The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Friday August 12th

Don’t pull a Kanye: Bring a ‘wingman’

Kanye West is a tremendous role model.

By chugging Hennessy on the red carpet and stealing the microphone from Taylor Swift during the MTV Music Awards, he did something a goodie-two-shoes like Will Smith could never pull off — providing a vivid display of how alcohol can turn a talented, intelligent entertainer into a complete jackass (Sorry, I stole that from President Obama).

When it comes to drinking, most are willing to risk its brain-damaging side effects and are unfazed by serious complications like liver damage that take decades to develop into serious medical problems.

But the possibility of “pulling a Kanye” or something much worse should persuade people to moderate alcohol intake or at least take pause before giving into a stupid impulse.

Nearly every night in the bars on Franklin Street and on Frat Court, one can witness displays inspired by Jack Daniels and Jose Cuervo.

You know alcohol must be near when you see a girl crying because her boyfriend has not called in the last two hours or hear an attention-needy guy forewarning of his imminent emergency room visit with the words, “Hey dudes, watch me do a back flip off this ledge.”

As someone who was booed off the stage at a Japanese karaoke bar for his rendition of Michael Bolton’s classic, “When a Man Loves a Woman,” I have experienced stinging embarrassment the morning after drunken mishaps.

While these mornings can certainly be unpleasant, without some self-control, alcohol can leave someone with more on their conscience than an off-key butchering of a Grammy-winning ballad.

Take the case of Dr. Raymond Cook, former assistant professor at the University, who police say caused the collision with Carolina Ballet dancer Elena Shapiro that ended her life.

Even brilliant people can make potentially life-shattering decisions with enough alcohol in their systems.

Anyone who has been a victim of alcohol-induced sexual assault or rape, been inexplicably attacked by a drunk person during a night out or had a friend or family member die at the hands of an intoxicated driver knows the potentially vile impact of alcohol.

This is not to say that alcohol is an evil toxin that turns nice boys and girls into monsters.

In fact, drinking is too often used as the excuse for heinous actions.

But while some can handle a few drinks out on the town, there are others who do not mix well with booze.

Anyone who feels guilty about drinking, injures themselves or others as a result of drinking or forgets what happened the night before should consider going to campus health for counseling or visiting alcoholscreening.org for an anonymous test.

Even if you consider yourself a responsible drinker, you can avoid doing something regretful by going out with a trusted “designated wingman” to watch your back, giving your phone to a friend to limit drunk dials and beginning every night out by stowing away your car keys in a time-lock safe.

Most importantly, after a few drinks, stop trusting that voice inside your head.

After all, he is drunk too.


Andrew Moon is a second-year medical school student from Durham. Contact Andrew at andrew_moon@med.unc.edu.

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