Dec 042008

Remember my Cerevisaphobia series? If you don’t, refresh your memory by rereading the mission statement and first case study. And then crack open a cold one and prepare yourself for round two.

The death of American industry has not been kind to Milwaukee. Not only did the city see Asia and NAFTA draw away the thousands of manufacturing jobs that gave it its main raison d’être, it let slip its crown as the font of America’s worst beers. Milwaukee was once inundated in piss-poor pale lagers, a sixth Great Lake of fizzing straw-flavored mediocrity. Miller. Pabst. Blatz. Old Milwaukee. Milwaukee’s Best. Olde English. And of course, the beer so identified with the mid-20th century American industrial working class that every can used to come with a union card, a hardhat and a beatnik club: Schlitz.

I identify Schlitz mostly with the crowd of DXM-addled leather-clad rock’n’roll burnouts loosely associated with my high school who drank Schlitz because it was some combination of cheap, ironic and cool-by-dint-of-obscurity. But back in the ’40s and ’50s, by all accounts, Schlitz was the stuff. Your granddad shotgunned Schlitz, and he did it while his other hand was shotgunning Nazis in la Occupied France. The baby boomers happened because of the Greatest Generation’s decade-long Schlitz drunk (so when Social Security implodes in the next decade, blame the beer). But Cerevisaphobia isn’t about historical context. Cerevisaphobia is about how sketchy the beer aisle is in the Internet’s great marketplace of ideas. On we go:

Overweening Cerevisaphile Sez:

Clear bottle, 946 ml, Old Stock VI evening, savoured on March 23 2007; eye: straw, no effervescence, clear, white head; nose: corn, sugar, stale, adjuncts; mouth: sugar, oxidized, adjunct, corn, average carbonation, grainy texture; overall: no thanks FRANÇAIS Bouteille transparente, 946 ml, soirée Vieux Stock VI, savourée le 23 mars 2007; oeil : paille, pas d’effervescence, claire, mousse blanche; nez : maïs, sucre, éventée, additifs; bouche : sucre, oxydée, additif, maïs, carbonatation moyenne, texture granuleuse; en résumé : non merci

You know what’s odd about this one, other than the fact that anyone would measure a red-blooded, amber-colored American workingman’s beer like Schlitz in fuckin’ pansy-ass faggy goddamn Frenchy Canadian milliliters? It’s that this guy, despite being Canadian, has English bad enough that he obviously had to consult a dictionary, and in doing do chose to translate “additif” as “adjunct,” rather than the correct (and obvious) cognate. But it’s good to know that somewhere in the wilds of Quebec, our Francophone neighbors are savouring our worst beers. No wonder they want to secede.

Overburdened Cracker Sez:

What’s wrong with you girly men. There’s nothing that says “how can I be any manlier” than when you’re holding a can of Schlitz. You can drink those pussy beers all you want but there’s something about the beer that made Milwaukee famous that makes me want to either rebuild an engine or grill up a juicy porterhouse. In fact, I’m scratching my balls as I enjoy a cold one right now.

This may well be ironic (the spelling is pretty good); but then, the gauge of truly profound stupidity is to see how well it would translate as overly broad irony. Take for example something like The Secret. The Secret is dumb. How dumb? A short story based on a premise of millions of people spending billions of dollars on a merchandising empire that touted the secret power of getting everything you want by wishing really super hard would be dismissed as hacky and overblown. That’s fucking dumb. So perhaps we should give our Schlitz-loving friend here the benefit of the doubt and assume his limitations are sweetly genuine.

But here is my question: I do not require a Schlitz to want to grill up a juicy porterhouse. I, in fact, pretty much would always like to grill up a juicy porterhouse. I want to grill up a juicy porterhouse right now, even with all this attention I’m devoting to giving my balls a thorough scratch. Does this mean that even without the help of a masculating can of Milwaukee’s finest, I am more of a man?

This does not bode well for the state of manhood in America.

Next up: Hell, I don’t know…Natty Ice?

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