Sunday, November 16, 2014

Howard Cozell

For non-American readers: the late Howard Cozell was a famous television sports broadcaster. One of his former colleagues, Al Michaels, has written a book that includes some anecdotes about Cozell.

The following quote is from the New York Post's article about the book.
Cosell was reaching “a new level of surliness,” and after a horrible broadcast during the 1984 baseball playoffs where he was noticeably drunk, he harangued Michaels about his baseball knowledge, then told him, “you need to learn how to take a stand.”

Michaels followed his advice immediately, excoriating Cosell for “drinking all night” and ruining the telecast.
 "I’ll take a stand right now, Howard,” Michaels said. “The next time you’re in this shape when we’re doing a game, either you’re not going to be there or I’m not going to be there. Is that a good enough stand for you?”

Monday, October 13, 2014

My Letter to The Atlantic

I wrote my Letter to the Atlantic Monthly in response to an article appearing in June 2006 which included a  supposedly complete list of US Presidents with "mental problems."  Although the list included Franklin Pierce and US Grant, both of whom displayed (to use their wishy-washy phrase) "alcohol dependence," they overlooked a President I include in my book. My Letter which appeared in the August 2006 edition of the magazine read as follows:

I’m surprised that the list of presidents identified as suffering from a “mental illness” makes no mention of Andrew Johnson’s alcoholism. During his tenure as military governor of Tennessee, observers suspected Johnson of absenting himself from his duties for days while on benders. After being elected as Abraham Lincoln’s second-term vice president, Johnson spent the night before the inauguration drinking with friends. Scheduled to make brief remarks to the Senate, he gulped down two huge brandies in front of witnesses, staggered into the Senate, and delivered a rambling and incoherent speech that mortified Lincoln.

James Graham
Vessels of Rage: The Secret History of Alcoholism
Lexington, Va.


Sunday, October 5, 2014

Michael Phelps going to rehab after DWI

"Olympic swimming legend Michael Phelps announced Sunday he’s checking into rehab following his recent DWI bust.

"Phelps, who has won 18 gold medals in the Olympic pool, was arrested for allegedly driving under the influence Tuesday in Maryland."

Monday, September 15, 2014

Frank Sinatra

In their 2005 book Sinatra:The Life authors Anthony Summers and Robbyn Swan write extensively (on pages 325-327) about the singer's drinking. They quote Dr. Robert Morse, chairman of the Medical/Scientific Committee of the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence: "There is little doubt that Sinatra had a serious 'drinking problem.'  ... To have such a high toleranceI see references to consumption of a bottle a day of Jack Daniel'sis the most specific symptom. One can have this kind of tolerance only by becoming an alcoholic. Much of what we know about Sinatra's drinking is consistent with alcoholism."

Anthony Summers contacted me prior to publication. Based on portions of the unpublished manuscript he shared with me, including references to his reported bottle-a-day habit I told him I thought "Sinatra was an alcoholic." He quotes me on page 327 of the published book. 

Jack Daniel's currently has a number of commercials on American television featuring Sinatra. One can be viewed here, another here and yet another here.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Ray Rice Swears off Hard Liquor ...

... but he continues to drink wine.

I have news for Ray Rice: alcohol is alcohol is alcohol.

If you don't know what why NFL footballer Ray Rice is making news view this video.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Which Country Drinks the Most Alcohol?

National alcohol consumption statistics tend to be accurate for one simple reason: alcohol is a popular source of tax revenue in most countries.

Based on this survey Ireland doesn't deserve its reputation as the home of boozers. Citizens in twenty other countries out-drink them.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

King Richard III may have been a drunk

King Richard III may have been a drunk say researchers who claim he drank three litres of alcohol every day.

Scientists have built up new picture of King after tests on bones and teeth Identified significant changes to alcohol intake after he was crowned in 1483 Showed 25 per cent increase in alcohol consumption ...

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

John Cheever’s Ossining House for Sale

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford says he will try to stay sober if reelected — but no promises

Ford, who returned this week to City Council from two months in rehab, said in an interview on Newstalk 1010 that he can’t make promises about something over which he has “no control.”

Saturday, May 10, 2014

'Broadway Joe' puts life back on track

TEQUESTA, Fla. — Last year, before America's disbelieving eyes, the man known as "Broadway Joe" morphed into "Blown-away Joe" — a melancholy caricature of the aging, boozed-up playboy quarterback without enough restraint to stop throwing wobbly passes in public.
Instantly, the phrase "I want to kiss you" joined his "I guarantee it" as two of football's memorable lines. Last December, after a day of non-stop drinking, the cultural icon and cocky superhero humiliated himself live on TV during an inebriated sideline interview with a female ESPN reporter.
That interview pushed Joe Namath to acknowledge that he had a problem — one he couldn't solve with reputation, swagger or a wink of those seductive green eyes.

My Name is Roger, and I'm an alcoholic

by Roger Ebert

In August 1979, I took my last drink. It was about four o'clock on a Saturday afternoon, the hot sun streaming through the windows of my little carriage house on Dickens. I put a glass of scotch and soda down on the living room table, went to bed, and pulled the blankets over my head. I couldn't take it any more.

On Monday I went to visit wise old Dr. Jakob Schlichter. I had been seeing him for a year, telling him I thought I might be drinking too much. He agreed, and advised me to go to "A.A.A," which is what he called it. Sounded like a place where they taught you to drink and drive. I said I didn't need to go to any meetings. I would stop drinking on my own. He told me to go ahead and try, and check back with him every month.

The problem with using will power, for me, was that it lasted only until my will persuaded me I could take another drink. At about this time I was reading The Art of Eating, by M. F. K. Fisher, who wrote: "One martini is just right. Two martinis are too many. Three martinis are never enough." The problem with making resolutions is that you're sober when you make the first one, have had a drink when you make the second one, and so on. I've also heard, You take the first drink. The second drink takes itself. That was my problem. I found it difficult, once I started, to stop after one or two. If I could, I would continue until I decided I was finished, which was usually some hours later. The next day I paid the price in hangovers.

Link to original article.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Ebook now available.

For a reasonable fee interested readers can now view Vessels of Rage on Google Play.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Murder spree left Joanna Dennehy 'stinking of blood.'

"A lawyer called it Jacobean; Dennehy likened herself to Bonnie and Clyde. But police have found no motive for the brutal killings.
" ... Dennehy will go down in history as one of the UK's most notorious multiple murderers.
" ... Police have found no coherent, lucid motive for her attacks. She was a long-term drug user a drinker ..."

My suggestion: read Chapter Eight "Alcoholism Kills"  in my book.