In the remote towns of the west there are few of the amenities of civilization; there is no sewerage, there are no hospitals, rarely a doctor; the food is dreary and flavourless from long carrying, the water is bad; electricity is for the few who can afford their own plant, roads are mostly non-existent; there are no theatres, no picture shows and few dance halls; and the people are saved from stark insanity by the one strong principle of progress that is ingrained for a thousand miles east, north, south and west of the Dead Heart - the beer is always cold.
If you want to understand a society, take a good look at the drugs it uses. And what can this tell you about American culture? Well, look at the drugs we use. Except for pharmaceutical poison, there are essentially only two drugs that Western civilization tolerates: Caffeine from Monday to Friday to energize you enough to make you a productive member of society, and alcohol from Friday to Monday to keep you too stupid to figure out the prison that you are living in.
The stains could be seen only in the sunlight, so Ruth was never really aware of them until later, when she would stop at an outdoor cafe for a cup of coffee, and look down at her skirt and see the dark traces of spilled vodka or whiskey. The alcohol had the effect of making the black cloth blacker. This amused her; she had noted in her journal: 'booze affects material as it does people'.
Sottotenente Montanelli: – Bere e vivere. Cognac. Dormire e vivere e cognac. Stare all’ombra e vivere. E ancora del cognac. E non pensare a niente. Perché, se dovessimo pensare a qualcosa, dovremmo ucciderci l’un l’altro e finirla una volta per sempre. E tu leggi?