A Human Menagerie

Noah Revisited.

Noah worked really hard on building the ark, well, he did if you believe the story you were told as a child. Whatever, believe the story or not, he had a problem: he didn't have anything to do!
Noah in the Ark, sending the dove to find land. Mosaic in Basilica di San Marco, Venice, 12th C.

Noah worked really hard on building the ark, well, he did if you believe the story you were told as a child. Whatever, believe the story or not, it still has a meaning for our lives today. Because once Noah climbed off his boat and set foot on land, he had a problem: he didn’t have anything to do!

He’d achieved what few in their lives can achieve, and having achieved it, he looked around him and frankly, must have found it all rather dull. After all those months – years? – busy in building the ark, finding all the animals and goodness knows what else, all he’s got for his pains is a lot of green grass and a beautiful if rather ordinary world to live in. The animals he saved have scattered and the only visible effect of his deeds are the number of mice his cats keep bringing him.

After all that pressure, all that work, and he’s bored. He can’t even be bothered to put his grape juice into clean vessels. Well, this is pure imagination on my part, because it doesn’t say how Noah actually made wine. Only in days of yore, wines were made by just leaving them and allowing the natural yeasts in the pollen to do their bit. After all, even if you wash the fruit carefully, you’ll still have traces of the pollen from various flowers. And it’s the pollen that contains yeasts, and it’s the yeast that grows and the rest is, as the saying has it, history.

So, with nothing else to do, Noah tried a little and liked it. He felt slightly woozy and his world sort of slowed down and his aches and pains were dulled too. Not long after, and no few sips later and he was drunk. He would remain that way for the rest of Genesis, Chapter Nine.

What Alcohol Does For Us.

In our modern world, alcohol allows us to do things that are too strenuous. Once exhausted, we don’t have to relax ourselves, we down a couple of bottles of beer instead. Its soporific effects dulls the pain and allows us to sink deeper into the sofa as the boring TV show chunters ever onwards.

The taste of wine that is much nicer, has far more subtleties than raw grape juice.

If our world’s too boring, we can wash that away with a few beers. It was common in Germany for workers using highly dangerous machinery to be well over the eight, as the British say. Not in Germany, though. They’re just besoffen. Whilst inebriated, the German can do his work as well as any other, especially if his attention is required in a habitual and specific way – as most work today requires little by way of brain power and a high degree of dexterity. Even computer coding requires fixed patterns of thought that are largely habitual; it’s only when there’s a problem that the real thinking is needed, and by that time, it’s no longer there.

The boss doesn’t care as he doesn’t think either. It means his operatives work automatically, like a machine, and the poor brain is just left to do its own thing. Or not. The alternative is to dull one’s perceptions of a sharply outlined world that doesn’t change…

What else is there do do? The German is there to work, and work he will. He’ll just do it when he’s well over the legal limit for driving. Oh, and that’s okay, when you went to school with the boy who became the local cop, he’ll let you off if you’re caught and are so pissed that a breathalyzer is irrelevant. You see, there are aspects of German society that are not broadcast, and like the Stadtsanierung, are all but unknown in places like Britain that are so heavily dependent on their own way of thinking. That cop was the one who found Werner (1).

We owe Noah a great deal, we can live in a world that is boring and not be bored – because time passes so much faster when you’re half asleep. That is to say, inebriated.

The Problem.

As ever, if you do something too often, it becomes ordinary. Alcohol is no exception, and the effect of alcohol becomes lessened as your body becomes sated to it. What used to relieve you of stresses and weariness now becomes something that makes demands of you instead! The excuse for the first drink of the day at seven. Or five, or nine in the morning?

What in one instance can help us in others can become a challenge. It really is up to the individual, too: nobody can heal alcoholism. They can help you, they can’t heal you. That you have to do for yourself. It’s the same for any drug.


(1) You can read my tale about Werner here. It was something that my ex partner Brian told me about the people he worked with before he moved to Lüneburg.


7 thoughts on “Noah Revisited.

  1. I know someone who is trying to quit smoking by taking pledges – if she goes 30 days without the pledgers will give her x number of dollars. This approach is doomed to fail. I suggest that any use of external supports or partnerships to get over an addiction is a statement that the addict is not yet ready to give it up.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well, at least it is a start. With many, you are probably right; there will be one or two for whom this approach really does work. That is to say, they realize that it must be their own activities that bring them through. The support of those around you is a balm, even if it is expressed in as unfeeling a manner as money. You can’t buy real support, it lives outside the material realm. In this respect, money is a token of respect – it isn’t the respect or help that is truly needed.

      For that reason alone I would condone it: at least it doesn’t damage them!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. By a strange co-incidence In oder to shed a few pounds weight I decided to forego my 1000 calories per day (mostly fermented grape juice) That was 15 days ago and so far I reckon I must have lost an ounce…. Mind you I am worried that forgoing my occasional pint of cidre means that I’m not getting my full five a day fruit & veg… 😉

    Liked by 2 people

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