I could be wrong:Scientists prove alcoholism far superior to stale, old socialism

Leave it to the Scots. We're busy unraveling the mystery of the human genome while they're busy unraveling the mystery of your hook-up with that aesthetically challenged person with the name you can't remember and the face you'd like to forget.

Last week Barry Jones of the University of Glasgow and Ben Jones of St. Andrews University conducted a study on the effects of alcohol on people's perceptions of beauty. They showed students pictures of people from another university and ask them to rate their looks. Then, they got them "on the piss," as they'd say in the land of Braveheart and Trainspotting, and showed them more pictures. Wouldn't you know it? The students were 25 percent more likely to find any given person attractive while drunk.

This has to be one of the greatest wastes of money in the history of wastes of money, not counting the $13.99 you dropped on the last System of a Down disc. To think, some American critics consider NASA frivolous.

The punch line, though, is that some in the academic community are actually taking this seriously. Carl Erickson, a University of Texas at Austin pharmacology professor and an expert in science education cautioned that there is no other research with which to compare the findings. As if one Friday at Dill Street wouldn't be research enough.

But perhaps we do take it seriously for a moment, if only for sport. Bars all of a sudden become not dirty little dives, but self-help communities for those with low self esteem. Alcoholics are now just perpetual self-improvers. The stigma is lifted. What socialism promised in social equity, alcohol is now scientifically proven to be a more effective route to. Karl Marx is supplanted by Maker's Mark.

With such far-reaching effects, one can only imagine what else Scottish scientists may have in the pipeline. Maybe a study on the correlation between not eating and starvation. There has to be something there. Or maybe one on the correlation between bed-wetting and the ability to get and keep a significant other. There may be something here as well.

If I were a Scottish taxpayer I'd be pissed. Did we really need scientific proof of a phenomenon that is as common knowledge as the names of the contestants on American Idol? It's not a pretty picture to paint. Heinous judgment by those entrusted to make the most important decisions is an ugly situation, to say the least. Did I say I'd be pissed if I were Scottish? I meant I'd be on the piss, then the situation would look at least 25 percent better.


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