I recently put an ad in the paper for someone to step up and produce one of those startlingly avant-garde, live theatrical experiences that no one can understand, about a mysterious, dark world that exists in some strange alternate reality, wherein the United States of America is still most powerful country on the globe but, alas, its duly elected leader is a complete and utter clown.
Yes, I know, sounds entirely far-fetched, as many an avant-garde producer of experimental theater has told me over cocktails in chic Manhattan eateries, but I always remind them that the world I’m asking them to create is not one that could ever actually exist on earth. The numbskull in charge of the US in this alternate reality is such a boob that, in the “real world,” he would never be elected even to some obscure county seat, like the Noxious Weed Council, let alone become president of the greatest country in the alternate world. Too infantile. Too crass.
Like, for example, he has examined all the available evidence and has concluded that the best course of action is to increase production of coal while lowering clean air and clean water standards. Because, to hell with cleanliness.
Personally, I’m all for rolling back clean standards of all sorts. I think much of the world is way too clean anyway, and the regulation continuum that supports this over-cleanliness is killing this country’s competitiveness.
OK, maybe this concept is a little too far-fetched for theater-goers to suspend their disbelief about, but it’s exactly the kind of asininity that alternate realities tend to spawn, and it’s this dark and brooding world I’m hoping someone out there is willing to spend a lot of time and money spinning into a completely weird, experimental, theatrical LSD trip that is so confounding that audience members run for the exits, frightened by what they see and demanding normalcy, even if it means the normalcy of the 1980s, when people like Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush were in office.
Now that’s strange.
I consider myself a veteran of Christmas, having lived through 54 Christmas Days with family and friends already, and I have an enormous degree of optimism that I’ll see 100 more years of Christmas Days, give or take. If it all comes to pass as I foresee, it means I’m going to be a real player in Christmas Days to come.
What will this mean for you? Like, no more presents? No more presents is not my style! Instead I’m going to quietly and subtly affect broader themes around Christmas, poking holes in various theories around the birth of Deities and so forth. But nothing about exchanging presents or serving excellent cocktails will be changed.
If I don’t live another 100 years, well, I suppose I’ll have to affect Christmas themes in the afterlife. (But don’t bank on that).
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.