Hey, Tim Jones here.
The Beer Summit is upon us, and much as I have tried to avoid
reading very much into this hastily manufactured CYA photo-op (where's
Rodney King? Can't we all just get along?), I can't help but notice the
deep and sobering fractures in our society that are revealed in the
beer choices of President Obama, Professor Gates and Sgt. Crowley.
Let me elucidate:
Is it a surprise to find the President choosing Bud Light, the most popular beer in America?
On the contrary, it would have been a shock had he chosen anything
else. Undoubtedly the product of fevered consultation and nail-biting
among the president's advisers, and bolstered by some last-minute focus
group data. To choose a beer with any real, determinate character might
have been to risk alienating some other beer demographic… so, as he
has done since the earliest days of his candidacy, Mr. Obama has chosen
the path that is the safest politically, and that reveals the least
about himself. As I have said before, Bud Light tastes as much like nothing as beer can.
Professor Gates, on the other hand, has boldly chosen Red Stripe, the beer of Liberation from White Oppressors. Think I'm exaggerating? The Red Stripe web site trumpets;
Jamaican history. When the island gained independence from Britain in
1962, a columnist for The Daily Gleaner wrote "the real date of
independence should have been 1928, when we established our self
respect and self confidence through the production of a beer far beyond
the capacity of mere Colonial dependants.
that, Christopher Columbus! I tried Red Stripe a year ago, or so, and
found it remarkably unremarkable (it tastes a lot like any American
mass-market brew) and a good deal too expensive, to boot. Cool bottle,
Sergeant Crowley, of the Cambridge Police Department, has
chosen Blue Moon, a mass-market brew from Coors, coyly and carefully
marketed as a "craft" brew. The third best-selling "craft beer" in
America, right below Sam Adams Boston Lager (which is getting into some
An unfiltered, multi-grain Belgian style beer,
lightly flavored with orange and coriander, it is a tolerable brew,
more substantial than Red Stripe, but still tame enough to be welcome
at any back yard barbecue. Your craft beer friends will still respect
you, and your Lite-weight friends – unaccustomed to beers with a
distinct flavor and color - will (mostly) not make cringe-y faces and
say things like, "Thanks… now, do you have any beer? This tastes like
swamp water and Earl Grey filtered through a gym sock.". It walks the
line between two worlds, that of the Trousered Ape and the Craft Beer
Snob. The choice doesn't exactly peg Sergeant Crowley as a Complex Man,
but he has chosen the best beer of the three, for my money.
we all sit by as the fate of the free world hangs in the balance. What
if there are fisticuffs? Will professor Gates pound his shoe on the
table? What if it is just an awkward and embarrassing twenty minutes of
forced smalltalk? Will Obama have some (carefully planned and
professionally written) one-liners on hand to break the ice? If all
goes well, will they stand together out by the fence in the back alley
behind the White House and say "Yup" in turn, like they do on King of the Hill?
That would be sweet.
(Lovingly cross-posted, for double your blogging pleasure at Tim Jones' blog, Old World Swine)