I’m not quite sure what to think about this development, but I can’t imagine how it could be a good thing. On Friday, the New York Times had an interesting list of 32 Innovations That Will Change Your Tomorrow. There are some truly amazing items on the list, which if they come to fruition, would indeed change our everyday lives. But one seems just odd, at least to me. Number 20 envisions “A World Without Hangovers,” with the development of “synthetic alcohol,” by none other than British neo-prohibitionist windbag, professor doctor David Nutt. Here’s how the Times describes it:
Researchers at Imperial College London are closing in on a formula for a new kind of booze — synthetic alcohol, it’s called — that would forever eliminate the next morning’s headache (not to mention other problems associated with drinking). The team, led by David Nutt, a psychiatrist and former British drug czar, has identified six compounds similar to benzodiazepines — a broad class of psychoactive drugs — that won’t get you rip-roaring drunk but will definitely provide a buzz. According to Nutt, the alcohol substitute would be a flavorless additive that you could put in a nonalcoholic drink. And when you want to sober up, all you’d have to do is pop a pill.
Now doesn’t that sound appetizing? An N/A beer with a “flavorless additive” made from “psychoactive drugs.” How on Earth did the Times decide that this one even deserved to be on such a list of innovations. Who would want this? Why would you take a natural product and turn it into a chemical substitute for it. Essentially, this is like taking something natural, like coffee, stripping the caffeine out of it and then adding a chemical compound back into it that simulates the original caffeine, but at lower levels. Wouldn’t it be easier to just advocate drinking less or choosing lower alcohol, session beers? Yes, yes it would, but then people would have to be responsible for their own actions. Nutt and the rest of his neo-prohibitionist crew would much prefer controlling peoples’ behavior. They seem to honestly believe that since some people can’t drink responsibly, then no one can. That’s always their rationalization for the outlandish propaganda they’ve spouted over the last few years, things like “beer is more dangerous than heroin” and “no level of alcohol is safe.”
According to the graphic accompanying this item, synthetic alcohol is at least two to four years away, but I’m hoping enough people will recognize this for the abomination that it would be, and no one beyond the lunatic anti-alcohol fringe would be in favor of turning such natural drinks like beer, wine and whisky into chemical-laden soda pop for adults.