A side effect of collecting is you can get a general feeling for cultural changes over the years. This can be seen in coins and paper money, but is even more pronounced in items with pictures and information, such as stamps and first day covers. I was reminded of this when we got a first day cover that was issued with the 18 cent “Alcoholism – You can beat it!” stamp.
Our culture has has tried to teach us not to offend others. Instead it has taught us to be offended at all costs. Instead of taking criticism in the best possible way, we tend to twist and contort peoples words on cable TV shows until everyone is yelling at everyone else. In this climate we are all good at pointing out other’s foibles. … This comes back to the Alcoholism first day cover… the picture on it has a Scottish man in a kilt raising a glass at his local pub and simply says “ALCOHOLISM” above it. There you go folks, a stereotype. Are we allowed to laugh, or should we be offended? I can not answer that for you, but I have a feeling that if this cover came out today it would not use a bold stereotype!