrens show, who are in all other respects moral and respectful, who are dinking are going to encourage a generation of child boozers.
Parents see their parents drinking at home and they often have a little themselves. I know I did. I think the more "respectful" drinking children are exposed to, the more they will see it as something normal and uninteresting and wont go mad for it when they get to 18. I know I wont. I have been drinking since I was about 13. Wine with meals, the occasional beer with dad, or even a whisky. I was going to pubs as a 15 year old. And know what? I drink very moderately, I am rarely drunk (maybe a handful of times) and I have more respect for the drug that alchohol is than most adults I know.

Tell a kid its bad and avoid the subject and they are more likely to get drunk frequently as a youth.
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#3 QueenTiye

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Posted 22 January 2006 - 10:36 AM

Drinking is accepted in the west, and shouldn't be.  Some kids are alcoholic by the time they are 13.  Drinking causes lots of deaths - including against those who aren't drinking, and impairs judgment.  The bad rap that smokers are getting, when the problem with smoking can be comfortably confimed to the smoker themselves should be transferred to the alcohol consumer.  There ought to be laws about where you can and cannot drink, and no - I don't think that children's programming should be encouraging it.  That would be enough for me to refuse to watch that program.

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#4 Schmokie_Dragon

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Posted 22 January 2006 - 10:48 AM

Really?

I know drinking is a huge problem, but it isnt this sort of thing that encourages it. If anything, I think it is a lack of exposure to it in a safe and responsible environment that does it.

I know someone who was verging on alcoholic at 13. He was also a smoker and used cannabis. But he wasnt brought up to be responsible, he wasnt shown at a young age that acohol wasnt all that strange and interesting. Show a kid that something is acceptable and to be respected and they will respect it. Tell them that it is bad and avoid the subject and suddenly it becomes the holy grail for them.

Edited by Schmokie_Dragon, 22 January 2006 - 10:49 AM.

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#5 Rhys

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Posted 22 January 2006 - 12:22 PM

In most of the world, "cordial" isn't an alcoholic drink.  I did a quick Google spot-check (to make sure I wasn't losing my mind :) ), and came across a phrase along the lines "cordial is to Australians what Kool-Aid is to Americans".

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#6 QueenTiye

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Posted 22 January 2006 - 12:31 PM

View PostSchmokie_Dragon, on Jan 22 2006, 10:48 AM, said:

Really?

I know drinking is a huge problem, but it isnt this sort of thing that encourages it. If anything, I think it is a lack of exposure to it in a safe and responsible environment that does it.

I know someone who was verging on alcoholic at 13. He was also a smoker and used cannabis. But he wasnt brought up to be responsible, he wasnt shown at a young age that acohol wasnt all that strange and interesting. Show a kid that something is acceptable and to be respected and they will respect it. Tell them that it is bad and avoid the subject and suddenly it becomes the holy grail for them.

The majority of alcoholic people grew up in alcoholic homes, and there are some alcoholics who grew up in non-alcoholic, but still drinking homes.

Moreover - there is some evidence that alcoholism may be genetic - which means that for some - alcoholism is an accident waiting to happen.

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#7 Anastashia

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Posted 22 January 2006 - 12:41 PM

View PostRhys, on Jan 22 2006, 12:22 PM, said:

In most of the world, "cordial" isn't an alcoholic drink.  I did a quick Google spot-check (to make sure I wasn't losing my mind :) ), and came across a phrase along the lines "cordial is to Australians what Kool-Aid is to Americans".

Rhys

An interesting distinction that might not be completely apparent to an American audience.
The Science Fiction Examiner

In the quiet of Midden a young child grows.
Does the salvation of his people grow with him?
"Everything we do now is for the child"

"I made a mistake,
just follow along,
isn't that what tyranny is all about?"
Sheila M---my Praise Band Director

For as long as I shall live
I will testify to love
I'll be a witness in the silences when words are not enough
Testify to Love

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#8 Schmokie_Dragon

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Posted 22 January 2006 - 12:47 PM

But there is a HUGE difference between a family that is open about alchohol and one that is alcoholic.

