Wednesday, March 04, 2009

The Importance of Not Being Too Earnest

So if we had to find a silver lining in the whole "drug gangs chopping everybody's heads off" thing, it's that the US government is aggressively trying to discourage drunken teenagers from spending Spring Break in Mexico. Our position: We emphatically reject the reasoning, but wholeheartedly embrace the suggestion that drunken frat boys and Girls Gone Wild-wannabees go puke on someone else's country this year. (Seriously, how do you not want the narcos to just run the whole damn place?? Just imagine the Ministry of Tourism...) Some virtuous souls are undaunted, of course, but have apparently not done their research into local customs:

MSU’s Alternative Spring Break goes alcohol free

EAST LANSING, Mich. — The Michigan State University students who spend their spring break performing charity work around the world have chosen not to drink that week.

The decision by Alternative Spring Break, a student-run organization, is meant to keep the focus on the volunteer work itself, group leaders say.

Colleen Gitter, an MSU senior and Alternative Spring Break co-chair, said drinking wasn’t a major issue on past trips, but has the potential to cause problems. She added that drinking is inappropriate in volunteer settings where alcohol can be an issue.

“We didn’t think it was in the best interest of our program because of the issues that alcohol can have on safety and on the bonding between group members,” said Gitter, who will work with indigenous children in Amealco, Mexico, during next week’s Alternative Spring Break.

Amealco, which is about an hour's drive from the bar in which we are currently writing this post, is the most alcoholic town in all of Mexico, with a cirrhosis death-rate twice as high as the rest of the nation - a somewhat difficult, if not counterproductive, place to make a point of teetotaling, unless "bonding between group members" is supposed to take precedence over bonding with the people you're trying to help.

Despite the best efforts of our Campus Outreach program, Burro Hall is still not required reading at most universities, and American's young people continue to suffer for it.

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