Sounds about right

Russian men losing years to vodka
Spirit linked to 35% of cases where a man dies before age 55, with study citing national sport of spectacular drunkenness

With the emphasis there on “spectacular”.

Even in central Moscow they dig a few corpses out of the melting snowbanks each spring.

8 comments on “Sounds about right

  1. I’m more concerned about the “national sport” thing. Especially as Olympic host nations get to add one or two to the Games (or is that just the Summer ones?)

    Mind you, at least Scotland would come in with a chance of a medal. Particularly in the “under-age” category.

  2. Spirit linked to 35% of cases where a man dies before age 55, with study citing national sport of spectacular drunkenness

    This is an interesting example of what we measure and how we measure it. Do we assume that these men are making rational choices? If we do assume they are, is it a tragedy that they are drinking themselves to death? Isn’t it an example of their freedom to choose the pleasure of serious alcohol abuse over the sadness of declining, alone, in an old people’s home?

    I think it is a spectacularly irresponsible argument to say it is about freedom. Men ought to be more responsible. But who could claim Russian men do not know what they are doing and the likely consequences? It looks like an informed choice to me.

    My interpretation is simple – Communism worked to destroy the family and especially undermine the traditional role of Fathers and Husbands. The State stepped in to do that instead. Men were not necessary to be anything other than sperm donors. Without anyone depending on you, why not drink yourself to death slowly? The Communists hated Russia and they are continuing to destroy it long after they have gone.

  3. If you live in a shithole with zero prospects and no hope (either because there is none or you are not bright enough to see what few worthwhile prospects there may be) what’s wrong with drinking yourself to death?.

  4. Mr Ecks – “If you live in a shithole with zero prospects and no hope (either because there is none or you are not bright enough to see what few worthwhile prospects there may be) what’s wrong with drinking yourself to death?.”

    Well the philosophical reason is that the Churches have long taught that despair is a sin. The sociological reason would be that Russia has everything that a country could hope for – lots of land and other resources. It is just full of Russians. And they insist on having a Russian government. So it is a sh!thole as you note. But the only way for it not to be a sh!thole is for the men of Russia to sober up, become good Fathers and Husbands, go out and work at crap jobs that they do not really like, in order to provide for said wives and children, while creating jobs for all the other Russian men, enabling them to become a modern Middle Class nation. That is, they need to be less Russian and more like the Germans.

    Which is great for German society. But is it so good for Germans? Life is pretty awful for German men. But they do or did get respect and honour for doing the right thing.

  5. Be interesting to know. Is this actually a *Russian* thing. Or is it more a feature of the North Eastern corner adjoining the rest of Europe?
    I do socialise with a lot of Russians. And they do have the delightful habit of regarding the caps of vodka bottles as throw away after opening. But they’re mostly either from that end of an enormous country, or descended from people who were. I’m not sure if those from other regions are the same. The odd ones I’ve met, hail from nearer the Black Sea, seem an entirely different culture.

  6. Heh! Weeeeeell….yes, the Russians do drink a shit load, and they know perfectly well what they’re doing: they just don’t give a shit. My theory is that, in a country with more beautiful women than the men can handle, being a drunken idiot is no barrier to getting a beautiful wife *and* a mistress on the side, so why not be a drunken idiot? The Russians are extremely fatalistic, something which – along with the drinking – probably predates the Soviet era. Few Russians wear seat belts, most of them smoke, and if you’ve ever been on a Russian ski slope you’ll see for yourself how mental they are. They’ll not change any time soon.

    As for the Russians being different across the country when it comes to alcohol…nah, not a bit of it. I’ve drunk with Russians from most of the major cities, and gotten ratarsed in St. Petersburg, Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, and the mid-point of Irkutsk. In fact, I’ve been sick in the bar toilets in each of those locations when drinking with Russians. They’re all at it.

  7. Got to agree with Tim Newman here, I’ve been utterly lashed with some pretty senior guys from various Russian and former USSR oil and gas companies all over the world.

    By and large these guys had expensive western educations and were the nephews and children of oligarchs and senior officials, so not your Russian peasant types.

    To say they drank like fishes would be an insult to fishes, they drank like men possessed, as if every shot were aqua vitae from the fountain of youth itself. In the morning, they would appear bleary eyed and half awake before doing it all again that evening. No wonder their livers explode.

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