"Give Booze A Chance": the alcohol content of 'fic/WR threads...

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction and Writing Resource' started by Thrawn McEwok, Mar 18, 2005.

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  1. Thrawn McEwok Co-Author: Essential Guide to Warfare

    VIP
    Member Since:
    May 9, 2000
    star 6
    I'm confused. There seem to be some horribly inconsistent things going on around here regarding alcohol and drinking.

    As I understand it, there's been a recent flurry of spiking WR threads and 'fic posts due to the discussion/portrayal of alcohol-consumption. Other threads have been left untouched, however, and this is, at least in part, the work of a mod who describes himself as an "alcohwan" and whose profile includes a direct link to his home-brewing homepage...

    So, what the heck is going on here. Is TF.N becoming a 'dry' state? :p

    And if it is, what can those of us who would oppose such a move do about it?

    - The Imperial Ewok
  2. JadeSolo Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 20, 2002
    star 6
    And it's not covered in the FAQ. Only general drug use is in there, though technically, alcohol is a drug. :p

    Anyway, I, too, would like to know what the general policy is regarding booze in fics.
  3. LadyPadme Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 26, 2002
    star 5


    Alcohol consumption can be depicted, but should not be glamorized. The confusion, I think, lies in the fact that it's allowable for characters in the GFFA to drink; however, regular people who post on these boards are not supposed to talk about drinking.
  4. JalendaviLady Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 20, 2002
    star 4
    There's also the issue of where the line between depicting and glamourizing is. There is a potential range of definitions for glamourizing from showing someone's life being drastically altered for the better because of alcohol (as in almost any alcohol commercial shown on broadcast television) to any sign of alcohol use that does not lead to extreme personal consequences (the Prohibition Party does indeed exist in the United States).

    Is there any way the writers on the boards can get a general sense of where the mods feel this line is?
  5. LadyPadme Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 26, 2002
    star 5


    Alcohol depiction in a story is generally fine as long as it's not abused. It's certainly shown up all over the place in the profic (e.g. Han's bout with alcoholism after Chewbacca died). If your characters want to sit down for a discussion over a glass of Whyren's Reserve, or relax after a long day with a bottle of Lomin Ale or meet someone in a bar for some kind of blue-green cocktail, that's fine. But portrayal of alcohol use should not be abused. For instance, on Luke's 21st birthday, the Rogues shouldn't take Luke into a bar and persuade him to down 21 drinks in an hour for the purpose of "fun". And alcohol shouldn't be used to make a character stronger or smarter since it sure as heck doesn't do that in the real world. If you're not sure about your depiction, then feel free to PM a mod to ask about it.

  6. Spike2002 Former FF-UK RSA and Arena Manager

    Member Since:
    Feb 4, 2002
    star 6
    Yeah, and you're not supposed to talk about how much you like to relax with a beer after a hard day's graft, even if you are of legal age and you're just talking about yourself and not actually encouraging people to drink... [face_plain]
  7. Shadowen Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    May 11, 1999
    star 3
    A character I'm creating is a situational alcoholic. He drinks when he's depressed, and he always drinks alone. This is because he realizes he's a surly drunk. He uses it as a sopofiric, even though he knows it's only going to last a few hours; he doesn't need to do it often, as he's usually very strong, emotionally speaking. I don't try to excuse him from it (usually, he only gets a hangover because he drinks alone in his quarters, but if he for whatever reason goes out when he's drinking or drunk, bad stuff is bound to happen), but he doesn't drink because he has to--he drinks as a way of buying time to put emotional distance between himself and whatever it is that's got him down.

    ...that was a long run-on sentence, wasn't it?
  8. Opal Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 17, 2003
    star 4
    Somewhere out there some one is skimming Labryinth of Evil to find out exactly how many bars Obi-Wan and Anakin were said to have gone to and exactly how much booze they consumed in the process for the lone purpose of seeing how much they can get away with. I just know it. :p
  9. JadeSolo Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 20, 2002
    star 6
    [face_laugh] And let's not forget all the bars and drinks that were left out for the sake of the novel's length. :p
  10. Spike2002 Former FF-UK RSA and Arena Manager

    Member Since:
    Feb 4, 2002
    star 6
    This forum is certainly inconsistent in its views about alcohol. I don't know why. Alcohol isn't necessarily a bad thing, and it's not illegal. If you're of legal age (which varies from country to country, we can discard 21 and over since it's only one country that is stupid enough to put it at that age) then why not discuss it and include it in fanfic? It's not like Han Solo becoming an alcoholic depressive after Chewbacca's death was censored from the JC after Dark Tide came out.
  11. CarrKicksDoor Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jan 16, 2005
    star 3
    Well, it's still a PG forum. I'm with LP on this--it's okay for Han to have a drink in a fic. It's not okay for you to talk about the one you had last night. Alcohol in fics is canon, and it's normal, as long as you don't get Luke trashed or deliberately make the characters exhibit what would be considered a destructive behavior.

    As for talking about your own drinking habits openly on the boards could be considered promoting it, that's not something I think anyone wants to do, especially considering the younger population that can get on this website. No one wants to see kids drinking--over 15 million Americans are dependent upon alcohol, and nearly 500,000 are between the ages of 9-12. That number only gets higher as they age. In the year 2000, nearly 7 million people between the ages of 12 and 20 were binge drinkers, and 50% of all fatal accidents are alcohol-related.

    I'm not going to say that I don't enjoy alcohol, because if I did, I'd be lying. Can your characters drink, in moderation? Sure! It's part of the Star Wars universe--has been since Obi-Wan went to the bar to get a drink in A New Hope. Does that mean that we need to discuss our personal habits openly on the boards? Absolutely not.

    Maybe something should be added to the FAQ's clarifying this issue? That alcohol in moderation, in fics is okay, but in discussion regarding personal user behavior is not?

    ~Carr
  12. Spike2002 Former FF-UK RSA and Arena Manager

    Member Since:
    Feb 4, 2002
    star 6
    But what is wrong with talking about drinking legally, in moderation? Noone as far back as I can remember has ever openly talked about being trashed on the fanfic boards. There are some that have talked about drinking, legally, and still staying sober that have been censored for it. Doing so isn't exactly going to encourage younger users to go out and buy alcohol, because it's being talked about sensibly, and they probably wouldn't be served anyway, and, I'm sure the users of this board are a lot more intelligent than a bunch of degenerate, illiterate idiots that drink alcohol from a very young age, and know exactly what both the benefits and drawbacks are from consuming it simply by listening to older users and their experiences.
  13. Opal Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 17, 2003
    star 4
    With all due respect, this is a prime example of a "rule on the fly" that has a lot of people around here confused and frustrated.

    If everyone abides by the PG or PG13 rating of the boards this shouldn't even be an issue.

    And if we're supposed to use the movies and books as a guideline, then there's a whole lot of leeway there. (Ani and Obi hitting 15 bars in one night while on the job and calling it 'fun' no less?)

    Also, people here casually discussing having a beer isn't going to make a kid go out and get hammered anymore than watching Roadrunner is going to make a kid start dropping anvils on people's heads.

    Having grown up with a physically abusive alcoholic, I can sympathize with how sensitive some people can be about these things. However, if the mere mention of booze really disturbs someone, then it is likely that that person has some unresolved issues and is in need of counseling. Taking a sledgehammer to an innocent piece of fanfic isn't going to resolve the problem nor is it likely to make them feel any better.

  14. TKeira_Lea Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 10, 2002
    star 5
    Interesting thread, Thrawn McEwok...

    Since these boards are intended to be PG perhaps we the users could compile a list of movies (PG versus say PG-13 and R) that show alcohol consumption in varying forms. It would be a great place to start as a comparison.

    Example 1: Obi-Wan's propensity to enjoy an occasional drink.
    Rating - PG (ANH/AOTC)

    Example 2: The drinking game in Raiders of the Lost Ark.
    Rating - PG (Arguably that movie might have been PG-13 had it been released after the introduction of PG split.)


    I'd like to add more later (and it'd be interesting to see what others might come up with as examples) because I think this is a noteworthy topic. I fear that the guidelines can be misconstrued easily, and certainly there should be a standard to which it is moderated. This is one of those topics that might be best discussed and a consensus reached before handing down decisions on a thread by thread basis, thereby avoiding user confusion.

