Saturday, June 16, 2007

I'll drink to that!

Michael Medved gets down to the really serious matter in his latest post on TownHall.com, namely, beer:
In that context, you might ask why a “traditional values” social and religious conservative would be trying to commend a new brew of beer. But actually, what could be more traditional than the juice of the hop or the grape? About two years ago, they discovered a sealed jar in Egypt which contained the world’s oldest beer --- lovingly prepared by some Nile-river brewmaster nearly 5,000 years ago. Far more primitive peoples than the ancient Egyptians also prepared beer of various kinds – for the fun, the fellowship, the exhilaration, the array of tastes.

Brings a tear to your eye, dunnit? He also gives some historical background on one of the most divisive upheavals of the 1960s:
When I attended Yale in the late ‘60’s, the entire student body was bitterly divided between alcohol people and marijuana people. In this context George W. Bush (one year ahead of me) was definitely an alcohol person and Howard Dean (and, later, Hillary Rodham in law school) was definitely a marijuana person. One of the reasons that I cast my lot with the drunks rather than the stoners was that alcohol had such an honorable tradition, whereas pot seemed synthetic, trendy, shallow, with no historical grounding. Shakespeare writes about booze very lovingly, of course (try “Merry Wives of Windsor,” or “Henry IV, Part I”) and nearly all the great American writers were, to a greater or lesser extent (usually greater) drinking men. I went through a stage in my life when I idolized William Faulkner, who fueled his eloquence with Bourbon and branch water, and F. Scott Fitzgerald, who happily drank anything he could find (and needed only two drinks to get himself roaringly, embarrassingly soused), and Sinclair Lewis (my fellow Yalie) who didn’t let his alcoholism slow his witty, biting, vivid literary production.. Dylan Thomas composed some of my favorite poems in a state of perpetual inebriation (he was Welsh, after all). Some of these

Raising a glass of beer, or a shot of Scotch, in other words allowed you to make common cause with some of the greatest artists and thinkers in all human history. Smoking a joint, on the other hand, aligned you with a bunch of fruity, dandified, hippy-dippy losers, who seldom produced anything of lasting value (Sergeant Pepper excepted).

The man's a patriot! Because of men like him, who heeded the call of their country and manned the barricades of beer against the onslaughts of the commie weed, we can sit here at the comfort of our computer desks and enjoy the traditions of our ancestors. Mr Medved, I lift my glass in honor of your sacrifice! Drink well, my friend!

7 Comments:

Blogger Bret said...

Excessive marijuana consumption does seem to cause socialism according to my observations. Or maybe socialistic leanings causes excessive marijuana consumption. Or both?

June 16, 2007 10:02 AM  
Blogger Susan's Husband said...

My anthropology professor was of the opinion that agriculture was invented to provide beer, not food. He claimed that many of the societies that ended up as farmers had no apparent food issues that would have forced them to do that, but that if you wanted beer, you had to have grain. QED.

June 16, 2007 10:41 AM  
Blogger Peter Burnet said...

I don't know about dope, Bret, but I think between leftist thinking and principled teetotallers. The prudery and priggishness that used to be associated with conservatives is now more and more the province of the left. You can see this most clearly in New England in town after town of incredible beauty, order and charm. They don't put you in stocks for fornication anymore, but they will for smoking in the wrong place or failing to recycle or maybe even for not fornicating.

The difference is that that the old puritans were focussed on the next generation while new ones are focussed on themselves. In fact, often there is scant evidence that they even have a new generation.

Team sports vs. endurance sports, "organic" food vs the tasty kind, Ocean City vs. Stockbridge, booze vs designer water, lengthy retirements in exotic places vs. helping take care of the grandkids, Starbucks vs. Tim Horton's, etc. All divide blue and red and all can be related back to children. I mean, how can you dedicate your lives to the little terrorists without a cold one when the sun goes down?

SH:

Fascinating. Does that make farming something that evolved unconsciously or a product of free will?

June 17, 2007 3:49 AM  
Blogger David said...

It's one of the great unknowns of pre-history whether the first beer was failed bread or, more likely, the first bread was failed beer.

June 17, 2007 12:15 PM  
Blogger Susan's Husband said...

I mean, how can you dedicate your lives to the little terrorists without a cold one when the sun goes down?

You just have to have a heart as pure as mine.

Does that make farming something that evolved unconsciously or a product of free will?

Depends on whether you buy in to Jaynes' theory or not.

June 17, 2007 2:22 PM  
Blogger Oroborous said...

..."organic" food vs the tasty kind...

Since in America organic foods generally taste better than the industrially-farmed, prematurely-harvested variety, it seems as though there's a market niche in Canada crying out to be filled - just ship American organic foods North, and settle back to count the millions.

June 17, 2007 9:19 PM  
Blogger Peter Burnet said...

I wasn't thinking organic zucchini vs. the regular kind. I was thinking braised organic zucchini vs. fries.

June 19, 2007 3:40 AM  

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