The Sept. 30 article "A party town tries to sober up?" brings to mind the emphasis that American popular culture places on alcohol. Society practically worships reality TV stars who, for lack of more interesting content, are famous for getting drunk. This senseless behavior is repeated across the country, leading to tens of thousands of deaths a year, and La Crosse's celebration of Oktoberfest has more than its fair share of alcohol-related deaths.

It's heartbreaking that Oktoberfest, which started as a celebration of German culture, has turned into an excuse to get as drunk as possible as soon as possible. Our society is a world of extremes, where people are under the impression that a good time cannot be achieved without getting wasted. However, this method of partying is not without a price -- the staggering statistics of alcohol-related deaths are a testament to this.

The question is: How much more is it going to take before America sobers up?