Discover more from Steady Beats | Matt Tillotson
[SB 190] The alcohol merry-go-round, Take on Me, and a correction
Hi, I’m Matt. Welcome to Steady Beats: a newsletter about building the middle-aged body and life you want in small and Steady Beats.
At Write of Passage, we’re one week out from the cohort launch (still time to join us if you’re interested). We’re ready to welcome hundreds of fired-up and ready-to-write students for a five-week experience that changes lives.
Round and round it goes.
For years, the prevailing wisdom said a little bit of drinking was good for you. This flawed line of thinking is laid out in detail in the otherwise-excellent book Younger Next Year.
But the pendulum swings.
Pooling results from a total of 107 studies including over 4.8 million participants, in a fully-adjusted model (controlling for all of the potential confounding variables discussed above), compared to never drinking, low-volume drinking, occasional drinking, and moderate drinking were not associated with an increased risk of all-cause mortality.
In other words, the risk of dying from all causes was similar for never-drinkers and people who drink between <1 drink per week and up to 3 drinks per day.
This doesn’t mean alcohol has health benefits. It simply means light drinking might not have negative impacts, or the negative effects were offset by other positive habits.
Not everyone is on the new bandwagon. Andrew Huberman still maintains anything over two drinks per week creates harm:
If you’re a non-scientist like me, trying to figure out if red wine with dinner is ok or not, it’s hard to discern correlation from causation and one study from another.
I’ve written in the past about my own reduction in my alcohol intake. More recently, I took most of January off from drinking. Unlike many who stop drinking and claim immediate benefits, I honestly noticed no short-term differences in energy, morning clarity, weight, or other health and well-being factors.
At the end of the day, the current thinking on alcohol seems to (mostly) say:
There are no health benefits to drinking. That was a fairy tale.
The optimal amount of alcohol remains zero.
Moderate drinking may not impact your health much, if at all. And if you’re doing other things right (diet, exercise, spiritual, and social practices) you can probably offset light consumption.
So, cheers. Or not.
“Take on Me” by a-Ha was an overnight smash sensation in 1985, and stands up today as one of the defining songs of the 80s.
Except it wasn’t an overnight sensation.
The Norwegian band created the song in fits and starts over the course of a decade. After years of tinkering, “Take on Me” was finally released in 1984.
The band retooled the song again, convinced Warner Brothers to re-record it, and the rest is 80s music history.
We read lots of stories about seminal works dashed out on the back of napkin, or written in a 15-minute fever of activity upon waking.
But sometimes making great art takes incredible grit and a belief far beyond what’s rational. a-Ha believed they had a hit on their hands, and refused to give up until it happened.
“Take on Me” spent 27 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100. It was buoyed by heavy video play on MTV with one of the most creative and visually interesting videos of the decade. Using a technique called rotoscoping, the video mixed pencil-sketch and live-action visuals that were mind-blowing in 1985.
The song’s lyrics may say “I’ll be gone in a day,” but the band spent a decade creating a pop culture staple that’s endured for 35 years.
Last week, I wrote about both rucking and the 1980s band The Scorpions. Yet not one time did I write “Ruck Me Like a Hurricane.”
Missed opportunity. I regret the error.
Thank you for reading.
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