The Corner

Re: Drinking Makes You Smarter

At the beginning of Jim Webb’s third novel, A Country Such as This, there is a scene in which three soon-to-be graduates of the Naval Academy are drinking beer at Riordan’s (I haven’t been there in a while, so I’m not sure if that’ the right spelling) in downtown Annapolis. One of the characters, not surprisingly the one who will son be commissioned a lieutenant of Marines, orders another round. One of the other character objects, saying “don’t you realize that alcohol kills brain cells?” To which the first character replies: “any brain cell that can’t take a little alcohol deserves to die!” He then argues that alcohol gets rid of the “non-hacking” brain cells, implying that drinking makes us smarter because only the fittest brain cells survive.

Based on that reasoning, I shall soon be Einstein.

Mackubin Thomas Owens — Mackubin Thomas Owens is a senior fellow of the Foreign Policy Research Institute in Philadelphia and editor of its journal, Orbis. He is the author of US Civil-Military Relations after 9/11: Renegotiating the Civil-Military Bargain and is completing a history of U.S. civil–military relations.

Most Popular

U.S.

Regular Order

Jussie Smollett’s story has always sounded a little . . . extraordinary. Smollett, who appears on the television series Empire, says he was attacked on the streets of Chicago at 2 a.m. by two men who shouted racial and homophobic abuses at him, beat him, doused him with bleach, and fastened a noose around ... Read More
Politics & Policy

Let’s Chill about Hate Crimes

‘Jussie Smollett, one of the stars of the television show ‘Empire,’ was attacked in Chicago by 2 assailants who yelled racial and homophobic slurs,” tweeted the New York Times on January 29. Mark the tone of absolute certainty about an unconfirmed claim. Many other news outlets took the same tack. ... Read More