You know who I can’t stand? Stephen Colbert. I’ve actually grown to like Jon Stewart a little, but Colbert? I can’t stomach him (yeah, yeah: I know he’s Catholic–that just makes it worse). His entire schtick strikes me as the effort of a smarmy teenager who thinks he’s too clever for words, the kind who snickers behind the adults’ collective back because, at age 16, he has everything figured out and they’re stupid. On top of that, Colbert is relentlessly leftist in his smarmy attacks.
But a friend tells me I have Colbert wrong. He says it’s all an act. I’m not sure why the “act” has a leftist slant, and I know Colbert uses real news reports as the backdrop for his scenes. I’m not sure where the commentary ends and where the acting begins, but my friend is a smart guy and I respect his opinion.
He also sent along this link to a WaPo article about Colbert. It paints Colbert in a more sympathetic light, but I still don’t “get” his humor. If anyone can shed some light, that’d be great.
Okay, I may have found a new favorite beer writer. This guy slams Budweiser, and he does it better than I ever have: “It tasted . . . like a wet piece of the cardboard that comes in new dress shirts – and that’s not an original observation. I first read it on the website of the world’s foremost beer critic, Britain’s Michael Jackson. He had almost nothing positive to say about Bud. I don’t either.”
But he doesn’t stop at its taste. He goes on to give some interesting and revealing history:
Budweiser has always been far more about marketing than beer. The founder of Anheuser Busch, Adolphus Busch, refused to drink his own brew, calling it “that slop” (he was German, of course, so it came out “dot schlop”) and stuck to wine. AB first made its massive incursion into every American beer market not because Americans were clamoring for the fantastic beer but because the uber-financed new St. Louis brewery actually paid the rent for tavern owners who agreed to sell Bud and kick out all their competitors. When AB was just moving into its ascendance, there were over 100 small breweries making virtually the same beer as Bud, the mild, aggressively-inoffensive, watery Pilsner, a style that originated in Czechoslovakia as a ladies’ beer; a wimpy alternative for the delicate palates of proper Czech ladies who couldn’t stand the big German Alts and Lagers or the muscular Belgian ales.
Budweiser, from what I’ve been told, continued its sharp business practices late into the twentieth century. I heard it from a Stroh’s employee who told me all the stories. I even saw it first hand once. I was at a wedding reception and the hall manager told the groom that he could only order Budweiser. My Stroh’s friend challenged him on it and suggested they make a few phone calls to his boss and the distributor. The hall manager promptly backed down. The Stroh’s employee explained to me that Budweiser distributors pay managers kickbacks under the table every time a customer orders Budweiser for their event, even though the practice is prohibited by Michigan law.
So go ahead and drink Bud. Just be aware that you’re drinking the devil’s beer.
Alright, that’s a little melodramatic, but at least be aware that you’re supporting an unethical business system and drinking slop.
And Roy Tate doesn’t drink Budweiser: