Katherine Kersten’s Beer Container Comparisons

Katherine Kersten went out on a limb in her Sunday column, stating that kids who broke the law by drinking while underage did something wrong. Wow!

But not only did they break the law, some students drank illegally from enormous beer containers. 40 ounce containers to be exact.

For those of you not familiar with 40 ounce bottles, they’re basically bottles that hold 40 ounces of beer. If you’re familiar with the more common 12 oz bottle, imagine that bottle but 3 and 1/3 times larger.

Put another way, an underage lacrosse player could drink just over three normal bottles of beer, or ONE 40 oz beer to achieve the same level of drunkenness.

Apparently, Kersten thinks size matters when it comes to beer bottles. It’s as if 40 oz beer drinking is Eden Prairie’s reefer madness in a bottle. She seems to think that a 40 oz is many many times larger than a typical beer bottle, comparing 40’s to both a “small garbage can” and a “tank.”

If there is one thing I know about high school kids, it’s that they will never take you seriously if you make obviously absurd claims in order to prove your point. For example, telling kids that all drugs are equally dangerous (marijuana, heroin, meth, crack) tells kids that you either don’t know what you’re talking about, or that truly dangerous drugs aren’t that much more dangerous than the weed they’ve tried or watched their friends try.

This is similar to the absurdity of Kersten’s over-reaction to students drinking from large beer bottles. How can she expect kids to take her seriously when they start laughing at her asinine obsession with bottle sizes?

To help Katherine understand the absurdity of her metaphors, I put together this infographic comparing a small garbage can, tank, and 40 oz bottle:

Katherine Kersten 40 oz Beer Education

Kersten states that EP students need a class in remedial logic. Takes one to know one, I guess.

8 thoughts on “Katherine Kersten’s Beer Container Comparisons”

  1. Well said. I read her article today thinking, “Holy shit, she may have written an article where I am going to agree with what she has to say.”

    But then she lost all credibility, as you have stated. She did herself a real disservice today. I think her take (that these EP kids are not victims) would have resonated with a lot of people who usually thinks her columns are ridiculous. She had a chance to make people like me take her a little more seriously in the future. But now she lost even more credibility.

    For the record, I don’t have much sympathy for the EP kids. I don’t care so much about the under-age drinking. I’m not that hypocritical. But because they were so stoopid to flaunt their partying on a world wide forum.

  2. Great use of visuals to support your point. I was having a hard time getting there absent that.

    By the way – on the EP drinking soap opera…I picked this article up traveling this weekend and gave it some thought. My conclusions seem to be:

    1. These kids are stupid.
    2. These kids can’t really be THIS stupid. This has to be one of those generational gaps. Or, they’re just that stupid.
    3. I’m intrigued and slightly disturbed by the fact that the school district got this information and the final result, but I can’t say I blame them. When we were kids, before My Space and Face Book, parties happened and kids got caught. And as a result, kids on sports teams missed games, got in trouble, etc.
    4. I am more disturbed if the school district proactively sought out this information. That, for whatever reason, strikes me as crossing the line. That would be the equivalent, in 1990 (pre Face Book) of a teacher going to a place that is common for kids to party at and take pictures, for the purpose of busting students that drink.
    5. I’m laughing at parents that want to sue the school for this. I realize I don’t know all the facts, but (1) seems like misplaced blame, and (2) a sad reflection of our society that this was probably the first reaction by these parents.

    Curious on others’ opinions on this.

  3. Mike, I had the same reaction. She went from writing yet another opinion on a tired story to making herself look like the hyper-nanny she typically is. I guess she just couldn’t hold back.

    Kyle, I’m glad the drawring helped.

    Max, I didn’t know you were so impressionable by Katherine.

  4. Kyle ~

    Your first conclusion pretty much sums it up. They are just that stupid. The photo’s were sent to our administration office anonymously. I’m going to assume that it was a student who sent them in and not a parent (like most people suspect) because a student would have more to gain and they have better access to private profiles.

    The school did not proactively search for the content. Once it was on school property they had to start an investigation which took several days. Thus, the slew of shitty media coverage until the school could actually put out a formal statement. 42 students (not 100+) were interviewed and disciplinary action was taken against 13.

    The disciplinary action taken against the students are based off of MN state high school league rules – not EPHS. The students involved in school atheletics signed a form stating they wouldn’t use illegal substances.

    They fucked up pretty hard.

  5. Isn’t this the same twit that wrote the absurd story about the critical mass event that disrupted her being able to pick up the kids from soccer practice and how the police were negligent in not prosecuting them to the full extent of the law.

    BTW I would say that this is an invasion of privacy type situation but when your a student or minor….I don’t believe you actually have privacy.

  6. Some belated thoughts on this–
    1) I find it ironic that one of the talking points of the GOP/KKright is that they want to avoid the ‘nanny state’…but then, what is she, taking the place of the nanny state by writing misguided articles about our state instead?
    2) Myspace is public, so to be honest, I even have no problem with the school having an rss feed for EP school related activities. If I was on Myspace writing posts about the Star Tribune, wouldn’t I have to conclude that at some point the Star Tribune employees might actually find out about it…unless of course…
    3) If I was as blatantly stoooppiddd as these kids were. Which makes sense, typically 16-18 year old kids (and to stereotype even further partying kids) are not employing a fully developed brain…which is why they make such great cannon fodder in wars (oh, maybe that is why the GOP doesn’t want a nanny state…I’ve always wondered why and maybe I stumbled into the answer).

    Next, the war against beer bongs! Go KKright!

  7. I am more disturbed if the school district proactively sought out this information. That, for whatever reason, strikes me as crossing the line. That would be the equivalent, in 1990 (pre Face Book) of a teacher going to a place that is common for kids to party at and take pictures, for the purpose of busting students that drink.

    No, it would be more the equivalent of kids posting party pictures in the foyer or lobby of the school entrance. Teachers didn’t post these pictures to Facebook/MySpace/whatever; the students did!

    I’m afraid the students’ concept of “privacy” is as misconstrued as I fear the generalized Gen-Z concept of the “Bill of Rights” is when it comes to the whittling away of our precious freedoms.

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