Recent reports in several fake news media outlets have noted the uncanny similarities between you and me, and I totally get why that is. Our world views are both informed by an old-school brand of reach-across-the-aisle politics that’s in terribly short supply these days; as children, we both suffered immeasurably through chronic health issues that made sleep impossible until doctors took the radical approach of amputation, forcing us to go through life without benefit of tonsils; and we both are master beer brewers.
But that’s where our similarities end. Because while you have embraced the “craft beer” movement, I’ve taken the additional step of focusing my attention on the burgeoning world of Art Beer.
Look, I’m not here to complain. Sure, your “golden ale” is perhaps more khaki than gold, but that’s to be expected from the work of a craftsman. And anyway, no one is complaining about the nuances of color in your beer (except that columnist in Brewer’s Quarterly). Truth is, I’ve loudly praised your efforts and have myself called you “innovative” and “thought-provoking.”
But let’s not kid ourselves. A craft beer like your “Old Mr. Brown” is just a Saturday afternoon quaff without any hint of irony. Meanwhile, my “Stout Americain” has far too much character to be guzzled and belched out during a college football game, and provides the kind of social commentary about the relative size of the US waistline that doesn’t just entertain, but also teaches.
And isn’t that what art (beer) is supposed to do? I think so.
Is my art beer without controversy? No. But then again, if it were it probably wouldn’t be very interesting. That’s what I love about art beer: always pushing boundaries, always interacting with person doing the consuming, all while quietly and subtly getting people hammered.
Was is it with all this talk about making America great again when no one seems to care if Canada is ever great again? It’s like everyone is fine with letting the huge country to our immediate north squander opportunities to be great again. That whole country has literally gone to pot and no one seems to care. Canada could be great again, but it refuses to put in the effort to get there. And isn’t that just like a country in the 21st century?
Sorry, there I go, lumping all the world’s countries into the same “bucket” like so many (lesser) pundits do. The fact is, several countries have never stopped being great, while others have made solid progress in their efforts to become great again. All Canada must do to be great again is get their meek and mild multilingual Canadian pot-supporting leader to wear a red hat emblazoned with MCGA. That, and close their borders.
I suppose it would also help if Justin Trudeau contradicted his own intelligence forces and sided with the Saudi and Russian governments on highly sensitive geopolitical matters, but Canada needs to crawl before it can sprint in its efforts to be great again.
Might head up there for a couple of decades to see if I can help MCGA. Just got to get those citizenship docs for my kids.
When people encounter me on the street on Thanksgiving Day, the first thing they want to know is what I’m thankful for, and naturally I tell them the truth: I’m thankful for myself.
I get strange looks, but only because most people have subscribed to the Fake News Media perspective that you should be thankful for things like people who have helped you along your journey to success and good fortune. Like, “I’m thankful that mom and dad were so supportive, and I’m thankful to God for the health of my family” blah blah blah.
But do you really have a healthy family? I’ve seen your family, and they aren’t really “all that” health-wise, if you know what I mean. I’d say that just about everyone in your family has an elevated BMI, which (sorry to inform you) isn’t healthy.
OK, so you don’t like my style of honest, frank, “drain the swamp” language, but if that’s the case you’re probably someone who hasn’t made the kind of difference that I’ve made, so you can’t look yourself in the eye (in an excellently- designed mirror) and say, yeah, I don’t give myself enough credit.
But I have a really nice mirror, so I am able to give myself ample credit. And I do.
Have you ever been to a rock show where the front person spent the first ten minutes explaining, in an oddly strummy fashion, how to behave during the concert? Be courteous. Be kind. Be forgiving. And so forth.
And you’re thinking, wait, did I make a wrong turn and end up a spectator in a golf tournament?
You’re still digesting the bacon grenades you ate at Kaiser Tiger a few minutes earlier, thinking to yourself, when the heck is the music going to start? And at the same time, something tells you to let the monologue continue, as you’re not feeling so well post-grenades and a Polish kielbasa sandwich. No one wants to find his fellow rock show patron planting elbows in random eye sockets when he’s feeling ill from too much midwestern pork indulgence. And anyway, elbows in eye sockets are usually delivered courtesy large males, who have been confounding America with their girth and height for years, requiring patriots like you to wear big shoes so you can see the band.
More specifics: Patrick Stickles’ long and relatively boring diatribe to start the set of his band Titus Andronicus fell largely on deaf (large male) ears at The Bottom Lounge, a short walk from where my friends and I had overindulged on Belgian Fries, German Beer and the aforementioned pork products, such that once the band got revved up, the elbows where flying and craniums were getting flung back and forth in total disregard for my personal safety. I kept my distance from the senseless violence, lest I find myself with a case of CTE.
Despite the lecture and subsequent disregard for proper behavior, I would call this one of the best punk rock shows I’ve ever seen. Knowing almost none of the music except what I had crammed in during my long commute from the outer edges of southwestern Boston to Chicago’s West Town neighborhood, I can assure you that it mattered not, as the band’s penchant for loud and boisterous rock made knowledge of the music secondary, if not entirely irrelevant.
The show wasn't without casualties. A fellow to my left, thoroughly meaning to stay out of the mosh pit, caught a roundhouse skull to the nose and left bleeding. Poor guy.
If Mike Doughty had been on stage the music would have ended right then and there, as Doughty means it when he says no slam dancing. But this was no M. Doughty, so despite the nosebleed, Titus Andronicus played on.