Monday, March 1, 2010

Gin Lane (1751)

This famous print by William Hogarth documents London's slums during its Georgian Era. Note the baby falling, unattended, from the mother's arms, and the sores on her legs. See how prosperous the pawn shop is. A hundred years later, London would get police, but not yet.

And if that's not enough like crack cocaine . . . .


Bob G. said...

As a lover of a good gin & tonic (with a lime twist), I have known about the UK situation about gin for a long time, and how it checkered their past over there.

I end to not get caught up in such "frivolity", but take a page from Ben Franklin's playbook, that said:
"Eat not to dullness, drink not to elevation".

"In all things practice moderation...even in moderation itself."

Gotta love that.

Slamdunk said...

I am sure the artist's work created quite a stir as it was intended to do.

Unknown said...

My Aunt had three (no more, no less) glasses of "medicine" a day for many, many years. In fact from the time I was little till the day she died. Tangaray & Tonic being the medicine. Interestingly enough, she had to have some surgery when she was around 55 and be in the hospital for a week. Day 5 in the hospital she started siezing. The woman was having withdrawels. THAT was an eye opener for me.

Ann T. said...

Dear Bob,
You will say I am a waste of good alcohol. Gin is great in the summer. I tried drinking gimlets after reading Raymond Chandler detective stories. They are just fine (gin, Rose's lime, a little sugar) but in general I prefer my gin with Minute Maid limeade.

And moderation is Definitely the key.

I guess you are wondering, since many Chandler stories have his characters belting down rye after getting a concussion, if I have tried that. If Philip Marlowe, ace detective, jumped off a cliff, would I do that too? Nope, no rye, no cliffs, just too-sweet-to-be gimlets . . .

Thanks for writing in!
Ann T.

Ann T. said...

Dear Slamdunk,
Gin Lane was accompanied by Beer Alley in a pair of lithographs. Beer was not as alcoholic as it is now, so it was seen as the virtuous drink, with buxom maids and the pawn shop in disrepair. It was supposed to change govt policy on gin mills and give beer its rightful place as the national drink.

Nowadays they use this picture a lot to show the bad side of rural displacement and migration to the cities, the first sign of the big homeless problem.

Blah blah blah, from
Ann T.

Thanks for commenting!

Ann T. said...

Dear peedee,
My grandmother used to take her aspirin for stomachaches with a big belt of Usher's scotch. I don't even know how any of that would help digestion . . . but I perceive some similarities between some members of my family and your aunt.

Yeah, eye opening! A warning is good!

Ann T.

Edith Bunker said...

kinda looks like the south side! of course exchange the gin for MD 20/20 or a quart bottle of Schliz in a brown paper sack. Other changes that I won't mention for fear of not being PC.

Ann T. said...

Dear Mrs. Bunker,
Back then, this picture was also used to diss the Irish, so politically incorrect thoughts always accompany this lithograph.

It needs a Captain Morgan billboard,

Ann T.

The Observer said...

Ann T:

A great entry--and great comments too. I once told my next door neighbor not to lie about his 6 pack plus after work beer diet if he had to go to the hospital. I told him that no one would judge him. We just didn't want him to have seizures and the DTs and die.

The Observer

Ann T. said...

Dear The Observer,
I know that medical professionals regularly ask about drinking and have heard they then multiply the answer to something larger. (e.g. 2 beers/day=6-pack) or whatever).

My grandfather was asked, and told them some large #. Intake said,
'but they're weak ones, right?'
and he said,
'hell, no! stiffies, every one!'

I don't know what they wrote on his paperwork. But surely honesty remains the best policy. You gave your neighbor, I think, very sage and compassionate advice.

Muah to you too,
Ann T.