Brews You Can Use, Philosophy Corner, and a Short Story for Halloween

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“The Necessities,” E. Studs Mulligan

Booze Coke

I don’t know if I’m surprised because it’s Coke or because it’s the first Coke product with alcohol: Coca-Cola launching its first alcoholic beverage next year.

It’s going to be an alcoholic version of its Topo Chico sparkling water.

I’d love to comment more, but I don’t listen to Judy Garland or drink sparkling water.

I’m content with rum and Coke or vodka and Coke. If I’m feeling randy, I add a lime wedge.


Pot Booze

Cannabis beverages are getting rolled out next year.

I tried one (stripped of its hallucinogenic properties) while at the 2018 marijuana convention. I wasn’t impressed by the taste.

But I am intrigued by this development. I have long maintained that marijuana is substantively different than booze because you can’t “dial in” the buzz. You go from 0 to 60. So you never slide from sober, to enjoyable relaxation, to venial sin, to mortal sin. It’s just, wham, mortal sin.

If there were a way to slide into the buzz more, then maybe it would be alright.

Cannabis beverages might be the ticket. When I spoke to that one vendor back in 2018, he said that was exactly the market they were looking for.

“The Necessities,” E Studs Mulligan

Booze Coke

I don’t know if I’m surprised because it’s Coke or because it’s the first Coke product with alcohol: Coca-Cola launching its first alcoholic beverage next year.

It’s going to be an alcoholic version of its Topo Chico sparkling water.

I’d love to comment more, but I don’t listen to Judy Garland or drink sparkling water.

I’m content with rum and Coke or vodka and Coke. If I’m feeling randy, I add a lime wedge.


Pot Booze

Cannabis beverages are getting rolled out next year.

I tried one (stripped of its hallucinogenic properties) while at the 2018 marijuana convention. I wasn’t impressed by the taste.

But I am intrigued by this development. I have long maintained that marijuana is substantively different than booze because you can’t “dial in” the buzz. You go from 0 to 60. So you never slide from sober, to enjoyable relaxation, to venial sin, to mortal sin. It’s just, wham, mortal sin.

If there were a way to slide into the buzz more, then maybe it would be alright.

Cannabis beverages might be the ticket. When I spoke to that one vendor back in 2018, he said that was exactly the market they were looking for.


“And I’m Proud to be an American . . .”

George Washington and his Army buddies celebrated the signing of the Constitution by drinking enough booze to rack up a tab worth roughly $17,253 in today’s currency.

You can find the story at this link.

“The Gilson Collection,” E. Studs Mulligan

Philosophy Corner

Premise:

The postmodern historical (non) method is a rejection of the soul.

Background:

Postmodernism believe we are shaped by our culture, and we are unable to read history, or understand anything for that matter, except in the context of our culture. The Powerful (capital “P”) control the culture. Therefore, there is no historical understanding, or understanding in general, or even truth. It’s all whatever the power structure tells us it is.

Explanation of Premise:

Even if postmodernism is correct, it presumes there is nothing in us that isn’t controllable by earthly forces. More precisely, it presumes there is nothing significant, of substance, in us that isn’t controllable by material forces. It presumes there is no spiritual principle in us that can abstract from its current milieu, to think outside the materialistic box so to speak. It is a denial of the phenomenon of abstraction, whereby we form understandings (universals) that transcend the material details in front of us.

Caveat:

Perhaps paradoxically, I exempt Michel Foucault from the umbrella term “postmodern” above. He’s more complex and has more to say, much of which I agree with.

I hope to spend a fair amount of time on him (so to speak) later.

Photo by Leonardo Yip on Unsplash

Gothic Nihilism

Two vampires in a post-modern, bowling-alone, world

Jonathan had just finished watching The Conan O’Brien Show when the doorbell rang. He slowly rolled off the couch and answered the door. It was his older friend, Bramford.

“You’re still in your pajamas, Jonathan? The meeting starts in fifteen minutes,” Bramford said, picking up some jeans and throwing them at Jonathan. “It’ll take us that long on the subway alone. It’s too cold to fly.”

