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Cheers to a New Year: Quotes on Cheer-- Alcohol, Drinking, Beer-- and Getting High

By   Follow Me on Twitter     Message Rob Kall     Permalink    (# of views)   8 comments

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Quotations on drinking, on alcohol, on beer, consciousness...on getting high. 
I put this list together for a friend who just got out of the hospital-- not for drinking-- but he wanted some ammunition. I wasn't sure about the wisdom or healthiness or political correctness of doing so, but he was coming out of a four day coma and I was one of the first people he called, so I said I'd do it. It's been an interesting journey, searching and culling through quotes. Feel free to add your favorites in the comments. 
Anyway, it kind of fits with this evening. 
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So have a night of good cheer-- and don't overdo it. 
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flickr image  by  zieak
I have taken more out of alcohol than alcohol has taken out of me.  
Winston Churchill
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"That's the problem with drinking, I thought, as I poured myself a drink. If something bad happens you drink in an attempt to forget; if something good happens you drink in order to celebrate; and if nothing happens you drink to make something happen." 
Charles Bukowski, Women
"The sway of alcohol over mankind is unquestionably due to its power to stimulate the mystical faculties of human nature, usually crushed to earth by the cold facts and dry criticisms of the sober hour." 
William James

"We are here to drink beer. We are here to kill war. We are here to laugh at the odds and live our lives so well that Death will tremble to take us." -- Charles Bukowski

"I work until beer o'clock." 
Stephen King
response to a doctor's advice to slow down:
I have always lived violently, drunk hugely, eaten too much or not at all, slept around
the clock or missed two nights of sleeping, worked too hard and too long in glory, or slobbed for a time in utter laziness. I've lifted, pulled, chopped, climbed, made love with joy and taken my hangovers as a consequence not as a punishment. I did not want to surrender fierceness for a small gain in yardage.
John Steinbeck, Travels With Charlie, 1962 
"The worst thing about some men is that when they are not drunk they are sober." 
William Butler Yeats
"Drinking when we are not thirsty and making love at all seasons, madam: that is all there is to distinguish us from other animals." 
Pierre de Beaumarchais
"Instead of water we got here a draught of beer," a lumberer's drink, which would acclimate and naturalize a man at once,--which would make him see green, and, if he slept, dream that he heard the wind sough among the pines." 
Henry David Thoreau
"Man, being reasonable, must get drunk; the best of life is but intoxication." 
Lord Byron

"Fermentation may have been a greater discovery than fire." -- David Rains Wallace

"Six pints of bitter,' said Ford Prefect". "And quickly please, the world's about to end.'" -- Douglas Adams, Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

"Why do I drink? So that I can write poetry." 

