The political economy of vice and hypocrisy

In he course of various discussions with Belle (see her blog recently, which iPhone limitations make it too hard for me to link) on the topic of vice, I’ve been moved to think about how much work vice really is.

Drinking costs money, and makes it impossible to drive home, makes one vulnerable to street crime, etc.

Drugs have all the problems of drinking, plus the hassle of dealing with dealers and pig risk.

Casual sex requires work or lowering of standards, also all kinds of other shit potentially (see the “game” posts for more), including inhibition-lowering alcohol with its attendant hassles.

Pretty much the only cheap vice is bad eating.

In this context, it strikes me as incredibly hypocritical for pretty urban rich people to condemn fat rural people as having no self-control, even as they indulge in constant drinking, drugs, and casual sex. If they didn’t have the good public transportation system (essential for getting around while drunk), money for booze, drugs, cabs, etc., access to other people with similar lifestyles, etc., they’d probably be indulging in the candy bars too, being priced out of the market for all other pleasures.

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4 Responses to “The political economy of vice and hypocrisy”

  1. Phoebe Says:

    “it strikes me as incredibly hypocritical for pretty urban rich people to condemn fat rural people as having no self-control, even as they indulge in constant drinking, drugs, and casual sex.”

    Are you sure it’s the same urbanites complaining and indulging? I always picture it as the subset who really do go to the gym regularly and say things like, ‘I’m trying to eat only organic,’ i.e. not quite the same folks going on coke binges. Not that there’s no overlap.

    But who knows. I take public transportation and eat candy bars, and so am presumably unqualified to weigh in on what “pretty rich urban people” are up to these days.

  2. Paul Gowder Says:

    I have heard lots of the sort of hipsterish/party kid type – the sort that in la rides about in hotboxed cars to their friends’ concerts, or in sf makes a big deal about their sexual and chemical liberation – saying that kind of crap. In Caliornia, those are also very often the yoga/granola types, but maybe not in The City?

  3. Matt Says:

    I once gave some serious thought to going on a bender (I was in a situation where doing so would not have obviously ruined my life by getting me fired or the like) but in the end decided I just wasn’t man enough for it.

    Hipsterish party types should be ignored at all levels, even for the sake of refuting them. It’s not even worth the time.

    Having lots of casual sex mostly requires having no fear of rejection. The guy I knew who slept with more women than anyone else I knew (and that’s saying a lot, knowing some of the people I know), wasn’t especially good looking and was charming or funny only in a sort of crude way. He also had almost no money. But he slept with lots and lots of quite attractive women. He could do this because it didn’t bother him at all to be told no, so he’d just try until he found one that said yes. After a while it didn’t take too many tries to tell who might. Most people, though, can’t stand sitting through enough rejection to get success. (A similar thing applies to most writers of fiction, I think.)

  4. belle lettre Says:

    Agreed with Matt, on all points.

    One friend said that you should go to gay/bi clubs and be open to all possibilities, thereby raising your statistical chances of success by increasing your pool of potential partners. Coupled with the no-fear-of-rejection strategy, that seems to be a winner.

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