The other day, someone commented on a post on The Val Kilmer Project’s Facebook page. The original post was this:
Which is true, and a perfect, meme-ish way to illustrate that, like Ferris Bueller, Val Kilmer is a righteous dude. This is sort of the aim of The Val Kilmer Project; while we purport to be working to get Val Kilmer back to the top of the film industry, we also admit to being idiots who laugh at stupid shit all the time and generally have nothing better to do with our lives. Most people understand this just fine, but we are occasionally reminded that there are lunatic weirdos out there who can’t fucking read and have no sense of humor.
But that’s the Internet, right, so when someone responded to the above by chastising us for a) not fulfilling our purpose of assisting Val Kilmer with his eventual re-takeover of Hollywood and b) being drunk, we didn’t respond with HOW DARE YOU INSULT US AND THE FACT THAT WE GET DRUNK SOMETIMES. I mean, we might respond like that eventually, but more in the format of a lighthearted commandment that no one who is involved with The Val Kilmer Project is allowed to besmirch the good name of alcohol. Because the comment was silly, and we’re ridiculous, and who even cares?
Well, I kind of care. Goddamn, I love alcohol. I love it in a way that is unabashed and requires no apology, and I am thankful that not only have I learned to appreciate it, but that I am able to do so without psychological dependence or my biological likelihood for ruin.
Look, I know that alcohol isn’t for everyone. While I am able to consume alcohol responsibly and in relative moderation, I need to look no further than my own family to see that lots of other people can’t manage it. Sometimes I marvel at how I got so lucky; how I got the functioning shutoff switch in my brain that knows when enough is enough and there is no shame in going home to bed, because so many other people who share my genes are missing that piece.
Now, some people – the kind of people who say “drunk” like it’s always a bad thing – would look at my family history and be aghast at my choice to drink at all. To them, one alcoholic spoils the whole bunch, and even if I don’t have a problem now, surely I will develop one someday because my family history says I must. To these people, I say “hey, how about you suck my dick?” Because it’s ridiculous to assume that alcoholism is a given. If anything, being surrounded by alcoholics as a child taught me to recognize the patterns in drinking, and to understand that not every grandpa takes a whiskey coke to places like the grocery store and Sunday Mass (lots do, though, because let’s not forget that I was raised Catholic). Also, being around alcohol all the time actually lessened my desire to drink it. It wasn’t mysterious or dangerously appealing to me. It was just another foul-smelling thing that grownups put in their mouths, much like how my grandmother ate headcheese and my parents liked beets. I wasn’t sheltered from the effects of too much alcohol, either, which clued me into the reality of lifelong, habitual drinking instead of guessing that drinking was limited to the tidy, resolved-in-30-minutes “Rob is a teenage alcoholic” episode of Mr. Belvedere.
And even when family history isn’t a factor, I’m fully aware that some people just shouldn’t be drinking. I have numerous friends who have made the decision to stay sober both because the lifestyle appeals to them and because they had to or else they would die. This decision makes absolute sense to me and I would support any friend who made it. So I’m not saying that everyone should appreciate and consume alcohol, okay?
I’m just saying that drinking isn’t necessarily a bad thing, especially in the context that we do it in The Val Kilmer Project. I have a clunky, non-Internet, regular old free-with-upgrade phone. If I’m on the Internet, I’m at home with my laptop. And if I’m at home with my laptop, what’s wrong with being drunk? I’m not driving or operating a backhoe. I’m not in public or attempting to take care of a child. I’m sitting on my couch with a bottle of wine. And I’m always relaxed when I drink; there’s no aggression or volatility at all. I’m just hanging out, taking too long to type simple words, and enjoying the fuck out of Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. I don’t see why this is a problem. It’s certainly no more of a problem than habitual prescription drug use, or years of psychological shrinkery because someone can’t cope with their problems in any other way. Alcohol is an extremely versatile coping mechanism, and I’ve used it to both celebrate and mourn with equal success. I don’t use it every day and yes, you know what, depending on your situation, some things are better with alcohol. Stupid jokes, amazing meals, disparaging comments on the Internet from someone who doesn’t know any better. Name it and then drink to it! But don’t you be talking bad about alcohol to me, lady, because it’s what helps me deal with you.