Jim Morrison

"The problem with the world is that everyone is a few drinks behind." -- Humphrey Bogart
"Man's way to God is with beer in hand." 
Koffyar Tribal Wisdom, Nigeria
"Drink is the feast of reason and the flow of soul. " 
Alexander Pope
"I don't have a drinking problem 'Cept when I can't get a drink." 
Tom Waits
"Fermentation and civilization are inseparable." -- John Ciardi
You're not drunk if you can lie on the floor without holding on." -- Dean Martin
"If you ever reach total enlightenment while drinking beer, I bet it makes beer shoot out your nose."
Jack Handy, SNL
"An oppressive government is more to be feared than a tiger, or a beer." 
"God made yeast, as well as dough, and loves fermentation just as dearly as he loves vegetation." 
Ralph Waldo Emerson
"Beer, if drunk in moderation, softens the temper, cheers the spirit and promotes health." -- Thomas Jefferson
"Many battles have been fought and won by soldiers nourished on beer." 
Frederick the Great
I have a total irreverence for anything connected with society except that which makes the roads safer, the beer stronger, the food cheaper, and the old men and old women warmer in the winter and happier in the summer.
Brendan Behan
"[I]t is the wine that leads me on,
the wild wine
that sets the wisest man to sing
at the top of his lungs,
laugh like a fool -- it drives the
man to dancing... it even
tempts him to blurt out stories
better never told." 
"- Homer, The Odyssey
I think a man ought to get drunk at least twice a year just on principle, so he won't let himself get snotty about it.  
Raymond Chandler
It is most absurdly said, in popular language, of any man, that he is disguised in liquor; for, on the contrary, most men are disguised by sobriety.  
Thomas de Quincy, Confessions of an English Opium-Eater, 1856
I feel sorry for people who don't drink.  When they wake up in the morning, that's as good as they're going to feel all day.  
Frank Sinatra
It takes only one drink to get me drunk. The trouble is, I can't remember if it's the thirteenth or the fourteenth.  
George Burns
As the traveler who has lost his way,
throws his reins on his horse's neck, and
trusts to the instinct of the animal to find
his road, so must we do with the divine
animal who carries us through this world.
.....This is the reason why bards love wine,
mead, narcotics, coffeee, tea, opium, the
fumes of sandalwood and tobacco or
whatever other species of animal
Emerson, Ralph Waldo (Inspiration)
"All poets have signalized their
consciousness of rare moments when they
were superior to themselves, --when a light,
a freedom, a power came to them which
lifted them to performances far better than
they could reach at other times."
Emerson, Ralph Waldo (Inspiration)
Now don't say you can't swear off drinking; it's easy, I've done it a thousand times. 
W.C. Fields
The danger of psychedelic drugs, the danger of mind-opening, the danger of consciousness expansion, the danger of inner discovery is a danger to the establishment.
Timothy Leary
When I read about the evils of drinking, I gave up reading.  
Henny Youngman
If we take habitual drunkards as a class, their heads and their hearts will bear an advantageous comparison with those of any other class.  There seems ever to have been a proneness in the brilliant and warm-blooded to fall in to this vice.  The demon of intemperance ever seems to have delighted in sucking the blood of genius and generosity.  Abraham Lincoln, address to the Washington Temperance Society, Springfield, Illinois, 22 February 1842
I drink only to make my friends seem interesting.  
Don Marquis
Be wary of strong drink.  It can make you shoot at tax collectors... and miss.  
~Robert Heinlein
I have taken more out of alcohol than alcohol has taken out of me. 
Winston Churchill
[O]ne sip of this
Will bathe the drooping spirits in delight
Beyond the bliss of dreams.
John Milton
"Alcohol makes other people less tedious, and food less bland, and can help provide what the Greeks called entheos, or the slight buzz of inspiration when reading or writing. The only worthwhile miracle in the New Testament--the transmutation of water into wine during the wedding at Cana--"- 
Christopher Hitchens, Hitch-22: A Memoir
"Wine is the most healthful and most hygienic of beverages." 
Louis Pasteur
"It is best to rise from life as from a
banquet, neither thirsty nor drunken."
Smoking dope and hanging up Che's picture is no more a commitment than drinking milk and collecting postage stamps. A revolution in consciousness is an empty high without a revolution in the distribution of power.
John Kenneth Galbraith
We all pursue happiness, but without
knowing where to find it, we're like drunks
searching for their way home, dimly aware
they live somewhere.
A little learning is a dang'rous thing;
Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring;
There shallow draughts intoxicate the
And drinking largely sobers us again.
Alexander Pope, Essay on Criticism
"I made the greater progress, from that
clearness of head and quicker
apprehension which generally attend
temperance in eating and drinking."
Franklin, Benjamin, his Autobiography
Temperance.-Eat not to dullness; drink
not to elevation. 
Franklin, Benjamin, his Autobiography
Whatever liberates our spirit without giving
us self-control is disastrous.
"In happiness there are far more regions
unknown than there are in misfortune. The
voice of misfortune is ever the same;
happiness becomes the more silent as it
penetrates deeper.
"When we put our misfortunes in one scale
of the balance, each of us lays, in the
other, all that he deems to be happiness.
The savage flings feathers and powder, and
alcohol into the scale; civilized men some
gold, a few days of delirium; but the sage
will deposit therein countless things our
eyes cannot see-- all his soul, it may be,
and even the misfortune that he will have
Maeterlinck, Maurice, WISDOM and
How shall I be able to rule over others,
that have not full power and command of
A boy or young man who has some serious
constructive purpose will endure voluntarily
a great deal of boredom if he finds that it
is necessary by the way. But constructive
purposes do not easily form themselves in
a boy's mind if he is living a life of
distractions and dissipations, for in that
case his thoughts will  always be directed
towards the next pleasure rather than
towards the distant achievement. For all
these reasons a generation that cannot
endure boredom will be a generation of
little men, of men unduly divorced from
the slow process of nature, of men in
whom every vital impulse slowly withers, as
though they were cut flowers in a vase.
Bertrand Russell, The Conquest of
Empty heads,-- heads without ideas in the
wholesome variety and sufficient number to
furnish food for the mental clockwork,-- ill
regulated heads, where the faculties are
not under the control of the will,-- these
are the ones that hold the brains which
their owners are so apt to tamper with, by
introducing the appliances we have been
talking about (alcohol, bad habits) Now,
when a gentleman's brain is empty or ill-
regulated, it is, to a great extent, his own
fault; and so it is simple retribution, that,
while he lies slothfully sleeping or aimlessly
dreaming, the fatal habit settles on him
like a vampire and sucks his blood, fanning
him all the while with its hot wings into
deeper slumber or idler dreams! 
"But to come back to poets and artists;-- if
they really are more prone to the abuse of
stimulants,-- and I fear that this is true,--
the reason of it is only too clear. A man
abandons himself to a fine frenzy, and the
power which flows through him, as I once
explained to you, makes him the medium
of a great power or a great picture. The
creative action is not voluntary at all, but
automatic; we can only put the mind into
the proper attitude, and wait for the wind,
that blows where it listeth, to breathe over
it. Thus the true state of creative genius is
allied to reverie, or dreaming
The history of the world is none other than
the progress of the consciousness of
Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel,
Philosophy of History


