10 February 2009

Beerocracy, Continued.

This tidbit from the latest issue of The New Republic is intriguing in the context of the thesis that beer drinking correlates with "individualism." Barron YoungSmith is describing a cocktail party at the home of David Frum, the former Bush speechwriter who has started a new moderate-conservative website following his resignation from National Review magazine over his disapproval of Governor Palin's nomination for the vice-presidency.

In the kitchen, ideologically themed drinks were arrayed on a table: Obama enthusiasts -- both right-wing apostates and Frum's liberal guests -- could drink Blue Hawaiians; Palinphobes could drink cosmopolitans; and, for supporters of the Alaska governor, there was (of course) beer.

Of course, beer? And of course, like the San Antonio survey, the reporter fails to tell us what beer Palinphiles drink -- or what Frum supposes they drink. My suspicion remains that it does make a difference. We do learn what Frum thinks of Palin, however. In the reporter's words, Frum saw her as "a troubling sign of the right's continued preference for fire-breathing hacks." In Frum's own words, Palin "inspires very little confidence in her ability to run a modern government" but "embodies and epitomizes not just conservative values but a conservative style." Is beer part of that style? I suppose it is if it (the style, that is) is meant to appeal to someone who thinks of himself as "Joe Six-pack."

Here's another bit of data: the magazine follows this report with a story about the new "lefty hot spot" for Obama fans in Washington D.C. It's a "restaurant cum left-wing bookstore" called Busboys and Poets. Alcohol is served there --"is there any other establishment in America that slings Moet champagne-pear cocktails and also sells the Weather Underground DVD?" asks reporter Eve Fairbanks -- but the owner (an Iraqi-American) threw out a delegation of Bacardi Girls, "scantily clad women who go around bars offering people promotional rum shooters." But the title of the article is "Viva Chai!" What message are the editors trying to send? And what will the scientists of San Antonio make of it?

No comments: