in: Odds & Ends

Odds & Ends: March 24, 2023

Prohibition Worked Better Than You Think. There are few more universally accepted narratives than the idea that the 20th century’s experiment with Prohibition was a failure — that banning alcohol didn’t reduce alcohol consumption and just led to a black market which increased crime. In any discussion of a vice being banned, you’ll hear someone say, “Well, they tried that with Prohibition, and we all know how that turned out!” I even heard a TikTok influencer say this in regards to a proposed ban on the social media app. As someone who’s always a little skeptical of pat narratives, I found myself wondering the other day, “Is this story true?” and started checking out sources on the subject. It turns out, the narrative around Prohibition isn’t entirely true; as one scientific paper on the subject put it, “Probably few gaps between scholarly knowledge and popular conventional wisdom are as wide as the one regarding National Prohibition.” This Vox article discusses how Prohibition did lower alcohol consumption and may not have increased crime; it offers a more nuanced picture of a subject “everyone knows” for those who enjoy contrarian takes and getting more history knowledge. 

“Fotografia” by Juanes and Nelly Furtado. A genre of music that I enjoy is rock en Español — Spanish rock music. I discovered the genre back in the early 2000s, so the bands I enjoy come from that era. One artist that gets a lot of playing time is Columbian solo artist Juanes. I love the duet he did with Nelly Furtado on a song called “Fotografia.” Super catchy tune about staying connected to your long-distance love through photographs. Check out the entire album Un Día Normal. All the songs on it are good. 

Zevia Ginger Root Beer. Zevia’s Ginger Root Beer has a been a big hit in our house lately. Zero calories and no artificial sweeteners thanks to stevia. I’ve tried the other flavors Zevia has to offer, which are good, but I keep coming back to Ginger Root Beer. 

John Wayne: The Life and Legend. If you’re a John Wayne fan, you’ll enjoy this book. It was interesting to see how Marion Morrison became the legend John Wayne. He had a pretty average middle-class suburban childhood. He played football, worked at a soda shop, and did well in school. But through chance, intention, and hard work, he became a movie star and cowboy archetype.

Quote of the Week

Applause is the spur of noble minds; the end and aim of weak ones.

—Charles Caleb Colton

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