September 08, 2008

Midnight Rider

Too much damn noise! The months before a presidential election are a crowded sports bar at a chain restaurant. Really loud and way too bright: the atmosphere is designed to prohibit thought and conversation. This (surprisingly popular) establishment's sole purpose is to keep patrons returning to their respective sides of the trough, filling up on mass-produced domestic swill.

Hey, that turned into a pretty good analogy.

Isn't all the noise (i.e.- conventions, smear ads, all sorts of punditry, etc.) intended to distract, divert, misinform, confuse or flat-out deceive the electorate?

If heartless global corporate interests have truly wrested control of the American republic from its republicans, is there any hope of electing free-thinking individuals?

The short answer over the short term is, no. Especially not in presidential elections, where the collective will of the people is only defined and dominated by massive concentrations of power. This current reality is far removed from a vision of a free society rooted in and empowered by an educated population.

Bartender: (Shouting over roar of crowd) Whatchu need?

Conscientious Patron: Let me get a Ron Paul.

Guy At Bar: Ron Paul? Isn't that the one with Gold-Standard in it? Weird, man. (He swigs from a bottle of R-Lite or D-Lite. It doesn't matter which, they're the same.)

Bartender: We don't serve that. D-Lites are $4 during the football game.

A look around the bar reveals only sponsorship materials from the Big Domestics. Their hegemony of inferior quality and mass distribution is secure, for now. This bar is thriving on loudness, brightness, and the marketing ability of its suppliers to provide a crowd.

There is peril in unpalatable American Lite beer! It is not the beer that our founding fathers envisioned for us. More grave is the threat embodied by crowded, loud, over-lit sports bars. I say "embodied by" because these are only the brick-and-mortar manifestations of our own willingness to be enslaved by the noise, convinced (somehow) this is where we want to be.

We need a brewer patriot to sound the alarm.

P.S. - The original purpose of this post was to feature a link to an article that describes Ron Paul as a "reincarnation of Paul Revere" (the midnight rider). It started to rhizomate with the pub analogy, then came full circle when a shorter leap back to Mr. Revere presented itself in Samuel Adams (the brewer patriot). I Googled "Samuel Adams and Paul Revere" and came up with the linked article. Not only are they ostensibly connected, but it turns out that microbrew status of Sam Adams beer is a "marketing shell" propagated by its corporate-industrial contractors (Anheuser-Busch). Oh well, at least it tastes better than Bud Lite. I don't drink that much beer anyway.

Paul Revere: American hero, misapropriated beer mascot.

P.P.S. - Hmmm, I looked into the 'contract' brewing thing. Seems that Samuel Adams has been produced at a number of large plants, and the man who helped Jim Koch develop the brewery in 1985 worked for Anheuser-Busch. Today 60% is brewed at the Boston Beer Company's facility in Cincinatti (only a small "R&D"/giftshop site exists in Boston). The recent sale of Anheuser-Busch to Belgian conglomerate InBev does not seem to have affected Sam Adam's sovereignty as an independent brewer, but the "craft beer" propaganda is a bit fishy/phony.

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