How will I deal with Michigan shutting down the bars on Black Wednesday?
Well, the Fuhrer has shut down Michigan bars for three weeks.
It kills my glorious Black Wednesday streak, which reaches back 33 years.
Oh, the (lack of) memories!
Oh, the hangovers!
I think Black Wedneseday was the last annual night of decadence on my calendar.
In my early twenties, I had no fewer than eight annual occasions that called for a long bout of drinking, ribaldry, and music. They slowly dwindled down to one.
And now it’s gone. I’ll be resigned to drinking at home, shooting pool with fewer than 11 people from two households, and listening to the garage rock playlist I’ve been assembling from The Vault’s 165-hour Spotify collection.
I think I’ll be able to bear it. I suppose someone could argue that maybe, just maybe, there are bigger crosses to bear.
I am, of course, being ironic. Everything will be fine. Although I loathe the ruthless exercise of raw governmental power like this, there’s nothing I can do.
I’ll just have to face it with Stoic resolve.
Or maybe, given the nature of my anticipated response (a night of drinking), Epicurean embrace.
Epicurus and the Stoics
Epicureanism and Stoicism were rivals, but they had a lot in common. Stoicism didn’t reject pleasure and Epicureanism didn’t advocate excessive indulgence. Seneca quoted “the enemy” Epicurus fairly often; Marcus Aurelius did at least once. (Epictetus, on the other hand, shunned him as a “preacher of effeminacy” . . . good man, that cripple Epictetus).
The main difference between them was that Stoicism’s goal was virtue and Epicureanism’s was pleasure.
Both, like every philosopher and person, pursued happiness.
Epicurus’ disciple Philodemus put together the tetrapharmakos (four remedies) from fragments of his master’s teachings:
- Don’t fear God.