Monday, January 26, 2009

A better beer parallel

Recently, I received an essay that's popular among conservative circles. Through Google, I see it's been around for a few years, but this is the first time I've ever encountered it. Even for my blog it's lengthy, so here's a link to the full text (That blogger isn't who sent it to me, but is one of the few links I can find to the text that doesn't veer off into pointless tangents). To sum up, the essay uses the history of beer to trace the evolution of conservatives and liberals into the Manly Men and Girlie Pansies they are, respectively. The sender touted it as "brilliant satire," but I think it makes Larry the Cable Guy jokes seem nuanced by comparison. So I've updated it to reflect both changing times and universal truth. Enjoy.

Beer: The Great Uniter and Divider

Beer. It’s brought people together since long before there were aluminum cans to recycle.

From the earliest days of humankind, intoxicating liquors made from wheat and fermented sugar have brought people together in a joyful spirit of community. We don’t know exactly how long ago, though, because even in our earliest days people were divided over whether they were evolved or creationed into existence. The first New Year’s Day party was the true beginning of humanity’s schism.

It all started with this drunken argument:

“Happy 1!”
“One?!! Happy 50,000 BC, douche bag!”
“Look over there! A dinosaur coexisting with us!”
“Where?!!” [Turns head]
“Nowhere, Neanderthal!” [Punches other guy in face]

And thus were born the Two Great Camps of Cliquishness: Conservatives and Liberals.

Some men spent their days tracking and killing animals, not just for food, but because the act itself was something of a fetish. Then they’d come home, mount the dismembered heads and have their women barbecue the rest to go with their beer. During dinner, these men would regale their company with greatly exaggerated stories of their hunting exploits. This was the beginning of what is known as the conservative movement.

Other men didn’t go for the hunting as much, instead preferring to fulfill other duties required by daily life. They appreciated the fruits of the hunters’ efforts, even if all the hunters ever did was ridicule them for being intellectuals. But the weapons they designed and engineered and the camouflage they invented aided the hunters in taking a fruitful bounty day after day. Some of these men were good at design and architecture, which led to a better and more pleasant standard of living. They also experimented and perfected the fermentation process that led to the beer everyone loved so much. This was the beginning of the liberal movement.

The liberals came to be represented by a donkey, also known as a jackass, which became a popular show on MTV. Conservatives were symbolized by the elephant, a majestic creature that leaves huge piles of shit for low-wage workers to scoop up.

In short order, the conservatives began to resent the liberals, because they felt the liberals weren’t contributing enough to the hunt. The conservatives tried to deny them food at the table, because they hadn’t been the ones to shoot it. While the liberals could have applied that same principle by denying the conservatives education, shelter and clothing, they chose not to, because liberals understood that everyone in a community must thrive for the people to succeed as a whole. Besides, it’s just wrong to do that to people.

Liberals were known - and predictably ridiculed - for their open-mindedness when it came to cuisine. Tired of eating wild boar for every meal every day of their lives, they experimented with other animals and plants. They learned through experimentation what to eat and what not to eat; how to cook, season and freeze food; and how to purify water. They applied these tricks to beer as well, resulting in countless varieties to suit anyone’s taste. They also figured out how to prevent or minimize unpleasant hangovers.

Conservatives, meanwhile, took pride in sticking with the same things they’d always known. They looked down on anyone who tried anything from anywhere else, saying that only effeminate pansies would do such a thing. With such a proudly limited palate, conservatives instead steered toward defining themselves by their careers. They took pride in being lumberjacks, construction workers, firefighters, police officers, athletes, soldiers, Marines, sailors and other professions epitomized by Village People.

They also assumed the helms of major beer corporations, running them into the ground in the name of greed. But because they got their cut (and everyone else’s as well), they didn’t care that others suffered for it. In fact, conservatives liked it, because it gave them license to say that the workers were too liberal and obsessed with beer to remain employed. They derided the liberals for having no work ethic, when in reality it was the liberals’ tireless and devoted production that fattened up the company’s bottom line before CEO and stockholder greed wrecked it to hell like a drunken driver.

In response, liberals created unions and governments. Conservatives hated these instantly, though that didn’t stop them from stumping real hard to get elected to lead them. What the conservatives never understood was that these institutions provided oversight and ensured that not only did liberals have a better life, but conservatives did as well. Liberals understood that if all the beer were concentrated in the hands of a few, the entire economy would destabilize. This would actually hurt conservatives the most, but they were virtually incapable of understanding that, even as the beer business continued to teeter near oblivion.

Instead, the beleaguered beer titans resorted to desperate measures. Conservatives slashed the price of their beer at their most upscale shops. To make up for the profit loss, they jacked up the price at every corner store and gas station in America's urban areas. At the same time, the brewery tripled its product output. Inevitably, the company found itself even closer to bankruptcy, because the rich weren't paying enough and the poor had to cut back. So, with no irony, the conservatives went to the government - the one they hate so much - and begged for billions upon billions of dollars, arguing that the nation needed its beer to get drunk as a means of coping with the coming economic apocalypse.

All the while, liberals used their intellectual savvy to create a recipe for hooch that anyone can make with common household items. It involves apples, sugar, bread, patience and a wicked hangover. But in tough times, it’s better than nothing. And, being who they are, liberals will gladly pass on that recipe to the conservatives to enjoy during their prison sentence for corporate malfeasance.

Bottoms up!

1 comment:

rhonda said...

the original version of this piece of work is so full of retarded stereotypes that i don't know how it doesn't offend the very same conservatives who seem to find it funny! but i guess the concept of NOT SELF-LAMPOONING might be a little too advanced for people who base their entire identity on criticizing people who don't share their opinions, all the while managing to actually know nothing.