Sundry Drinking Items
I head out to the Drinking Club this afternoon for college bowl games, manly conversation, and beer. It won’t be the same without my father, but I’m still looking forward to it. I won’t be running a Brews You Can Use tomorrow, so I’m doing an abbreviated one today.
Tonight is all about midnight debauchery, right? Not really. In fact, the tradition of striking the clock is relatively new. People used to greet the new year with a “somewhat sober, respectful and reflective morning celebration.” To me, such an approach makes much more sense: It’s a new year, time to move forward and reflect on where we’ve been . . . and the pitiful amount of progress we’ve made since the last new year. The WSJ has the complete story of how we went from reflective morning celebrations to midnight debauchery.
… Read the rest
I blame the Scots for the worldwide embrace of midnight debauchery. And, of course, whoever it was that, some little while beforehand, went and invented public clocks.
Clocks are the real key. The whole notion of bidding formal and raucous farewell to the Old and offering optimistic greeting to the New was something that could really only occur once we in the public square knew when the exact moment of midnight was. Until the manufacture of proper clock escapements, and until Galileo exhibited the marvels of the pendulum, the slow appearance of dawn just had to do. First light was the only clue anyone had as to the start of a new year.
But then came clocks, at first great clanking iron engines equipped with enormous hanging bells that