All posts tagged: alcohol

Drinking with Proust

Image: Un bar aux Folies Bergère (Manet, 1882) Excerpted from:  Drinking with Proust (Leanpub) We have of the universe only formless, fragmentary visions, which we complete by the association of arbitrary ideas, creative of dangerous suggestions.[1] For a long time hominids were tree-lovers, swinging from branch to branch in the great tropical forests of east Africa. Then the climate changed: temperatures increased, tropical forests dried up and thinned out. Our ancestors were forced to spend more time on the forest floors. They began scavenging for fallen fruit rather than picking it fresh from the source. Our relationship with alcohol is ten-million years old. You can’t avoid alcohol, your body produces it naturally. Your digestive system hosts a complex community of microorganisms. Some of these organisms are just like the yeasts and bacteria that turn grape-sugar into wine, or grain-starch into beer. They allow your body to make use of complex carbohydrates that are indigestible unless they’re fermented. Like it or not, you have a mini-brewery under your belt and yes, this has been used as a defence against drink-driving charges: “I …