Binge watching television is something I've done a lot of lately what with my my penchant for catching every bug known to man. Honestly, were I to walk too close to someone from London, I'd immediately collapse in the death throes of the black plague. Seriously. Either that, or I'd
barf. At this point, it would be a hard call as to which would be worse. My ribs are aching from
vomiting fits rapidly followed by vicious coughing spells. It feels like I'm in my last losing round with a kickboxer splintering my ribcage. I hate colds. I hate flu bugs. And I really hate being sold a bill of goods.
Watching the Arrow series on Netflix, I'm amazed at how frequently Oliver Queen aka Green Arrow and his crew feel the need for a drink. If there's a party, there's booze. If there's a meal, there's booze. (Potential spoiler alert! If you're not up to season 4 you have been warned!) Hey, feeling a little down because your mother may have offed your dad? Have a drink to take the edge off. Regretting wild, passionate sex with your old girlfriend's sister? Take a shot. Or two. Or three. Find out your mother banged the headboards with one of your deadliest enemies? Here pal, take the whole bottle. You need it, or so the implied message seems.
People drink alcohol. When real people drink booze, however, there are real consequences. Alcohol affects vision, coordination and emotions as well. Yet, our man Oliver never shows any ill effects from his constant drinking (unless I slept through that episode). The Arrow always hits his mark. No quivering fingers or blurred vision for our hero. No hangovers the next day either. Someone on the mysterious island must have given Ollie a new and improved liver somewhere along the way.
Laurel, recovering from addiction, never shows the physical effects of kicking the habit. No delirium, no vomiting, no cramping or sweating. She merely attends her generic AA meetings and all is well. In no time, she's up and running as one of the Canary sisters. Yaaaay Laurel. Laurel's dad is one of the most self controlled drunks on television. In the middle of a binge, he's instantly sober,
pulls his gun and enforces the law. He doesn't get the shakes, drop his weapon, or stagger and fall.
That line sounds like a theme song for a bad spin off series, Green Detective.
When behavior that can produce harm is presented as normal, unwarned people who adopt the behavior get the harm as well. Adults are expected to know the consequences and choose accordingly.
Kids are another story. They don't realize that they can avoid alcoholism by never taking that first
drink. Yet, if their favorite superhero imbibes, what harm can a little drink do? Ask any person who survived a childhood marred by by an alcoholic mom or dad. They can tell you in detail stories you would not believe from me.
Everything is about marketing these days. If you want to sell alcohol, you present a positive
image to your potential customers. Sexy women in beautiful cocktail dresses sipping bubbling champagne from sparkling crystal come to mind. These beauties are accompanied by handsome
men drinking manly whiskies and vodkas while conversing about matters of commerce, leisure and love. No one at these wondrous social events ever gets drunk. Adults are allowed to make their own decisions and their own mistakes. Shame on DC and Arrow for making merchandise of children to the alcohol merchants of the world. Someone should really protect these kids. Where's a superhero when you really need one?