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Rob Kall is an award winning journalist, inventor, software architect, connector and visionary. His work and his writing have been featured in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, CNN, ABC, the HuffingtonPost, Success, Discover and other media. He's given talks and workshops to Fortune 500 execs and national medical and psychological organizations, and pioneered first-of-their-kind conferences in Positive Psychology, Brain Science and Story. He hosts some of the world's smartest, most interesting and powerful people on his Bottom Up Radio Show, and founded and publishes one of the top Google- ranked progressive news and opinion sites,

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Rob Kall has spent his adult life as an awakener and empowerer-- first in the field of biofeedback, inventing products, developing software and a music recording label, MuPsych, within the company he founded in 1978-- Futurehealth, and founding, organizing and running 3 conferences: Winter Brain, on Neurofeedback and consciousness, Optimal Functioning and Positive Psychology (a pioneer in the field of Positive Psychology, first presenting workshops on it in 1985) and Storycon Summit Meeting on the Art Science and Application of Story-- each the first of their kind.  Then, when he found the process of raising people's consciousness and empowering them to take more control of their lives  one person at a time was too slow, he founded which has been the top search result on Google for the terms liberal news and progressive opinion for several years. Rob began his Bottom-up Radio show, broadcast on WNJC 1360 AM to Metro Philly, also available on iTunes, covering the transition of our culture, business and world from predominantly Top-down (hierarchical, centralized, authoritarian, patriarchal, big)  to bottom-up (egalitarian, local, interdependent, grassroots, archetypal feminine and small.) Recent long-term projects include a book, Bottom-up-- The Connection Revolution, debillionairizing the planet and the Psychopathy Defense and Optimization Project. 

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