Controversy Arises Over Changing Social Attitudes Towards Alcohol and Fun in Modern America

A new wave of societal shifts surrounding alcohol consumption and leisure activities is stirring debate in the United States, drawing parallels to historical temperance movements, but with a modern twist.

Contrary to the past, where temperance movements were associated with the U.S. Progressive Era circa 1914, a contemporary movement spearheaded by what some critics label as “holier-than-thou Karens” and their partners is gaining momentum in 2024. This movement seeks to curtail what it perceives as excessive alcohol consumption, with prominent figures like pop star Olivia Rodrigo setting an example by abstaining from alcohol and tobacco, despite turning 21.

Celebrity figures, including Bella Hadid and Megan Fox, have publicly announced their decision to quit drinking, with some even venturing into the creation of anti-alcohol companies. Notable examples include Katy Perry’s De Soi, specializing in non-alcoholic aperitifs, and Blake Lively’s Betty Buzz non-alcoholic mixers.

In younger demographics, particularly Generation Z, there’s a growing interest in “mocktails” and experimentation with psychedelic substances like shrooms and ketamine in microdoses. Additionally, a trend dubbed “California sobriety” has emerged, wherein individuals remain sober except for indulging in marijuana-related products.

Critics lament these changes, reminiscing about a time when America was synonymous with boisterousness and risk-taking, particularly concerning alcohol consumption. They bemoan the perceived loss of coolness among women and men, citing historical figures like John Daly and Ernest Hemingway as exemplars of a bygone era.

Despite these shifts, dissenting voices remain, with some vowing to uphold the right to leisure and enjoyment. In the spirit of the Beastie Boys, they advocate for the preservation of individual freedom, including the right to party, amidst changing social norms.

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