Consumption of alcohol is a time honored past. We drink to commune with others. Drinking is a form of celebration, be it for happy or sad occasions. Beer, wine, and liquor are enjoyed for the feeling of freedom they instill. Liberatory liquids releases the imbiber from their inhibitions. They are less likely to hold back, to follow social conventions, to limit their spirit. Perhaps this is why some alcohols are called spirits, because they free the spirit to express itself.
The art of drinking alcohol is not entirely uninhibited. There is an art to maintaining personal decorum while drinking alcohol. These are limited occasions, when maintaining your whits about you is key to landing a job or making a sale. But these are occasions of work. Work inhibits the spirit, it hides the spirit behind formalities and too often mutes your ability to be self-actualized.
The self actualization realized when consuming alcohol is only liberatory when you are free from the stresses of economics–the work, the monetary responsibilities, the debt, the care. When you are consumed by the economics of debt, responsibility, care, and pursuit of money you cannot engage in the art of drinking. This is because you are engaged in the art of deception, deceiving yourself and others as you exploit yourself, others, the earth, life itself. Drinking is not about taking, it is about giving yourself over to the alcohol. There is no room for anger or frustration. There is no room for lies and falsehoods.
When drinking becomes a job, you have gone too far. This limit to drinking may come fast or may come slow. You might realize it or you might not. Drinking ought never be a job. Yet for too many tortured souls, drinking becomes an escape from reality. But this is not freedom, nor is it an art. It is a perilous hole in the soul.
Pain rising up through the consumption of alcohol is dangerous to the self and others. To let that pain take over is to let the alcohol do the talking on behalf of the pain. Sorrow be damned. The art of drinking should be celebratory, be it positive as with marriage or negative as with death. Alcohol, while extremely useful as a means of forgetting pain, is better utilized as a means of remembering.