My father has a beer a few times a week (just one a day) and often a whisky in the evening. My mother drinks cider instead of beer and whisky and we have wine with formal dinners (twice a week). I was allowed to have an alchopop in the evening at the weekend since I was about 14. I have sampled wine and beer since I was a wee nipper. This is not an alcoholic family by any streatch of the imagination. I have recently started buying spirits such as aniseed sambuca and peach schnaps for myself. These are kept in the drinks cupboard and are only drunk in moderation very rarely. I think this is the best approach. The child is not afraid to experiment but is responsible and is well versed on the consequences of their actions. Yes I have once been so drunk I have nearly passed out, yes I was 16 at the time. But I know what thats like now, and how much alcohol gets you there and my parents gave me the grounding that made me able to say "OK, that wasnt nice. I wont be doing that again" without feeling like I was being silly, uncool or a lightweight.

Quite true if you are looking at a situation where the child does not drink any alcohol then that obviously isnt a good approach. But my arguent is that alcohol in moderation is fine and the best way to establish moderate and responsible use to is to expose the child to moderate and responsible usage.

and Rhys, thats very true in the UK. Cordial here is concentrated fruit juice that you add to water.
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#9 Delvo

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Posted 22 January 2006 - 01:45 PM

View PostAnastashia, on Jan 22 2006, 12:41 PM, said:

An interesting distinction that might not be completely apparent to an American audience.
But Americans haven't heard of "cordial" as an alcoholic drink, either; to us it's a kind of candy similar to a "truffle", with a solid chocolate shell and some kind of liquid, cream, or jelly inside, usually a cherry or cherry syrup.

The problem with the scene as it's been described isn't the word; it's the bottles with corks in them. That automaticly made me think "OK, so 'cordial' must be some funky foreign word for 'wine'."

#10 Schmokie_Dragon

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Posted 22 January 2006 - 01:55 PM

I can say that my family has on occasion bought some old fashioned and admitedly more expensive soft drinks that have corks. And if it was Bod the Builder, and it was called Elderflower Cordial, the likely implication is that it was home made, at which point a bottle with a cork is the most likely method of storage.
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#11 Anastashia

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Posted 22 January 2006 - 03:32 PM

Most definitely a cordial is defined in my experience as it is in dictionary dot com as a "liqueur" or "stimulant", or a "strong highly flavored sweet liquor usually drunk after a meal". http://dictionary.re...earch?q=cordial

I guess my major concern then was the tone of "let's celebrate by drinking", especially after the celebration table was then revealed to have a number of similar bottles on it. I just don't think that's an appropriate message to be sending to kids as young as this program appeared to be aimed at. The program closed with a piece on how shadows are created and what a sundial is so I figure it's aimed at some pretty young kids.
The Science Fiction Examiner

In the quiet of Midden a young child grows.
Does the salvation of his people grow with him?
"Everything we do now is for the child"

"I made a mistake,
just follow along,
isn't that what tyranny is all about?"
Sheila M---my Praise Band Director

For as long as I shall live
I will testify to love
I'll be a witness in the silences when words are not enough
Testify to Love

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#12 Schmokie_Dragon

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Posted 22 January 2006 - 03:58 PM

Dictionary.com is a US company I think.

If this was really a UK show that talked about Elderflower Cordial then it was probably a soft drink.

And I really doubt a group of adults enjoying an Elderflower drink is going to encourage young alcoholism.
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#13 liath

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Posted 22 January 2006 - 04:21 PM

Many families do celebrate with alcohol anyway, like a glass of wine, so for lot's of kids the fact that the characters are celebrating by having some sort of drink wouldn't seem out of place.

Or is that just me?
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#14 Schmokie_Dragon

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Posted 22 January 2006 - 04:32 PM

No, we celebrate with a bottle of wine.
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#15 JchaosRS

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Posted 22 January 2006 - 07:19 PM

^My family did aswell. So does most of my extended family. We always had (a little) wine at very special occasions. It helps that we live in just inside California wine country and quite a few of my relatives are involved in the wine industry; a few of them even own vinyards.

