“The way the British used to meet, we all used to go into a pub randomly with friends, everybody would get way too drunk, and three years later you’d wake up one morning and realise you had a boyfriend,” says Emily Hill, writing about the life of a single woman. Alcohol is an antidote to the stiff upper lip – it starts to wobble, feelings start to come out and sexual frisson starts to happen … I say this all the time, but dating apps have done to love and romance what machines did to humanity in Terminator 2.”
“The endless stream of strangers being served straight to your phone means it has never been easier to have no-strings-attached sex, if that’s what you’re looking for, writes G2’s Elle Hunt. The real problem is finding connection – today, Hill says, people are less likely to spend their Fridays mingling with friends of friends at their local, fostering, in weekly increments, the kind of attraction that might only come with time and familiarity. So is the decline of the British boozer coupled to young people having less sex?” (BBC 28 Nov 2018)
Yes, it seems to have become too quick and clinical: a visit online, a photo, an assignation, a hook-up – and little real connection. Well, at least the population growth has stalled, and will stall further with our climate woes. Nonetheless, it’s a pity. To go to the pub, with its banter, chatter and frequent camaraderie, is fun. It’s good for the community and good for the introverts who, without it, might meet nobody.
But now the tax on beer has made drinking that beer expensive. You cannot (rightly) drink and drive, and fewer people are in the bar. The only good things happening in the pub business are the greatly improved food and the bigger range of local ales with imaginitive names. The pub habit is still strong in London, where establishments are packed; outside London the small, independent-of-brewery-ownership pubs are disappearing. Add to this the the closure of high street shops and stagnant incomes and you have a depressing situation in small towns and villages in Britain, the outward signs of the dissatisfaction with life that has created the dreadful mess called “Brexit”. Epicurus believed in a pleasant life – too many people have been robbed of that pleasure.