Jamie Fox took some advice from the 1980’s Soviet Government in his song Blame It (On the Alcohol) when he says:
Blame it on the vodka
Blame it on the henny
Blame it on the blue top
Got you feeling dizzy
Blame it on the a a a a a alcohol
The Soviet government in the late 70’s to 80’s attempted to cut back on alcohol consumption in order to reduce, “high rates of child-abuse, suicide, divorce, absenteeism, accidents on the job, and contributing to a rise in mortality rates,” by limiting the production of alcohol and stigmatising the overconsumption of alcohol.
In 1985, Mikhail Gorbachev campaigned against alcohol abuse by, “limiting the kinds of shops permitted to sell alcohol, closing many vodka distilleries and destroying vineyards in the wine-producing republics of Moldavia, Armenia and Georgia, and banning the sale of alcohol in restaurants before two o’clock in the afternoon.”
“Vodka Brings With It” Poster
In 1979 Vladimir Vysotskii wrote a song about his suffering from long-term alcohol abuse, which was not unusual for a middle age Soviet man. His song was aptly entitled the “Anti-Alcohol Song“
But with the government crackdown on all things alcohol, the Soviet people turned to homebrews. This was particularly difficult to regulate because this ‘moonshine’-like alcohol was being made in the comfort of Soviet households. A. Sidorov writes of the Government’s frustration with this dilemma in his article in The Current Digest entitled, Alcohol is Society’s Enemy: A Villian With No Stigma. Sidorov states, “the province internal affairs administration informed me that in the past four years, almost 3,500 illegal distillers have been discovered. But the police are far from happy with the situation… Why not? Because it is not publicized and publicly condemned. Of the 30 home brewers that were uncovered in Pachelma District during the first half of 1984, only one was brought before a comrades’ court, while the rest got off with a fine and a bit of a scare….A strange logic is at work here: Homemade liquor, when discovered in the kitchen of its maker, is grounds for criminal prosecution, yet homebrew on the table for celebrations with family and friends is considered quite normal?! “
-Yet like most Soviet policies from the 80’s, this too, came to an end.
By 1987, the campaign was officially abandoned because of an increase in organized crime, alcohol poisonings from extreme substances, homebrewing, and a sharp decrease in state revenue from alcohol sales, leading to the printing of more money and subsequent inflation.