Drinking Liberally - Athens

[disclosure - I am one of the folks who started the Athens, GA chapter of DL and am also one of the 'co-hosts'. In further disclosure, it is pretty obvious that I am a top-notch procrastinator...]


September 5, 2008- Athens, GA – Could political change really be brewing up at the bar on your corner?

“Drinking Liberally” clubs are pouring across the country; creating welcoming social spaces around progressive politics and bringing together activists, newcomers and everyone in between. With a brand new chapter in Athens, Georgia, the club brings the energy of online social networks into the face-to-face world of old-style 19th century bar-room politicking.

“What better way to share your ideas than by sharing a pitcher?” asked Justin Krebs, one of the club's national founders and directors. “Politics shouldn't be reserved for rooms with fluorescent lighting – we need it in our everyday lives.” Inebriation isn't the end goal; engagement is. Organizers see these gatherings as an easy first step toward greater political involvement as Liberal Drinkers learn from each other, trade talking points and form bonds that become political fuel during this important election season. "A few months back I stumbled across the Drinking Liberally website, and I thought the local club concept was a great idea. I was surprised to see there was no Athens chapter, so I thought, why not start one?” explains Patrick Moore, co-founder of Drinking Liberally Athens. “My friends enjoy meeting at the bar and talking about politics anyway, and this could lead to real political networking and even opportunities for action.”

Drinking Liberally is building those bonds in many places where liberals really need a drink. “Too many people write off ‘red states,’ but our leaders in small towns, the South and traditionally conservative areas are some of our most active. They have to be,” explains National Organizer Katrina Baker. From one chapter formed in May of 2003 to 280 chapters by mid 2008, Drinking Liberally has given like-minded, left-leaners a much needed oasis...at the local watering hole, of course.

“Many progressives have found an online forum, but they are hungry – or thirsty – for a real community, for face-to-face interaction, local compatriots...and new friends. This gives them a safe step away from their computer,” says David Alpert, the national group's webmaster. Tom Bavis, co-founder of the new Athens chapter, agrees, “Despite Athens’ reputation for being a liberal town, the old cliché that you should never talk about politics in public is generally respected, so this group provides a unique avenue and a 'safe space' to discuss politics."

Drinking Liberally Athens meets the first and third Friday of every month at 6:30 pm at Little Kings Shuffle Club, 223 W. Hancock St., in downtown Athens. The next meeting is Friday, September 5th. If you’d like more information on Drinking Liberally Athens, visit www.DrinkingLiberally.org or e-mail athens@drinkingliberally.org.

Hope to see you there!


Jannie Funster said...

"After the stryfoam greek columns get hauled back to the studio lot..." How freaking great (and true,) is that!!!!!

A believer.

MC Get Busy said...

Mmmm, scotch drinking club.

Anonymous said...

I was expecting possible sour replies based on political ideology, but I never expected a generic and virtually toothless piece of nonsense regurgitating a RNC soundbite from someone who does not even live in nor anywhere near Athens, Georgia. Someone must have a lot of time for googling and blogging and trolling and whatnot. Whatever. More power to ya Jannie. And after the goofy greenscreen thingy the RNC used as a backdrop gets hauled back and all the future Larry Craigs shuffle out of the Minneapolis airport men's rooms, sure, Republican politics will no doubt go back to normal as well. Keep on believing. Good luck with that VP nominee you are stuck with.

Having said all of that, I apologize to my fellow Athens World bloggers and readers, as well as to any other Athenians, for my obnoxious reply. I know it is wrong on some level, and I may well be encouraging someone who lives to annoy strangers via the internets, but when I clicked her profile link and noticed the location (Austin, TX), I just couldn't help myself. (And Jannie, if you are reading this, really, kudos for you for being so resourceful as to find this, and for caring enough to post your comment. I wish you the best.)

Also, Drinking Liberally as an organization does not take official stands on any issues nor do they endorse any candidates for any election. Although DL is indeed intended to be a social club and networking opportunity for those of us who proudly think of ourselves as liberal (or progressive if you prefer), we are not monolithic in our beliefs and opinions. Moreover, people of all beliefs and persuasions are always welcome at the DL meetings.

I say too much, I know.

Peace out,
A non-believer (but a proud member of the 'reality-based community'...)

MC Get Busy said...

I think it's a good idea, Model Consumer. I know that when political science graduate students start drinking, all we ever talked about was our political views. :-) It's a good idea for a venue of discourse. And I like scotch.

Anonymous said...

How will we know thee?

I'm going to try to make the next one....it is this Friday 9/19 yes?

Do I just look around the bar for people that look smarter than the average bear, or do you all wear a special hat? ;-)

Anonymous said...

Steve, yes the next meeting is tomorrow, Friday, September 19, at Little Kings, starting at 6:30 p.m.

Sorry for not replying sooner but I had neglected to check this for further comments for several days.

Hope to see you there!

Anonymous said...

Oh, I almost forgot, you asked how to recognize the Athens DL group. Well, we will most likely be outside. Some of us may be wearing small Drinking Liberally buttons and we will try to have up (usually the wind does not cooperate) at least one Drinking Liberally table tent thingy on our table. Recently we have had quite good attendance so we will probably be a large group and we try to join together the smaller tables so we can all sit together.