"Wasted Away Again in Margaritaville"

The arrest of the 19-year-old Bush twins for drinking liquor in an Austin restaurant gave the news-starved (and starved brained) press something to cackle over. The girls, clearly in a state of arrested adolescent rebellion, checked their Secret Service agents at the door and, even after the restaurant rejected Jenna's fake ID, succeeded in getting their (what else?) margaritas. Compounding the "irony" is the fact that their father, as governor of Texas, had signed into law the zero-tolerance standard on underage drinking. "A chip off the old block," the bolder pundits were saying on talk shows, and a telling refutation of the fine parental principle, "Do as 1 say, not as I do."

Irony aside, the girls' legal and moral problems raise a deeper concern. Americans are apparently horrified to discover that many college girls drink and that some of them occasionally drink too much. I, too, am disgusted to see young women ordering drinks and making fools of themselves as if they were young men. A long time ago in Lanterns on the Levee, Will Percy correctly predicted the fall of American civilization, based on his observation of nice young women drinking away their inhibitions in public places.

Alcohol per se is not the problem. Because of certain well known differences between the sexes, young women have a duty never to fall under the control of young men, whether as a result of drinking...

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