There’s a pill that will literally kill your buzz.
In 2010, two events shook the worlds of kombucha drinkers: Whole Foods pulled the juice from its shelves, and Lindsay Lohan failed an alcohol test.
Edinburgh might have the castle, the parliament, the Japanese tourists, the neo-classical architecture, and the advantageously low murder rate, but Glasgow has all the fun. Scotland’s largest city is pretty drunk, yes, but we also punch above our weight culturally, with a dynamic music scene, one of the world’s most iconic art schools, and some of the best pubs and clubs in Britain. So taps aff ya dafties, ‘cos here we fucking go.
Jump to sections by using the index below.
– WHERE TO PARTY
– WHAT’S THE DEAL WITH DRUGS?
– POLITICS, PROTESTS AND JUST HOW RACIST IS EVERYONE HERE?
Self-Important Sectarian Bigots | Glaswegian Authority Issues | Immigration
– WHERE TO EAT
– WHAT DO LOCALS EAT?
– WHERE TO DRINK
– WHERE TO STAY
– LGBT GLASGOW
– WHERE TO HANG OUT WHEN YOU’RE SOBER
– HOW TO AVOID GETTING RIPPED OFF AND BEATEN UP
– HOW NOT TO BE A SHITTY TOURIST
– PEOPLE AND PLACES TO AVOID
– TIPPING AND HANDY PHRASES
– A YOUTUBE PLAYLIST OF QUESTIONABLE LOCAL MUSIC
– VICE CITY MAP
Meet the Drinker Behind Drunk History
It all started with one drunk night. Actor Jake Johnson, the dude who plays Nick on New Girl but has also been in seemingly shitty, but actually funny movies like No Strings Attached and 21 Jump Street, was playing quarters with his fellow-actor friend Derek Waters. Johnson was wasted and decided to tell Waters a story about Otis Redding.
The next day Waters and his director friend Jeremy Konner (who was Jack Black’s assistant at the time) called up Johnson with the premise for Drunk History: You get belligerently drunk and tell that same Otis Redding story. They’ll film it, get re-enactors to play the historical parts and it will be a viral YouTube success.
Jeremy was right.
In 2008, the show gained an audience on VICE’s very own VBS.tv as Waters and friends drunk-told historical stories like Ben Franklin discovering electricity and the duel of Hamilton and Burr. It was picked up by Funny or Die. I remember back in high school when my best friend showed me the Alexander Hamilton YouTube clip and I thought it was the funniest video to hit the internet since “Daughters.” It was a glorious time in the beginning stages of online comedy when Childish Gambino was still a very funny Donald Glover and no one quite knew how comedy would progress from five-minute YouTube bits. Last year,Drunk History became a full-fledged 30-minute anthology show on Comedy Central teaching little-known history to the masses. Tonight, it begins its second season.
The rise of Drunk History from YouTube clip to Comedy Central tells us something very remarkable and comforting about American culture. You can attain the riches, fame, and promise of Hollywood by being a little funny, getting very very drunk, and having just a bit of ambition. As the Supreme Court allows religious employers to reign free over the contraceptive rights of their female-employees, at least we have this beautiful and comforting reality—getting drunk and knowing random historical tidbits is still one of the quickest ways to the top. The American dream at its finest.
Ahead of the show’s season two premiere, I sat down with Konner as he ate a burger and fries to talk about getting drunk as a teen and hanging out with Michael Cera, who is apparently perfect at everything. Learn from Konner and never let anyone turn you away from your weirdest, least socially acceptable goals.
Do you drink while filming?
Jeremy Konner: Derek [Waters, host of Drunk History] will get fucked up. When we did it for the web, I totally would because it felt like camaraderie. I wasn’t wasted, but I was drinking. We were all drinking. You don’t want to drink alone. Then for the first season, we were like yeah everyone will be drinking together it’ll be great. But we had a crew. Then the crew started being like, then we’re all drinking! It was like, wait, cancel this plan. This is a bad idea. It was around that time that you’d just see crewmembers wandering off.
Do you remember the first time you drank?
I remember the first time I got wasted. It was during the summertime. I was about 14, hanging out at my friend’s parent’s house. We went upstairs and he had a handle—that’s what it’s called right?—of vodka and he was like, “Should we try some vodka?” I was like, “Yeah, let’s try it.” I did a shot and I was like, “Oh that’s the worst thing! Oh my god! I’m in so much pain! That was terrible! Ok, one more.” We did it again and I was like “Ah!” but it wasn’t quite as bad. And then the third it was like, “That almost tasted like nothing.” And then the fourth it was like, “Now it’s like water.” At this point I was the smallest kid in my class. I weighed 90 pounds. I was tiny. He told me that in the end I probably had 16 or 17 shots.
Can Science Find a Safe Replacement for Alcohol?
There is a knot of pain just behind my right eye that throbs in time with my pulse. My eyes feel raw. My mouth is dry. Last night’s booze-induced heroics are a distant memory. In the harsh light of day, I feel simply terrible, and yet, next weekend, I’m liable to do it all over again.
When it comes to legal intoxicants, alcohol is essentially the only choice available. It is the world’s most widely used drug, and can be safely deemed toxic, addictive, and linked to violent behavior. As the failed American experiment with alcohol prohibition in the 1920s and 30s demonstrated, the desire for easy intoxication will seemingly always be a part of our society. But with a massive pharmacopeia and scientific infrastructure at our disposal, why do we still rely on such an imperfect means to accomplish that goal?
That imperfection was on display in a study released last week by the Center for Disease Control (CDIC). Their researchers have determined excessive drinking to be responsible for the deaths of 1 in 10 working-age adults in the US. In total, 88,000 Americans die every year from alcohol.
I Got Drunk at the Sesame Street Gala and Met Cookie Monster
When you’re an aspiring journalist/writer/reporter/editor/media person, you’ll take whatever job comes your way. Some of those jobs are red carpet reporting at galas, movies premieres, fashion week parties—you get the idea. It sounds so much fancier than it actually is. It’s the kind of scene that leaves you contemplating your self-worth as you head back to your apartment across from a U-Haul depot. I know this, because I used to do this.
Luckily, I work for VICE now, and we don’t give a shit whether or not Barbara Walters had plastic surgery. Since I gave up those morally deprecating days, I’ve managed to ignored any red carpet invites from publicists and avoid all the rich people who say “GEY-luh” instead of “gal-uh”—until I got invited to the Sesame Street gala last week. I wanted to go, because I wanted to know Cookie Monster’s weight-loss secrets given his obvious issues with gluttony. And what did Elmo think of Katy Perry’s tits?
I grabbed our Photo Editor, Matthew Leifheit, and headed to Cipriani’s in Midtown, New York. I can’t lie; I was excited, but I knew what was in store: Yes, we’d get to go to a really fancy party with really fancy people in really fancy clothes, but depending on the publicist working that night, we potentially risked trespassing charges, if we walked past the velvet ropes.
Editor’s note: Please don’t try any of this at home. You could get hurt and anyway, it’s a really complicated way to get hammered. Just sip on a martini or shotgun yourself a nice beer.