Sorry for my poor use of language. I am writing this piece with a hangover, or let’s call it a hangover, for it could also be a perpetuated drunkenness since I’ve had my first drink of the day already. Let me make a distinction here. I feel the need for categorisation too, but let’s be precise. I was having drinks with an Australian girl. My English was quite rudimentary at the time. Or, I was much more insecure about my use of the English language and about things in general. Alcohol offers a solution, it makes one speak in tongues that one did not realise one was capable of. Anyway, we where talking about drinking and in my ignorance (or it was my self induced linguistic confusion) I collided the two words alcoholics and alcoholistenisten – alcoholistenisten is the Dutch word for alcoholics –  introducing the word alcoholist into the English language. We turned it into a running gag for the rest of the evening, a floating signifier in search for a definition. It took me years to realise the importance of the word alcoholist in the English language could be; only when I became one myself did I understand the nuance between alcoholic and alcoholist. Professional drinking has been around since the dawn of marked capitalism. Even before one could speak about any form of professionalism, drinking has functioned as a aggregate for social bonds. Alcohol, can make or brake ones position in the social hierarchy. This is exactly where the differentiation between alcoholic and alcoholist lies.


However there are famous examples like Guy Debord who liked his drink and resisted professionalism as such, and seem to make it viable to think that the success of drinking is much more in the creation of social bonds in general than that the particular role of drinking in a marked economy  alone. So lets say that an alcoholist is more than just another kind of worker.

“Two or three other passions, which I will talk about, have almost continually taken up a lot of space in this life. But drinking has been the most constant and the most present. Among the small number of things that I have liked and known how to do well, what I have assuredly known how to do best is drink”(…)”It is understood that all this has left me very little time for writing, and that is exactly as it should be: writing should remain a rare thing, since one must have drunk for a long time before finding excellence”(Debord in Panegyric volume 1, Verso 2009)
I have been asked to design a bar for a group of friends. It is questionable to ask a professional drinker to design your bar, but then again, asking an accountant to fix your car might not deliver the desired result. Also, is a bar not fully user centred? Does it not sound like the road to success to get input form the users to a successful product? Is it not usually the bar personnel that make a perfect example of professional drinkers, alcoholists par excellence.