Thursday, October 23, 2008

Drinks cause drama in some cities (<=Click here for story)

New York didn't make this list! (<=Click here for just the list)

What is the real purpose of this article?

I know this seems like a random topic to blog about, however I also realize that as college students we can probably all relate at some level to the ever present and sometimes controversial issue: drinking, especially student binge drinking. This article found in Forbes health section is supposed to detail the top 15 cities in America that have high drinking rates; hence, the headline: "America's Hard-Drinking Cities," which immediately drew my attention to the story. I initially read the list of the 15 noted cities around the United States then clicked the link for the full article.

Upon completing reading the article however, I thought it was more of a cry to stop binge drinking in the U.S., especially places like Austin, the number one city on the list as the writers reiterated throughout the text. Also, they particularly pointed out the fact that Austin is home to a majority of college students and thus a threat to their surroundings due to the binge drinking habits which occur mostly by students on Sixth Street.

I did not find this story angle to be very fair. First of all, to specifically point fingers to college sudents as the ones with drinking problems is pure stereotyping, especially just basing that information on mere personal judgements and assumptions. Another slanted component of this story is how prevalent they make the fact that drinking is pure harm to one's body as well as a disturbance of peace to the surrounding community and putting lives at risk with the possibility of drinking and driving. Well, in reality, practically every city in the world must deal with similar situations resulting from drinking problems, not just the top 15 cities in the U.S.

I felt like this article consisted of a plethora of biased insinuations against alcohol, specifically binge drinking in America. Granted there are not many positives to be said of it, I do not think it was necessary to shift the focus of the story line to the multiple negatives of the habit. Based on the headline and lead, I opened the article with an interest in what the top 15 drinking cities in America are and why, not to learn about the negative effects alcohol could have on my life, or a history lesson on drinking in Austin and Milwaukee.

(Above photo taken from, where article is also posted)

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