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'Modern Drunkard' magazine extols virtues of drunkeness

UPI News Service, 01/02/2005 

A Denver-based magazine is nearing its ninth year of paying homage to getting drunk.

"Modern Drunkard," which started publication in 1996 for $500, has grown to a 50,000-circulation bimonthly, complete with pinup girls and manly men flanked by articles about drinking to get drunk and overcoming hangovers. It sells for $4.50 in bookstores in the United States and Europe.

Editor Frank Rich, 41, says drunks are an "oppressed minority," believes drinking contributes to a happy family life and insists it's good for you.

He knocks back a mid-afternoon gin and tonic and switches to whiskey in an office decorated with posters of Dean Martin, Jackie Gleason and other famous tipplers.

"The most accomplished people have been drinkers," Rich told the Los Angeles Times. "Hemingway was a great literary drunk, and I think a lot of teetotalers would trade their lives for his in a second. Alcohol is the great socializer."

A recent issue featured "You know you're a drunkard when -- you fall down a well and send Lassie to the liquor store" -- and a story titled "Booze Is My Copilot" on how drinking cured one man's fear of flying.

"Drinking at the level they promote and saying it's good for you is baloney," said Sam Zakhari of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism in Bethesda, Md.

And Wendy Hamilton, president of Mothers Against Drunk Driving, calls Modern Drunkard "just plain stupid."

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Copyright 2005 by United Press International

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