Plus my mother's side of the family also happens to be latino, which means that there was beer at every social event imaginable. Did it inspire me to drink- not at all.  Why? Becuase my family talked with me about drinking many times. My cousins and siblings as well.

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#16 Delvo

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Posted 22 January 2006 - 08:17 PM

^ The catch with that line of thinking is that all acoholics start off thinking they can moderate themselves. History has shown it to be a thing that people just can't do, even though everyone keeps talking as if we could.

#17 Schmokie_Dragon

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Posted 22 January 2006 - 08:38 PM

Some people can. Its always the minority who screw up that we notice.
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#18 QueenTiye

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Posted 22 January 2006 - 10:51 PM

^^ He said "alcoholics."  That's not the majority (we don't currently think).  That is the minority.  But the effects of this minority's behavior affect the rest of us, AND, the minority often don't know that they are that - until it becomes obvious to them and usually us, before them.

This is the problem with alcoholism - it isn't really avoidable unless one avoids alcohol - we don't know ahead of time who will be alcoholic and who will not.

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#19 Nick

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Posted 22 January 2006 - 11:19 PM

Alcoholism is one thing--a disease actually, but I think the bigger problem we face in society as a whole is irresponsible drinking.  On its face, the simplest solution would be to get everyone everywhere to stop drinking alltogether.  Unfortunately, alcohol consumption is so deeply planted in modern society (and has been for thousands of years) "not telling kids about it" or outright banning it has proven disastrous.

I guess it's a lot like sex, really.  It's one of those subjects we're awfully squemish about broaching with children--especially young children--yet we've gotta cover it in some way.  And much like alcohol, there's a responsible way of doing it and a reckless way of doing it.  Both have a myriad of psychological diseases associated with them.  Sure, we don't know someone's going to be an alcoholic before they start drinking, but we also don't know if someone's going to be a sex addict or rapist until they become sexually active.  At the very least, and I think with the biggest net benefit to society, we should be honest with kids about the "dirty" aspects of our culture and society.  That way, those without a problem will know the right way to deal with those situations and we can at least curb the non-disease irresponsible behavior.

If a kid sees or perceives people using alcohol in moderation responsibly, they'll be less likely to overindulge when they're presented with the opportunity later in life having already gained some experience with it.  If alcohol is presented as this "bad, never do it!" thing . . . much like sex is . .  . and right in line with "Junior, don't you put those peas up your nose!!" it adds to the mystique and they'll experiment without proper foreknowledge.  Let's face it, it's human nature to want to do things our parents wouldn't approve of.  And that's a huge part of why alcohol, sex, drugs & rock n' roll are so popular.

Kids ask questions, answer them honestly, and I think things will work out a lot better in the long run.  It's true that we can't stamp out all alcoholism, drunk driving, etc. that way . . . but I think that's the best way to put an awfully big dent in it.  If it's a matter of personal choice that an individual chooses to eschew alcohol (or sex, or drugs, or rock n' roll, etc.) then that's great, but it only works if it's really a personal choice.

Forbidding something or making it somehow "taboo" is one of the best sure-fire ways to ensure its increased popularity.

-Nick

Edited by Nick, 22 January 2006 - 11:51 PM.


#20 QueenTiye

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Posted 22 January 2006 - 11:26 PM

I disagree that forbidding something or making it taboo increases its popularity.  That's just impossible to be true.  There will always be a greater part of the population that prefers to stay on the "right" side of things, than not.  Education on the problems of alcohol, the meaning of "responsible drinking" and the like, coupled with drastic modification in the WAY that alcohol is available would do wonders to solve problems.  

If I had my way, along with an aggressive education campaign, I'd outlaw bars.  Drinking at a restaurant, for those who so choose, would be ok (and even more healthy - since there would be food going down with that drug), and drinking in one's own house would be ok.  But drinking at public venues (sporting events and the like) where people are doing nothing but sitting and drinking, knowing darned well that they have to find their way home after the fact - I'd end that.  Etc...

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