Drinks, Religion, and AMEXRAP

Zen monks used to drink tea to stay awake during practices of meditation. The legend goes that the Buddhist monk Bodhidharma, founder of the Zen sect of Buddhism, was the man who discovered tea (the Chinese disagree, but this is another can of worms). According to this legend, Bodhidharma once became angry when he fell asleep during meditation, and so he cut off his eyelids. But lo and behold, tea bushes sprang out of the earth where his eyelids fell! This is why tea leaves are the shape of eyelids, and why tea is to be drunk for the purpose of staying awake!

So tea is the Buddhist drink, as wine is the Christian drink, coffee the Islamic drink, and milk the Hindu drink. Every religion has its drink…

This is why we believe in beer at AMEXRAP (see disclaimers at [1]). We are not a religious cult, but in order for anything to be taken seriously, you need (a) drink. our choice falls on beer. In the words of the late Frank Zappa:

“You can’t be a real country unless you have a beer and an airline. It helps if you have some kind of a football team, or some nuclear weapons, but at the very least you need a beer.”

Our party is outlining plans to develop its own party brew.

Also, at AMEXRAP we believe that beer and other alcoholic beverages drunk in moderation [2] have several beneficial effects on the social-political psyche. The reasons are multiple:

People develop a sense of community (people communally designate puke points at drinking venues).

Most people just laugh and resolve their differences (or fall asleep).

Extreme members kill each other (political extremists – just like alcoholics – have an inability to make reasoned decisions, a reduced ability to assess risk, and often enter into violent confrontations).

The impossible becomes possible (unattractive people look hot, long distances to look jumpable, and disco dancing becomes less embarassing).

People become pious (When we drink, we get drunk. / When we get drunk, we fall asleep. / When we fall asleep, we commit no sin. /When we commit no sin, we go to heaven. / Sooooo, let’s all get drunk and go to heaven! [Brian O’Rourke])

Summary: apart from saving the world we like to drink beer and philosophize about and discuss random and unusual things. We like ecstatic bliss, immortality, wisdom, and freedom from the hangover. Time is never wasted when you’re wasted all the time. Or, as Churchill said:

“Always remember that I have taken more out of alcohol than alcohol has taken out of me”.

[1] DISCLAIMERS

DISCLAIMER: Consumption of alcohol may cause you to wake up with breath that could knock a toad off a shit truck at fifty yards.
DISCLAIMER: Consumption of alcohol is a major factor in dancing like an idiot.
DISCLAIMER: Consumption of alcohol may lead you to believe that ex-lovers are really dying for you to telephone them at four in the morning.
DISCLAIMER: Consumption of alcohol may cause you to tell the same boring story over and over again until your friends want to smash your head in.
DISCLAIMER: Consumption of alcohol may cause you to thay things like thish.
DISCLAIMER: Consumption of alcohol may cause you to tell the boss what you REALLY THINK while photocopying your arse at the office Christmas party.
DISCLAIMER: Consumption of alcohol may cause you to roll over in the morning and see something really scary (whose species and/or name you can’t remember).
DISCLAIMER: Consumption of alcohol is the leading cause of inexplicable carpet burns on the forehead.
DISCLAIMER: Consumption of alcohol may create the illusion that you are tougher, more handsome, and smarter than people who are much tougher, handsome and smarter than you are.
DISCLAIMER: Consumption of alcohol may make you think you are whispering when you are not.
DISCLAIMER: Consumption of alcohol may make you think you can logically converse with others without spitting.
DISCLAIMER: Consumption of alcohol may lead you to believe you are invisible. Or can fly.
DISCLAIMER: Consumption of alcohol may lead you to think people are laughing WITH you.
DISCLAIMER: Consumption of alcohol may cause an influx in the time-space continuum, whereby small and sometimes large gaps of time may seem to literally disappear.
DISCLAIMER: Consumption of alcohol may actually CAUSE pregnancy.

[2] David Hume’s essay OF REFINEMENT IN THE ARTS may give us a good idea of what we understand by moderation: “These indulgences are only vices, when they are pursued at the expence of some virtue, as liberality or charity; in like manner as they are follies, when for them a man ruins his fortune, and reduces himself to want and beggary. Where they entrench upon no virtue, but leave ample subject° whence to provide for friends, family, and every proper object of generosity or compassion, they are entirely innocent, and have in every age been acknowledged such by almost all moralists. To be entirely occupied with the luxury of the table, for instance, without any relish for the pleasures of ambition, study, or conversation, is a mark of stupidity, and is incompatible with any vigour of temper or genius. To confine one’s expence entirely to such a gratification, without regard to friends or family, is an indication of a heart destitute of humanity or benevolence. But if a man reserve time sufficient for all laudable pursuits, and money sufficient for all generous purposes, he is free from every shadow of blame or reproach.”