Jonathan caught the jeans. “I don’t feel like going.”

“You really should go. We need more young guys like you.”

“Yeah, I know,” he said, putting on his jeans and looking around for his favorite Old Navy sweatshirt.

“The President of the New England Council is going to talk. That’s the oldest Council in the U.S. It has more members than any other Council, even the ones in Eastern Europe.”

“Yeah,” Jonathan said nodding. “The Communists really killed the Councils over there.”

“It’s hard to thrive under a regime that suppresses religion,” Bramford said. “Our membership, after all, consists heavily of excommunicants and heretics.”

Jonathan nodded.

“In fact, the President’s going to talk about dwindling membership.”

“I just hope there aren’t a bunch of questions,” Jonathan said as he put on his tennis shoes. “We won’t get out of there until the sun comes up.”

“Don’t worry,” Bramford chuckled, “No one wants that.”

The Council Meeting

They walked down to the street and ran through the drizzling rain to the subway and took it to Central Park. They arrived at the meeting about ten minutes late.

The President of the New England Council talked mostly about membership and the need for volunteers: “Volunteerism. That’s what we need. We need more members, but more importantly, we need more involved members. Members who are willing to volunteer a portion of every night to helping their Councils. If we don’t, we’ll get deader and deader until we are just a few isolated individuals, preying by ourselves, lost in a world of humans. No one to talk to; no one to hug when things are tough.”

“Hug?” Jonathan whispered to Bramford. “This guy’s a fruitcake. Let’s go. I’m hungry.”

“Come on, show respect,” Bramford said quietly, smiling. “He has 100 victims to his credit, and many of them have joined up and have dozens of victims themselves. He has a great network.”

Jonathan laughed. “He sounds like an Amway success story.”

“Just stay a little longer,” Bramford said, motioning for Jonathan to keep his voice down.

The President talked about the need to participate in the new information age, strengthen the inter-relatedness of the Councils, and develop healthy Councils for the sake of the children.

Vampiric Good Old Days

The speech lasted until about 3:00 a.m. Bramford and Jonathan left during the question-and-answer period.

“How many children are in our Council? Two?” Jonathan asked sarcastically as they walked away.

“He’s just trying to get more undead involved, Jonathan. Back in the old days, before the computer, TV, and phonograph, we had great Council meetings. It really was neat. Now the undead stay home at night.”

Jonathan didn’t say anything. He’d heard Bramford’s “good old days” ramblings before.

“Did I ever tell you about the time a cousin of Vlad Tepes himself came over here?” Bramford said. “I had only been a member for about fifty years. He came over in Old World splendor: traveled on one of those luxury slave ships where no one investigated the death of black human cargo. He wore a cape and never dulled his teeth to look more like the living. He told us about the glory days of the Hussite Revolution, when there were lots of excommunicants and heretics and membership swelled.”

Jonathan had heard the story many times. “Look, Bramford, that’s great and all, but I don’t remember the glory days. Heck, I don’t even remember the nineteenth century.”

Bramford lowered his head.

“I’m not trying to be mean, but that stuff doesn’t matter now. I just want to get my night’s food, and I want the Council to stick to its job of helping me do it. I’m too busy for all this ‘hooray for the Council’ stuff.”

“But the Council has to be strong in order to help you get blood, to get victims without raising suspicions, to provide secret coffins when the Van Helsings and Kolchaks get too close. It’s a greater good.”

Jonathan shrugged, “Are we supposed to have a greater good?” He paused. “I don’t know. Maybe I’ll get more involved when I get older, but right now, I’m struggling to keep my cheeks red.”

Bramford nodded sympathetically, knowing Jonathan, like many new members with no active victims, was bloody broke and frustrated. “So what do you want to do tonight? We only have about two hours.”

“How about the Bowery?” Jonathan suggested, knowing Bramford loved to go there and “re-live” fond memories.

“Sounds good. It’s not as good as the days before gentrification, but there’s still good blood there,” Bramford said. “Did I ever tell you the time I found two bums in a dark alley who had knocked each other out fighting over a quart of malt liquor . . .”.