    No, drinking should not be glamourized or promoted, especially among the younger users, but it becomes a slippery slope if careful thought isn't used.
  15. Quakake Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Oct 4, 2002
    star 1
    The alcohol rule isn't limited to Fan fic. If you don't go to other boards you might not know that this applies to other forums as well. Here's one of the JCC rules and guidelines.

    E. Posting about drinking alcohol or smoking is discouraged. You may not promote alcohol/tobacco use for minors, and you may not promote drunkenness. On a side note, posting while drunk is also forbidden.
  16. DarthBreezy Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jun 4, 2002
    star 6
    Opal posted on 3/19/05 5:52am

    If everyone abides by the PG or PG13 rating of the boards this shouldn't even be an issue.

    And if we're supposed to use the movies and books as a guideline, then there's a whole lot of leeway there. (Ani and Obi hitting 15 bars in one night while on the job and calling it 'fun' no less?)

    Also, people here casually discussing having a beer isn't going to make a kid go out and get hammered anymore than watching Roadrunner is going to make a kid start dropping anvils on people's heads.




    />


    Yep, like ANY adult theme, it really depends on how things are handled.

    Characters get plastered (usually for comic relief) ALL the time in 'kids' movies, often as not as a morality lesson.

    ET comes to mind...

    I've always been against the thought of "Fan fiction' becoming a 'Nanny state', especially compared to the rest of the JC, but by the same tolken, if you're going to address an issue have a little common sense./>/>
  17. solojones Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 27, 2000
    star 9
    I've always been against the thought of "Fan fiction' becoming a 'Nanny state', especially compared to the rest of the JC, but by the same tolken, if you're going to address an issue have a little common sense.

    Agreed. On every other board I've been to here, people of legal drinking age are always allowed to discuss alcoholic beverages as well as drinking in moderation (there are cases of talking about getting drunk, but I believe those should be curbed on all the boards).

    I'm 17. I don't drink and none of my family drinks, but I have no problem with people drinking if they like and are of age in their country. But let me let you in on a little secret- underage people drink. I believe it's stupid and of course it's illegal, but they do it. While it shouldn't be encouraged, the mere discussion of it by adults isn't going to have an effect. The kids who are going to drink are going to drink, period. It's ridiculous to think that what they read adults saying on a message board is going to make them want to drink.

    On the subject of fanfiction, I do believe drinking in moderation should be allowed. I also believe that drinking by underage persons, as it is part of reality, should be allowed but only if it is portrayed as having quite negative consequences. On a similar note, I think alcoholism should be by all means a permissible topic if it is dealt with seriously. It's a serious issue and some authors here may wish to explore it, especially as it's been brought up in the EU anyway.

    -sj loves kevin spacey
  18. JadeSolo Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 20, 2002
    star 6
    Ani and Obi hitting 15 bars in one night while on the job and calling it 'fun' no less?

    So it was 15? :p

    My personal preference is that I don't mind when someone says, "I had a bad day, I came home, had a beer, it was good, felt better." I'm not going to be as comfortable with someone posting, "Wow, I was really trashed last night, and blah blah blah." I still won't mind, because stuff like that doesn't usually bother me, but some things are better left unposted. For the sake of the little kiddies, you know. :D But I do agree that people who are not of legal age are going to drink whether or not booze is discussed here. I'm not saying we should have a What Kind of Beer Do You Like? thread or anything like that, but a little leeway, I suppose.

    As for fics, we are told to look in part to the films for guidelines on what to show, what not to show. But then you've got Obi-Wan (why is it always Obi-Wan? :p ) enjoying multiple drinks in the films and the novels. He's drinking responsibly for the most part. And even if he is a little sloshed in Labyrinth of Evil, it's not glorified or glamorized. Okay, it's funny, too, but it's also a hindrance at that point.

