Thursday, February 28

Thursday Olio: Some Some Slight Slippage May Be Experienced

•  Miss Teen Delaware resigns after her hardcore porno surfaces. And for what it's worth I'd like to join the chorus telling her to buck up. Lots of young women have entered pageants and still gone on to useful, productive lives. [/rimshot]

• I have a horrible, public-school-grade cold. Forget zinc, vitamin C, or even chicken soup on this one. This is the only thing that's helped so far:

Doc Pomus wrote it.

"According to Rich Lowry in Politico" is a phrase which proves Chomsky's idea that mastering the fundamental structures of language allows you to invent statements more horrible than you thought possible.
The McCain ad dubbing Barack Obama the biggest celebrity in the world back in 2008 was deadly accurate. What Republicans didn’t consider is that being a celebrity is a priceless asset in contemporary America. 

Yes, because what Republican ever heard of Ronald Reagan?

(I gotta tell ya, I googled Lowry to see how long after the Reagan presidency he was born, because I've been living under the impression that he was fourteen years old. Which, it turns out, he is, just not chronologically. He's forty-four. For fuck's sake. This is the sort of shit Republicans are telling themselves about necessary reform:
Of course, it wasn’t too long ago that Democrats seemed to be in dire straits. The party agonized over appealing to “values voters” after 2004. Little did they know eight short years later, they would run a successful reelection campaign partly on limitless abortion and free contraception. The Bush-era Democrats didn’t do much rethinking.

You're a party of cowards. Intellectual and otherwise. Work on that for a decade.)

In other advice columns news Weigel, having failed to convince Karl Rove to just give up altogether (plucky human spirit for ya, eh?), declares victory because some guy in Ioway isn't gonna run against Steve King.

So Unkka Karl's now down to his last $250 million tax-exempt dollars and his iPhone full of billionaires. On the other hand, this really is the closest thing to a victory libertarians have ever pulled off. Just explain to me why th' fuck you want to inherit the Republican party.

• And th' snarkin' is easy: "Why are American beers so weak?"

I'm not gonna bother. Lemme just note that, first, if you think of beer as an Alcohol Delivery System, and find it deficient in potency, move on to the harder stuff and shut th' fuck up, or just sit sobbing quietly to yourself. The real question, if any, is Why is this stuff so unpalatable? Which can be further subdivided into "Don't you have a myriad of choices these days, unless you'd also like to complain that every last craft-brewer and boutique bottler imagines that ten times the hops means ten times the quality?" and "Why do so many people enjoy watery corn squeezins?"

Just for the record, the answer is "Why do people eat at McDonald's?" and "Why is it lawful in the US to label any trash fish stuck in your nets 'Dover sole' for mercantile purposes?" We're a Zen koan kinda society, somehow.

And, no:
German-American brewers made some alterations to their mother country’s traditional beer, as any beer aficionado knows. Fearing that American drinkers wouldn’t appreciate the malt-heavy Bavarian lager, they substituted American-grown grains like corn and rice for some of the barley, lightening the beer’s flavor.

Got absolutely nothing to do with the fact that corn was cheaper'n dirt, huh?
Modern American beer enthusiasts tend to sneer at the two or three mass-produced beers that have dominated the industry for decades,

They probably just need the exercise.
but their success has little to do with corporate trickery, market manipulation, or the effects of Prohibition on smaller brewers. Nineteenth-century Midwestern lagers simply beat other styles of beer in the American market.

Stylistically, maybe. But it's the post-war consolidation/gobbling of local and regional breweries that allowed three giants to dictate quality, or, rather, lack thereof; ingredients got cheaper and cheaper as profits grew. See also chocolate, cattle feed, and journalism. Laying that off on the consumer is rubbish; the next generation, offered little choice in the matter, has no grounds for comparison. The fact that there is such a thing as craft beer is the semi-miracle.

• I can't leave without mentioning how much I enjoyed hearing Barbara Harsha, of the Governors' Highway Safety Association, on NPR the other day. The topic was that report that teen driving deaths are up almost 20% in a year, and Harsha's task was to explain away most states' refusal to do anything about distracted (i.e. fucking phone in each ear) driving. By ignoring it. Which she accomplished by blaming the increase on the fact that the economy has improved, plus those stringent new requirements the Governors of the Various States, Commonweals, and Taxing Bodies had placed on teen drivers have now been factored into the market, as it were. Pressed to respond to the suggestion that "everyone around the office" at NPR had concluded that cell phones were a big cause, Harsha explained how difficult it is to get reliable information from dead people.

This is why hiring spokeswomen makes good sense. Most of 'em will not find themselves face-to-face with their reflections the next morning with the apparatus of throat-slitting at hand.


Anonymous said...

I'm not even going to mention what karmic justice for Harsha would be. Too obvious.

TM said...

Fuck's sake, it's not the lack of alcohol, but the lack of flavor that damns mass market American beer.

And beer at 20 percent is no longer beer, but a feint.

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Calming Influence said...

"Laying that off on the consumer is rubbish; the next generation, offered little choice in the matter, has no grounds for comparison. The fact that there is such a thing as craft beer is the semi-miracle."

My theory (and I of course have no data to support it), is that it was the 60s "spend the summer hitch-hiking around Europe on $5 a day" phenomenon that was the seed of the craft beer movement in the U.S.
Prior to this, the primary experience outside our borders was either you were an immigrant trying to assimilate, or a soldier back from war-torn Europe, who when not dodging bullets was probably drinking some pretty dodgy beer that would make Bud taste fine by comparison.

The sincere young 60s hitch-hiker was not the Ugly American, but rather a sponge for foreign flavors and cultures. When these vagabonds came home they realized the beer they swilled all through high school was watery slop that you could chug and piss away all afternoon on a hot summer's day.

They had had their eyes opened, and the more industrious of them solved the shortage problem by starting to make their own.

Calming Influence said...

Also, too, would Mr. Riley happen to know who was playing the sax on Lonely Avenue?

Weird Dave said...

There is a reason American beer is supposed to be drunk ice cold.

Hope you feel better, sir.

bjkeefe said...

Worst part about a cold is that beer doesn't taste good, or, at least, doesn't sit well.

Hope you have some good red wine on hand.