Angry Uncle Review: Kill the Booze

Finally, a friend of mine weighs in on the angry uncle:

The outspoken family member or guest is a long tradition that I’ve only witnessed sporadically because we generally all have the same left-leaning — or, if you will, sane — bent. I’ve definitely seen it though. And when you draw one, it’s no fun. There is a thing that happens at family get togethers with members of the opposite politics. It is alcohol. And alcohol has a habit of making it seem like people are not hearing you or getting your point, so you need to repeat it, more loudly and more definitively to make the intended impact. And make people understand the error of their ways. But then that seems to just make people ignore you more and so you give it another try. This repeats several cycles until it’s time to go home.  The louder you are the earlier that time seems to come.

I have conservative friends who are oblivious to the phenomenon as well because their families are just like mine — perfectly normal and reasonable people who share common beliefs — except theirs are grounded in the fundamental conviction that minorities, women and gays are taking something that’s rightfully theirs for reasons they can’t seem to pin down.

Now this is some good advice! It won’t solve everything, but how about trying an alcohol-free Thanksgiving? I once had some folks over for dinner and all we had around the house was a couple of bottles of wine. So that was it. At the end of the dinner, a couple of the guests (who we hadn’t met before) praised the food and then commented that the whole dinner had been unusually enjoyable because there hadn’t been much alcohol. I gathered that they were used to getting fairly sloshed over their meals and found a clear-headed dinner to be sort of a delightful anomaly.

In other words, this is so crazy it might work! You could go the full alcohol-free route, or do what we accidentally did, and simply have very limited alcohol. This provides two big benefits:

  • Angry Uncle Tucker won’t get plastered, which might make him a little more tractable.
  • If this doesn’t work, it’s possible that he’ll be more pissed off about the lack of booze than whatever Hillary has done lately. Given a choice, I think that listening to him grumble about liquor is preferable to grumbling about Hillary.

Now, if you’re a Mormon or Christian Scientist family, this won’t do any good since your dinners are already alcohol free. But for the rest of us, it’s good advice. And if your well-meaning nephew offers to “hop down to the store” since you’ve “run out” of beer and scotch, be sure to have a good story lined up in advance to keep him safely away from this idea. Five uncles.

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WE CAME UP SHORT.

We just wrapped up a shorter-than-normal, urgent-as-ever fundraising drive and we came up about $45,000 short of our $300,000 goal.

That means we're going to have upwards of $350,000, maybe more, to raise in online donations between now and June 30, when our fiscal year ends and we have to get to break-even. And even though there's zero cushion to miss the mark, we won't be all that in your face about our fundraising again until June.

So we urgently need this specific ask, what you're reading right now, to start bringing in more donations than it ever has. The reality, for these next few months and next few years, is that we have to start finding ways to grow our online supporter base in a big way—and we're optimistic we can keep making real headway by being real with you about this.

Because the bottom line: Corporations and powerful people with deep pockets will never sustain the type of journalism Mother Jones exists to do. The only investors who won’t let independent, investigative journalism down are the people who actually care about its future—you.

And we hope you might consider pitching in before moving on to whatever it is you're about to do next. We really need to see if we'll be able to raise more with this real estate on a daily basis than we have been, so we're hoping to see a promising start.

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