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Letter to the Editor: Slovakia has tough competition for boozers

Re: "Rum, Easter and the lash", Editorial, Vol.8 No.13, April 8 to 14.

IT SEEMS to me if there is a contest about which country can claim the worst horrors related to alcohol abuse, South Africa is going to be hard to beat. Babies under 2 years old are raped because sex with a virgin cures Aids, a disease from which about one third of the population is now dying. Thousands of people are also killed annually in alcohol-related car wrecks; 50% of women in South Africa will be raped during their lives. Yet public drunkenness is not tolerated in South Africa.

If there is ever a point to this sort of discussion, maybe it's just that the chronic, wide-spread, historical abuse of alcohol is a sad fact of life, and the best we can do is try to control our level of tolerance toward it, and not glorify the drunks among us, as if they were just a bit cooler than the average person, when in fact they are by and large idiots.

Drunks are not pretty, and the opposite of cool. If they weren't too drunk to figure that out, most would cut back on their consumption out of pure embarrassment.

Don Merritt,
Pretoria, SA

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