    Though apparently Anakin does a better job of handling his liquor...Anyway, I think there's definitely a murky area when it comes to drawing a line between "This is acceptable humor" and "This is making fun of a serious problem." While I don't want to see a new rule that states characters are only allowed 2 drinks at one sitting, I would like to know what's more or less acceptable as humor. That is, not so much how much drinking is allowed, but what kind - if that makes sense? Like, a drinking game for the sake of having a drinking game and alcohol consumption and getting drunk, vs. being roped into a drinking game because it's part of a mission...I don't know. Because we all have our opinions on what's funny and serious when it comes to alcohol, and since it's a noticeable part of Star Wars, I would like to see some kind of guideline. :)
  19. CapNJaxWench Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jul 4, 2004
    star 1
    Oh yeah, Obi-Wan and Anakin get quite "happy" while searching for that Twi'Lek. In fact, they are incapacitated somewhat. :p
  20. Opal Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 17, 2003
    star 4
    This should be a "use your common sense" case by case issue.

    Too many rules and people are only going to see how far they can push them.

    [joking] Let's see... if the mods say, that we can't have the Rogues take Luke out to down 21 drinks, but Obi-Wan and Anakin can knock back 15...then the Rogues can obviously take Luke out to have somewhere between 16 and 20! [joking]

    I'm joking, of course, and I understand that LadyPadme's point was to say that binge drinking isn't to be glorified. But let's face it, somebody would do it.

  21. DarthBreezy Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jun 4, 2002
    star 6
    Actually, this could really belong in the "Adult themes"
  22. Kit' Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Oct 30, 1999
    star 5
    It sort of makes me sad that this is even being discussed. It would certainly have quashed some great old stories such as Two Jedi Walked into a Bar and the drink spiking episode from UsJs.

    I think there is a fine line between glorifying social drinking and just being aware that it is (for a lot of people) a part of life. It is something that is subjective. What you might think is glorification I might be using to show a particular side of a character.

    Kithera

    P.S: If you do want a good laugh I'd recommend reading the story by Lywn'ata that's linked further up.
  23. MistiWhitesun Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Aug 16, 2004
    star 3
    In the U.S., though the legal age is 21, minors may still drink alcohol under the guidance of their parents, as long as they don't get drunk.

    Not all "underage" drinkers drink illegally. Much of the alcohol abuse seems to come in when the child isn't properly taught about alcohol, its uses, its dangers, and what happens when you abuse it. Those whose parents abide by the law allowing them to be given something on occasion are generally more responsible than others. A glass of wine a day actually has health benefits.

    Why not allow people to mention their drinking in moderation? It wouldn't encourage anybody to get drunk, and it would probably teach some of those who might be tempted how to be responsible.

    Along similar lines, if a story character drinks irresponsibly, the results might be amusing. Yet even in that amusement, negative things are bound to happen. Theoretically, a drunk Jedi gal can slur that she loves her guy friend, jump up on the table and do a jig, and plant a wet kiss on some random guy's cheek. But then, her friend would never think of her in quite the same way, again; she'd get a reputation that would probably chase her when on missions; and that guy might have the guts to come after her.

    Why are we allowed to have characters creatively interpret laws, but not have them "creatively interpret" their personal limits, particularly for negative effect?

    I realize alcohol can be addicting, which I think is why it's treated differently than lawbreaking. But let's be honest: virtually anything can be addicting. TV and video games, anyone?

    I'll be fine with whatever the verdict ends up; I just thought you might want to bear that in mind in the meantime. :)

    BTW: water's technically a drug, too.
  24. Miana Kenobi Admin Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Apr 5, 2000
    star 8
    It would certainly have quashed some great old stories such as Two Jedi Walked into a Bar and the drink spiking episode from UsJs.

    And "A Night to Almost Remember"'s cantina crawl. :p

    Yeah, it makes me a bit sad too to see these kinda of things. But hey, Lucasfilm is the one cracking down on the PG rating, so what can we do... *shrugs*

    Also another tip: Learning from the great problem we had in the Roaring Tweens thread, it's not acceptable to write about the effects of alcohol on people. Headaches and stuff are fine, but if you go into full detail... yeah, don't. ;)
  25. Ace_Venom Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Sep 22, 2002
    star 3
    BTW: water's technically a drug, too.

    So is caffeine and it's technically the most abused drug on the planet. While we're getting technical, so are all these prescriptions that people get. The line has to be drawn somewhere.

    I would think it is reasonable to talk about the effects of "caf" in a fic since it really should just be a mild stimulant.
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